Time Management: Recommended Apps

The following are some time management apps that can help workers manage, track and prioritize their time.

Prioritize: Priority Matrix centers on clock on deskproject lists. Once a project is set up then associated tasks are affiliated with the projects. The difference with this app is that you then must categorize each task into one of four quadrants based on Stephen Covey’s, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “urgent vs. important” model. The default quadrants are: critical and immediate, critical but not immediate, not critical but immediate, and not critical and not immediate. Priority Matrix provides this prioritizing structure that certain users might find useful to help them focus on the important vs. urgent task items.

Time Tracking: Harvest is a time tracking app that helps users determine how they are spending their time during the workday. It can track individual tasks, client billing or projects. If you use Harvest to track billable hours it has the ability to export a category of hours QuickBooks. It also has the ability to do reports and provide analysis of how and where users spend their time.

Task Integration to Calendar and Contacts: SmartTime integrates users daily tasks with their calendar and/or contacts on their iPhone. It also has the ability to email tasks with other SmartTime users.

Event Tracking: Last Time is an event tracking app that helps users remember the last time they did something. For example, when the last vacation was and what activities you did, or the last time you took your car in for maintenance or a tune-up. This app essentially acts as a recorder of events that you may need to recall in the future.

 Reaching Goals: Stickk is a platform designed for individuals to make a “commitment contract” with themselves to help achieve personal or professional goals such as exercising more, attaining a higher education or being a better email manager. This application was developed by a Yale University economist who developed the model through extensive field research on commitments and motivation.

 

File and Folder Utility Tools to Organize and Manage Electronic Data

These file and folder utility system tools work with Windows Explorer and offer additional file management functionality that is not available in Windows Explorer. These tools can help to organize and manage electronic data.

Sky Juice Software: Sky Juice Software offers multiple products, including Quick File Rename and Fast Folder Rename, which allow users to rename multiple files or documents at one time. Folder Maker allows users to create multiple files and folders at one time automatically.

Folder Marker: Folder Marker Home allows users to change folder color or mark folders to indicate priority level and status.

Snag It: This software creates screen images or Print Screen features. It allows users to capture a screen shot, edit, and file it. This is a useful tool to capture file hierarchies in Windows Explorer.

Print File List Pro:  Print File List Pro provides the ability to print a file directory within Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer does not offer a way to print or share file hierarchy structures.

To learn more how to organize computer documents, download the free report How to Organize Your Computer Documents.

The Benefits of Document Management Systems

Document or content management systems (DMS) are separate cloud-based systems that specifically manage electronic data and records. DMS systems are not only for large companies. Even in smaller offices, DMS systems can effectively help organizations file, store, search and collaborate on documents that need modification and/ or tracking. Although organizing the shared drive with an electronic file hierarchy structure and establishing clear guidelines is valuable, it does require more work to manage and maintain versus having data stored in a document/ content management system.

DMS systems have more robust functions of input, storage, search, and access of data than the mere file management tools that come on computers such as Windows Explorer. DMS systems allow users to find data not only through a file hierarchy structure. These systems have additional information related to a document such as keywords, categorization, and indexing, all of which make searching and finding data much easier. It also compresses data so that it has the ability to store significant numbers of documents in a smaller amount of space, increasing server efficiency. DMS systems also have auto-archive and auto-delete functions that make adhering to record retention and compliance guidelines instantaneous.

A common file repository in a document/content management system is an opportunity to create a consistent records management system that will provide the following benefits;

  • Create ease and simplicity for users to have one centralized system to manage official records and documents.
  • Improve accessibility permissions and ease of filing electronic documents and records through one centralized system that is cloud-based and accessible via mobile devices.
  • Documents and records are automatically indexed and increased searching functionality will be available.
  • Easier access to shared information and documents within the entire organization.
  • Easier management of records retention through increased system functionality and centralized data location to manage data.
  • Easier access to collaborate on documents, manage version control and access important information quickly through one centralized access point.
  • Lays the foundation for a paperless office by reducing official paper files and increase reliance and trust on one centralized electronic system.

It is important to organize documents on the Shared Drive before being uploaded to a document management system. To learn how to organize electronic files on the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.

Becoming a Paperless Office: Create a Clear System to Manage Electronic Documents

According to a study by the CAP Venture Group, it is estimated that 80% of information is still retained on paper even though more than 80% of the documents we work with are already in a computer somewhere. According to Xerox, approximately 30% of printed documents are for one-time use only and further studies found that about 45% of documents printed in a typical office are thrown away within 24 hours. Another Gartner study called “Electronic Document Management” revealed that the average document was copied between nine and eleven times.

One of the keys in gaining efficiencies in data management and increasing productivity is to reduce the paper workers manage. A key component to creating a paperless office is to create user trust in finding and accessing data electronically. Employees are inundated with data in multiple formats and finding it more and more difficult to manage the amount of data and be effective and efficient at their job. Without a consolidated system to manage data along with sound file structure and data management guidelines users will tend to keep a ‘backup’ copy of data and records in paper. Although paper does have its uses for work purposes such as reading, reviewing at meetings or processing data, it is not the optimal format to archive, store and file records and documents. When moving towards a paperless office it becomes even more vital that file structures, whether on a Shared Drive network or in a cloud-based system, is well-organized. It is also important that there is a clear and designated location to store data when there are multiple document and record systems available to users. Finally, data management practices need to be clearly defined such as document naming conventions, versioning, and data conventions.

To learn how to organize electronic files on the shared drive, download the report How to Organize Electronic Documents on Shared Drive Networks. Or you are welcome to contact us and we can assist you.

Organizing Cloud Based Files- Otixo File Manager

OtixoAs if organizing electronic files on your local drive hasn’t been hard enough, we now have electronic files in cloud-based services such as DropBox, Picasa, Google Drive, FTP servers, SugarSync, and a host of others. There is a great app, Otixo, that is a cloud-based file manager that helps to solve at least part of the problem. Otixo is essentially an app that allows you to view and access your data across multiple platforms. Otixo is not a hosting service all the data still resides on the original app, it merely provides a dashboard to manage all your cloud based files in one screen view. It uses an OAuth to connect to your accounts, so it doesn’t see nor collect usernames and passwords. The platform also allows users to click and drag files from one cloud-based platform to another. You can also preview, delete, rename, organize and search across multiple platforms all within Otixo.

Another great feature is Otixo Spacestheir ‘spaces’ which is a collaboration tool. Let’s say you are working with vendors or contractors on some projects. They of course have an on-line platform they use, DropBox, and your company prefers Google Drive. Until now, usually one entity has to compromise to use another’s platform. With Otixo, you don’t have too. Otixo allows a collaboration space to be created that will connect multiple accounts and platforms. The user who sets up the space can provide permissions to users. Otixo also tracks all activity and provides an easy log to see who has accessed, changed, and updated files to a space. You can add notes and comments to documents that are separated from the document but easily seen in Otixo.

This is an excellent and well-designed app to help manage cloud-based files and applications. And a great deal at $47.90 per year or 4.99 per month.