5 Simple Tech Tools to Increase Effectiveness and Efficiency
One of the most frequent questions clients ask me — especially if they know my background — is about organizing. They believe I’m a maestro at personal organization. (I’m good at it.) They presume that because I own the largest IT firm in the Delaware Valley and have eight other companies, I should know about being organized. (Don’t forget commitments to family and friends.)
Let’s be transparent. No matter how good your memory is or how reliable that devoted assistant is (if you even have one), you need more help.
Here are five solutions that I use to stay organized and manage my time. Remember that beyond organizing your life more efficiently, the ultimate goal is to make the process easier.
- Followupthen is a service that “cleans” your inbox and helps you to set reminders. I use this service at least 50 times a day. This app allows you to use the snoozer button (think: reminder) then it appears at the top of your email inbox. By allowing you to forward the email to review it at a time of your choosing, you eliminate the email scrounge, one of our most wasteful production practices. There is a free version and modest prices for advanced versions. This app puts real teeth into that promise: “I’ll follow up with you later.”
- TurboScan is a free app that uses the camera on your phone to make a PDF. It allows you to save documents and photos and manipulate them at your convenience. You can download a free version and then decide whether to try the “pro” version. The free version allows you to scan, store and send up to three documents. The pro version is $5.99.
- Docs To Go is a free app that allows you to take Microsoft Office wherever you go. You can view, edit and create Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and review Adobe PDF files on a phone or tablet. It turns your phone into a portable Office with a few finger taps and is available in both Apple and Android versions. What makes it particularly appealing is its compatibility with other apps, including Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
- MyFitnessPal is fantastic at tracking calories and is a good accountability partner. Everyone knows someone who’s gained a few (maybe lots) of pounds during the pandemic, and this app is the ideal tool for combatting those eating impulses. It’s helped me lose close to 30 pounds just by tracking my diet. Even if you’re not a “health nut,” staying fit and remaining healthy allows you to operate as an accountant. Consistently monitoring what and how much you eat is fundamental in losing weight. You can chart it with this app. Exercise matters, too. You enter the exercise routine to which you’ve committed (you do have one, right?), and it gives you the calories burned. The app is $9.99 per month or $49.99 annually.
- SugarSync is a file-sharing, cloud-based service that lets you share virtually anything in your folders. Forget about the memory stick. With SugarSync, you can work with your documents from that laptop to photos lodged in your phone library and still collaborate in realtime regardless of the device. Wherever you go, your files go. You can test it free for 30 days with pricing starting at $7.49 for 100 GB for personal use. For business use, it is $18.95 for 500 GB per month.
This article appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.