Tag: organization

Complete Productivity Series

Be the Most Productive You Possible

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Over the last few weeks I have written several articles focused on productivity and organization tips. I thought it might be helpful to create a page that groups, explains, and links to them in an organized manner.

I separated the articles into three general categories:

  1. Collecting Information
  2. Scheduling Activities
  3. Productivity on the Go 

Collecting Information

Processing, recording, recalling information is a critical part of being productive and organized. These articles cover effective ways to get a grip on all of the information in your life.

 

How You can Take the Greatest Notes in the World How You can Take the Greatest Notes in the World 

Taking good great notes is probably the best step to being more organized and productive. This article covers my personal technique for taking notes and using them to take action. 

Boost Your Creativity and Productivity by Using a Simple Notebook Boost Your Creativity and Productivity by Using a Simple Notebook

Trying to find ways to capture your creative bursts and brainstorms and use them effectively? One of the greatest tools ever invented is a humble notebook. Most of the creative, successful people that I see use notes as part of their creative process.

 

Boost Google Reader’s Productivity Boost Google Reader’s Productivity

There are a million different sources of information on the web that you need to check every day. Using Google Reader is the best way that I know to take in and process mountains of information in a short amount of time. Check out my favorite tips on squeezing every last drop out of it.

 

TITLE Never Forget Another Idea – Capture Everything with Evernote

If you want to take notes that you can use everywhere on any computer or phone, you need Evernote. This tutorial shows how to use Evernote on Windows, Mac, Linux, phones, and the web. This is one of my favorite productivity applications.

 

Scheduling Activities

After you capture everything you need, now it’s time to start putting it to work. You need a way to keep track of everything that needs to get done. Here are a few tips to help you get it together.

 

Get Things Done with RememberTheMilk Get Things Done with RememberTheMilk 

RememberTheMilk is my favorite web based task management tool. You can schedule, track, and manage all of your to do’s from the web or your phone. This is a life saver for the absent minded procrastinator. (I’m talking to you! and me.)

 

Getting the Most Out of Mozilla Thunderbird Getting the Most Out of Mozilla Thunderbird 

If you need a tool to handle Email, Contacts, and your Calendar, then give Mozilla’s Thunderbird a shot. I’ll show you how to stretch it beyond even Mozilla’s imagination with some of these extensions.

 

Productivity on the Go

None of us gets to sit down in an ideal office and handle everything that needs to be done. We’re all on the go these days. Well here are some great ways to take your show on the road without missing a beat.

 

Create a RoboSecretary for Yourself with Dial2Do Create a RoboSecretary for Yourself with Dial2Do 

This might be my favorite productivity tip in this series. Dial2Do allows you to take all of these productivity systems that I have covered and manage them from your phone. Dial the phone, say what you want done, and it just gets done. If you’re only going to read one article on this page, make it this one!

 

Create the Web Operating System Today Create the Web Operating System Today 

When you’re on the go, you never know what computer that you will be using. This article shows you how to put a full computing experience on the web and access it from any computer in the world.

 

Sync Files on Multiple Computers Using DropBox Sync Files on Multiple Computers Using DropBox 

If you do use multiple computers (work, home, school) you need DrobBox. This will let you sync your most important files between multiple computers with ease. Take a look at this tutorial.

 

Carry A Computer in your Pocket Carry A Computer in your Pocket 

If you insist on using desktop applications, then you should check out this article. You can load a bunch of your favorite applications on a USB drive and use them your way on any other computer.

 

What do you think?

If you have any other ideas or questions, please put them in the Comments below.

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Essential Offline Productivity Kit – The Most Valuable Office Supplies

Productivity Does Not Just Happen on your Computer

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I spend a lot of time writing about ways to stay organized and productive using your computer’s applications and web services. There is another area where you can give yourself a big boost and that’s your office supplies.

I keep a collection of supplies around that help me collect, create, display, and organize mountains of information. I categorize my supplies by their purpose:

  • Collecting and Creating Information
  • Displaying Information
  • Organizing Information

Collecting and Creating Information

During my day job (and while I’m working on this blog) I am primarily doing two things going to meetings about a project or generating information for project. This means writing, writing, writing. Now I know I spend a lot of time writing about software, services, and gadgets to help you gather information, but my number one tool is good old fashioned paper.

I take books and books worth of notes on everything. When I’m not capturing information, I’m generating it (books, presentations, documents, articles, etc.). Either way it’s pen to paper. Actually I do most note taking and brainstorming in pencil.

