If you have been following me at all, you know that organization makes me happy. Like really, really happy. I think it comes from my husband. He is the most organized person on the planet, so much so that I jokingly claim he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Picture this: in his garage he not only has screws in containers where they are easily found, each type of screw also has its own container, and is labeled and located in a nice, neat area. Yep, his organization has rubbed off on me. I was never organized before we got married. Now, I have come to realize that being organized saves me time and energy. Because I know exactly where things are at all times, I do not have to go searching for anything.
In this article, we are going to go over applications and tools that we use to keep us organized and save loads of time. Here is what we will be going over:
- Best apps for organization
- Social media tools to save you time
- How to organize your email for the most productivity.
- Work area organization
When you are finished with this article, you will be utilizing these apps to save you loads of time so that you can focus on making money!! There is no time like the present, so let’s get started!
Best Apps for Organization
Right out of the gate I want to give you the tools that will be extremely helpful in getting organized and saving time.
In my last blog post , I went over how to make lists for your daily productivity. In this post, I mention using three main lists every day: A Master Goal List, A Weekly Project List, and a Daily To-Do List. Although I am an advocate of pen to paper, because that is my style, I also use an app called Wunderlist. It is a great place to keep multiple lists and even assign due dates and tasks to people on your team. The part of Wunderlist that makes it so great is that it is just so easy to use.
Below is what my personal Wunderlist looks like. I have my three productivity lists, along with a few others. From here you can see that there are a few items that have been assigned to me at the very top of my lists. If you use the due date feature, it will group everything together that is due today or this week, making it easy to see an overview of what my workload will look like.
Inside of Wunderlist, I am able to add notes, create sub-tasks, include links, and upload documents or PDFs. Another feature that I love is that I am able to use hashtags. These are great if you have multiple lists (like I do), and one of the items on one list relates to items on another list.
The next application I would recommend is Flipboard. You all know the saying, “readers are leaders,” and I honestly believe this. But who has the time to go scrolling through the countless articles and blog posts that come out every day? I know I don’t. I have more important things to accomplish. This is where Flipboard comes into play. Flipboard was named one of PCMag’s favorite multiplatform newsreader.
The feature that I like the most on Flipboard is that I can choose the types of articles that I like to read about. With a list of over 32,000 topics, they are sure to have just what you are looking for. There is also an option to follow certain blogs, or people that you know you like reading, like Neil Patel. This can be seen on my following board. Welcome to my diverse reading world.
Another great feature of Flipboard is that you can save articles to read later, or you can share articles via social media, email, and other platforms. If you use our
If you use our Birdsong app , then Flipboard is a gold mine for you! For those of you who don’t know what Birdsong is, it allows you to share articles and put an overlay on top of it to allow for email signups. Choose topics that relate to your product or service and start sharing those articles.
Are you the type of person who has several tabs open on your browser right this very minute, so that you can remember where you found something that you want to reference later? Do you have notebooks and note pads all over your work area with everything from reminders to ideas for future projects? If that is you, then let me introduce you to Evernote.
Evernote is an app that collects your notes, links, and images into one easily accessible area. It organizes your information in a way that is easily searchable and beyond easy to use. Your note taking abilities will become more efficient from this point forward.
Evernote divides your content into notebooks and notes. The amazing aspect is that you can share any of those notes, or even the entire notebook, with others. So, if you are collaborating with others on a project, you can all keep your information in one area that everyone can have access to. We use it a lot for our content creation. Like Wunderlist, Evernote is easily searchable as well.
Now that you know some of the apps that I use every day to keep me organized and save some time, let’s move on to some social media tools that save you some time.
Social Media Tools to Save You Time
Are you on social media every single day? Ha, who can honestly say no to that question these days? Of course, you are on social media every single day. If I were guessing, probably more than you really need to, right? You get on to do one or two specific things and get sucked in to scrolling through tons of stuff that accomplishes nothing more than wasting your valuable time. Let’s go through some tools that are designed to save time and keep you from getting sucked in too much.
If This Than That (IFTTT) is an amazing tool that we at Fearless Social Use every single day. However, most of us probably have not opened the app in months. IFTTT allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called recipes, which are triggered based on activity with other services such as Gmail, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and others.
After you set up the recipes that you want, everything is automated—you don’t have to do anything from that point forward. IFTTT has a number of recommended recipes that can do anything from take your Facebook post and share it to your twitter account, to muting your phone the moment you get to work. Recipes like these are great, and you can create your own as well.
In order to create your own recipe, you need to choose one trigger channel out of 209 of the options they have for you. In this example, I am going to choose the Facebook option.
From there it will have me choose a trigger from ten options. Let’s choose ‘New Link Post by Me’ for this trigger.
Now it’s time to choose our THAT. So where do we want New Links that I post to Facebook to go? In this section, there are 172 different options available, from LinkedIn to WordPress, and everything in between. For this example, let’s choose Twitter.
After we choose our THAT, we need to choose what exactly we want it to do in Twitter. I want it to take my links from Facebook and post it as a tweet on my Twitter account.
The next step is Complete Action Fields. In this section, IFTTT has auto-filled it in for me. The auto fill is what I would have added myself, a message and a link.
Next, review the recipe that you have created and hit ‘Create Recipe.’ You will see the recipe is complete, and that you have the options to turn it off at any time, as well as check the log for how many times it was used.
