Making Your Work Life Easier with Technology
Today’s blog post is written by Andrew Wainacht, Client Administrator, Patron Technology.
In recent years there has been a renaissance occurring in the field of work related productivity apps, websites, and digital tools. There are hundreds of solutions, most of which are free, designed to make your life easier. All it takes is a bit of time and effort to research the possibilities! If you’re willing spend the time, this investment should pay dividends in terms of efficiency.
So where do you start? There are tons of apps and websites that could be useful – how do you sift through them all? The secret is in narrowing your focus. Review your daily workflow and try to identify tasks or areas where a digital solution could be an improvement over your current processes. Areas to take a look at:
Most organizations still utilize paper forms for many tasks. Not only are paper forms wasteful, they’re difficult to organize and withdraw meaningful data from. Digital forms save paper, ensure users fill out the entire form (by making fields mandatory!), and log each entry in a spreadsheet or database which allows you to easily organize and interpret this data on the fly. My personal favorite is Google Forms.
Does it take multiple emails back and forth to schedule a meeting with colleagues? There are lots of tools that make this much easier. One that I enjoy is Doodle, a web app that allows you to quickly find times where everyone in a group is available.
Notes and Reminders
My desk used to be covered in sticky notes. Reminders, passwords, and phone numbers written hastily and stuck to my computer monitor and phone. And then I found Any.do. It’s a calendar and to-do list app that’s very sleek yet is still packed with useful features. One of my favorites is adding items to your to-do list just by speaking to your phone.
There are quite a few apps and websites designed to streamline the process of managing a large project. Trello is a great way to visualize, organize, and execute larger projects with a team or solo.
Working as part of a team means collaborating on documents. This usually entails sending a file back and forth, making edits, and hoping you have the most recent version. An awesome solution to this issue is Google Docs which allows you to make live edits together with your team at the same time.
Maintaining a healthy balance between work and your personal life is just as important as being efficient and effective in your professional life. RescueTime is an invaluable app that runs in the background of your computer tracking “time spent on applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of your day.”
Once you’ve identified a “digital solution,” give it a test drive, and be willing to try new solutions out if necessary! Efficiency is an evolving process. The above examples are all my favorite workflow enhancers, but as technology is constantly changing, I know there are many more out there! I’d love to hear of any that you’ve found to be helpful in your daily lives, feel free to comment below!