As a Productivity and Professional Organising Expert (amongst wearing other hats), I run a busy practice helping clients all over the world. So efficiency, effectiveness and wellness are keys to my thriving business and life. You’ll notice that I streamline my processes so I only need to do things once.
Many people have asked what productivity tools use and love, and so without further ado, here they are.
*Please note that some are affiliate links that give me a small payout if you use the link at no extra cost to you. These are products that I personally use and trust.
This post focuses on why and how I use the tools efficiently. For settings and instructions, please refer to the tool directly.
Hate the countless back and forth emails, phone calls and messages just to set up a meeting?
You just need one link.
1. Acuity allows me to just send my beautiful clients one link where they can make, edit and cancel appointments themselves. I sync this to my Google Calendar and so only available slots in my pre-selected work hours will be shown.
2. The appointment magically appears on my calendar and if there’s changes, it updates automatically. Sweet thing is after they’ve selected their time, Acuity shoots both of us a confirmation email with a link to my unique Zoom account for our sessions. I don’t need to send them another email saying where and when we are meeting.
PRO TIP: Set up different appointment-types for each service. It gives a unique link, directing clients to book the exact one!
LIFE TIP: First, set up your work hours so it limits your availability and you have time to rejuvenate. It can be changed anytime.
This is Skype on steroids except that it’s more stable. Zoom is packed with bells and whistles.
My favourite is that I need to deal with recordings just, you guessed it – once.
After I have recorded a session to the Zoom cloud system (there’s an option to save it locally to your computer too), I can just share the link directly from Zoom once to clients, webinar attendees, business partners etc. There’s no need to attach the file to an email, realising it’s then too big to send, or upload it to Google Drive or Dropbox, waiting for it to load, then testing the link and copy and pasting that link into an email… Blah blah blah…
PRO TIP: Password protect the recordings and routinely delete them for privacy and confidentiality.
You’re secured – the meeting is locked and sealed.
Do you remember the dial up days when the internet cuts off when somebody calls? Well, you get your very own ‘number’ or URL but never will you be interrupted during the meeting. I lock my meeting and only allow participants manually into the meeting when they log in from the appointment they made using Acuity.
LIFE TIP: This is an amazing tool to plan out celebrations using the share screen function to discuss online shopping ideas, decorations etc and get everyone on one page.
So you might have guessed that Google Calendar is the backbone for running my business and life, and I love doing everything once.
Inputting once across different devices.
One way as mentioned for appointments to magically appear on my calendar is through Acuity. Another way is for me to input the appointments directly myself.
Although I love paper planners to plan out my strategy and big picture vision, but we live in a fast paced world where our devices are glued to us. Google Calendar is free and syncs across all my devices. I only need to input appointments once on any device and it shows up on all of them – magic.
PRO TIP: I use the native Google Calendar app for my mobile and desktop! It decreases glitches because it’s native. The simple design and shared shortcuts with Gmail makes it easy to use.
LIFE TIP: I share specific calendars with my team and loved ones with different levels of displayed information.
What about tasks?
When planning out tasks, I input individual tasks as an all-day appointment in a calendar for the relevant day I plan to do them. These tasks are in a one calendar that is NOT synchronised with Acuity (so clients can still book), but I can see the tasks and calendar in one view.
Note: that task management is the very last stage of my project management system. If you are interested to learn more, just drop a message below or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last but not least, where do I store all my files? Remember doing things once?
One effort, three times the output!
You heard me, three times. If items are not backed up in three places, it’s not safe.
1. Dropbox is the first place where my client files, photos, and documents live securely behind a two-password protected folder.
2. My computer is the second place. When I make changes to my computer that syncs automatically to the Dropbox server (ie. the cloud). My computer is fingerprint and password protected.
3. My Apple AirPort Time Capsule is the third place. It syncs any changes automatically over wifi and its safely encrypted. Apple has since discontinued this, so I am looking at external hard drives that can do the same.
4. Bonus place is Google Drive. Similar to Dropbox, it syncs changes directly from my computer to Google Drive (ie. Google’s server/cloud).
PRO TIP: Change your passwords often and have different ones for each one that are related so it’s easy to remember. I don’t use one-password or similar services where all my accounts are accessible with one password, because if it is compromised, all my account also be at risk.
LIFE TIP: Share files from Dropbox with a link and set an expiration for security. Keep your folders organised to avoid accidentally sharing private folders.
If you found this useful, and want to go further, I have found the Female Entrepreneur Association very helpful for entrepreneurs. Find out more here.