Five New Mobile Apps to Boost Your Productivity

Today, your mobile phone can do many things for you, including enhancing your productivity! Whether you use an Android or iPhone, you can download many third-party applications that help you get more out of your day.

Consider these apps to help you avoid time wasters and get more done:

1. Evernote: Evernote allows you to take and organize notes. Not only can you access your notes from your phone, but with an Evernote account, you can use them from anywhere with an internet connection. The app itself is free and offers 40 MB of storage space, but you can upgrade to 500 MB of space for $5/month.
2. ReQall: This is another to-do list app with both free and premium versions. For scheduling convenience, it syncs with your Google and Outlook calendars, and allows you to keep text and voice memos and reminders in a synced account. Also, you have the option to automatically convert your voice memos into text notes.

• The “Pro” version is $24.99 annually. Additional functionalities available with ReQall Pro include location-based note taking.

3. Jott: Jott takes voice notes and transcribes them into texts that you can post to a variety of web interfaces including Twitter, Google Calendar and Facebook. It also offers a Jott.com account and a desktop application so that you can leave voice notes and transcribe them for later use.

• The application is free on its own, but the account is paid. The basic Jott subscription is only $3.95/month, and the pro account is $12.95/month. There is also an “a la carte” version that offers five minutes of recording time for $6.95.

4. Air Sharing: With Air Sharing, you can drag and drop a variety of different document types between your phone and your personal computer. Basically, it enables your phone to function as a wireless, portable USB drive with which you can view, edit, and store your documents.

• Air Sharing offers a standard version for $2.99 and a pro version for $9.99. With the pro version, you can print from your phone and remotely access files on your computer.

5. Timewerks: Timewerks helps you track how many hours you’ve spent on a variety of different projects when you’re working for clients. You can even invoice your clients straight from the app! There’s also a stopwatch feature that runs in the background and allows you to track how much time is spent on each activity.

• Using this app, you can export your invoices to your computer. Also, it integrates with Credit Card Terminal software, which enables you to accept credit card payments through your phone.

• Timewerks is $9.99 for the full version. However, there is a free, “lite” version that offers all of the same functionality, but only for one project at a time.

If you want to get more accomplished each day, and you have an iPhone or Android-based phone, try putting some of these apps to use. Even when they require a small investment, it may be well worth it to you to extend the capabilities of your phone. With these apps at your fingertips, you can become more productive today!

How to Organize and Declutter Your Home in Small Steps

Decluttering and organizing your home can quickly feel overwhelming and frustrating. If you’re afraid to get started because it seems like so much work, try doing fewer tasks at a time. When you take small steps to declutter and organize your home, you can conquer the task much more easily.

Divide Things Up

Tackle only one room at a time. This will make your task appear much less daunting. Avoid moving on to the next room until you’ve completed the last one.

Try these tips for organizing and decluttering your home in small steps:

1. Choose your starting point. Select a room that you can tackle in a day, rather than the most challenging one in the house. Once you’ve chosen your room, start early so you have as many daylight hours as possible to work on your cleaning and decluttering.

2. Basic sort. Go through everything in your starting room and sort out items you no longer want. Everything that you touch in the room should go into one of four categories: Things you want to throw away, things you want to donate or sell, things that should remain where they are, and things that you want to keep but that are in the wrong room.

Use this sorting principle for every item in the room. When you’re finished, you should have four distinctive piles or areas in the room. Each item in the room will be in one of the four piles.

3. Remove trash. Simply taking all the “throw away” stuff out of the room is going to make a very large dent. Keep in mind that personal paperwork should be shredded rather than simply put into the garbage.

4. Remove donation items. Anything that you intend to sell, give away or donate should come out next. Store these items somewhere else in the house for now. Continue to add to this section from each room in your home until you’re ready to make one single donation or yard sale.
5. Sort the “belongs elsewhere” section. Do not simply move these items into another room; otherwise you’ll need to sort them again. Create a box or container for each room for which you have items. Make sure that you definitely want to keep them so that you can transfer them into the right room without having to sort them again later.
6. Organize what’s left. Now that you’ve removed large chunks of “stuff” from your room, you can organize everything that remains. When you’re only working with the things that are supposed to be in the room, decluttering and organizing becomes much simpler.
7. Repeat this process. Continue steps 1-6 in each room until you’ve finished the whole house. When you handle one room at a time, the process is much simpler and less stressful.

