Are you tired of trying to remember where you left someone’s business card or worried about if you booked an appointment on your calendar? I know I have! If you opened the purse, you’d see a couple of notebooks, slips of paper, and contact information rolling around like a mini-tornado. To stay organized, I empty the bag and organize everything from what’s in my wallet to client notes using these tech tools.
If my business had a ride or die partner, it would be Google Drive. It is part productivity tool, online storage, file sharing, and collaboration tool. Using the MS Word equivalent, I am able to provide, store, and share content with clients while tracking my work on the Excel equivalent. When a client isn’t Google savvy, we use Dropbox but my preference is always Drive.
My phone syncs photos and contacts to Google and all of my email addresses are accessible through one Gmail login. When I change phones, I only have to sync the new phone to Google to have my complete list of contacts. It has made me more efficient than I was juggling multiple apps and online resources!
Let’s not fail to mention Google calendar. Admittedly, it took me a while to use the app to book appointments from my phone for fear they wouldn’t sync to my laptop. I got through those fears and a couple of bugs (likely user errors) and can now book appointments right to the calendar app on my phone. When it comes time for the appointment, I simply click the address and Google Maps opens, syncs with GPS, and guides me to my destination. No more missing or getting lost on the way to meetings!
Whether it’s Google, social media, or bank accounts, there are a lot of passwords to track. It’s easy to carry a notebook of passwords but not exactly the most secure. To remember them all, I utilize the password manager LastPass which stores passwords securely in one place. Now I only have to remember one password!
We’ve talked on this blog about the benefits of social media for Chicago court reporters, but when do you find the time to schedule posts? Once a week I take 1-2 hours and schedule posts for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter using the social media scheduler Buffer. Other tools include Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and MeetEdgar. They each have a free option so you can experiment to find the one you like.
To create even more efficiency, I have Google Alerts (I told you I heart Google) set up for keywords like court reporting and court reporter that send news articles right to my email. When it’s time to schedule social media, I go to my Google Alerts to source content.
Are there other tech tools to make you more efficient? Of course there are! You have to find what works for you. Share your favorites in the comments.