There is no doubt technology can help you better manage and organize your life. It can also even help you save time.
While there is a wide range of paid apps and products on the market that can help you do everything from creating a budget to manage your remodeling project, there are just as many free apps and programs you already have and use that can help you do all the same things.
Best of all, many of these apps integrate with each other, which further helps you save time and stay better organized.
Here are 4 ways to better organize tasks using technology.
Use Your Virtual Assistant
Whether you use Siri, Google or Alexa, your virtual assistant can save you a huge amount of time on a wide range of tasks.
Do you need to find the paper you wrote for your English Lit class or the recipe for your mom’s green bean casserole? Your personal digital assistant can find it far faster than you can.
One drawback of using paid or standalone apps is that they rarely integrate with your digital assistant.
When you use a suite of apps such as Google calendar, Gmail and Google maps, your digital assistant can take information from an email to create an appointment for you, set reminders and even check the traffic conditions a few hours in advance to tell you when you need to leave.
When it’s time to go, it can even have an Uber or Lyft ready and waiting for you.
Use Your Phone Camera
What you may not know of is that Google drive offers a document scanning feature, so you don’t even need to download a separate app to scan and save documents.
Best of all, just like using your digital assistant, when you save a document in an integrated app, you can also use that suite’s search features to find it for you. What’s even better is that with Google drive and Google docs, you can even turn scanned documents into editable documents.
By scanning a document and making it editable, you save a great deal of time entering information. For instance, let’s say the document you scanned is a sign in sheet from the new book club you started. It includes everyone’s name, number and e-mail address.
Instead of entering everyone’s information by hand into a spreadsheet, you can scan the document, make it editable and then cut and paste the information into the spreadsheet, saving time.
Schedule Your Life
Another great feature of productivity suites that work together is that they can also work off of information entered into different apps. For instance, you can create a list of things you need to do in reminders and then block off time in your calendar to do them.
Another great feature is that you can also set your phone to send you an alert when you are near a store or business that has something you need to purchase. So, when you are passing an office supply store, your phone can send you an alert to remind you that you need ink cartridges for your printer.
Kanban is a highly visual organizational style that helps you see where different projects or tasks are in their stages of development.
For instance, if you work and go to school or work and have children or just have an active family with lots of activities going on, Kanban can help you see what is happening in each arena of your life. As projects move through the stages of completion, you can move tasks around to see where they are and what might get stalled along the way.
Here is a great template to use Google docs to create your own Kanban organizational system.
Use The Cloud
Cloud storage allows you to access documents and files anywhere you need them. While this clearly has applications for business, it can also be highly helpful in your personal life as well.
By using the cloud, scheduling an appointment on your home computer means an alert will automatically be sent to your cell phone when your appointment is drawing near.
You can also pull up the paper you started working on the previous night on your tablet to get it finished before the due date. With the cloud, however, you can not only store files, but you can also share them as well.
Cloud storage also allows you to get important input, information, and feedback from others.
For instance, if you are planning a trip with someone, you can create a cloud file where you can collect information about all the places you might visit and things you might do on your trip. The other person can look through it all and give you feedback on what looks good or raise concerns about what kinds of difficulties you might encounter. You can then draw up a schedule or itinerary that is available to both of you that you can also pull up when you are actually on your trip.
Getting organized doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on specialized apps and programs. Most of what you need to stay organized is already included in a number of free apps such as Google G-Suite, Office 365 and Mac apps like notes and pages.
You just need to learn how to use them.