5 Ways to Stop “Starting” and Just “Start”

November 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Productivity, Professional N*Powerment

We all do it. We put off our starting our exercise routine, organizing our closet, eating a healthier diet or fixing the zipper on our favorite pair of jeans; we continually delay finishing that project or starting something new with the phrase, “I’ll start tomorrow.” Yet, in the back of our minds, we know that if we put it off it won’t get done because it’s never tomorrow, it’s always today…. or never. Read more

My Top 3 Productivity Apps (Which Ones Keep You Sane?)

September 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Productivity, Professional N*Powerment

It’s been my first full week back at work and school and it has been hectic. It has definitely confirmed the fact that busy women on the go have to be on the ball– We need to know where we need to be and when, who we have to see, what we have to do or have with us and we need to be able to access this information in an instant. In the spirit of my first week back to school and work, I’ve been thinking of ways that I can further streamline my own personal productivity, so I thought I’d start by sharing the top 3 apps I use now to “keep it all together” and ask you to share yours.

 

  1. Google Calendar

I love Google calendar! It is my number one pick for keeping track of dates, appointments and reminders. One of the greatest things about it is I can access it on my phone and it syncs very quickly, so everything I put in it is always up to date. You can create calendars for different aspects of your life and even color code them (see mine below). This makes me happy because I used to be a strong advocate of using different calendars for different things and this app allows me to stick with that concept while allowing me to have the different calendars all under one “roof” (this was a huge problem in the day of paper calendars because sometimes they wouldn’t be in the same place and as we know, for any system to work, you have to have it when you need it). You can make your calendars public and share them with others (if you want) and you can integrate tasks and set up reminders as well. Another great thing about Google calendar is that it’s web-based, so it’s available from anywhere if you know your calendar address (just in case you forget your phone or ipad or whatever device you use to access it). The only downside of using Google calendar would be not having access to the Internet at all. However, in today’s world not having internet access at all would be a problem for so many other reasons that not having access to your calendar might seem miniscule in comparison. I hear that the folks at Google are working on an offline version. I can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

  1. Vitalist

I don’t know what I would do without Vitalist. It is awesome. For big to-do-list makers (like me) it’s the equivalent of a giant chocolate bar to a candy freak. If you work on many different projects, Vitalist is the way to keep them all organized and humming along nicely. Vitalist allows you to list  all of your projects and all of the action steps you need to take to get them done. Simple, yet amazingly profound. There is nothing really spectacular about the layout or functionality of the app, but I just love it. It helps that it also works on my phone and is a web-based program as well. They have a free and premium subscription. I find the free subscription to be more than enough (and I work on several products at a time).Here’s a screenshot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Microsoft One Note

If you love using notebooks to write things down, you’ll love One Note! One note takes the idea of having a notebook for everything and just digitizes it. What makes this remarkable is the idea of having all of your notebooks available when you need them and wherever you are instead of several notebooks scattered all over the house. As a student, if you have several subjects that you are studying, you can create a notebook for each subject or you can create a “binder” for the semester and use different tabs for each course. It’s the same for work projects and personal notes. It’s really up to you and your own style of maintaining your notes. It took me a little while to come up with the best way for me to organize my notebooks, but I’ve found that I prefer to create one for each area of my life and then separate the inside with tabs instead of creating a new notebook. (Like physical notebooks, they too, can pile up quickly). You can sync your notebooks, share your notebooks, search them and update them every 3-5 minutes so losing information is virtually unheard of. You can add links, pictures, video, voice recording, email clips, print from it, email docs to yourself or to someone else. I use it for everything that I would otherwise write in an actual notebook (except for my personal journaling–which I do in a old fashioned notebook). However, I struggled with adding this app as my number three because there is a huge downside, but since I do use it all the time, it qualifies as one of the top three apps that keep me sane so I have to list it. The downside: it’s only available for PC (it’s Microsoft) and it’s not web-based so if you don’t have it installed on the device you are working on, you are out of luck. There is an iphone app for it, but I don’t have much luck with it so I stick to using it on my pc’s. It seems that One Note is not as popular “out there” because no one else that I know uses it.   I think it’s a “best kept secret” though because it really is a cool application and Microsoft should do more to promote it. I hope this plug helps it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it–my top 3 go-to apps. Which programs or applications do you use to keep you sane? Which ones keep you on your toes, on the ball and come highly recommended because you actually use them all the time? Share your top 3 with us in the comment box.