Add your notebook to your digital workflow.
I have written before about the importance of using a notebook to capture ideas and encourage clarity of mind. Because a notebook is isolated from digital noise, you can write notes without having your train of thought interrupted by desktop reminders and notifications. However, if note-taking is a key part of your workflow, using a notebook could also be a disadvantage. What if you lose it or forget where you scrawled that winning idea?
The teams behind Moleskine, the legendary notebook used by the likes of Hemingway and Picasso, and Evernote, the leading note-taking app, have collaborated to produce the Smart Notebook. The new notebook includes special features that enable users of the Evernote iOS app to capture “ideas off the written page and place them into Evernote, where they’ll be searchable, organised and available forever.” This way, you can still escape digital noise but ensure vital notes will always be accessible on your devices.
Filter incoming messages.
Taking advantage of a clever new innovation is not the only way to boost productivity; reassessing tried and tested tools can dramatically streamline workflow as well. After all, Woody Allen has written 15 Oscar-nominated screenplays on the same 50-year-old typewriter.
Take email. I’ll be honest: I’m probably never going to achieve Inbox Zero. (If you have, I salute you.) But I do use email rules to ensure important messages are flagged for action while not-so-important emails are filed away to be reviewed at a time that is convenient. This is a simple technique that can conserve your all-important decision-making energy. If you’re not making the most of email filters yet, give them a try.
Start collaborating online.
If you’re working with a team or partner on an important document or presentation, do you still share it via email? Back and forth the file goes, with each person adding their comments and making changes. This process becomes ever more entangled as more people are added to the equation and burgeoning file sizes clog up inboxes. Time better spent on other parts of the document is wasted while you wait for feedback. Error-ridden drafts get confused with final clean copies – or worse, are mistakenly emailed to external partners. Not cool. But there is a way out. Online collaboration platforms such as Podio are designed to facilitate hassle-free online collaboration, and cloud storage services like Google Drive allow documents to be worked on simultaneously.
So there you have it: 3 simple ways to take advantage of technology and make your working day more productive. However, my suggestions are only a starting point. What tech do you use to make your life simpler?
Photo credit: Evernote