Technology presents a paradox. It has made the world faster, simpler and better. It has also made the world more frustrating, challenging and complex. The thin line that divides these two extremes is often found in the proper use of the technologies themselves. Here are some tools and tactics you can use to make sure that technology stays on your side.
Email: Let it Organize Itself
Email is one of the best communication tools ever created. You can send a message across the globe in a matter of seconds. However, this also means that it’s easy to get bogged down with large quantities of email.
One of the best ways to prevent this is appropriate organization, but who has the time? Well, simply put, your email system does.
You can use your email system’s built-in features to keep your inbox appropriately organized. The following common features can help immensely:
-Anti-spam. If you’re still sorting through offers and useless junk, be sure you’re using your email system’s spam guard and “report spam” features.
-Labels/folders. Creating an easy-to-use and understandable framework for your organization makes the entire process simpler.
-Filtering. Many email services allow you to automatically have labels applied to messages when they meet certain parameters. These can include the subject line of the message, who it was sent from, and much more.
Smart Phones: Welcome to Synchronization Central
Smart phones are designed to allow enormous amounts of access to information that is available online. This is especially powerful since “online information” currently represents the majority of what a person interacts with. In order to make sure that you get the most out of your phone, be sure to synchronize your device with these other utilities:
-Your email. You can be notified of emails as soon as they arrive, allowing you to stay on top of your inbox.
-Your calendar. Various web-based calendars allow you to keep your schedule organized across all your personal devices.
-Your contacts. Keeping your contacts organized through Apple, Microsoft or Google lets you keep track of important details from anywhere. Additionally, smart phone apps help you create contacts more readily. As an example, one affordable application allows you to take a picture of a business card and have the details automatically added to your contacts.
Laptops and Tablets: For More than “Word Processing”
Your laptop or tablet can become the center of your organizational world and should be included in your back to college shopping list or “every day is a day to go to work and be prepared” list. There are dozens of great GTD tools (Remember the Milk, Midnight Inbox and so on) you can use on your mobile computer in order to make sure your life remains as simple as possible.
Web-based calendars like the ones mentioned above are a great way to keep your time structured. You can have email notifications sent; create daily tasks, and more.
A Home Office: Environments Matter
Creating a home office that is distraction free is a great way to keep yourself on task. Comfort, modern utilities, personalized decor and storage space are not to be underestimated when it comes to productivity.
Yes, technology can sometimes be a hassle. However, when applied appropriately, it’s one of the best ways to keep yourself organized and pushing forward to success.