How to set up Google Alerts

I finally did it.

After procrastinating for a very long time, I decided the time has come to post my very first screencast tutorial. There will be more screencasts coming your way, but the theme of each will be the same: DIY Efficiency. Each screencast will outline action you can take to simplify your business to increase your productivity.

This week I’ll show you how to use Google Alerts. [Read more…]

Want to know the secret to being productive?

It came to me in the shower.

I’m not kidding. Somewhere between the shampoo and the conditioner I had an epiphany. There it was in front of me as plain as day … the secret to becoming organized, efficient, and to getting more done. If you want to change the way you work, I know the number one thing you have to do to make it happen.

[Read more…]

How to overcome the power of distraction

No SoundThe other day my husband was watching one of our favourite movies on television. I was wandering by and when I saw When Harry Met Sally on the screen, I quickly joined him on the couch. It was just getting to one of my favourite parts … when boom … a commercial comes on telling us about a new laundry detergent. Talk about ruining the mood.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this blog post. The answer is, a lot. Stay with me here. [Read more…]

5 ways Evernote will change the way you work

Evernote LogoHave you heard of Evernote? It’s a virtual notebook that lets you take notes, sync files across your devices, save webpages, capture inspiration, and share your ideas with others. Bottom line … it gives you the ability to change the way you work.

In a previous blog, I wrote about how I was at a conference and Evernote was the number one app I used to enable me to stay productive. At that conference, I took notes … lots of notes … and had them instantly filed away in a digital format for future reference. It was very useful. Previously, I would have carried around my paper notebook, scribbled my notes, and forgotten about them because they were lost in a pile of paper.

Not anymore.

Interested in how Evernote can keep you more productive and change the way you work? Here are 5 ways … [Read more…]

Productivity lessons I learned while on vacation – lesson #1

Lesson #1:  Many of us waste time and energy using the wrong tools.

Here’s the scenario … three families sitting on the beach on a hot and sunny summer afternoon at the cottage. Three of our kids come up to us and want to use the giant floating toys, which are currently deflated. It doesn’t take us long to figure out that blowing up these things the old-fashioned way (i.e. using our lungs) will take at least 30 minutes.

We look at each other. Then we look at the puppy dog eyes these kids are giving us and we begin to blow. Shortly afer we start this exercise that is making us feel light headed and dizzy, I remember we have a pump that is equipped to inflate these toys. But there is a glitch. [Read more…]

5 simple steps to start your paper-based task list

Last week I wrote about how to CLEAR your workload so you can stay focused and accomplish your work. In that blog, I referred to using a digital task manager. Since then, I’ve had a bunch of people ask me if they can apply my CLEAR formula to their paper-based task list. The answer is, definitely.

While I’m all about using technology to work smarter, I acknowledge that sometimes you have to use the system that works for you. And for many, that means a paper task list. So, here are five simple ways to start and maintain your paper-based To-Dos.

[Read more…]

How my tech tools helped me CLEAR my workload

I started the week in a bit of a panic. This is a particularly busy time of year for me. Home and work life tend to collide in June. Activities are winding down for my kids, which means recitals, play-offs and competitions. Client work ramps up as people tend to want to get organized when the weather turns warm. So, last Sunday night when I looked at the week ahead, alarm bells sounded. How was I going to accompish everything I had to get done in a mere five days?

Granted, I took comfort in knowing a lot of people feel this way. I work with them every day. But that comfort didn’t make all those to-dos get done.

So I took a deep breath and started implementing my CLEAR strategy. This is a proven process I use to help my clients organize their space and manage their time.

Here’s how CLEAR worked for me.

[Read more…]

How to use your voice to get more done

microphoneI just bought the iPhone 4S. I couldn’t resist.

I did have a business reason for making this purchase, it wasn’t only for fun and games. The main reason was to meet Siri. As it turns out, I like her so much, I’ve made her part of my team.

Who is Siri? In my mind she’s my new assistant. In the real world, she’s Apple’s voice recognition software, and she came built into my new iPhone.

Here are the top five things Siri does for me: [Read more…]

5 Reasons to Use a Digital Calendar for 2012

calendar on a smartphoneI was with a colleague the other day and we were setting up our next meeting. I whipped out my smartphone, she sheepishly reached into her briefcase and pulled out her paper planner. Then she whispered, “I still use a paper planner, isn’t that pathetic?” Now, she may have been embarassed because my focus is helping people use technology to work smarter. But the fact is, if you’re using a paper system that works for you, then that in itself is working smart.

But for those who are currently using a paper calendar and contemplating switching over … this blog is for you. (For those who are digital already, read on. There may be some features you didn’t know about.) [Read more…]

5 Ways to Stop Junk Email in its Tracks

 

no spamFew things are more overwhelming to me than seeing a jam-packed inbox. The energy it takes to go through each email, deciding which ones stay (and where to put them … but that’s another blog) and which ones go, leaves me exhausted. The kicker is many of these emails I consider to be junk (or spam as they are also called).

If only there was a way to curb the number of junk emails I receive.  How can I do this? How can you do this? It’s easy. Just follow these 5 simple steps. [Read more…]