People remark all the time about how I can get so much done, so in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share my favorite productivity tools – no I have no stock in any of the products or services recommended and no, nobody is paying me to promote their product or service. I hope that you find them useful, and wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season!
- E-mail helps us all live and breathe – connecting and communicating with others. This year, I moved from an e-mail tool I used for decades on to Gmail. Yes, Gmail! I set up a corporate account using my domain name, and I find it better because: 1) the spam arrest is built in, intelligent, and terrific, 2) the nested conversations helps me organize and track, 3) the way the contacts link with the messages helps me see whom I sent what to, 4) the filters help me organize and track and plan, 5) the support is wonderful (yes, someone answers the phone and is knowledgeable and it comes with the subscription), 6) I can have multiple domain names to my account, and it appears just like another folder, … I could go on and on, but Google got this right! Check it out.
- MixMax is a new app I tried this year, which has made my e-mails so much easier to manage! With MixMax, I can 1) better create and manage my drafts and templates, 2) better time-send my communications, 3) schedule meetings and appointments within an e-mail, 4) run polls and surveys, 5) better manage groups of people. I could go on and on. It’s great.
- It’s so much easier to collaborate on updating documents and spreadsheets through Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides! Whether you’re collaborating on creating a job proposal, sharing financial information, or just communicating the details about an upcoming event, there’s no easier way to document, coordinate, communicate with select people, while keeping records of versions and files.
- Google Voice has also served me well, as it directs all calls to several numbers – say your Skype, cell and office numbers for example – into a single phone number/point of contact. The translation of voice-to-text sent by e-mail or text is surprisingly good, and it also makes it easy to manage voice messages.
- Have you tried Google Photos? It is awesome if you take lots of photos, or in my case videos. It allows for unlimited unloads (if you don’t need those high-res copies) and is easily shareable as individual files or an album.
- My last Google plug – the new Google Wallet is also great, as it lets you easily pay people through their e-mail address. And if it’s done for non-business reasons, there are no fees. (IMHO, PayPal.me is also great, but doesn’t do the auto-deposit into account, although it does fine with the withdrawals.)
- Speaking of finances, you must try SquareUp for selling products or services and invoicing customers. It’s simple to set up and use and integrate, has reasonable fees, plus it does auto-deposits for you.
- LinkedIn is a tool I use every day – to expand and connect with the networks that matter to me. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out. (Thanks LinkedIn for letting me publish this article to my network, and beyond!)
- I love how Scoop.it allows you to collect and gather articles of interest to you, based on a theme you define. I’ve blogged on the topic of Age of Personalization and on Leadership for the past three years, capturing my own writings plus those of others on the same topic. It helps you both define your brand and connect with people who share your interest.
- I started using Airtable this year, and I don’t know how I lived without it. It’s an online relationship database which lets you track, share and organize who you’re reaching out to for what purpose, and coordinate with others to reach those goals. It works well with LinkedIn.
Gasp, I’ve come to the end, and haven’t mentioned my favorite PDF-editing tool, PDFEscape, my favorite people-in-the-news app Newsle, which highlights people in your LinkedIn profile who made news headlines, CamScanner which allows you to capture and edit photos on your phone. And how can I live without Google Calendar to keep me in line and manage my time and Google Drive to organize and track my files? (Woops, I mentioned Google again, and twice!)
There’s more, much more – but I’ve got to get back to work.