Tag Archive: digital tools



If you find it hard to keep up with the paper overload even with a streamlined filing system, you might want to consider filing your paper docs electronically.  Of course it’s easy to scan and and then save them, but if you really want to use a tool that will help you when it comes to your productivity, then consider Neat Desk.

Neat Desk is a high-speed, duplex desktop scanner and digital filing system. It allows you to scan receipts, business cards and documents as the software identifies, extracts and organizes key information that helps when it comes to retrieving your information.

Neat uses Intelligent Text Recognition technology to read and understand key information, then automatically organizes what it sees. Very cool, huh?!  The resulting digital files are useful and usable, not just easy to find and access.  They’re also easy to share.

You can scan in your receipts, business cards, or documents pretty quickly–24 pages per minute and you can scan up to 50 pages at once – single or double sided, color or B&W, single or multi-page. You pick.  Your receipts become digital records with vendors and amounts, business cards become digital contacts, and documents become fully keyword searchable.

With this great tool, you end up with information you can not only find, but that you can use.  Once you’ve scanned your documents, you can create tax or expense reports from your receipt data, or export to MS Excel, Quicken, or even TurboTax. You can also Sync your contacts with Outlook or Address Book. Find what you need with a keyword, and organize it however you like.

So, if you’re finding yourself challenged when it comes to the paper in your office, check out Neat Desk to see if it’s a fit for you.  Watch this quick video to get the big picture.


Is Technology Wasting Your Time?

I know that one of the biggest time wasters for people is technology.  As much as things are created to help us, technology is a big hindrance for many people and can lead to a great amount of your time being wasted.  Using technology in a way that supports you can increase your productivity.  The day-to-day things that end up on your list can get out of control, so it’s important to keep it lean.  Long story short, items make it to your to-do list as a result of the larger items on your master task list.  You want to be sure that you carefully place things on your to-do list.  If your time management personality is a fit for a digital tool, there are a few top pick electronic tools that you might want to consider to help you increase your productivity.

It seems that every five minutes or so there’s some new digital tool or app that comes out, so there are plenty of them out there which makes it hard to choose or find one that works for you.  Here are a few that seem to get rave reviews:

Wunderlist

  • Wunderlist is produced by a Berlin based company and passed over a million downloads in March 2011, and is now available on almost every platform—windows, iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac.
  • Separated from the pack with its design, simplicity, and effectiveness.  Simple enough to use without trying, quickly enter your tasks and powerful enough to support you.  It’s not complicated to use, captures what you need to do right away and keeps important things front and center.
  • There’s a balance between its functionality and its features.  It gives you the ability to sort tasks into multiple lists, set due dates and “Star” particular tasks

2Do for iPhone & iPad
2Do is a feature rich to-do app that runs on both iPhone and iPad.  Great graphical interface, can setup my tasks in a simple yet powerful layout.

  • This tool stands out from the crowd with its fancy graphical user interface.  Esthetically pleasing so it does a great job presenting a pleasing and useful experience.  Other apps have “dayplanner” interfaces, this has been called the most functional, especially true on the iPad in landscape mode.
  • 2Do has plenty of features and can be as simple or as complex as you want.  You do not have use all the functionality, but it is there for power users.
  • Some key features:  The “tabs” feature of 2Do is very powerful.  You can easily set up multiple lists or categories if you choose.  The “Today” and “Starred” tabs let you quickly see a unified list of what is most important.  Quick entry mode, ability to “star” tasks quickly and it syncs to multiple devices

Tooledo

  • This tool pretty much does what a SmartPhone would already do, but it’s good for sharing information if the usual computer sync isn’t right for your situation.  It can be used with BlackBerry, Mac OS, or Android
  • Organize Your Tasks. Use folders, tags, contexts, subtasks and more to organize, search and sort through your tasks.
  • Improve Your Productivity. Toodledo’s hotlist, customizable alarms, and sortable online to-do list will help you remember to complete tasks on-time.
  • Go Anywhere. Get Toodledo on your mobile phone, in your email, on your calendar, integrated directly into your web browser, and more.  It also allows you to collaborate to work with others easily.  You also have the ability to customize and define how you want to view tasks.

Sanebox
“Restores your email sanity” and “Unfiltered email goes in, prioritized email comes out”, are the things that the creators say about this tool.

  • Sanebox works with GMail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, GoDaddy, Rackspace, Mobile Me and many more
  • Uses sophisticated algorithms to prioritize the email you receive. The important stuff goes straight to your inbox and everything else gets stored in other folders for later.  The calculation of importance is done by the algorithmic engine.  Only the engine looks at the headers of your emails and your social network connections, not people.  Their engineers work on the algorithmic engine not the email.  Your email isn’t viewed/seen by the technology or a human being
  • Safe & Secure.  The program doesn’t look at your emails and uses encryption to protect your data
  • It works within your inbox, so there’s no need for plug-ins or downloads and it allows you to train your inbox, in a sense

Social Media Apps to Manage Posts
I wouldn’t recommend that you automate all of your posts, but take advantage of streamlining your posting with the use of these tools.

Hoot Suite

  • Pretty popular and is great to use to post to your Facebook profile or to Twitter.  You can post right from Hoot Suite without having to sign into Facebook or Twitter.
  • Schedule updates, monitor your mentions, build SM analytic reports, use with BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, use it for team collaboration, manage multiple contributions ad share data access w/o sharing passwords, assign tasks

Post Planner

  • Post to FB profiles, Fan Pages, and groups
  • Get notifications when your posts publish
  • Publish you photo and videos posts, notes
  • Installs and uninstalls quickly

 


As promised, this post will give you some insight on digital tools.  If digital tools fit your time management personality you have a host of tools to choose from. You have Palm Pilots, BlackBerry’s along with an array of handheld computers and mobile phones to choose from.  Both will help you manage your time with the calendar and task list features.  It will also let you store and manage your contact list and even write and save handwritten notes to yourself.  Some of the higher end models serve as a PDA and mobile phone and will also let you manage your email.

With BlackBerry you can access up to 10 email accounts-not that I recommend anyone have 10 different email accounts.  You can also manage your media files, access the internet and get maps and directions on a BlackBerry and have hundreds of apps to choose from.

Digital tools can be synchronized with your laptop or desktop and you can print what ever you choose from each.  These two features are great if you have an assistant or someone who needs to access your schedule or other information.  They can do so from your computer or from what you’ve printed, provided that you keep your computer updated and print the updated information.

Digital tools offer you the ability to search for information quickly, group and rearrange tasks and easily back up.  Of course, as with any great thing there are some disadvantages.  You can only view one screen at a time and for some, archived information is not easily referenced.

Now, as far as purchasing a PDA, you can find some handhelds at your favorite office supply store, but before you venture out, do your homework to see the various models available and the features that each tool has. If you’re interested in a mobile phone option, check with your mobile service provider to see which models they carry.  Not everyone carries each model and some may be exclusive to particular providers.  Choose a tool that gives you the features that you need, learn how to use each of them and optimize its use.

Now that you have information on paper and digital tools available to you, you can choose your time management tool.  Make your choice based upon your time management personality.  If you don’t know what your time management personality is, take time to discover it. Once again, I invite you to check out my Personalizing Time Management audio series to go through that process, learn the other elements of a solid time management system and set it up.

 

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