Too Much Tech

woman-frustrated-with-laptopToo Much Tech: a reader asks…

Hi Chris, this whole digital life thing is overloading me! And I have little free time to spend on getting better organized. Have any quick tech tips you can give me?

Absolutely! My first tip is to have you read these two articles: Drowning in Paper? and Use your smartphone’s camera as a memory aid! which will get you started. You’ll read about Evernote, a great program for organizing all the stuff in your life. So here’s my quick list of tech that can help you get organized quickly and with as little extra effort as possible:

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  1. woman-holding-smartphone-finger-to-mouth-image-from-shutterstockGet Lastpass and use it to record all your online usernames and passwords. Also record anything else where security is involved (using Secure Notes, part of LastPass). The import feature of LastPass is important to get it initially filled with all the websites you’ve visited.
  2. Get Evernote (or Microsoft OneNote) to record all the things in your life – paper, photos, scraps of info, to-do lists – you name it
  3. Use the camera on your smartphone as a quick scanner to record things. Once you take a snapshot, use the send-to function to send it to Evernote/OneNote. You can scan paper documents, a page out of a book, pictures of things, labels on cans and containers, etc. You can also use the share icon on most apps to put something directly into Evernote.
  4. woman-with-smartphone-and-icons-image-from-shutterstockUse your smartphone’s reminder function (with Siri/Google Voice/Cortana) to help you remind yourself. That’s better than sending yourself a text message or email, since you can specify when you want to be reminded. If you want to put something off, just set another reminder for tomorrow or whenever.
  5. Use your smartphone’s calendar to remind yourself about things you have to do. Treat it like a diary, and put everything you can in there as an event. You can put future events in with alarms to give you advance warning.

Most of all, think about each of these as a step along the way. Don’t try to look at the whole organizing thing as one big project, split it up into digestible chunks. Then tackle one chunk at a time. That’s the best way to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Lastly, technology can only get you so far, but once you take a step, the 2nd step is easier. The 3rd step is even more so. Pretty soon you’re skipping along and feeling much less stressed!

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