Let’s go to the Land of Fantasy and see what this would be like for you.
OK, so you have two of you and all of your to-dos…now what? How would you sort through assigning all that you have to get done? Would you divide your list of tasks in half and give the other half to “clone you”? Would you give “clone you” the stuff you could not get done during the day? Would you go crazy and give ALL your tasks to “clone you” and you could have the freedom to do what you enjoy?
And then after you get used to “clone you”, do you think you’d eventually need to clone “clone you” because you’d have more to-dos than the both of you could complete?
Sounds like you’d be back at the beginning with the same problem – How do you increase productivity?
What do You Imagine as True Personal Productivity?
So let’s leave the Land of Fantasy and travel to the Land of Reality. What does increased productivity look like to you? Is it getting a ton of stuff done? Is it always knowing where your things are? Is it having a system that will allow you room to grow as your responsibilities change? Is it being able to access information you need quickly? It’s probably all of these, right?
Increased productivity starts with an effective organization plan.
If you could have a system that allowed you to know where information was and was easy to access, would you be super productive? Well luckily, the Land of Reality has technology. Although there isn’t one tool that can meet your every need, there are two free tools that can help you be more productive everyday.
Evernote has so many functions it is amazing and it can be downloaded to a mobile device as well as your computer, so transferring data is effortless.
So, how can Evernote help you? It is wonderful for collecting all of your ideas – notes, checklist, voice memos, clipping a web page or screenshot, filing pieces of information into Notebooks (folders), and accessing items quickly when you need them.
Let’s walk through an example.
Let’s say you are in charge of organizing an out-of-town business meeting. You need to secure the hotel, meeting rooms, menus for breakfast and lunch, restaurants for dinners, and travel. It would be great if all these were in one place.
The first thing you do is start making your outline/checklist of everything that needs to be done. Since things pop up a lot, you’ll be able to easily modify your list and save audio notes, too.
You know the city, so you start looking for hotels and you take a screenshot of the two you would like to check for availability. After you talk to their Sales/Catering Manager you save the information in Evernote (tagged with the meeting and hotel name – which makes it easy to find later). Now you need some restaurants for dinner – will talk about this in a second. You check out travel arrangements for the attendees and file that in the proper Notebook.
As you make your final hotel decision and work through all the rest of the details, everything is nicely saved in Evernote. It’s all easy to find because you put the information into Notebooks and tagged items. When you need to share the information, you can easily email right from Evernote. You can even allow your Notebooks to be shared with others.
Now let’s pick some restaurants. There’s a super tool with a lot of information.
So, you’re planning this meeting and you need some
good (I mean) great restaurants for your group. You’re going to a city you’ve never been to and want to minimize having a bad experience. Never fear, OpenTable is here.
OpenTable is conveniently accessible on mobile devices and your computer. Once you pick your location, date, time, and how many in your party, the magic starts. You can filter the choices by cuisine, price, and neighborhood. (BTW, it lists restaurants in the United Sates, as well as Internationally.)
A list comes back and then you can view the menu, read reviews, and also see the exact location of the restaurant. After you’ve made your decision, you finalize the reservation time and a confirmation is emailed to you. You can then forward this to your Evernote account, tag it and file it into the appropriate Notebook. (You could even take a screenshot of the menu.)
Using OpenTable myself, I have never had a bad experience. Using this tool to do your homework when you need a good restaurant will get you a lot of kudos from friends and coworkers.
How Does This Work for You?
You might not find yourself planning out-of-town business meetings, maybe you have several projects you’re working on. Being organized will, without a doubt, increase your personal productivity. Using Evernote, you’ll have quick and easy access to lists, ideas, and information. If you need to share your Notebooks, it’s easy to allow others access.
You need to eat, whether out-of-town or close to home. OpenTable can help you make a reservation easily and quickly. No more endless searching the internet, restaurant by restaurant, making calls to each one individually to find out their availability. The more efficiently you spend your time, the more productive you’ll be.
What are some tools or practices you use to help you increase your personal productivity?
Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!