Ok, I'll admit it. I'm not the most organized person -- which is more common for entrepreneurs than you might realize. Therefore, when it comes to tools that promise to make my work life easier, faster and more productive, I'm all in.
I am always willing to try the latest and greatest to cover up my own weaknesses in the workspace, and of course, make me look like I'm a confident boss who has things more together than I really do.
With the help of a little bit of AI and some other clever apps, I have managed to increase my productivity so much that I even can take time for myself. The best part? You can replicate my results by adding these few simple steps to calm your own hectic life.
If you're anything like me, you have more than one calendar. Whether it's an iCal feed coming from Tripit, shared calendar with your significant other -- or kids -- or multiple client accounts you need to merge into one, having a "single source of truth" for your actual schedule is a never-ending nightmare.
Luckily, there are two tools that you can use to help with that. In order to view all your calendars at once-- without seeing things duplicated-- I recommend Fantastical. To have other people book your time, have them use Calendly after loading all your relevant calendars into the mix.
Once upon a time, I had one email address, and only a few emails to check each day. Now, I have multiple inboxes that I need to keep track of and they all have their own daily supply of newsletters, junk mail, and spam to sift through before I can find the useful mail. Rather than aiming for Inbox Zero, I'm on the Inbox Infinity plan -- and I'm making great strides every day.
Thankfully, I have a few solutions for that too. The mobile app Chuck helpfully sorts through your inboxes and will sort through to find any newsletters, unread emails, potential junk, etc. With a simple click, you can unsubscribe, archive or delete hundreds -- or in my case, 20,000 -- emails at once.
As for email programs, there is no one-size-fits-all. If you've got multiple inboxes, though, Edison email provides a unified inbox, which automatically finds all your most useful emails and sorts them for you. While it doesn't let you set any mail filters or rules yet, it does save a lot in processing power.
Note Taking Tools
Now, you may not believe this, as I did previously work with Evernote, but I hate taking notes. I have always preferred to pay attention and be present in meetings, so taking notes always seemed counterintuitive to me.
Thankfully, technology has caught up to my conceit! Now, I have some awesome note-taking options for every meeting I'm in. Zoom offers automatic transcription for every cloud-recorded meeting I start. Fireflies.ai offers transcription for all my other calls, and then Otter.ai is handy for in-person meetings. Now, I have automatically transcribed notes from my calls that I can send out right away -- win, win.
Time Tracking Tools
As a consultant, I used to dread filling out timesheets. As a lot of my time is spent in research, and another good chunk is spent writing and responding to emails, I would find myself seriously underestimating my time.
Thanks to Chrometa and Rescuetime, I can automatically generate timesheets for myself, and see exactly how much time I spent on each phone call, email, each web page -- everything I do, really. Everything is handily organized into a spreadsheet that I can then edit and attach to any bill -- or just keep for my own records.
By implementing these tools, you'll be well on your way to a more organized new year.