When it comes to saving time, computers and software can really make a difference. Before email, it would easily take a week to send a letter to someone and get a response back. Now you can send a message to somebody across the world and get a response back within seconds! Talk about saving time!
There are hundreds, if not thousands of software programs that can save you time in one way or another. I’m going to highlight just a few that I use on a regularly basis. Three of these I have actually just started using this year – Evernote, Nozbe, and Asana. I started using Google Calendar a couple years ago but only in the past year have I really begun to make use of it to the fullest. There are many other programs and software I could talk about, but these are the ones that have really helped to save a lot time, especially this year. I won’t be able to go over them all in full detail so what I will do is list the best features they offer and then provide one or two examples of how I use them in my day to day life.
Although there are many other online Calendars out there, Google Calendar is by far the best, has the most 3rd party integrations, and is completely free. You just need a gmail account to get started. I am sharing about Google Calendar because it will help you to manage your time better and that my friend will definitely help you to save time. Planning and scheduling takes time but you gain more time on the back end than you lose on the front end.
The main features with Google Calendar include:
• Create and manage different calendars
• Schedule appointments and events
• Invite people to your appointments and events
• Add notifications (that can be as alarms on your phone)
• Optionally, share your calendar with other people and/or make it public (Google will generate a unique url)
• View other people’s calendars
• Integrate and sync your calendar with other 3rd Programs like Schedule Once, Nozbe, Trello, and/or Asana
Manage Multiple Calendars: One of my favorite features about Google Calendar is its ability to manage multiple calendars. I have about 10 different calendars I use, each one having their own colors:
To start a new calendar other than the default, click the arrow beside “My alendars.” Then, choose “Create New Calendar” and give it a name. The new calendar will now be visible.
Then you can change the calendar’s color to easily distinguish each calendar from each other. If you want to change the color, hover over the calendar name, click the drop-down arrow, and choose the color you want. It’s that simple. You can also change the color of any specific event. Being better organized will definitely help you save time.
Alarms and Reminders: My absolute favorite feature with Google Calendar is the alarm notifications. You can add an alarm to any event by simply opening the event and scrolling toward the bottom and you will see it there
You can sync the calendar app on your smartphone and get notifications from Google Calendar to your phone. One small problem is the default alarm is not very loud. I found a way to fix this by downloading the app “Event Reminder” from the Google Playstore. It’s free and really gives a boost to the default, not-so-loud alarm.
To get started with Google Calendar just google “Get started with Google Calendar” and you will be off!
Evernote is one of the most amazing programs ever created and my only regret is I didn’t start using it earlier. I did a quick try of it a few years ago but I didn’t really “get it”. This year I decided to give it another try and I am so glad I did. Evernote has some very powerful features that make it possible to easily and quickly save and retrieve information.
The main features with Evernote include:
• Tag your notes with a relevant keyword. There is no limit to the number of tags you can have and you can view all your tags with a “birds eye view”.
• Search all your notes by title, body text, tags, and notebook titles
• Note sharing: Open note, click on “Share URL”, then copy the link
• Email into Evernote: Send notes directly to your Evernote inbox from your email
• Web Clipper: Install a plugin into your browser and save web pages
• Record audio clips and add them to a note
• Search words inside images
• Add attachments including Word document, Excel sheet, Pictures, and PDF’s,
All of these features are so cool and powerful but I will highlight my favorite features that really stand out for me.
Tagging and Searching
You can create your own library of notes and by the use of tagging go back and find any note you have ever made with its powerful search function. The search function can search by title, body text, tags, and notebook titles. Tagging and searching those tags in my opinion is the real bread and butter of Evernote. It is true you can tag a Word document and then search your computer, but Evernote is much, much better and faster with this.
Another feature about Evernote that I really love is the ability to sync your note across all devices. The way Evernote works is all your notes are stored on the “cloud” and you have to be logged-in in order to save your notes to the cloud. Anytime you want you can create a backup of all your notes to be stored on computer; It`s quick and easy.
Once your notes are synced in the Evernote “cloud” you can access your notes from anywhere, anytime. You can download the program to your PC, phone, and tablet. I absolutely love this feature because I can be working on something on my computer upstairs and then go to my laptop downstairs. I can have some coffee and then continue working on it downstairs. I can then leave the house and if I think of something else later I can add it with my phone. All the information is synced and automatically saved every minute and/or instantly when the note is closed.
WebPage Version and Sharing
One last feature of Evernote I will highlight that is so cool is that every single note you make into Evernote can be turned into an instant, shareable webpage. It’s like having an instant blog.
Evernote comes with a free plan with some limitations primarily being that a) syncing devices is limited to only two and b) only 60mb per month can be uploaded to their server. You can upgrade to the Plus plan for only 30€ a year and sync across all your devices. Also with the Plus plan you can lift off the 60mb per month upload limitation, increasing to 1 gig per month. There are many other features including a Premium Plan.
Get Started Today by clicking on the link below! (Please note this is an affiliate link and I would get a very small commission if you were to decide to signup. This helps me keep putting out great content to encourage and inspire you).
If you have enjoyed this blog post then check back for the continuation of this article:
4 Tools That Have Saved Me A Ton of Time (Part 2)