After lots of (positive) feedback on this topic last time, I thought I would share some of my other “secrets and software” for ensuring time effectiveness when working with PC’s. Over the years I have built up quite a systematic way of working – I’ve tried lots of tools, discarded most and kept a few gems that help get me through the working day. Here are a few more of those gems:
I use quite a few PC’s. I have my main (powerful) desktop, a decent laptop machine for when I am working away on a customer site and a small netbook for surfing and email when I am out and about. Now here’s the problem – where do I store my “stuff”? Stuff might be documents, media, files, etc. Memory sticks are handy, but you are forever swapping “stuff” between machines and there is always the danger of working on the same document in two places and getting into revision errors. Guess what… you need a Dropbox. Dropbox is a on-line facility for storing “stuff”. Once you have installed Dropbox onto all the computers you have, any file dropped into the box is transferred to all the other Dropboxes. I keep my Dropbox within “My Documents” and have a short-cut on my desktop to Dropbox. Whichever machine I am on, I can forget about copying files around using a memory stick, forget about worrying if I am working on the latest version… Dropbox keeps all my “stuff” up to date. And, if I lose all my computers in a big fire, I can get access to Dropbox over the Internet and get all my precious “stuff” back again. Dropbox is free for up to 2GB storage.
ACT! / Blackberry / TomTom
OK, this stuff you’ll have to pay for. But if you want to keep track of customers, prospects, accounts - across a team – then this is a great way to do it. I’ve been using ACT to run myself, my sales team and my businesses since 1991. Think of ACT! as Outlook on steroids and designed for people who need to manage their accounts, contacts and sales opportunities. With your data in ACT! you can access it on your desktop, over the web and also take information with you on a phone or laptop so you have easy access to all your customer info wherever you are. My ACT server synchronises to my laptop for when I am travelling. ACT! also synchronises to my Blackberry so I always have upto date client informaiton in my pocket at all times. My Blackberry then synchronises via bluetooth to my TomTom in the car. In-coming calls display the person’s name nice and large on my SatNav screen. I can then be driving to any of my contacts with a couple of taps on the screen. So, I enter information once into ACT! and it is then available to me on my laptop, in my pocket and in my car.
This one is for all those Social Media folk out there. Anyone not into Social Media will say “how do you find the time, to manage all these accounts / sites?” For many who are into Social Media, the answer is Tweetdeck as it is a real time saver. Tweetdeck can help you manage multiple Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and your LinkedIn profile. You can create custom searches for key words that potential customers / suppliers might use to find new business. And when updating your status, you can select which accounts it goes to. A great time saver.. and yes it’s free.
It would be great to hear from you all regarding your own (PC) time effectiveness software and tips.