2. Store, edit and share docs online
Another great tool that I only started to use properly at the start of 2015 is Google Drive. Before that, I struggled to find the latest versions of documents I was working on, and wasted so much time emailing versions of documents back and forth. That’s all now in the past, thanks to Google Drive which is a must-have FREE tool! You can create documents, presentations and schedules to share and work collaboratively with other people in any location around the world. It makes remote working possible.
How does it work?
All you need is a google mail account and you can create files that are just like Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Unlike Word, Excel and Powerpoint, you can have more than one person on the doc at exactly the same time (and see who is working on the doc), and make changes live. That means only one version ever. You can also download as a PDF when you do need to send them across on email, giving you true flexibility. I love Google (although I know they are not everyone’s favourite company). Just Google ‘google drive’ and ‘google docs‘ for more info.
4. Organise and share your tasks and to do lists
To manage lists of tasks, the tool that I have also been using for years now is Remember the Milk. I remember running one day along the River Thames thinking of all the things I had to do and wishing there was a way to email tasks into a virtual to do list. When i got home, I did some research which led me to Remember the Milk and I have been a customer ever since, and have built up a database of over 5k tasks.
It has the same tagging functionality as Evernote and in fact integrates with Evernote which makes life easy. There’s a paid and free version and it has made a significant difference to my stress levels, allowing me to get things out of my head and into The Remember the Milk Container. There are other list management tools out there, probably one of the most popular ones today is Omnifocus.
Remember the Milk and other list management tools do allow you to share tasks, but that wasn’t what they were designed to do.
A better project and team task organiser is Asana. Team Raw Energy starting using Asana last summer and it has made a significant different to the team’s productivity. We all feel far more in control and can see what we’re working on and can easily share and communicate with each other.
If you’re after a more sophisticated tool that integrates with google drive etc, has CSS styling and access to a live chat facility, try Teamwork. There’s no free option, and a fully integrated version will cost about $49 a month.
Wrike is another option I use in the corporate environment which is very like Asana and enables people to work together on projects and tasks, and communicate more efficiently, capturing the whole history of the conversation.
Whatever tool you decide upon, become a master of it as it’s so easy to keep shifting tools and not getting the full benefit of the functionality of the tool you already have. That was certainly the case for me with Evernote which I’ve taken to a whole new level after my session with Pete last week.
5. Lo Tech Hack
Finally, not every hack is high tech. In fact sometimes old school is best. I bought a passion planner at the start of the year. A passion planner is a fantastic resource that links together goal planning with your diary. It has really made a difference and allows me to blend technology with the real world.