This week, I want to talk to you all about technology systems and tools that will help your planning. Some people believe that they either need to use a paper planner or a digital calendar. When in reality, I think it’s best to combine both paper and technology.
It’s really all about your lifestyle first, and then finding what systems work best for that. In episode 038: Technology Apps That Streamline Your Productivity Systems, I give details and tips for which apps and websites my team and I use at both work and home.
But I want to also give you the rundown here of those apps and show why I love them. See which ones below would integrate well into your planning and productivity systems!
I love Google Drive and Google Docs so much, and we find this system so helpful, that I created an entire blog post about this one. Read more about it here for tools and tips!
One of our favorite tools we use is Asana, which is a project management tool. It’s ideal for teams, but also keep YOU on track, too. And that doesn’t necessarily just mean teams at work, but at home as well.
There’s three parts to Asana: Organization, Teams and Projects.
So for us, inkWELL Press is the organization, and that includes every person. Then we have teams, which breaks down our organization into categories. For example, we have a podcast team, marketing team, graphic design, etc. Lastly, it’s broken down one more time into projects. So if we need a task to be automated for the podcast, we’ll have it assigned there in that team.
You can choose your layout for projects: Lists or Boards. The boards are similar to Post It notes and the Lists are just tasks that need to be done.
The best thing about Asana is that it automates the tasks we need it to. You can assign a task to a person or group, set a due date and have a conversation about the task all in Asana. When it’s completed, just check it off and it will repeat for the next month.
So this is really helpful for when we need to have meetings and plan out the month in advance, or if we need to make sure to clean out the printer even… we don’t have to worry because Asana will notify us that it’s time.
This is an app a few people on our team use. You may remember in episode 025: Taking Back Your Friday, I talked about ways you can have a really productive AND enjoyable day on Fridays. It’s all about learning, growing and strategizing for your work and business. That’s what Pocket will help you do. Before, I suggested that you save relevant articles, videos, podcasts, books and more into categorized folders in your email, but now… I am really liking Pocket to do this instead.
It’s an app that you can download to save articles or webpages that you want to read.
Pocket saves an offline version of it for you to read later, too. So no need to worry if you don’t have wifi or if you’re in the car.
One of the things I love is that you can also add tags. Each article you save, you could add a little tag to it and you can categorize it. That way, you can filter your list by your tags later on, and you can even get recommendations of other articles based off of what you’re tagging. To me, this is ideal for when I’m doing research, and I’m always doing research. When I want to gather together different articles and studies on a topic like, I don’t know, systems maybe, I can simply find articles that I like, tag them with the appropriate tag, and then later on I can batch that task and dive deep into that topic. I’ve already actually started adding articles into my Pocket for season four!
This is a simple, but very effective tip that I encourage you to try if you haven’t.
I love this one because it’s already built into your iPhone or Android. Sometimes you just need a physical alarm when you need to remember to do something, even if you write it down. I use reminders on my iPhone all the time when I think of something that I need to do right after work or right when I get home.
What I love to do is, when I think of it, I go ahead and set a reminder really quickly, and then I can take the thinking out of it, which is what we talked about all season long with systems. Right? We want to take the thinking out of it, because I now longer have to stress about remembering.
Just say, “Hey Siri” or “OK Google,” and then whatever you need to do, such as… “remind me to buy milk at 5:15PM.”
These little reminders are great for time-based or location-based tasks. You can do this manually or through the voice command. I might say, “Hey Siri, remind me to ask Kate about her science project when I get home.” That way, when my phone sees that I’m pulling in my garage, it reminds me with the app!
Of course, you could always go into the app and set up the reminder if you aren’t in a place where you could ask Siri or Google to do it for you. It’s a lot like having a little personal assistant to help give you a push or reminder to do certain tasks.
I hope you’ll join in my October Challenge! Here’s THREE things to do this month to make October GREAT:
1. Introduce one new app to your organizing! Listen to episode 038 and choose your favorite app or tip I discussed and start using it in your daily or weekly planning for October. By the end of the month, assess how it’s helped you organize and collaborate.
2. Begin to fill out the Gift List in your planner with holiday or birthday gift ideas. Hint: A great place to look if you need more ideas is on your friends’ or family’s Pinterest boards!
3. Jump start your holiday meal planning for events and gatherings so that you’re able to carve our more time for YOU this season. Use your meal planner to keep your recipes organized… there’s even a seasonal food chart in there that can help you decide what dishes to cook!
I really think by using one of these apps and integrating that into your daily or weekly planning will be beneficial to you in several ways. It can often take the thinking out of it and assure that you remember those little tasks you’d often forget.
Comment below and tell me which apps you currently use and love, or which app you’ll start using for this monthly challenge! You can also join in the conversation about this challenge on our Instagram and Facebook page and see what app everyone else is loving!