1 September 2021

How to Clear Your Digital Desktop

A clean desk is a sign of a disturbed mind.

I saw that once on a coffee mug and laughed. Of course, it’s not true. It isn’t, right? : )

Regardless of whether you are working at home or in an office, we all have a desk of sorts. It might be the dining room table or a dedicated desk in your private office. When it’s clean, work is easier. You can find what you need quickly and the things that need your attention are front and center.  All things that can lead to increased productivity.

The same is true for your digital desktop. Clear away the unnecessary icons and save the documents to the documents folder instead of on the desktop.  Get rid of old downloads and program icons you no longer need. Doing so will provide you a clean slate when you sit down at your desk in the morning. 

And a clean, organized desk, is a sign of a productive mind.

Need help clearing your desktop? Let me know! Sign up for a Discovery Call today and we’ll talk!

17 August 2021

What You Need, Front and Center

Last week we started talking about the 4 things you can do to be more productive. This week, we’ll tackle a second thing you can do to increase your daily productivity!

Does anybody remember when they got their computer, opened it up, and turned it on for the first time?
Down on the Dock (for you Mac people) and on the start menu (Windows people) were icons for programs the creators thought you might need quick access to. Most people nod and say, sure, sounds good, and go about their business, never changing the order of their icons or even adding new ones.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

I got a new laptop last month and the first thing I did – after opening the package and oohing and aahhing over the contents – was remove those programs I didn’t use. Things like News and Stocks and Garage Band.  Then I added in Evernote, Chrome, and Outlook to round out my standard setup.

You can do that too! Instead of being resigned to access your program the long way, you can change the icons in your start-up menu to reflect those programs you use most frequently.  It’s a little step you can take to improve your daily productivity.

Don’t forget – the same principles apply to your phone too! Don’t shuffle through multiple screens to get to what you use most frequently. Instead, sort out the icons you need and move them to the first screen or two.

Need help moving those icons? Let me know and we’ll get it set together.

Join me next week for another little thing you can do to improve your productivity!

3 August 2021

Empty Your Brain to Sleep Better

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!

2 February 2021

App Review – Google Workspace

Purpose: Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) is a package of productivity tools – email, contacts, calendar, and document storage and creation designed to help your business run.  

Benefits: Google Workspace is great for a new business that wants to look more professional with a @yourcompany.com email while still having the ease and access that a Google account provides.  For small businesses, Google Workspace allows for easier collaboration with your team and provides you with IT administration abilities.

Cost: $6 /mo, $12/mo,  $18/mo per user depending on the business level

Opinion: I’ve used Google Workspace/G Suite for years and love that it combines the ease of a Google account with the professionalism of my own domain. Google plays well with others, which is a huge advantage when it comes to automation and integration. I highly recommend using Google Workspace over domain specific email systems like what you get with GoDaddy etc.

Questions? Let me know! Prefer to receive these reviews in your inbox? Sign up for my email newsletter!

6 May 2020

App Review – Airtable

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

Interested in learning more about organizing your digital information? Make sure you’re susbscribed to the Ilios Digital newsletter!

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23 April 2020

Check and go!

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.