They say first impressions count.
This statement is not always correct, since you cannot judge a book by its cover. However, making an initial good first impression goes a long way to establishing credibility and a favourable reputation.
One of the ways to create this impression is to act as if you are in control and that you can do things quicker, faster and more elegantly than others.
I find that many technological tools and techniques exist to become more productive and create that impression. But, not just that.They set me free to be able to think more, do more and have more leisure time.
In my own consulting work I have found a few tools and techniques that help me.
Getting Things Done (GTD) is an organizational method created by productivity consultant David Allen, described in a book of the same name.
I picked up a copy of this book – ‘Getting Things done’ three years ago and since then his book has had a huge impact on my working style and has really helped me to become more in control.
The GTD approach(Just google the word GTD – and see how many hits come up), once you understand it makes a lot of sense and has set me free to become even more creative (I am right brain dominant)
I even did a cheat sheet on GTD – Check this out if you want to get up to speed.
These days I use the GTD add-in Outlook 2007, and I find that it works well.
The ancient art of placement always serve as reminder to me that clutter destroys energy. I am very aware of energy fields and find the subject interesting and thought-provoking.
I like to read about it and compare it to what the GTD system suggests, which is often closely aligned.
The 4- Hour Work week and Body
Since recently reading the 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, I have become a convert of testing and self-experimentation.
I have just started the 4 –Hour Week and will write about it.
Both his books are highly recommended reading and I will embrace some of these principles in the months to come.
I like the fact that you can always have your stuff when you need it with Dropbox. Recently whilst I was in China I needed access to a document. Luckily my son was home and all he had to do was search for it and drag the document to my Dropbox folder on the desktop. Minutes later I had it on my smartphone and could arrange for copies for my delegates. Job done.
Check it out:2GB account is free! Sign up at http://db.tt/OIcCJuJ
I love Evernote. Not only is it free, but it is my favourite note taking application. It offers benefits such as:
- You can access it anywhere, from any net enabled device.
- Free to use. No functionality restriction free users.
- Not only note, you can save anything that you see on internet .
- You can create categories of your notes and tag them, which makes search easy.
- You can even post your notes directly from twitter or Outlook to Evernote.
- AND, you can share your notes on Facebook or e-mail it.
The other day a client wanted a copy of research I quoted. I used my Android HTC Smartphone to e-mail the info to the client there and then. All about impression and efficiency and ultimately my reputation of being hands-on.
FeedDemon is the most popular RSS reader for Windows, with an easy-to-use interface that makes it a snap to stay informed with the latest news and information.
It offers Google Reader Synchronization and keep your feeds, tags and shared items synched between locations.
For me Twitter is not a networking tool, but one of the fastest learning tools and news breaking sites available.
TwInbox is a add-in for Microsoft Outlook. It seamlessly integrates Twitter into Outlook.I like to use it as it allows me to move some tweets to a reading folder for later.
I also use Tweetdeck in conjunction with TwInbox for better search functionality.
My Android Phone
Currently I use the HTC Desire which I have found to be fast and just what I needed. My favourite applications on my phone include Evernote, Dropbox, What’s App, Astrid Task Manager, Tweetcaster which allows me to tweet from my phone and Imo – a super-sleek and fast messenger application for Android.
Recently Lifehacker (my favourite productivity site) called imo their preferred IM client on Android: – super sleek and easy-to-use.
I find that these days I do the following in the evenings:
1. Check my e-mail. Using the GTD philosophy I quickly sift through my mail, deleting, moving or acting upon e-mails. Where next actions are required I immediately use the GTD-Add in to set up projects or tasks.
2. I then check my Twitter for interesting feeds. These I use to a folder so that I can read them later.
3. I access FeedDemon after checking my e-mail and Twitter. Sift through, flag those articles I want to read and delete the rest.
4. As I read and find information I wish to keep I use the Evernote widget to save the information and tag it.
Saving the information to specific notebooks, helps from a search point of view.
5. Later I update my status on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. It is at this stage that I open my desktop synchronised copy of Evernote, so that I can decide whether there are articles that I can share.
6. Where possible I use my smartphone to do most of the above.
These are some of my favourite tools. What about you – What do you use?