Sunday, January 8, 2012

Getting Organized

New year's resolutions!  Most are easier said than done.  I'm busy taking down the holiday stuff, organizing and cleaning.  There are lots of ways to reorganize all of your 'stuff'.  Why not give your stuff an electronic make over?  

I work from multiple devices and locations daily.  I can't rely on a single hard drive, and forget thumb or jump drives!  Keeping up with paper notes and information cluttering up my life on paper is a lost cause.   There are lots of web based tools that you can use, but which ones are the right ones for you?

First, look for ways that you can combine information and utilize apps on multiple devices.  One of my favorite ways to do this is with an App called Evernote.  You can install this onto your smart phone, tablet, and computer!  You can use your account to access your notes and information from any of your devices.  Use it to save web addresses, recipes, grocery lists, meeting notes, ideas and anything else that you need to save.   It will even integrate with Microsoft Outlook to add emails into your notes for easy access as well.

  • Create notebooks based on category and topic.
  • Add your notes into your notebooks for easy organization.
  • Create checkable lists.
  • Attach files to a note for projects that you are working on.
Another favorite is Mint.  This money management tool allows you to monitor and track all of your accounts electronically.  You can easily monitor you accounts while on the go.  Login to any Internet connected computer to monitor account activity, or use the downloadable app on your phone for access  with just one click!  Its an easy way for you and your spouse or significant other to make sure that you both have a handle on your finances.  You can also mark items into appropriate categories for tax purposes.  Mint will remind you of upcoming bills and show you where you money is going each month as it monitors cash flow.
  • Monitor your investment accounts.
  • Track your savings.
  • Establish a budget.
  • Alerts will tell you when you have gone over budget.
  • Advice updates will provide tips about money management.
Another way to access your information is through Dropbox.  It is a cloud based application that allows the user to  upload files to use at any location.  You can share files and folders with others.  Someone showing you a file or document that you like but you don't have your jump drive?  No problem!  Login to drop box and upload it to your account right there.  Voila!  No need to email and download  and save.  You will have your files with you wherever you go.

I use it to keep up with files that I use for training at my job or collaboratively work on projects.  And while I use this more professionally at the moment, I know that this could have many personal uses that would be very handy!

  • Organize folders to save your files according to purpose.
  • Upload files to your account for easy access.
  • Share files with colleagues or family.
While there are lots of tools that you can use, look for ones that meet your specific needs.  Keep your passwords safe and secure.  Always log out from shared or public computers when using cloud based applications.  And most of all, enjoy how easy it is to keep up with all of your daily tasks and information. Its a time saver and a New Year's resolution you can keep all year long!


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