Once you’ve finished organizing your house, take a few minutes each day to ensure everything you’ve used during the day is back in place so you can continue to enjoy your “new” clutter-free home.

Big tasks can seem overwhelming. Break your decluttering challenge into smaller increments and before you know it, your house will be clean and organized!

 

Guide to Getting More Done in Less Time

Time is a luxury. Each of us only has 1440 minutes per day and they go by quickly, so you surely don’t want to waste any of them! By maximizing your efficiency, you can complete every item on your to-do list with time to spare!

Follow these suggestions to help you get more done in less time:

1. Organization. Organization is the key to successful time management. Take a few moments before completing a task, whether small or large, and create a time-saving game plan. Lay out all of your supplies; know exactly where you’ll start and where you want to finish.

  • Create a checklist and check it twice. When laying out your supplies, place them in the order that they’ll be used. In doing so, you’re able to shave a few seconds off of your project time whenever you reach for supplies.
  • Even if you don’t have supplies, you can still benefit from a checklist. Create milestones. If you’re checking the milestones off as scheduled, you’ll know that you’re on the right track. If you’re checking them later than scheduled, it’s time to speed things up.

2. Work in spurts. If you have a time consuming task to take on, rather than dreading the hours of work that are ahead, work in spurts. Working in spurts of 25 minutes, with a five-minute break in between, still allows you 50 minutes of work time without feeling worked to the bone.

  • It’s important to focus solely on the task at hand while working in spurts. If you take even a two-minute break, you’ve lost two minutes of work time and increased your break time by 20%.
  • Concentrate on the one task at hand. If you’re painting a room, the only things that you should be doing throughout your 25 minutes is rolling paint onto the wall and reloading your paint roller. No using the restroom, changing the song, or helping your spouse in another room – just painting.

3. Power-up correctly. In order to be efficient, it’s necessary to start the day off on the right foot. First, get a good night’s rest. If your mornings are dependent on your consumption of coffee, drink a healthy sized cup of coffee accompanied by an equally healthy breakfast.

  • Wake up early. You’ll find that you’re more energized after breakfast and coffee at 7:00am rather than 11:00am. Plus, you’ll add extra hours to your day, which allows you to cross off tasks on your to-do list even sooner. Then, the rest of the day is yours!

4. Eliminate all distractions. Distractions are a part of life and everyone’s schedule is susceptible. Rather than trying to fight them off, eliminate them completely.

  • Turn off the computer, place your cell phone on silent, and unplug the television and all other things that are known to be a distraction to you. In doing so, you’ll be less likely to channel surf, catch up on your Facebook friends, or chat away when your friend calls.
  • If you need to get something done on the computer in a timely fashion, block the websites that are known distractions by using LeechBlock, a Firefox plugin. This plugin allows you to restrict your visitation to the websites of your choosing.

5. Invest in time-saving assets. The final, and possibly most important step, is to invest in items or services which permanently shave minutes off of your day. It may be more money upfront, but you can potentially shave hours of chores off of your to-do list each week.

  • Invest in an automatic floor cleaner to automatically clean the floors each week. Also, a lawn mowing service, purchasing a dishwasher, and opting for carpooling are additional strategies that can shave time off of your to-do list.

Whether you’re hoping to finish a complex task more quickly or simply shave minutes off of your everyday responsibilities, it can be done. Increasing your level of efficiency and focus are the only requirements. To this end, these simple tips will make maximizing your time a breeze.

The Importance of Implementing Time Management Tools

Learning how to manage your time wisely and efficiently is essential to just about everyone, in both their professional and personal lives. Proper time management can help you in a number of different areas in your life, and here are some of the most notable.

Physical Health

Believe it or not, learning how to budget your time wisely and use the time management tools available to you every day can be an integral part in maintaining your overall health. By utilizing things such as schedules, appointments, and even traveling more efficiently, you are able to find more time to exercise and eat a more healthy diet. Even on your most hectic days, proper time management techniques can help you find a few minutes here and there to get the exercise and nutrition that you need.

