I hate it when my schedule and plans seem impossible to count on and when my planning efforts seem fruitless. Oddly, many times these annoying schedule problems end up being fortuitous.
Recent examples of my own scheduling snafus:
- Because of uncertainty surrounding the possible furlough and an exorbitant tax bill, I couldn't go to a weekend Vegas adventure with my friends for my dear gal pal Sandra Giarde's birthday. I was upset and disappointed. Then I received an invitation for the White House Correspondents Brunch the weekend I would have been gone in Vegas. I ended up rubbing elbows with the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Ryan Kwanten, Brooke Burke, Maria Bello, Morgan Fairchild, Chelsea Handler, Joan Rivers, and Mira Sorvino, among other celebrities and Washingtonian VIPs. It was quite an experience!
- When the updated time for my council meeting conflicted with my doctor appointment, I tried to call to reschedule. After much back and forth, I realized that if I rescheduled I would have to wait for a month before I could get back in (and I had already put off going in for the tests). I realized I had to make it to the doctor appointment for my health and I was able to get testing and medicine I need that day...to help my heart and blood sugar immediately...and when the school called because my daughter had a fever, I was able to pick her up.
- My web show had technical difficulties (no wifi in the establishment and weak response on my aircard), so I couldn't stream from the location as planned last week. However, because of that issue, I was able to have a phenomenal lunch and deeper conversation with two amazing women who were going to speak on the show and consequently provided additional info I could use for my show later. Also, it turned out many regular viewers were contacting me that they'd have to miss the live show anyway that day due to all sorts of things.
Sometimes when bad things happen, it is only to open you up to better things you need in your life at that time. But, we like to avoid schedule problems as much as possible, right? So here are five great ways you can use technology to be more organized. Fate will still have its way anyway, so this is just a way to increase the likelihood that you will have a great track record for scheduling when your day gets tangled up in life.
- TextEdit - I keep a list open in TextEdit of the things that I need to accomplish, and this lets me keep notes on them too. I save that list inside of my Dropbox so that it’s readily available even if I’m not on my own computer.
- Dropbox - Dropbox is a storage area for your files that exists in the cloud, so you can access your important files anywhere, any time. This makes Dropbox immensely helpful for people who travel frequently, manage many teleworkers, or simply want to be able to access any files at any moment.
- Email management - Use out of office to automatically inform people of your availability. You can use something like this, "Thank you for your email. I check mine four times daily — 10am, 12n, 2pm and 4pm. If you are emailing me about something urgent, please send me a message on Skype at kiki_litalien." Please note: I don't actually use this, but I've seen it done and I like the idea. I intend on adopting it as soon as I feel brave enough.
- Byword, from Metaclassy - Block out all other interruptions by using this app (for Mac users) that allows you to focus on the writing at hand.This is a fabulous app for tuning everything else out and focusing.
- Boomerang - Ever wish you could set up a reminder for travel documents within your email box and set up reminders for you if you haven't heard back from someone via email to check back with them? Boomerang lets you do this within Gmail. Tremendously helpful when you are trying to keep tabs on your clients and contacts.
What are your favorite time savers and productivity tools?