Even though I was technically savvy in the 90’s, I no longer pay attention to any technology trend unless it really makes my life easier, less stressful and better able to serve my clients. In serving my passion of helping small entrepreneurs have an amazing life way beyond merely making a living, I want to share a few productivity tools. While I hate technology that slows me down, I constantly search for tools that just plain work. Here are a few worth mentioning, if you entrepreneurs have not already discovered for yourself. Not free, but can potentially pay for themselves many times over.
- IPhone 6+ — Remember a few years ago when Apple declared they would never make a big keyboard like the Samsung? That old tiny iPhone never worked with texting for either my fat fingers or poor eyes. So I switched to Samsung sadly, but came back to the iPhone once they embraced the big keyboard. So even though Siri is way better than it was a few years ago, someone like me who likes to type in complete and punctuated sentences is totally happy now that Apple has embraced those of us who don’t practice texting all day like our kids.
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking — Sadly, I flunked typing in high school. Milking cows is amazingly unlike playing the piano; no dexterity involved. Several years ago I tried Dragon NaturallySpeaking with hope and promise. While that experience was sadly lacking, I am happy to say it is now one of my favorite tools. I turned it on for every email, is way better for making meeting notes, and also for little mundane things like to do lists.
- Dropbox — Between my iPad, my laptop and my desktop; I am constantly moving from one quasi-virtual office to another. I write articles, make action lists, and do research. Dropbox lets me put all these files up on the cloud and I can keep working when I switch from one virtual office to the next. I can share files with my assistant and my marketing team.
- QuickBooks cloud — Between my bookkeeper, my CPA and me; keeping my financials up-to-date now takes very little time at all times to be able to share will. I can look at my business financials when I travel, from my living room on Saturday mornings or grab a report when my bank wants one.
- Snagit — While people keep telling me the Microsoft sniping tool takes screen shots, I much prefer Snagit. I can draw circles around something to enunciate it. I can add in notes, white out personally identifying information, save it to a PDF and dump it into a Word document. So quick for off-the-cuff instructions or showing someone the typos they must fix before we publish.
- AHK — Okay, a little more techie in its use is AutoHotkey. With just a couple of characters I can enter my name, my email, my address, and anything else I normally type. Did I mention above that I’m a lousy typist? If you’ve ever typed your email incorrectly, your phone number incorrectly, you’ll never have to do it again. Get one of the young techie kids to help you set it up and it will be totally worth it.
- Kill pop-ups — Although we wish we’d be notified when something important happens, most phone or computer notifications are more like a spoiled two-year-old. They sit quietly while you’re bored, but nag, whine, and interrupt when you’re trying to get something done because they want a cookie. I’m grateful that most of these apps and programs that want to be the center of your life still be configured to stop telling me about every little thing.
Although this is not the truly high-tech tips I found when researching to augment my own experience, these are the easy techie tools that make life as entrepreneurs way more productive. Leaving more time to dream, plan, and finagle better life for both me and my clients.
Best tools of your own? Call or contact at 610-628-2055 or firstname.lastname@example.org