Have you ever woken up at 3 in the morning, frantically trying to remember if you sent that email you promised a client? Heart pounding and mind racing? Yeah, nobody likes that feeling. But imagine the peaceful dreams you could have if you knew everything was documented, prioritized, and waiting for you to tackle in the morning.
You can have that! How? Pull out a piece of paper or your task management software and empty your brain on a regular basis. Once a day, once a week, whatever works, just take a moment and write down everything you can think of that you need to do, order, create, etc. Don’t worry about priority or the size of the task. A brain dump is just about getting the information out of your head and into a trusted system. David Allen (of Getting Things Done) said it best when he said our brains were meant for processing information, not for holding information.
Having task management software – and a regular brain dump – ensure that all your responsibilities and commitments are accounted for and waiting for you to act. No need to wake up at 3 with that panicked look on your face. Need help finding a task management software or want help setting your software up? Let me know and we can get it done together!
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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Trying to Get Things Done but don’t know where to start? Check over your to-do list for those 2-minute tasks. If you can get it done in two minutes or less, do it now! Then check it off and move on to the next task.
I love post-apocalyptic stories and I’m writing this while watching my husband play a post-apocalyptic video game (Days Gone, in case you’re wondering). In these games, it’s always about the tools you can acquire, and how you use them. The right tool can make the difference between life and death.
Especially when there are zombies.
It got me thinking about the tools that I rely on every day.
What couldn’t I live without?
Anyone who knows me should have already guessed Evernote. Evernote is my multi-purpose tool. It’s a place to store information, plan my day, create content, and a place to park idea’s until I’m ready to use them. Without Evernote, my brain would be a whirling, jam packed mess no good for creating new ideas.
Dropbox is another tool I depend on. I work between three different computers, and when I need to access documents or forms, Dropbox is right there. Because all my documents are stored in the cloud, they’re accessible from everywhere. This cuts down on the time I would have to spend wondering where I put something.
Rounding out my top three tools would be Zapier. Zapier allows me to connect different software – like Evernote and Google Calendar for my task list – that normally wouldn’t speak to each other. This means one less step in my workday, which saves me time and energy. Not to mention, it means I don’t forget the little things.
What about you? What software tools do you need to survive and thrive? Are you using them as well as you could? Comment below and let’s talk about how to get the most out of your software!
Purpose: A content collection software that allows you to store items/articles/videos you want to read or view until later when you have time.
Benefits: Pocket is a great alternative to having 50 web browser tabs open because you haven’t had time to get back to reading the article on that page. It also offers articles that might be of interest to you, just in case your reading list isn’t long enough. In addition, Pocket can be utilized when you are offline, making it great for car trips, plane rides, etc.
Cost: Free, $5/mo for Premium
Opinion: Pocket is a great content collection software. I highly recommend it for people living with those 50 open tabs and a fear of their browser accidentally closing. However, like with any content collection software, there is always the risk of over collecting and disorganization making it hard to find what you originally wanted to read. Being organized can make the difference between Pocket being a black hole or being a bookmark tool.
Are you looking for help when it comes to managing your reading list? Ilios Digital is here! We can provide software suggestions and hands on assistance.