30 Jan Sharpening Your Organization & Productivity Toolkit in 2017
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a pretty organized person. I believe everything has a proper place and I am a sucker for lists. I’d blame it on my kids and poor memory but the truth is I’ve always been this way. That doesn’t mean though that there isn’t room for improvement. Below is a sampling of some of my tried and tested ways to stay organized and a few things that are new for 2017 that I’m giving a shot.
Evernote. I am a big fan of notebooks and writing things down but I’m also a big fan of Evernote. I have used Evernote for a few years to keep track of notes when on client calls or in meetings. I also love that I can record sourcing sessions right in Evernote and then download them to save to my computer. So much easier than other applications I have used for recording. Another feature I really like about Evernote is that I can create notebooks so I can have one for work and one for personal. Lastly, Evernote is great too because it syncs across my devices. If I’m out without my laptop I can still open the app on my phone and the updates will be when I’m back in front of my computer. I currently use the basic (free) version of Evernote but would be interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on the paid version and its benefits.
Leoh. This is a new one for me in 2017. Along with being organized I really like pretty things. Leoh New Tab is a Chrome browser extension that not only shows me a stunningly beautiful picture every time I open a new tab, it also has some great features built in like a to-do list, clock, weather, notetaker, world news, Google search bar, etc. You can customize Leoh to your liking and even initiate “Zen mode.” While I’ve always been a sucker for a handwritten to-do list, I’ll be honest that the Leoh to-do list is one of my favorite features.
Pocket. I started using Pocket towards the end of 2016 and I do think it has great promise – if I could just find more time to read. I’ve only scratched the surface of what Pocket could do but for me, it has become a great tool for reducing clutter and the number of tabs I have open at any given time. Pocket’s tagline is “When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.” For me, it’s a short-term holding place for articles or websites I want to take a look at but maybe don’t have time for right now. Simply download the browser extension and when you open an article in a new tab you simply hit the Pocket button and it’s instantly saved. Pocket also has a mobile app which is helpful for allowing me to save things from my laptop and then read them later on my phone while at my kid’s swimming lessons or before bed.
Grammarly. Another new one for me in 2017, Grammarly isn’t necessarily helping with my organization or productivity but it is certainly making my emails – and IMs – grammatically correct. I work in communications and feel as though I am a good writer but like everything else, there is always room for improvement. Through a simple Chrome browser extension, Grammarly makes it easy to ensure that my emails never have a spelling, or grammatical, mistake in them again.
Spotify Productive Morning. I have to give credit to Sally for this one. She is the one who mentioned it and has been listening to it for months now. I really enjoy listening to music while I’m working but when trying to write a pitch, press release, blog post, etc. it can often become distracting. I am brand new to Spotify’s Productive Morning station but have found it provides just the right soundtrack to keep me moving along and happy without being distracting. Thanks for the recommendation, Sally!
So far I am feeling good about these steps at improving organization and productivity. I’ve got a few other apps and browser extensions I want to try out so stay tuned for a possible update down the road. Also, do you have any productivity or organization apps or techniques you swear by? Let me know in the comments below!