Purpose: RescueTime software automatically tracks your digital activity to provide a clear picture of how you are spending your time. RescueTime works in the background to track what you do and where you go – websites, software, apps, etc. – with the goal of taking you from overwhelmed to focused and productive.
Benefits: One of the greatest benefits of RescueTime is that it can track online activity as well as desktop activity – time spent on apps such as Word or Photoshop. This means you get a detailed report on where your time goes. In RescueTime you can adjust the settings to indicate certain sites/software as productive while other sites are non-productive. This means that I can mark LinkedIn as productive rather than it being categorized as just another social media site.
Cost: $0, $9/mo
Opinion: RescueTime is good for keeping me aware of how much time I am spending on non-work activities. Which is usually more than I need to. But it is also helpful to see what I actually accomplished during the week. Sometimes it can feel like I got nothing done, and RescueTime shows me that it isn’t exactly true. I love that it tracks desktop as well as mobile activity. We spend so much time on our mobile devices – both doing work and goofing off – that it’s vital we track the activity to get a clear picture of our day. Another cool RescueTime feature is the ability to block a site or activity for a certain amount of ‘focus time’ to make sure you don’t get distracted.
It’s time for a clean sweep! (anyone else remember that show on TLC?)
Grab your phone, set aside ten minutes, and go through your apps. Find those keeper apps, the ones you can’t live without, then start eliminating the ‘maybe’ apps or the ‘why did I download this in the first place?’ apps. You’d be surprised at how many of those are cluttering up your phone!
Create new folders if necessary to corral your apps. Once you’ve done your clean sweep, take just one more moment to clean off your phone and case.
It’s a digital world out there. To survive and thrive, we need to utilize software. Today, I want to take you behind the scenes of my business to show you the software I rely on every day.
Evernote – my second brain. Everything I need to know about anything, and what I think about it, lives here.
Dropbox – all my documents live in Dropbox – both personal and professional. The best part of Dropbox is I can access my documents regardless of what device I am on.
Insightly – my CRM. This is where I keep all my client information so I know who to contact when.
Chrome – usually my first choice for a browser. When it’s not, then I turn to Firefox.
GSuite – essential for email, calendar, and contact management. I recommend this to anyone who wants a professional email with the ease of a Google interface.
QuickBooks Online – this is where I manage my business finances.
MailChimp – my email marketing software, what I use to send my newsletters and mailings.
All of this software is web based, although Evernote and Dropbox also live on my computer. I have a paid account for everything on the list except for MailChimp – their free version is robust enough for my current needs.
How about you? What software is on your ‘can’t live without’ list? Let me know! I’m always looking for new software solutions to explore!
Paper documents and digital documents. You’ll find organizers who specialize in one or the other, but is organizing paper really that different from organizing digital files? When it comes down to it, many of the same principles apply to both formats. After all, you are organizing information, regardless of the form it is in. So what is the same?
Purpose: Airtable has been called a spreadsheet on steroids. It is a hybrid spreadsheet and database tool that provides you a place to store and organize your data. Airtable allows you to make relational databases – pulling information from one database into another without having to open the first. It’s a powerful way to manage your information. People are using Airtable for everything from CRMs to project management to content calendars and more.
Benefits: Entering data in Airtable is as simple as using a spreadsheet, but you can organize your data in a variety of ways – grid, Kanban, form, gallery view, etc. This means you can sort and view your data in a way that works for you. Airtable also integrates with a wide variety of apps, including Zapier. Although you can use Airtable for both numerical data and other information, doing calculations and ‘math stuff’ is more straightforward in a traditional spreadsheet like Excel.
Cost: $0, $10, $20/mo
Opinion: I love Airtable, but don’t actually use it right now! Because I wanted to review it for you, I asked my colleague Kate Bosch of katebosch.org her opinion on the software. She’s a regular user of Airtable and was gracious enough to let us know what she thinks.
“I love a good spreadsheet! When I started my professional organizing business, I set up my information using spreadsheets because that’s the way I’ve always done it throughout my varied careers. I have spreadsheets to track accounting, education, client sessions, social media, and more. I was recently introduced to Airtable and have started to use it to organize my information, both by creating new bases (That’s Airtable’s shorthand for “database.”) and converting some of my old-fashioned spreadsheets to Airtable bases.
What I love about Airtable is that it combines the familiar spreadsheet format with the robust features of a database. I can easily connect information between sheets, add attachments, create fillable forms, and view the information in a variety of formats. There’s a small learning curve and I have yet to explore all the features Airtable has to offer, but it’s easy to set up a base and start using it and then add to it as you learn more.” ~Kate
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