Yes, you can achieve Inbox Zero–well, according to Mailstrom, anyway. The company’s previous launch had a few hiccups, so they went back to the drawing board and have added server capacity, better queuing capabilities and more. The tool sorts through your inbox and helps you organize email to go through it faster. Mailstrom supports Gmail/Google Apps, Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft Outlook.com/Hotmail, Aol and other IMAP-enabled email services. Once you’ve entered your email address, the tools lets you view messages by Sender, Size, Subject or Time (like Outlook) or, more helpful, filter for newsletters and ads and allow you to quickly unsubscribe.Google+
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Posts Tagged ‘productivity’
Even for the smallest businesses, project management tools make keeping organized and on schedule a cinch. If you need to share progress or files with partners, employees or clients, an online project management program can help your team work together more efficiently. ZOHO Projects works with Google products like Gmail and Google Drive and also has a mobile app available. ZOHO Projects is free for one project and if you need less than 10MB of storage. The next level of subscription is $199 for a year with 5GB of storage and unlimited projects.Google+
Signing up for all those newsletters seemed like a good idea at the time, but now your inbox is out of control, and important business emails are getting lost in the deluge. Sound familiar? TheSwizzle.com can help by scanning your mailbox for newsletters, deals, offers and other commercial emails. Then Swizzle lets you unsubscribe and delete unwanted emails, move them to a daily digest (a separate folder you can check later), or just leave them alone. Finally, set up a time to have your daily digest delivered to your inbox. It’s that easy and then you have a new, cleaner inbox. You can even set up a schedule to scan your email on a regular basis so it never gets out of control again.
Are you a mad multitasker? You know what I mean—switching back and forth between 12 open programs on your computer while simultaneously talking on one phone, checking texts on a second phone and eating lunch at your desk. Women business owners are particularly prone to multitasking mania, probably because many of us are used to juggling dozens of tasks (overseeing the kids’ homework while working on the laptop and folding laundry) in our home lives. But that doesn’t mean we’re better at it than men.
Studies on male vs. female multitasking abilities are many and controversial. For every study showing that women are better at it, there’s one claiming men are. But the real question isn’t who’s better at multitasking, but whether multitasking is helpful or hurtful.
A raft of studies done in labs have indicated that while multitasking actually decreases your productivity, people tended to believe the opposite—that they were more effective when multitasking. An Ohio State University study went one step beyond to find out why people think multitasking is more productive. Researchers found that:
- People feel more productive because they are emotionally satisfied by multitasking.
- People tended to multitask when they had a specific task to do (such as studying); in other words, multitasking provided a way to avoid focusing on something that was rather unpleasant.
- As a result, people feel emotionally satisfied by multitasking, which leads them to keep doing it.
- As they continue multitasking, it develops into a habit, and the positive emotions that come from it plus the habit-forming nature makes them keep doing it.
So what can you do to break your multitasking habit? Like any habit, it will take time (about 21 days) to break the old habit and institute new ones. Try setting rules like shutting down your email and only checking it a few times a day; letting calls go to voice mail and checking them at set times; shutting your office door for short periods when you need to concentrate; and using online tools like Freedom or Concentrate to keep you from wasting time on the Internet.
Yes, I realize that these habits may be hard to institute, but start small. You’d be surprised at what just a couple hours a day of not multitasking can do for your productivity—and your business.
Image by Flickr user deux-chi (Creative Commons)Google+
Don’t let the thousands of files on your computer get the best of you. If you’ve ever misplaced a file in a forgotten folder, you know the importance of having a way to organize files and keep them filed in the right place. RoboBasket is an automatic file sorter that can copy, move, rename, delete and process files based on rules determined by the user. Rules are easily created by dragging and dropping. Files can be filtered based on name, extension, date created, date last modified, size, kind and many other file attributes.Google+
If you prefer working on your tablet or smartphone, but run into problems when you need to access files stored on a laptop or other computer, your life just got a little bit easier. With Documents.Me, you can leave the laptop at home. Documents.Me is a free business tool for iPads and iPhones that makes accessing your documents as easy as touching one button. Whether your files are on a remote PC, Mac, or stored in a cloud application such as Google Drive, iCloud or Dropbox, Documents.Me allows you to access the file and then edit it, email it or add another document to a project.Google+
Formerly called Read It Later, Pocket helps busy people who discover an interesting article, video or Web page, but don’t have time to view it, save it for another time. Once you’ve saved the material to Pocket, it can be viewed at any time of day on your phone, tablet or computer. Since your content can be viewed offline, you can catch up while you’re waiting in line or on a business trip even if you don’t have WiFi access. Pocket is integrated into over 300 apps, including Flipboard, Twitter and Zite, and is available for major devices, platforms and browsers including iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android, Google Chrome and Firefox.Google+
As your business grows and it gets harder to keep track of partners’ and staff members’ schedules, a good group calendar can help you all stay on the same page when it comes to meetings and events. Teamup.com is a Web-based group calendar that is controlled through links, not user accounts. The calendar allows you to share and collaborate to figure out the best availability; you can have up to 10 sub-calendars for side projects. You can embed the calendar into your Web page and Facebook fan page, and the standard version is free.Google+
Feeling the stress of running your own business? You’re not alone, and with the Stress Tracker app, you can help yourself by figuring out what is stressing you out the most during your day. Created by a team of leading clinical psychologists and researchers using cognitive behavioral therapy, Stress Tracker provides an all-in-one personal stress management app that tracks, identifies and helps relieve your daily stress. Record such information as the source of stress, symptoms of stress and which coping strategies work best. Then the app gives you an action plan to deal with your stress and helps you make healthy choices.Google+
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to jot down notes, photos, calendar events and websites without losing track of everything? Oh, wait, there is. The Springpad app puts all that and more together for you in one easy-to-use app. Springpad can also automatically sync your notes across its iOS and Android apps and the Springpad website. Then you can collaborate with coworkers on your Springpad notebooks or share your clippings on Facebook. There is also an auto-fill feature to save you time and much-needed brain power. The app is now optimized for iPhone 5.Google+