Revive Old Post Pro
For those of us that spend our time creating content, we know how much work goes into it. Any time we can take a piece of content and make it go further, that’s all the better, right? Revive Old Post Pro is a WordPress plugin that helps you do just that. It allows you to share an old post on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. For example, if you had a post from six months ago that was amazing, this plugin will allow you to re-post it again and drive more traffic.
Some of the features that these plugins boast are the ability to share new and old posts, choose the time in between posts, and include links back to your website or blog.
Nothing gets shared more on social media than beautiful images. But who has the time to create those yourself, or the money to pay a designer? Canva is the perfect tool to help you create those images to share on social media. It is extremely easy to use. I mean, if I can use it, I promise you that you will be able as well. It has prebuilt templates for a Twitter post, a Pinterest graphic, Facebook post, Instagram post, or a Tumblr graphic, among many other layouts. This makes it super easy to complete a design in less than ten minutes, as you do not have to worry about resizing for a particular format.
Once you choose your design type, you will then either create a layout of your own using one of the backgrounds or images they have provided, or you can choose from one of the layouts that are predesigned.
In this example, I will choose one of the predesigned options. They have many that are free, and others that you have to pay for (that are very reasonably priced). You do not have to keep anything on the predesigned choices if you do not like a certain aspect of it. I liked the background image and the font for this design but I didn’t like the actual words so I switched that part out and then added in my logo for the Syndicate Momentum. It literally took me less than ten minutes to create this image. From there, all I have to do is hit download.
Okay, now that you have the apps and tools that you need to keep you organized and working quickly, let’s move on and attack your emails to make getting through those a little easier and quicker.
How to organize your email for the most productivity
I hope you are a Gmail user, because that is what all of these tips will be geared toward. If you are not using Gmail why not? It is a great email system that I would highly recommend to anyone. Let’s go over some of the things that make Gmail such a great email system.
You Receive Two Email Addresses
When you sign up with Gmail, you actually get two email addresses. One of them is the regular @gmail.com address while the second one is @googlemail.com. By having two emails, you can set up all of your subscriptions under one of those and then filter all of those messages to go into a special folder. We will go over filters in just a moment.
The Google+ Trick
By using Google+, you are able to save your mailbox from spam, which saves you time from deleting them all. If you do get spammed then you will know exactly who leaked your email. To use it, all you have to do is add a + after your original email. So if your email is email@example.com you would use firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Both of these are different email aliases that will all end up in your Gmail inbox.
This is probably one of my favorite features of Gmail. Do you have emails that you want to group together, or do you get a retailer sending you too many emails, but you don’t quite want to unsubscribe? If you need to keep those messages, but don’t really need to see them show up in your inbox, you can filter them.
Choose the drop down arrow to the right of the opened email, and then choose ‘Filter Messages’ like this.
From there, you have a lot of options, including choosing to filter by name, email address, and subject. And you can choose to have the email moved to a folder, never hit your inbox, or delete it the minute it comes through.
Track who has opened you emails
How many times have you heard someone say, “I never got your email?” With a Chrome extension called Sidekick, you will know if they received your email or not. You can also tell how many times the email was opened, where the person was then they opened it, and on what device. This extension is free, but does limit the number of emails that can be tracked.
Adding Emails to a Task List
If you are the type of person who could easily forget to take action from an email you have received, Gmail allows you to add emails to a task list. What you need to do is open your task list from the upper right-hand corner of Gmail, and then choose the drop down next to ‘Mail.’ Then, go to whatever email you are wanting to add to your task list and choose the drop down next to the ‘More’ button. From there, you will choose to add to the task list. If you are a list maker, this is a great feature for you!
Now that you know some of my email tips and tricks, let’s move on to how to organize your desktop a little bit more.
Work Area Organization
In my blog post, “How to Cut Your Work Week in Half by Using Procrastination Killers (https://www.fearlesssocial.com/blog/how-to-cut-your-…tination-killers/),” I showed you how to organize your desktop so that you can easily find files that you are working on. Now, let me show you how to organize your actual desk and work area.
I bet you have tried to declutter your work area before and it has ended in a mess, or it stayed clean for a few weeks, but then went right back to where it was before. If removing stuff a little at a time doesn’t work for you, let’s try something new. Let’s start from a blank slate. I want you to remove everything off of your desk, take everything out of your drawers, and put them into boxes away from your desk. When you need an item, and only when you need it, bring it back to your desk and find a place for it. If, after a few days, there are things that are left in the box, those are the items you need to get rid of.
Everything has a Home
Decluttering is a perfect opportunity to evaluate what you need and what can go. If it does not have a purpose, then it doesn’t have a place in your work space. Every single thing that is in your office space should have a proper place where it stays when not in use. If you do not have a home for your items, your desk will soon become a catch-all for everything.
Refresh at the End of Every Day
No matter how clean your office area is, if you are productive and working, it will get messy. If it is messy every day, for several days, you will go back to having a chaotic office space. If you take five to ten minutes at the end of the day to put away everything that you had gotten out during the day, you will be able to start the next day fresh.
Now that we have gone through apps and tools to make your life easier, as well as how to use Gmail to your advantage, and clearing your workspace of clutter, you are set to have a productive year. There is nothing that will stand in your way, except for you. What tools and tricks do you use to make yourself the most productive? And if you stand in your way and you need help with focus my Syndicate Momentum group can help you gain the focus that you need.
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