Here are the main tools that I use for these tasks:

A Couple of Notebooks (Large and Small) – I have a notebooks everywhere in every size. I even have my own note taking method that I will cover in a future article.
Copy Holder – After I collect and/or brainstorm information, I eventually have to get it into my computer. I like to place my notes on a copy holder next to my monitor and type it up. It totally looks like something an old secretary would use, that’s because old secretaries knew what’s up.
Mechanical Pencil – You will never regret having a nice mechanical pencil. It’s so much better and more comfortable than the old wooden ones. Plus they look a little more grown up.
Comfortable Pen – Once you grow up and learn how to take care of things you should really treat yourself to a nice pen. They’re like a good pair of shoes, you don’t understand why they cost more until you own them. You deserve it!
Multicolor Highlighter Pen pack – One of the most powerful tools for organizing information is color-coding. I use highlighter pens on everything; research, notes, categorizing my brainstorming, and more. Next time you have a bunch of random ideas on paper, use colors to group them. Then, when you go to type them up, just type all of the green, then orange, then pink topics together.
Sharpie Marker – I constantly have to label things for storage, shipping, and other things. Nothing works better than a sharpie for writing on any surface

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Displaying Information

Some of the information that I capture or create needs to be visible or close at hand. I have a few go-to tools that help me out.

Dry Erase Board – This is a little more expensive than the rest of the items on the list, but it’s very useful. When I have meetings, I use it to analyze complex topics with a group. I also use it to hang up important things like large project plans.
Dry Erase Markers – Again with the multi-color thing. Different colors for different types of information. It really helps put extra context around information.
Magnets – I use these to hang papers on my dry erase board. Things like project plans, flow charts, and schedules.
Bulletin Board – I hang things on my wall that I need handy. Things like important phone numbers and technical “cheat sheets”.
Thumbtacks (preferably multiple colors) – How else are you going to hand things on your bulletin board?
Post-it Notes (Small, Medium, and Large) – These are the best. I use them for everything. I usually stick a bunch of them on the back inside cover of my notebooks. This way I always have them with me when I’m on the go.
Multicolor Page Flag stickies – These are great for making tabs in books, documents, or notes. Again, devise your own color-coding system to add extra value to these little miracle makers.

Organizing Information

I create a lot of paper. I need to keep it neat and organized.

Binder Clips (Small, Medium, and Large) – First of all, staples kind of suck. If you have anything over 20 pages, staples just crap out. Binder clips are great, because you can open them and remove or insert pages as needed. When you’re done with a document, just take off the clip and toss the paper. They last forever. Plus, they make a nice plunking sound when you pass them out on a conference room table.
Solid Stapler – I know that staples have their limits, but if you’re going to use them, have a good stapler. (Insert Milton joke here.)
Sturdy Tape Dispenser – Things fall apart and you need to fix them. There is where tape comes in.
Scissors – The only things that don’t fall apart are the ones that you want to. Get a nice comfortable scissor.

Stock your office with the right set of supplies and you will see a pronounced jump in your productivity and organization. You will capture things faster, organize them better, and leverage your creative ideas more effectively. I promise!

What do you use?

I can’t wait to here what your supplies and tips are. Please add anything that I missed in the comments below.

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Create a RoboSecretary for Yourself with Dial2Do

Turn your Smartphone into a Genius Phone

Do you ever wish you had a secretary to take care of setting things up for you? Yeah, me too. Well, I found the closest thing to having your own secretary that you can get without opening your wallet. The free service Dial2Do.com will allows you to use your phone to do the following: check and update your calendar, send emails and text messages, create to-do’s and memos, check the weather, update your twitter account, and a bunch of other things.

Here’s how Dial2Do.com describes their service:

Dial2Do lets you do common tasks by just calling a number and speaking. Use it to send EMAIL or TEXT messages, record REMINDERS to help you remember things, post updates to your TWITTER or JAIKU stream and LISTEN to your favourite internet content. It’s easy and handsfree…

How Dial2Do Works

You get a call in number when you set up your account. When you dial the number a robotic voice ask you what you want to do. You say what you want and they recognize what you said and do it for you instantly.

They integrate with more services than you can shake a stick at. Calendars, Email, RememberTheMilk, Evernote, Twitter, FriendFeed, Wordpress, Blogger, and Typepad, Twitter, Ping.FM, and Tumblr. See the complete list of all of the services that you can use with Dial2Do.

Using Dial2Do to handle your business is extremely simple:

  1. Create a free account at Dial2Do
  2. Set up all of your services (email, calendar, to-do’s, etc.)
  3. Put your Dial2Do phone number in your phone
  4. Call Dial2Do and tell say what you want done
  5. Relax, knowing that it’s all taken care of.

Video Tutorial

See how to make your smartphone into a genius phone using Dial2Do.

Click here to download the Dial2Do tutorial podcast.

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