Thursday, December 5, 2013

Think Kit Dec. 5th - Technology to Organize Your Life

I'm taking a lifeline today and am choosing:

Did technology change your life this year? What new gadgets/software/hardware did you use? What can you no longer imagine life without?

I'm calling out Evernote and Trello as influential technology that I adopted this year that dramatically impacted my efficiency and peace of mind at work and even at home.

In the past, I would write meeting notes down in a notebook and maybe go back to look something up that was discussed a week ago.  Beyond that, the likelihood that I bothered to go back was slim at best.  Evernote changed all of that. It's tagging features and fully indexed searchable functionality has made available all the useful minutiae that I capture in meetings with nothing more than accurate and efficient searching.    

Before Trello, I kept my to-do lists for work on blank sheets of paper.  Yes, there is something satisfying about marking off an item on a piece of paper, but when you can't find that piece of paper, what't the point?  Trello allows me to organize what I've done and what I need to do while allowing me to keep efficient, time stamped notes of my progress.
Probably the most impactful aspect of these software applications is that they reside in the cloud.  Of course the cloud is nothing new and I'm not going to spend any time talking about its merits.  But that I have Evernote and Trello available on my phone, tablet, and multiple computers is quite a leap in efficiency and, as I stated earlier, peace of mind.  No longer am I  emailing things to myself or leaving amusing voice mail messages on my work phone.  I don't write to-dos, whether personal or work related on random scraps of paper or notebooks. It's all right there, on any device.  

Yes, this makes me wholly dependent on technology and the Internet, but that's my modern life.  People have asked, "what would you do without your Internet and technology?"  Well, my health and well being of me and mine would be satisfied without technology.  I would succeed without it, like I am succeeding with it.  If it is available to me, I'm going to fully embrace it.  If it is not available, I'm going to fully embrace the absence of technology and succeed.  But because applications like Evernote and Trello exist, I'm more efficient and organized.

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