How to Remember What You Didn’t Know You Forgot
Once upon a time, I knew the telephone numbers and birthdays of most of my friends and family members. I also knew when my niece had ballet classes, when my mom had a doctor’s appointment, and when I had dinner plans with a friend. All this was just in my head.
Then I got a mobile phone, and a computer, and then Google came to life, and computer technology improved, and social media was born. Today, thanks to Facebook and Instagram, I know when my friends do their nails, where the new puppy had an accident, and what’s for dinner; and yet, all the other details I once knew have dissipated from my brain. Something about social technology has made me go completely blank on phone numbers, birthdays, and appointments (never mind all the work-related tasks and to-do’s, which are all the more challenging when you’re juggling various projects, clients, and
teams remotely). And so, finding the right tools to stay organized has become important.
I love technology and I enjoy trying new products. There are hundreds of organizational and productivity tools available, but these have continued to deliver for me time and time again.
Google offers a powerful set of tools for just about everything. I use Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Reader, and Google Hangouts as well as its webmaster, keyword, and analytics tools. These products help me stay organized, integrated, and make collaboration easy and fun.
I use Evernote to create many different types of notes from lists to blogging ideas, collect web clips, and collaborate by sharing notes.
I look to HootSuite to help me manage various social media accounts. It allows me to schedule posts, obtain analytics, post to multiple accounts and on multiple platforms, and provides a URL shortener.
Skype is indispensable. It allows me to communicate with other Skype users by instant message, voice, or video for free. Beyond that, Skype offers three pricing plans for calling land lines and mobile phones as well as services such as group video calling and screen sharing and different international rates.
Skype and other instant messengers are terrific tools, but sometimes you need to go retro and pick up a telephone. I’m currently living in Australia and I wanted a communication option that was hassle-free for family, friends, and colleagues back in the U.S. Purchase the magicJack Plus and set it up in the U.S. with a local number. Then just plug the device into the USB port of a computer or into the router anywhere in the world and you’ll be able to make and receive international calls at local rates. It’s a fantastic solution for business travelers because you can take it with you anywhere.
These are a few of my favorite “gotta have ‘em” tools to stay organized and productive. What are yours?
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