I’m talking to you.

Don’t pity yourself for not being able to get more done.  Instead, find tools to make your life easier.

You can collaborate with others (delegating tasks is a huge time saver, whether it’s dividing tasks on a project or even hiring a virtual assistant).  Or you could even collaborate with yourself!

Sounds crazy, right?  But what if you collaborate with yourself between different contexts?  What if your mobile self were able to collaborate with your home self?

Isn’t that the way the world is moving, anyway?  Why not get ahead of the trend?


Technology can be Productivity’s Best Friend

Automation.  Organization.  Simplification.

Do you ever stop to think about how many things you would have had to do by hand before we had computers?  Writing memos, invitations, filing paperwork…

We have so many tools available at our fingertips.  There’s no excuse not to use them.

I know it can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t a tech person.  But you probably know a tech person that can help you, right?

Here, I’ll give you some ideas.


Some Free Tools to Collaborate with Yourself and Be More Productive

Hopefully by now you’ve heard of Google Drive.  It’s free, it’s linked to your gmail account (if you have one), and you can create and edit documents anywhere there’s internet.  And you can share files, if you want to collaborate with other people, too.

There’s also Dropbox — it’s similar to Drive in that you can share files among multiple devices or people.  The difference is that you can’t create or edit documents with Dropbox alone.

Evernote is a neat tool that lets you organize your random web pages that you like, store photos, categorize receipts, or whatever you like.  I use it to store our receipts, so now we don’t have to store as much paper.  And with optical character recognition software built-in, you can even search through your receipts after scanning them.

What if you want files on your smartphone?  There are apps for Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote.  There are also other apps to connect all of them.  You probably don’t need all of these, but in our digital world, having at least one is a huge help.

With your files with you wherever you go, you can get work done on your laptop, iPad, or home desktop.  It doesn’t matter.  Talk about being more productive?  Now you can use that dead time and continue work on your laptop while waiting your turn at the DMV.


Getting Organized Saves You Time

I’ve posted in the past about organizing your email, and keeping track of gift ideas.

Getting organized takes a small investment of time up front, but it saves even more over the long haul.  You won’t waste time looking for things, or deciding where to put things, for that matter.  Decide once, and move on.

It never hurts to de-clutter, either.  Getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need is not just worthwhile, it can also be cathartic.

I find I have much more energy and motivation when things are organized.  Dealing with clutter all the time can be exhausting.

And yes, it’s hard to get inertia to clean up that first time.  But you live your Life in Charge, right?  You decide to get it done.  It’s much easier to maintain a state of organization once the first pass is done.

Did I mention being organized saves you time?  Pinterest is another tool to help organize your digital life.

Oh, and use something like Google Calendar for all of your appointments and events.  It can sync across all your devices, so you’ll always know what’s going on.


Once You Have a Smartphone, You’ll Never Go Back

Why is it that you can never go back to a clamshell after having a smartphone?  Because it’s so darn useful and convenient, that’s why.

I try not to let my smartphone steal my productivity, but enhance it.  There really are apps for everything.  If you haven’t gotten on this bandwagon yet, I’m simultaneously proud of you and sad for you.  Just know that it opens up a whole new world of digital collaboration  …with yourself.

Weird, yes — but if you do it right, it really can make you super productive.