3 Top Time Management Tools and How They Help You Stay Organized

Time Management Weekly PlannerSometimes we get the feeling that it’s almost impossible to manage our time. Getting a handle on time management seems like it’s actually a time waster! Enter time management tools. There are all kinds of online tools and software programs that automate everything for you. All you have to do is set them up, plug in the info they need, and they’ll take it from there. Here are three great tools that are a big help to lots of folks who work at home.

Evernote

Evernote offers a huge variety of functions. You can use it to jot notes, create to-do lists, capture screens, bookmark websites, take pictures, record audio, and manage passwords. One of the cool things about this program is that it automatically saves everything you do so that you don’t have to do it manually or worry about losing data.

Evernote is a Web-based application so you can access it anywhere. It automatically synchronizes everything across platforms, which means that you can share data using your PC, laptop, and smartphone.

The program also makes it easy to share your notes and data with other people. There’s a simple share button that lets you do it. This is a useful tool if you have staff or a virtual assistant that you’re working with.

It’s free to use the basic Evernote program but if you don’t mind paying $50 a year, you get the Premium membership which gives you 1 GB of space. I have Evernote, and I’m seeing if it fits my business operations.

Google Calendar

Google offers its own version of pretty much everything. Google Calendar is a free online calendar that’s easy to use for organizing your schedule and sharing it with other users. Like Evernote, it’s a web-based program so you can access it anywhere.

The simplicity is really what makes Google Calendar so popular. The interface is easy to use. You just click on the month, day, year or task and you can easily navigate. If you’ve already got your schedule laid out somewhere else, you can import it using a number of formats including Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Calendar, iCal or SMS. One of the things people love about this application is that it lets you color code your schedule so that you can take it in at a glance.

Like every other product this search engine giant produces, Google Calendar is automatically integrated with all things Google through a bar at the top of the screen. You can use it with documents, spreadsheets, Google Plus and your Gmail. It can also be easily configured to send alerts to your email account.

As you know, I actively support Christina Hills and her Website Creation Workshop (full disclosure, I’m also an affiliate, but that’s incidental… I really respect her program). She uses Google Calendars each time she is setting up her next class (she runs them four times a year) to keep all of us who support and promote her up to date on the class schedule… works well.

The only downside of Google Calendar is that it’s not as comprehensive as other programs. It’s missing some of the common features you’d expect to find, like prioritized to-do lists.

Toodledo

Toodledo is the most fully customizable time management program on the market. You can get it to do virtually anything, but the only downside is that it’s not quite as easy to figure out. It’s not intuitive for everybody and it may take you a while to learn, especially if you’ve never used a time management software program before.

The interface isn’t pretty but it’s highly functional (and like everything else about the program, customizable). The usability is great; you don’t have to save your changes or reload the page to see the changes you made. Just click and the change is made.

A unique feature in Toodledo is its advanced search function. You can search your tasks, calendar and other data using just about any parameters you can imagine. The program saves your searches so you can easily go back and find something you were looking at a few days previously. All of this is easy to do with a minimum of clicks.

I just found Toodledo when researching this post, and I signed up for a no charge account in addition to my Evernote account to see which fits my business model. I’ll let you know in the future.

I’m going to make an exception to the no charge concept here and add one more program that, from my experience, is a really great time management tool. It’s called, Priority Management, and I went through their class when I was at Minolta – and I still use some of their tools and techniques today even though I don’t actively maintain the program. As you read through the various articles I’ve posted on Time Management over the years, many of the techniques I recommend are ones I learned in the Priority Management program, so I think it’s well worth checking out – and no, I don’t get a commission for recommending it.

In addition to Priority Management, all three of the no charge options are well worth checking out, but before you invest a lot of time in one, give them all a test drive. All of these programs take a little time to customize and get used to, so make sure it’s what you really want before you start leaning heavily on them.

DanSig-02




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