In a world that is becoming more and more productive, I find that sometimes I waste a lot of time searching for tools to be more productive. It is a weird paradox that can happen, right?
One of the concepts in the book, 4 Hour Work Week, there is a lot of talk on how to effectively outsource your tasks that you don’t need to be doing. It is something that I really struggle with, as learning to appropriately delegate tasks is not my natural inclination. I heard a discussion on the radio last weekend (very rare situation for me to be listening to my radio, but I didn’t have access to my iphone) that talked about how outsourcing jobs overseas was becoming less prominent. The reason for this is that companies are just finding technology can replace people. Production up, costs and payrolls are down.
So in the same sense, instead of outsourcing my work to a person – here are a few apps I’m using to be productive and limit tasks I shouldn’t be doing:
1. Evernote — I forward links, I collect notes, I write lists; I essentially use it as a collection tool for thoughts across my laptop, workstation and phone. It replaces the need for an assistant to manage all these things.
2. Mint — I have used spreadsheets, Microsoft Money and Quicken, they all take a decent amount of time to keep up. Mint takes the majority of that time away.
3. Shoeboxed — I once had a Neat Receipts scanner to try and deal with receipt management, it didn’t work because of the time it required. Shoeboxed is a new app I found that has eliminated those issues for the most part, as I just use the phone app to take a picture and then manage online. It’s a new addition to my process so we’ll see if I stick with it (this is one area where I’ve also decided to outsource to a person, as I have someone to do my books monthly now.. when I get the paperwork to her).
4. WordPress — I have used WordPress to manage my content online since 2008, but never really done much with it via mobile. I now use the mobile app for my personal blog (this blog) and find it very useful. I really like the idea of using Pressgram with the WordPress integration. I haven’t listed Pressgram as a separate app here because I literally just started using it this week, but think Instagram but you keep the photos and can publish to your blog. (dot org is the software for self hosted sites, dot com is the source for hosted services… I use both).
5. Pogoplug — I use pogoplug to back up my iphone (videos and photos), Ipad (same as iphone) and laptop (documents, videos, music and photos). It’s pretty neat to know it’s all working and backing up on a hard drive at my house, when everything is working. I mention the last part because I feel that there are times that I just can’t get things to work as expected (or figure out why it’s not). It creates a little anxiety when you have doubt in your back ups. Also, this is a situation when you start to wonder if your saving time with this or creating more work to keep it working right? That being said, today it’s firing on all cylinders and I’m 100’s of miles away from home.