Computer & Email
Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook
Beware the Empty Inbox
Get the Most from Your Handheld
Do Digital Organizers Save Time - Or Waste It?
Efficient E-mail Habits
Transitioning from Paper to Digital Information Storage
Faxing Without a Fax Machine
Getting Your Files When You're On The Go
Business & the Office
Time Tactics for the Office
Keeping Track of Delegated Tasks
Keeping Track of Your Customers & Prospects
Do Your Employees Really Need Customer Service Training?
Action Files Prevent Desk Clutter
Reclaim Your Desktop with a Tickler File
What To Do With All Those Business Cards?
Managing Project Folders - A Surprising Tip that Works
Time Management & Organizing
The Power of Planning Ahead
Words of Wisdom You Should Ignore
Coping with Information Overload
Thirteen No-Tech Time Management Tips
© Jan Jasper; 2001-2012
There are an unlimited number of digital products that claim to get us organized and save us time - from software like
Microsoft Outlook* and ToodleDo,* to smart phones and all the apps available for them.
But the way many people use these products, they are just scratching the surface. They're getting only a
fraction of the time-saving benefits because they don't know how to choose and use them. And they may also have unrealistic
Importance of Realistic Expectations
Stephen Covey observed that many people seek a "Magic Tool" which they hope will magically, effortlessly, get them organized.
But it's not that simple: Regardless of your digital tools, you still must set priorities, juggle multiple projects, and
deal with crises. And you may have to let go of some things that you simply do not have time for. Many people have a
To-Do list dozens - or hundreds - of items long, including tasks that have been languishing
for months or years. Are these tasks more likely to get done just because they're in a digital device?
Choose Carefully, Then Learn to Use It
For some users, digital organizing tools probably waste as much time as they save - although the victim is too close to
the situation to see
it. Perhaps they never really learned to use the tool, so they're only using a fraction of its potential. Or they're using
the wrong solution for
their needs. Many people even use multiple devices and software - they have one calendar in Outlook*, another calendar
at home on the fridge, some tasks are in Google Tasks* and other tasks are on paper, some phone numbers are on the
original business cards and
others are stored in their iPhone*. The confusion that results outweighs any benefits - you've got so
to look it's impossible to see the big picture and set priorities. And with data all over the place, you can't
regularly back it up - which we all should do regularly to protect ourselves in case a device is lost.
It's Still Up To You
These tools are really just places to store information. Regardless of manufacturer claims, in themelves, they do not
organize anything. WE do - through
a comprehensive system of time, paper, task, and information management. We need to spend time learning what our
tools can do, and the discipline to use them consistently.
*The usual disclaimers apply. My mentioning these products is not a guarantee of any sort.
Obviously, you should not change anything
until you've completely backed up your files. You already do that, right?
This article is available for a one-time reprint or one-time internet posting if you include my copyright notice, provide a link to www.janjasper.com
and identify me as follows: "Jan Jasper, a productivity expert in the New York City area, is the author
of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press)."
Read Terms and Conditions for details.
About the Author:
Productivity coach Jan Jasper has been helping busy people work smarter, not harder since 1988. Her customized approach guides clients to manage time,
tasks, and information more effectively. She also provides Microsoft Outlook customization for clients. Jan is the author of
Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press).
She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions,
Inc. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print. Jan is an adjunct instructor at
New York University.
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