Save time, energy and your sanity!
Some days it can feel like digital technology is one step forward & three steps back. But there are a few digital tools that can organize and simplify your life, saving you hours of time every week at work and at home. Who doesn't want that?
These are a few tools we use daily. They keep everyday work and personal life better organized, less stressful and more productive. Changes in systems can be overwhelming if they are difficult or too disruptive to a regular routine. While these tools provide significant value, they are all low cost or free, are easy to learn and designed to integrate with other tools and devices you already use.
Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) includes so many incredible tools but we'll focus on three of our favorites and lesser known lifesavers: Google Keep, Google Sites and Voice Typing (a tool inside Google Docs).
Google Keep lets you create, save, pin and archive little notes you can color code, create lists with checkboxes, embed images, draw on and more. Pin priority notes to the top and set notifications to remind you of important tasks. Google Keep notes can be saved as a Google Doc and are accessible on all your devices. Share notes with family & friends. If they have a gmail address, they have access to Google Keep. No more searching for those little pieces of paper or leaving an important to do list at the office or at home. (yay!)
Google Sites can be used in many different ways but is especially useful for small businesses that need to keep information accessible to teams and possibly outside clients. It's basically a website within your Google account. We use it as a policy & training manual. We embed Google Docs & Sheets, Google Calendars, images, links, videos and other resources directly into our Google Site pages. When we update the Doc or Sheet, that info is automatically updated on our site so everyone is updated at all times. More economical, flexible and secure than a bulky three ring binder or printed manual, employees, clients or anyone else who given direct permission can access this info from any device, anywhere just by logging in to their Google account.
If you've ever found yourself sick of typing - or you're just not good at it - Google Docs has a cool little feature under the tools menu dropdown called, Voice Typing. Just open the tool and a microphone will show. Click on the microphone and start talking. Everything you say will be dictated on the page.
Surprisingly accurate, Voice Typing can be used for any purpose and even records medical terms accurately, making it a nice feature for doctors trying to update all those patient chart notes. We use it to transcribe large amounts of text from images or other sources that can't be easily copied and pasted. It's also handy for people with carpal tunnel or other injuries or disabilities that prevent them from typing accurately.
When the Pentagon and Wall Street get hacked, you know everyone's data is at risk. Most people create passwords that are easy to remember or used for multiple logins but that can make it easy for a hacker to access sensitive information and commit fraud and theft.
Dashlane is one of several password management tools out there that creates secure passwords for your logins. All you need to remember is the password you created for Dashlane. It offers a VPN (virtual private network) and a way to secure your small business and personal passwords in the same place.
Something critical none of us like to think about is what happens when something happens to you? Dashlane allows you to grant a trusted family member or friend access to the account to handle your affairs when you can't.
Even those of us with advanced degrees need a little kick in the you-know-what every now and then when it comes to proper grammar. Grammarly is a (FREE!) browser extension that will proof your work in real time - correcting careless and clueless mistakes in emails, website copy, reports, proposals and more. Poor grammar and careless typos make a bad impression - personally and professionally. Get it together with Grammarly. It does all the work for you....well, almost.
Looks like it needs some work.
OK. Be honest. How many tabs do you keep open in your browser with articles, recipes, sales and other shiny objects you are "saving for later"? 20? 50? Multiple windows with millions of tabs? Yes, we all do that. Then we lose them because our system crashes or we log out by mistake. I know a better way.
Pocket is an app with a browser extension I've used for years to save articles, news and other things that I want to read but simply don't have time the moment I see them. Instead of cluttering up my work windows with too many tabs, I just click the Pocket extension and the article is saved to Pocket. Later, I can access Pocket from my computer, iPad or iPhone and read, save, store or delete an article. It has a powerful search engine to find topics and articles you may have forgotten about. I use it for professional articles, travel ideas, deals and pretty much anything that can be saved from a browser window.
Which applications or digital tools are your faves? Drop us a note! email@example.com