A few weeks ago, we started a new series on productivity and we shared some our favorite ways to minimize distractions. Today we tackle another beast–organization.
Google Docs: Because Ketner Group is not on an intranet, we usually have to verbally or electronically call dibs on editing a document, then pass it along to the next person and the process begins again. Google Docs allows us to collaborate on the same document, while getting real-time updates from the person editing. This way, we can eliminate the added time it takes to combine two or more edited versions that were sent around the same time.
Outlook Tasks: I know, I know. It may seem old school (or nothing new), but I keep my week’s ‘to-do’s’ in my Outlook Tasks folder. What better place to store my action items than the same program that stores my emails and calendar appointments? Also, when I receive an email that requires some action, I flag it and it is automatically sent to my Tasks folder. I also set the tasks to ping me on certain days or times so I don’t forget to complete them. It’s like my electronic nagging mother.
Stickies: What should you use Stickies for? That’s up to you. This minimal tool offers a relatively low-tech way to jot down notes or keep track of projects and more. Stickies is a free, basic note-taking application available on every Mac since 1994. These electronic Post-It Notes can be placed around your desktop. Stickies is an easy-to-use, lightweight application that works well for everything from to-do lists, taking notes on a call or preparing the first draft of an email — or this blog post. You can create multiple Stickies, but they all save to one file and save instantly, making them great as a word processor in a pinch — the barebones application runs lightning fast even on sluggish computers — where you don’t (knock on wood) have to worry about losing your content in a crash. And, Stickies is not just restricted to text. You can drag and drop everything from images to Quicktime movies to embed.
Walgo : It may sound like a shameless promotion, but Ketner Group client Omnego developed a really cool app that helps keep my life less cluttered, and at least for me, less clutter=more productivity. The free Walgo app is a digital wallet within which I store all of my loyalty cards–frequent flier cards, beauty and drugstore discount cards, and even my alumni membership and library cards. It saves me from carrying around a ton of cards everyday that I don’t use that often, but I always have them when I actually need them.
Wunderlist To-Do List App: If you knew how much time/trial-and-error I’ve spent trying to find just the right task management app, you may question if I understand the meaning of productivity after all. But with a lot of choices out there, I want to be using the best one, damnit! To me, the best is not defined by the most robust features (like Things) or the simplest, sleekest UI (like TeuxDeux). I need an app that is low-cost, available on all my devices (MacBook, iPad, and iPhone… yeah, I might be a bit of a fangirl), syncs automatically in the cloud, and gives me that perfect balance between useful features and a great UI. So far, the best I have found is Wunderlist, from the folks at 6Wunderkinder in Berlin. Wunderlist is all of the above, and it’s actually free on all platforms. (What?!) And for you non-Apple folks out there, it’s also available for Windows and Android. Awesome.
What are your best organization tips? Let us know!