Are you drowning in paperwork? Can’t find your notes? Sick of lugging your laptop around? Overwhelmed by keeping up with social media?
If this is you, and you love the “idea” of being organised, going paperless, travelling “light” and being able to work remotely and blog from any coffee shop or patch of sun in the world, then come on my journey. That is my mission and these are the 5 of the Tools that I am using to get me there – 5 Tools that will Streamline Your Business, for sure!
Last year I had purchased an iPad and I to be honest I didn’t really know how it was going to fit into the whole scheme of “technical” things, but I got a little over excited and knew I would find some use for it to justify the expense. Even if it was for merely watching movies and playing apps (ok, well that was my children for some of the time, but you get what I mean!). I had purchased a new desktop iMac and still had a decent HP laptop - it was just a little heavy with a lot of extra cord and clunkiness to carry around if I was on the move.
I had already started to move towards working “in the cloud”, but I didn’t start to use my iPad seriously until I read a blog post by one of my blogging mentors, Nikki Parkinson. As always, Nikki inspired me to give my little iPad a serious go! You can read Nikki’s article here and another of her great posts about blogging tools here.
Here are 5 Tools that I am using to streamline my social media business to go paper-less and work remotely (I say “paper-less” because I am still a fan of an old fashioned notebook from time time, but less paper than I have been using is awesome in my book!).
It took me a while to warm up to Dropbox and now I can’t do without it. Once I made the decision to use it for all of my files and move everything to Dropbox I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! Now I can access all of my files from any device, even my iPad or iPhone…from any computer, anywhere in the world (well, a girl can dream). No more trying to save docs onto USB sticks or moving files between computers – it is all synced seamlessly. I can “share” folders with co-workers and clients. I pay the $10 per month for extra storage and believe me, it’s worth it. In fact DropBox just recently doubled my storage size without me even asking – I couldn’t possibly fill it up now even with hundreds of photos! I love that all files are kept on my hard-drive as well as in the cloud. Peace of mind and accessibility.
I have used Evernote for 2 years now. I love it. It allows me to organise my ideas, thoughts, ideas and projects. I also use it to save web pages and blogposts that I want to come back to. Here are some of the things I love about Evernote:
- By installing the Evernote web clipper on your browser you can capture information anywhere and save it to Evernote. This is great for websites and articles you find on the hop!
- You can access Evernote from any device (including mobile) and find things FAST!
- You can search easily on documents in Evernote by title and tags. Everything is easy to find again!
- If you use Google Chrome, your Evernote files will come up on “search” when you search on Google!
- You can clip photos, notes and pdfs – just about anything can be saved in Evernote.
- Evernote is very committed to adding more and more products that sync with their main product – such as Evernote Hello (helping you to browse and remember contacts via experiences, encounters and shared history) and Evernote Clearly (makes blog posts, web pages and articles clear and easy to read).
- Evernote is Free but I recommend that you upgrade to the Premium Account for $5 per month or $45 for the year. It gives you more storage space and lets you keep files offline which is handy.
- Want to know more about Evernote? I highly recommend you follow Michael Hyatt’s Blog. In addition to fabulous articles about productivity, leadership, publishing and social media, Michael is a huge fan of Evernote and has written many articles about using it productively (search “Evernote” on his blog). If Michael can use Evernote to go completely paperless in his office (yes, you heard me correctly – completely paperless) then trust me, his articles are some of the best on Evernote that I have seen.
I know that many of you will be familiar with Gmail as your email system, but this is something that I had not experienced until the constant hassle of working between a desktop and laptop (and worse still a Mac and a PC) got the better of me. I needed to be able to access all information from any computer at any time. Yes, Dropbox has helped with that but I hadn’t quite worked out the whole email thing. Once I started to play with Gmail and set up my alias accounts (so that all of my “professional” accounts were redirected through Gmail) – it was a breeze. But the best part was the integration of Gmail with other Google Products – such as my Google Calendar, Google Analytics, G+ and YouTube.
#4 Kensington iPad Case and Keyboard
This is my new toy. I loooooove it. Everything works seamlessly, it packages up nicely and my bluetooth keyboard is all packed in and ready to go. The keyboard is rechargable (which I like!) and comes with a USB cable. And all of the ipad controls are accessible through the case, so there is no need to take it in and out. These types of cases can be found at any good Apple store or on-seller.
#5 Boostcase iPhone Charger
Thank you again Nikki Parkinson for telling me about using an iPhone battery booster… and I have wanted one every since. Do you think I purchased one in time to avoid more battery “incidents”? Nooooo. That would be way too sensible! But, on Monday I drove myself to the closest Apple supplier and purchased a little gadget called the Boostcase. It comes with its own sturdy case which the “Boostcase” slips on to the back of…so essentially it still feels and looks like an iPhone, just a little thicker….while it charges your phone battery! Now I can double my battery life and know that it won’t run out for the day. And if it does, then I can recharge easily on the go! It easily plugs into a computer or laptop via USB or via a standard iPhone Charger. There are a few different types on the market that all do the same job. Note to self: listen to Nikki!
So there you have it – 5 ways I am attempting to go paperless (or at least paper-reduced) and be able to access everything at any place anytime on any device. Seamless and fun! I will let you know how it goes, but I have high hopes for all of these products and can’t wait to see how productive they can help me to be! The results already? LIKE.
What tools do you use to reduce paper clutter and work more efficiently online? If you work away (or even in a coffee shop) what is your favourite – ipad/tablet or laptop? What else are your “must have” tools when working remotely?