Resolution season is still in full swing and we have a few tips to make 2015 your most successful year yet. Say goodbye to 2014 (and procrastination) with our favorite tools to keep you organized and efficient.
Boomerang is one of my favorite Gmail extensions and is great for those hoping to achieve the elusive inbox zero. Best ways to use Boomerang?
Project Management Tracking
My favorite way to use Boomerang is to send follow-up notes to project teams. Let’s say I recently got out of a marketing meeting and have just emailed out all of the week’s action items. Knowing that I will need to follow up on progress later this week, I write my email now and schedule it to be released Wednesday afternoon. Next step? Archive my email. Customer service teams who rely heavily on gmail can use the feature to keep track of cases and note follow-ups that may be required.
You Can’t Handle Email Right Now
Sometimes I’m just too busy to even think about tackling my inbox. Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to be re-released to a time when you know your schedule won't be as chaotic.
Perhaps an obvious choice, but Evernote is a great example of a scalable information management tool. Honestly, the more you put in it the more useful it can be. From photos of meeting whiteboard notes to onboarding organization, there’s a notebook for that (because you can make them!). Implement Evernote into your daily life by creating folders for work and home. You’ll be surprised by how often you go back and thank yourself for being so meticulous and tech savvy.
Another project management tool, Trello is best for those who prefer a visual take on agile planning. Once you’ve defined your boards, the key to success with Trello is sticking with it. Hold a daily meeting (even if it’s just you) to go over the day’s tasks and sort your board accordingly based on priority. The personal pat on the back once you’ve moved your card to “done” is well worth it.
Slack is a great tool for internal communication. Installing Slack for your workplace will help to eliminate cross-room chatter and unnecessary company-wide emails. The custom channels built will help create a collaborative environment for multiple project teams. Help.com’s favorite feature? Giphy integration. We take full advantage of the puppy gifs.
Buffer is a great tool for an individual or team who wants to build a social media presence, but doesn’t have the time to spend a lot of time on actual social media. Using Buffer, people or companies can load social media posts all at once, and time when they get sent out. In this way, one dedicated forty minute period can result in 35 posts being sent out over the course of the week.
Not only is Buffer great for efficiently curating your social media presence, but it has a convenient browser plug in that you can use to load articles into buffer as you find them, meaning you don’t have to interrupt the flow of what you’re doing.
Technology’s advancement of the rolodex is perfect for those struggling to keep track of business cards. One of the product’s most useful features allows you to take a picture of a business card and their employees will personally transcribe it to make sure the information is accurate. Their new google chrome extension is also a “must have” for any gmail account. The new addition allows you to pull up useful information such as recent social media posts and a photograph of anyone you email with. For sales folks, adding in a simple “I hope you enjoyed your vacation” could be the difference between making their quota or missing it.
Wunderlist is great for those wanting to tackle the disorganization of daily life. The tool is both native ad and web based, making it extremely easy to use. Perfect for individuals and families alike, the sharing feature allows you to share lists (for groceries, errands, etc) via email. Also perfect for the forgetful, Wunderlist allows you to set reminders for each task.
Perfect for those who want to ring in the new year with less procrastination, Chime allows you to route all of your social media notifications (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, etc.) to one place. Now, instead of taking the time to look at each site individually for updates, you can turn to your toolbar for a one-stop review.
Another great tool for those looking to save time, Instapaper allows you to note and save all of the interesting articles and videos sent your way to read later. Not only is the tool great for saving time (I’ll read that later, thank you), but it’s perfect for commuters who may struggle with finding material to read on the ride to and from work.
10. Pen and Paper...and coffee!
Call me a purist, but I still think that there’s nothing better than taking a pen to a piece of paper to help keep track of my day. While I love technology and certainly take advantage of the tools listed above, my organization process usually starts with a pen and paper. And perhaps a cup of coffee. The trick is to find what works best for you. For some, writing down notes by hand and then uploading to Evernote is the magical combination. For others, Trello is the ultimate solution. Work individually and within your team to find the best tools for you.