Social media takes up a good deal of time. Between reading blogs, visiting Twitter to check in with people, trips to Facebook and other social networks, the old tasks like keeping up with email and the like can be daunting. I’ve compiled a list of technology solutions that I thought might help you out. We can certainly add more ideas to the comments section.
- Get a system. I’m listening to Stever Robbins, who just put together You Are Not Your Inbox, an audio program that will help you manage your email.
- Get a proxy. Try out Jared Goralnick’s Away Find. It helps you with a sort of virtual message manager.
- Practice keeping your inbox at zero. (I’ve explained how I tamed my inbox before.)
- Learn shortcuts. Here are keyboard shortcuts for Firefox, Safari, IE7, Gmail, Google Reader, and I’m sure you can find more.
- Cut down on your browsing. Lifehacker (and Julien Smith) pointed out Freedom, a Mac application. I’m sure there’s a PC version. See also Rescue Time
- Use computer shortcuts and launches. For Macs, it’s Quicksilver . For Windows, I found 10 Quicksilver alternatives listed here. (Disclaimer: I’m not good with Quicksilver. I use Spotlight still).
- Don’t read blogs directly from the website. At least not first. Start in a good feed reader. I prefer Google Reader. It’s fast, has keyboard shortcuts, and is flexible in letting me bookmark, share, and email posts that I find useful.
- Find extra time and use it. One way is to use Jott on your phone to send brief messages, to leave yourself reminders, and to take notes for future use.
- Set up text replacement. This lets you type a few letters and get back several words easily. For Macs, use TextExpander. For Windows, try Texter.
- Keep good notes. I’m enamored with EverNote. I’ve used it to outline documents, plan conference content, store small lists of email addresses, and even tried the optical recognition feature for photos. It’s worth checking out.
You probably have several other productivity applications to suggest. We can put together quite a list in the comments, if that works for you. What are you doing to stay more productive?
Photo credit, Freshwater2006