My Favorite Tools In 10 Installments: 1. Google Tools

I regularly get asked when I sleep, or how I “do it all”. I’m never really sure how to respond, I’m just me. I just go through my days, my routine and well do stuff. But I took a look around at some of the tools and shortcuts I use and thought I might do a little mini series. So here it is, in 10 installments! Some will be long (like this one) and some will be short. I hope you find something useful!

Tool One: Google Tools

It’s no secret I’m a Google fan, pretty much my whole professional life lives on Google. For that reason I use the Two Step Verification process and change my password frequently, especially after traveling or using unsecure wifi access. Call me crazy or paranoid if you like, but hey I’d be screwed if I ever lost access and you’re about to find out why.

Calendar

The Calendar, well actually 6 calendars if you count tasks which also shows up on the calendar and has its own color code (each calendar has its own color code).

  1. My primary or main calendar is my work calendar. This is important because I sync Outlook with my Google Calendar and it only syncs with your primary account. My new work place is big on the Outlook calendar (and Outlook is my nemesis) so I needed to sync my Google Calendar with Outlook. I almost NEVER look at the Outlook calendar directly.
  2. Personal, hey I don’t want my personal info syncing with my work calendar, this way I can put the info in my personal calendar but mark time as just “out” or “away” on my work calendar.
  3. Professional – generally speaking gigs and travel plans related to them. I also like to keep this separate from my personal time, in part because the different color lets me know that I have a deadline approaching.
  4. My Time – sometimes when I get really busy and start to feel overwhelmed I feel it helps to track exactly how I spend my time. It also gives me an idea of how much time I really spend prepping for presentations, writing blog posts or playing Wii.
  5. Conferences – my conference schedule, this calendar gets shared with people I’m trying to coordinate schedules wiith and get together with at events. It only gets used 2-4 times  year but its very valuable during those times.
  6. Task – again this isn’t really a calendar but it has tis own color and the task I assign dates to show up on the calendar.

In the browser - I most often use the calendar in the browser in fact I open that tab first at work and it stays open all day.

On my phone – I use the calendar in my browser most often but it also syncs with the calendar app on my Android phone.

On the iPad – I paid for the CalenGoo app because it syncs all of my calenders with the iPad AND tasks.

Which leads us to:

Tasks

Yep there are a lot of task and time management tools out there, and I’ll admit when Google first came out with tasks it was eh at best. But now it allows you to assign due dates and create lists so I can have one for work, one for personal stuff and one for long term goals. I’m pretty happy with it. Plus it integrates with tools I already use like my calendar.

In the browser – again I most often use this in the browser.

On my phone – I use the My Google Tasks Lite to sync tasks to my phone

On the iPad – its built into CalenGoo

Google Reader

Say what you like about the death of RSS but I check my reader everyday. I wont go into too much detail here because I wrote a post a while back about mastering your Google Reader that has some great suggestions and techniques for managing it.

I use Twitterfeed to send shared Google Reader items straight to Twitter.

In the browser – again I most often use this in the browser.

On my phone – the Google Reader app. Occasionally while waiting in line I’ll go through reader on my phone.

On the iPad – I used Byline.

Gmail

Oh I love me some Gmail. I  use the priority inbox option with it and it works pretty well for me, basically it figures out what is important to you and shows that at the top of the Priority Inbox, then Starred Items, then everything else. My best advice – use your labels and filters! I have over 50 labels and about 30 filters.

Docs

I use docs for all kinds of stuff, draft blog posts, outline presentations, collaborate with others on just about anything. I mostly use documents and spreadsheets but occasionally forms. I use the labels to organize my files and

Additional Tips & Tools Post

  1. Google Tools
  2. Twitter
  3. Bit.ly
  4. Facebook

 

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