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Tricks & Tips

Posts Tagged ‘Getting Things Done’

Share Documents Online

May 5th, 2009


Google Docs let’s you create files and share online instead of using MS Word or Excel.  This means everyone on your team is on the same page – live.

Rather than emailing a document, changing it, and re-sending it, simply post existing documents, or create new ones on Google Docs, for free.  Enter your colleague’s email addresses to share and work together.


  • Company financial information (can be set for ‘read only’) for easy distribution and updates
  • Employee directory
  • School activities

Getting Started

Q and A

Will I have to re-create my documents? No, you can upload your existing documents.

Do I have to upload all my documents?
If you want to, or just the ones you want to share.

So does this mean I see my own documents from any computer? Yes!

Is this secure? You specify only those which you want to share each document with.  Specify no one, or public.

Is this only for documents or spreadsheets? No, Google Docs also supports presentations (like Power Point), and you can use Google Calendar for sharing events too!

Our company is serious about online collaboration.  What are other, more complete solutions? Check out BaseCamp!

In the news…
Mac’s have been mostly free from viruses that plague Windows.  Unfortunately, Mac users will have to start taking these threats more seriously. Continue reading…



Use e.ggtimer.com to count down and alert you when times up. It’s like a kitchen timer for your computer.  Simple, free, and nothing to download.

Why use E.ggTimer?

  • Start a phone call and want to keep it under 10 minutes:  set the E.ggTimer
  • Need to leave for an appointment in 25 minutes:  set the E.ggTimer
  • Put the chicken in the oven and go back to “wasting time” on the Internet:  set the E.ggTimer

Getting Started:

Visit e.ggtimer.com and type in your desired time.  For example, “25 minutes” or “2 hours 15 minutes”.  Hit enter and wait.   Be sure to turn your speakers up.   When times up, a popup will alert you with a loud sound.

Another unique way to use E.ggTimer is to type in the address exactly what you want: e.ggtimer.com/10minutes.  Add a bookmark with that address on your links bar for quick access.  Need a break or want to be more aware of your time on the phone?  Click the link.  You’ll know when your 10 minutes are up.

Try it now:  http://e.ggtimer.com/6


How to Use Just One Password

March 26th, 2009


Windows/Mac:  LastPass is a free tool that remembers all your website login passwords. Sound a bit scary?  You have to login to LastPass first with a “master password”, then it will log you in to all your sites.  Walk away for a few minutes and it can automatically log you out.

You might have sites you visit often such as news, banking, magazine subscriptions, etc.  LastPass gives you ONE password to remember and does the rest of the work for you.  Fewer clicks, less to remember, get more done! =)

Video:  LastPass Introduction

Download:  Try LastPass now (click Get lastpass)

In the news…
AVG, our preferred anti-virus application and free for home use, just released their newest version: download AVG 8.5 (use left link).


Overwhelmed by Email?

March 24th, 2009

Gee we get a lot of emails these days!  How do you manage when your Inbox has 10,000 messages in it?  Which are priority?  Which is next?  If you’re looking to improve, here are some starting points:

In the news…

Video: Flying Car Takes Flight! Although this isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen, it’s a good sign of things to come.


Reminders From Your Phone

January 27th, 2009


Use reQall to send reminder to yourself or others from your phone. Signup free at www.reqall.com/web/registration

Scenario: You’re driving down the road and you think of something you need to do.
Solution: Instead of emailing yourself, or writing it down, call Reqall to send yourself a message.

Reqall is a free, text to speech reminder service.  Reqall is a lot like previously mentioned jott.com.  Jott is now a fee based service so it doesn’t meet everyone’s needs.


How it works:

  1. Call reQall’s toll free number
  2. Leave your message, thoughts, or share a task with a friend
  3. Receive an email with your transcribed message along with a copy of the audio recording.  This is all added to your online todo list at reqall.com.

Bonus #1: Set a speed dial on your phone so Reqall is easy to dial.
Bonus #2: To send reminders to others, they must first authorize you to share with them.


Say what you mean in the subject of your email and add EOM to the end. This tells the recipient there is no need to open the email, just read, apply, and delete.

EOM stands for End of Message.  For example, your subject might look like this: “Let’s meet in Conf. Room 223 at 3pm 8/21/08 EOM” and nothing in the body.

I always enjoy tips on GTD (Getting Things Done), time management, etc.  Today we’re bombarded with emails that consume our time.  This little trick could  help speed us through.

I learned about EOM recently from an article on Lifehacker: Read more on practical use here.


Document, Document, Document

August 21st, 2008

I don’t mean MS Word.  I mean your day.  I write everything down (or I’ll forget).  But I’ve always heard, “details make the difference”.  And, they do in most aspects of life, but specifically when getting things done.

Record details of most all phone calls. Date and time are obvious, but I also get the name of the person I spoke with.  I record the reason I called, and the resolution made.  If I expect a call back or to wait on something, I ask for a specific timeframe and record that also.  Often that makes it to my calendar for follow up.

For your business, or just at home, when some top-heavy, fortune 500 company promises you something but doesn’t come through, you can quickly reference your notes.   Knowing the details is often ammo enough to get things done.

MS Outlook makes a great place to store notes for each contact.  If you can sync to your cell phone, they’ll be even easier to reference or update.  However, whatever contact management application you’re already using is fine.  Find a system that works best for you and stick to it.


Highlight Text on WebPages

August 19th, 2008

Use www.awesomehighlighter.com to highlight content within a webpage.

I send links to friends all the time when I find a neat article or useful site. AwesomeHighlighter creates a new link for you, after you highlight specific text. This is a great aid in pointing right to the important stuff you want your friend to see first.

Here’s an example of something I just highlighted (click the image to get a clearer view):





Remember the Milk - Example

I am forever in search of the perfect task management solution. I use Outlook mostly, but as it has become more important to share tasks with other people and also manage tasks on the go (mobile), I still look for more features.

About two week ago I tried Remember the Milk (RTM) and I’m real pleased with it.

RTM allows you to create tasks, set due dates, and manage them from any computer online. They have an iGoogle gadget to bring it all on to one screen. They give you a unique email address that you can send to from anywhere to quickly add new tasks for yourself. Get reminders via TXT/SMS to your cell. RTM syncs with everything, such as your cell (BlackBerry/iPhone/Windows Mobile), Twitter, Gmail, or even Outlook. You can use previously mentioned, Jott.com, to quickly dictate new tasks from your phone.

Most importantly for me, I’ve enjoyed sharing tasks with other people (hehe). Once they sign up for RTM, you can share, update, and complete tasks.

Signup for free at www.rememberthemilk.com


What’s Your Start Page?

July 15th, 2008

Use iGoogle start page to maximize your time.

What page do you first see when you open your browser?  For years I’ve used a blank start page so I can quickly go where I choose, without being distracted.  I’ve always considered the start page an important decision.

About three months ago I started using Google’s iGoogle page.  I love it.  You start with a default page full of “Gadgets” or, plugins.  You can add or edit these to your taste.  For example, a small box shows the weather,  and a few others show several news sites I read.  I especially love my task list right there.   This “splash page” shows everything I need in a clean, consistent method that really helps out.

To change your start page, or home page to iGoogle, simply visit www.google.com.  I recommend you register with Google first, or just go straight to the small iGoogle link at the top right of the screen.

If you’re using Internet Explorer, click the Tools menu, and select Internet Options.  Click the Use Current button near the top. Hit OK.

That’s it!  Now, back on the iGoogle page, follow the onscreen instructions to setup your page to whatever your interests!  Photo Gallery? Wikipedia?  Quote of the Day?  You pick them!