Ultimate Productivity – Supercharging Your Day!
There isn’t a day go by where I don’t work with some sort of software or technology that doesn’t save me a lot of time. Not a few minutes….but literally hours each week. So todays post is to share some tips and also give you a free sample from my upcoming Productivty Ebook. Hey, why not share some of the cool stuff I am doing and see if anyone is interested?
Let me give you some background first: I have been a technology nut for years. I bought software and hardware that worked pretty cool and then I would try to see if I could connect it together, tweak it to save me time, or generally supercharge what it could do for me. As a home based business and pretty much a one man show, I found I could literally do the work of 3-4 people depending on my tasks. So I didn’t really save time…I was more productive.
Now jump ahead a few years to Dec 2012 and I had my stroke. The vision issues, the memory loss and the dizziness scared me. But after a few weeks out of the hospital, I decided to start looking online to see what tools and methods could help me get back to a half time to three quarter time day. I really didn’t see how I was going to make 12-14 hrs days like I used to work. And this is where it starts to get interesting and weird at the same time.
Very shortly after my stroke, I started brain building exercises using software and services like Lumosity.com. The first thing I noticed was that I was learning in different ways. When I imagined words, pictures and even music, I saw it totally different. Doctors suggested to me that I was rebuilding my brain and using different parts of my brain. Fair enough….as long as I improved.
As I got some of my memory back, I received a gift of an Apple iPad. In short, I was blown away by how easy it was to navigate and how it was designed for people like myself with a learning disability and vision issues (primarily blurry vision and no vision in my right eye). This iPad was a gift from a special friend that really helped me. A few months later, my Android phone died and I was fed up with the lack of updates for my phone. So I jumped ship and bought an iPhone 5S. Now understand, I was a diehard Windows / Android guy. But years of buggy software, crashes and lack of upgrades for my Telus Android phone pushed me over the edge.
The connection and syncronization between the phone and iPad was awesome. And really helped me speed up my production. A few months later, I picked up a loaded MacBook Pro from my friends at Software Emporium in Dawson Creek. That laptop couple now with the tablet and phone revolutionized my work and productivity. What I was able to track directly was an increase of at least 20-25% increase in productivity. And no crashes or viruses.
Now many complain about the cost of Apple equipment but I don;t think I would ever question that based on how well it all works together. Setting up software and connections is so damn easy. I don’t get frustrated and I welcome the technology and their REGULAR updates to address issues rested to software.
So lets get to the meat of how I am able to utilize my computers / IPad and Phone. The details below are just a brief example of how I increased my productivity. If you like these ideas, you will like my new E-Book and I can provide you with details on it.
Evernote: This program literally changed how I record and store information. I am able to keep all sorts of private information available to me at my fingertips. My Evernote account syncs across all my devices so I always have the current information, notes, pictures and video. The ability to search through hundreds / thousands of documents by keyword is incredible. Now just to show you how it saved me time, I took hundreds of printed articles and documents in my office, fed them into my scanner ( I have two scanners – more on this later) and then exported them into Evernote with the ability to fully SEARCH the keywords in the PDF. So when I scanned an image or picture of a word, Evernote is linked to my scanner and allows you to search for anything on your computer. From your phone, tablet, laptop and more. I figured the program alone has saved me hundreds of hours. I have information on my computer going back OVER 20 years. And its available on seconds, in a secure environment.
Now one of the cool features of Evernote is that I can email an article, instructions, FTP usernames, email notes, pictures, video to specific email addressees and they are automatically placed in the proper folder and tagged with keywords for quick recovery. No filing stuff, its automatic. The other product I used now with Evernote is a service called Pocket. This program allows me to capture content ( ranging from website pages, Twitter posts, Facebook content, Search engines and hundreds of other places. It gets added to Pocket ( which works on phone, tablets, all browsers etc) and allows me to review and then file into Evernote. The challenge with all content systems and archiving solutions is that you can save millions of files without a lot of review. With Pocket working between my content and Evernote, I am 20 times more organized and able to prioritize my content coming in. This applies to work files, education, cool links and sites and every image I have available.
IFTTT – This is an app that I use to create custom filtering for everything from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Feedly and dozens of other tools. For example if I set up a custom “recipe” (thats what these programming functions are called) it will go out and look for keywords or phrases, images etc and then funnel them into Pocket. This is significant as I alread use Pocket in my browsers and iPad / iPhone. But the IFTTT recipes can be custo,ized to run in the background.
Dragon Naturally Speaking – This software simply allows you to dictate into a microphone and it recognizes your speech and converts to text. When you initially set it up, you train it to your voice and it learns as it goes. The recognition part gets better and better. I can speak at around 230 words per minute with really good accuracy. You can imagine that even a good typist will struggle over 100 word a min. So right off the bat, I have saved a significant amount of time.
I use it to dictate emails, word documents, proposals, website text, and other places I am dealing with a lot of content. The versions of the program since Version 9 have changed and gotten much better. Initially, it feels a bit weird talking to yourself but its a huge time saver.
Hootsuite – I love Hootsuite, its an awesome program for monitoring all you social media accounts as well as posting across multiple platforms. There is a lot of documentation on this service (you pay monthly) and so I will not go into a bunch of info, suffice to say that you can save time by focusing on one place for all your social media posts and scheduling.
PhotoSync – This app for my computers, tablets and phone allows me to share photos between each other very quickly. Where I use it a lot is in the taking of photos for clients on my iPhone (video as well) and then I send it direct to my Mac laptop where I can then edit the images and drop into video or art projects for clients. Its faster than using dropbox, faster than dumping on a USB and generally works very smooth. A great tool.
Flipboard – I use Flipboard to gather specific information on my projects and client projects. I can literally build a custom newspaper with CURRENT data that streams offline. It usually access it via my iPad. I can usually save about 15-20 mins a day in time saved as I “Flip” through stories, content and posts from clients.
The above tools are just a sampling of software and services I use. I have searched out hundreds of software programs, apps and innovative solutions to being more productive or allow me to create content, videos and more for my business. In a future post I will share with you some more tools that show you how to setup Webinars cheap, leverage Youtube to bring you clients, make your own professional movies on an iPhone / iPad ( with all the effects needed). I can also share with you methods to manage all your mailing lists, publish Podcasts, automate filing office content, build indestructible backup systems and more.
Send me an email if you are interested in my new productivity ebook coming soon, to email@example.com . It will be priced fairly and include some of my best tips. I also have a sample of my Using Leveraging In Your Business (ebook) that I will provide to friends and clients.
Take care and talk soon!
ps. I am sitting enjoying a great cup of coffee at Baked Cafe in Dawson Creek. In front of me is a partial list of 80+ software products and Services that I use everyday. They save me money, allow me to work fewer hours as I rehabilitate myself. I have time to see clients, increase my income, work my own hours and be productive. If this appeals to you or your wife, girlfriend or family member then drop me an email note at firstname.lastname@example.org