I have the memory of a goldfish. Seriously. It is probably going to be an issue for me as I get older. And I am not naturally inclined to be very organised. In fact, glorious chaos has always been a hallmark of my work.
That all changed this year when I finally gave myself an intervention and got myself organised.
While there are hundreds of tools both paid and free that help you to get things done, there are three that have really helped get me back in control of my to-do list.
This online tool is a life-saver. While so many scrum board/to-do list/task managers get so complicated that they are practically unusable without employing an administrator to run it (sorry, Atlassian, but your Jira tool is sadly one of these…) Trello keeps it simple. In fact the default task board is simply “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”. Brilliant! I have added one or two extras like “Carry Over” and “Escalated” but otherwise it’s basically a three-column task list that I use to transfer the things I am doing to done. Oh and there’s a free app for iOS and Android to manage your tasks on your phone. Elegant, simple and free. In fact my entire team and all our digital projects are run on Trello. That’s how much we love it. www.trello.com
2. Google Calendar
While most members of my team struggle with iCal and Outlook and trying to keep everything synched across their many devices without an Exchange server, I don’t seem to have a problem in the world with knowing what is happening on my calendar because I use the Google Calendar product in conjunction with my Gmail – which also handles all my work email from the company server through to the Gmail interface. I am yet to find a Calendar system that is as compatible, easy to use, ubiquitous and as available on every device in one form or another. And it all ties in to Google Now which throws up reminders to my iPhone, Nexus 7, Mac and Pebble smart watch.
Say what you will about the plethora of calendar tools out there, but Google Calendar, for me, beats them all for it’s simplicity. And it just works. Every time. I have never had an outage or a problem synching it. www.google.com/calendar
She was a piece of crap when she first hit our iPhones. Flash Forward a couple of years and the Siri of today is a far cry from the one that couldn’t seem to understand the Australian accent.
I could take the extra time to type in a reminder to my Reminders app or I can just hold my home button and say; “Hey Siri, can you remind me at 3.30pm to call Dave about the missing display inventory?” And Siri gets it not only right, but sets me a reminder that I can bank on. And that reminder works for me every single time.
In fact, I have had Siri set me three reminders in a single request in the form of, “Hey Siri, can you remind me to call Dave at 3.30pm and remind me to call Rohan at 4pm and remind me to call Mum at 5pm?” And all three reminders were confirmed and set.
With a memory like a sieve, setting reminders in my iPhone via voice while in the car, at my desk or racing through an airport terminal has helped me to keep more commitments and stop forgetting to do stuff.
What tools are indispensable to you?
I can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org – I apologise that I can’t address all comments individually as I have this horrible habit of having to work.