How many times have you seen articles that feature “Top 20 Apps to Organize Your Life”? Or, “Fifty Tricks & Tips for the iPhone”? I don’t know about you, but these articles make me feel as if I am on the outside looking in. Should I change the tools I’m using? Are they obsolete?
One of the terrific aspects of our digital world is the myriad resources available to us to do ANY job. And that great variety of resources is often our biggest hindrance, simply too many options. So, stop procrastinating; find several tools that work for you and use them. Here are three digital tools that work very well for me. They may not be the latest out of the box but they are just what I need.
1. When I work with others, I want a workspace that allows us to have real-time access to our work. Google Drive does that, allowing us to add to and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and photos. Three of us are currently working on a collaborative book. Google Drive allows us to see every document and edit each version. Another terrific use—for an upcoming family reunion—I can share a folder with everyone about housing, activities, directions, menus, and much more. No more back-and-forth emails to multiple people. Everyone can read and edit the latest updates in one place
2. One of my favorite activities is learning from podcasts. Lots of places to find podcasts but iTunes has great variety. What am I currently listening to? 60 Minutes, This American Life, Boomer Business Owner, TedTalks, and Stuff You Should Know. I love to listen to podcasts when I climb on my indoor bike for a much-needed work break, when I take myself for a run, or when I am in the car and I’ve had enough of the top 100 hits! Podcasts are generally short, focused, and invaluable; they are available on just about any topic you can imagine. Give a listen.
3. Feedly is one of my favorite tools because it compiles and organizes news feeds from a variety of online sources. Instead of bookmarking or trying to remember a dozen or more URLs— NY Times, Newsweek, and other websites or blogs—that is automatically done for me in one location. Feedly is easy to set up but you must know what sites you want to bring include. There are many other news aggregators including Google News, Flipboard, and Pulse. Each have their own strengths, some are more appropriate for mobile devices and some for tablets or laptops. For more information on the best news appregators take a look at this article or this one.
Are there other tools available that do the same things as Google Drive, podcasts, or Feedly? Absolutely. But each of these tools does what I need it to do and I’m happy with each of them.
What are your favorite digital tools?