Most of the tools and processes described here, relate to individual workflows, though there are crossovers with teamwork.
Podcasts - stay informed on your area of interest
Find the tool that works for you, and makes it easy to setup playlists of podcasts you want to listen to, then when you have some time, like being out for a walk, or in the car (I love road trips for these), you can tap into some excellent information to keep you up to speed with your interests - personal, business, trends.
Overcast lets you sync between iPhone and a Webpage view. Android has a podcast player by the same name (different maker).
Books - listen or read
As my eye sight started to worsen a few years ago, one of the consequences was that I read less. In 2014 I signed up for an account with Audible and it changed my life! Yes, really.
I was listening to at least one book a month, and was being fed with ideas and inspiration that lifted my spirits from the we're all going to hell in a hand-basket, to seeing that we human beings are adaptive and creative and there are many reasons to take a positive view on this moment, despite the bad news that comes in our media and newsfeeds.
This screenshot whos some of the more influential books I've listened to in the past year.
Twitter as a way to keep up with the latest - with the right search
When I was tutoring grad students about social media, I was invited to take 25 heads of departments across Otago Polytechnic, for a 6 hour workshop on social media in higher education. Twitter was my tool of choice for research, and in two weeks I had gathered so much information that I blew them away, even though two weeks before I knew very little about the specific topic.
There's a range of Twitter tool for this job, and within each tool, various settings to manage how you use them.
One of my favourites is Tweetbot - on Mac and iOS
More Twitter apps to choose from
Un[en]roll me - to reduce the noise in your inbox
Unroll Me, shows you all the subscriptions you've signed up to, then after unsubscribing from what you don’t want, combines what you want to keep getting, into an elegant digest called the Rollup.
Quick Keys - Z X C V
Do you use them? Do you know how much time they can save?
It pays to look at the shortcuts or quick keys you can find on most menu lists and force yourself to use one or two. You may be surprised how quickly they become part of your habit, because they are SO much quicker, than: move your hand and grab the mouse - move to the menu - click - move down the menu - click.
If it takes one person 15 seconds to open a browser window and navigate to a website, and another can do it in 3 seconds, imagine how much time you save?
Multiply 12 seconds of savings over 200 such actions a day you’re saving 2400 seconds every work day, 40 minutes a day, or 3+ hours a week.
Text Expander (also for teams)
A small app that saves me hours every month. Can work across teams too.
What's your time worth?
Lets you instantly insert snippets of text from a repository of emails, boilerplate and other content, as you type – using a quick search or abbreviation.
Make sure all your contacts lists synchronise. Whatever it takes. It's supremely frustrating to add or update some detail for a contact in one programme, and then have to add or update it in another.
I recently spent the time to figure this out between Mac Contacts and Gmail and what a relief. It doesn't matter now, where I add or update a contact, it will appear in the other place too.
There'll be the relevant programmes for Android and Windows too, just go find them and take the time to install and make them work.
Image hosting (free)
- When you need to embed an image or send someone a link for them to view the image.
Scannable - demo receipts and business cards
Scannable captures paper documents, receipts, business cards, etc quickly and beautifully, as high-quality scans ready to save or share.
Business card - send contact a message, LinkedIn
Things on the Mac
Newly added since the workshop
Streak - email tools for Gmail
I've used this tool for years and haven't found a better one yet. It has a range of CRM functions that I've tried but not bothered with, but the following tools are priceless (and free).
- Snooze mail to pop back into your inbox when you need to see them
- Send later, so you can schedule when mail will be sent
- Mail merge to send personalised mail to multiple recipients