Expands Your Mental Horizons

How many times have you said to yourself “I can’t think about that now!” Well, one of the ways that time management techniques can be a benefit is by allowing you the time to think about things outside the daily scope of your life. By challenging yourself mentally – doing a crossword puzzle, playing an online strategy game, or even reading a magazine that challenges you can be wonderful ways to get your brain working. Something as simple as setting timer to let you know when the laundry is done is a great way to allow you to schedule some time for some mental exercises.

Contribute to Society

Except for a select few, most of us try to contribute and draw from the neighborhood around us each day. Whether it is taking the time to call the neighbor across the street, or saying hello to the postal carrier, each one of us interacts on a daily basis with the people around us. However, if you chose not to manage your time wisely, the moments that you spend learning and growing with your neighbors will be few and far between. Humans as a rule are social creatures – in most cases we need social interaction to live and thrive. Why deny yourself the possibility of discovering something new in your own neighborhood? By implementing a few simple time management tools, you’ll be able to have the time to sit down on your front porch and visit with a neighbor. Who knows what you may learn.

Making the Most of Your Career

One of the many aspects of leading a full and busy life is that often work and school schedules will impact your home life. Learning how to use proper time management skills and techniques can be a great way to help minimize that impact. Simple things such as having a daily “to-do” list, or a knowing the estimated time to complete each task is a great way to help make sure your work day doesn’t turn into your entire day.

Help with Emotional Overload

Sometimes, even the best of us get overwhelmed. Whether it is stress from the job, or friction in a relationship, there are many things that can take an emotional toll on a person. However, a few time management techniques used here and there can mean a world of difference in reducing your stress levels and emotional tolls. Something as simple as setting your alarm clock fifteen minutes early for some “me-time” or having Wednesday night dinner is take out can be great ways to help lighten your load.

Finding Your Spiritual Center

It has been said that after the essentials of food, water and shelter have been met, humans by their very nature will turn to ideas and thoughts of more spiritual nature. In truth, the spiritual aspect of your life, whether you believe in a high power, or simply the power of the human spirit is no less important than making sure your life, and career is in order. This perhaps is the one area where proper time management techniques can offer the greatest hope and help. By using your time and efforts more efficiently, you can be more open to exploring things of an otherworldly nature.

These are just six of the many areas that proper time management tools can help. By implementing just a few of them, you’ll soon find that your days will become richer and more fulfilling. Having the time to do what you were meant to do, instead of only doing what you have to do is very fulfilling indeed.

Time Management Tips for Busy Moms

Time Management for MomsIn any given day, a mother has to deal with about a thousand and three ideas, and at least six dozen different things. However, with a few simple time management tips, the chaos that is motherhood can be handled.

Tip # 1: Be Organized

The more organized you are, the more likely things will get accomplished in a timely fashion. By keeping your things, and life as organized as possible, you’ll be able to see and deal with problems much easier and sooner than normal. Plus, it doesn’t have to be anything real elaborate. Having separate bins for laundry, or even a wall chart for the daily chores can go a long way to making the whole mechanism run a lot smoother.

Tip # 2: Delegation is Important

Despite what you have been previously told, it is not necessary for mothers to be all things to all people. As the head of your household, you need to think like a company manager. It is essential that you delegate some responsibility to others in the household. Give chores to the children, or let your husband take the dog for a walk in the evening. Whatever you chose to delegate, be consistent, and don’t allow others to “re-gift” the responsibility back to you. If it isn’t done by them, it simply won’t get done.

Tip # 3: Don’t Be Afraid of Shortcuts

While it is important to take your time and do a task correctly, a mother needs to realize that taking the occasional shortcut is not only allowed, but should be encouraged. There are many tools and tricks available that are designed to make your life easier, and your time management skills that much more effective. For example, taking a few seconds to pre-treat stains on your clothing as you throw them into the hamper can save you a fair amount of time during laundry day. Or take a few minutes in the morning to set up a slow cooker meal. That way dinner will be waiting for you at the end of the day.

You will be amazed at how much time you will find in your day when you implement one or all of the tips I’ve shared with you today, it works!