Week 6.

smartphones and tabletsAre you one of those people that uses a smart phone but doesn’t use most of it’s great features? If you learn nothing else, at least learn to use the calendar and contacts properly. And sync regularly. It is such freedom to not have a big organizer anymore. It all fits in my iPhone and syncs with my computer and iPad. I never forget appointments and always have my entire contact list with me. How did we do business before the smart phone?

So after you learn those basics try some other apps that will make life easier and save you from using paper. There are apps for making todo lists, grocery lists, calorie counting, and one of my favorites, Simplenote. With Simplenote you can make notes from your computer or app and they sync automatically. There are also other third party computer applications that will sync with Simplenote.com. I use Notational Velocity for all my writing and notes. I can access those notes from my phone or iPad anytime. Add to them and the updates are on my computer when I get back to the office. Did I mention both are free?

Another app I love is Instapaper. I do a lot of browsing on the web and do most of my research online. Instead of reading at my computer, I hit a button in my toolbar called “Read Later”. This adds the content from that page to my Instapaper.com account and then I can read the content anytime on my iPhone or iPad. This helps with time management. Instead of wasting time reading when I should be working, I read these articles at my leisure, in waiting rooms or on the treadmill. Instapaper syncs with Android, Kindle Fire and Nook devices as well.

Magazines, a major source of clutter.
I love magazines and have trouble parting with them. They clutter every room. Last year I let the print subscriptions lapse and now have electronic subscriptions. Unfortunately not all my trade magazines have electronic versions but this has helped cut down on the amount of paper coming into the house. Plus I can now take all my magazines with me on vacation. I like that. Of course this also applies to books but I think many people have already made the change to electronic reading. Last year I donated 8 boxes of books to the library.

Business Receipts, aaugh!
Try Neat, the digital filing system. Neat transforms your digital and paper documents into useful, organized information.¬†They also have a cloud service and mobile app that makes it easy to search, share and access your important information. I don’t have one yet but planning to get one soon.

If you think you can’t do this, think again. With a little effort this is achievable. Good luck with taming your paper pile-up electronically.