While I often find myself suggesting certain technologies to people who are struggling with specific challenges, there are some tools I recommend again and again, because they are beneficial to just about everybody. In many cases, they are tools that not only profit individual users, but whole teams, by lessening inbox clutter and communications overhead. But in rest of the cases, they are applications I suggest because I find it viscerally painful to see someone utilizing Microsoft Office for something that could be better achieved with a purpose-built note-taking or collaboration tool.
They’re the sites, programs, and features I desire every computer user would begin using as soon as possible. Every single one of them is available in a free version, though you may well find yourself compensating for premium characteristics once you discover how benefitting they are. Here are the must-haves:
- Evernote:undeniably, I can spend a couple of minutes checking my email while you go excavating through your hard drive, searching for that document you are aware of is there somewhere. But if you used Evernote, all your notes would be secure at one place, because Evernote makes it easy to gather and arrange your notes, whether they incorporate the first draft you typed directly into an Evernote note, a business card you stumbled upon and stored (so it’s now text searchable) or an online article you’ve discovered or trimmed.
- Twitter:It’s time to stop yourself from sending links via email. It’s a lot more helpful to share your links in a way that doesn’t add clutter to your inbox. If you’re sending them to colleagues, do it via Slack, Yammer, or a shared Evernote notebook for appropriate clippings. If you want to share your findings with a wider network of friends and colleagues, post them on Twitter, and don’t forget to use hashtags to get them on the radar of other people who are involved in the same subject.
- Doodle:Oh, to see the termination of email threads seizing us in endless, painful conversations about how to arrange that group conference call! Doodle exterminates those threads by voting people on their available call or meeting windows, so you can reach at a mutually suitable time and eliminate never-ending back-and-forth. If you find yourself setting up a call with more than two or three other people, kindly just Doodle it rather than emailing.
- Google Docs:There’s nothing more annoying than sending the same document to various colleagues, and then putting efforts to settle various sets of feedback. Google Docs was meant to save us from that struggle by making it possible for everybody to view the same document and add their alterations and suggestions in the same place. Yet even though many people utilize Google Docs on occasion, sharing Word documents is still too often the default. Let’s rely on the power of online document sharing to do our collaborative document editing in a form that saves us the pain of figuring out who recommended which variations.
In today’s world in which the majority of our working lives and online experiences are symbiotic, we need to recognize that our individual utilization of online software influences other people, too. Hold the power of online productivity, and you aren’t just doing yourself a huge favor: you’re also supporting everyone you interact with.