This year I went all in on my productivity. A big goal of mine this year was to get more organized and to get my good friend and assistant, Katie, on the same page. The ability to have the information at my fingertips, available on multiple devices, and available to her was the main reason why I needed to invest in my productivity. I wanted these apps to help us work smarter!
There are 4 main things that keep me and productive and organized – my planner, iCal, Evernote, and Todoist. So let’s go over it in order.
This year I utilized the Happy Planner system and really loved it! I learned a lot about how I need both analog and digital elements to work together to keep my life in order. After using the system for about a year I found my groove with it and figured out how to make it work with everything else in my productivity system. I’ll be sharing my new Happy Planner set up soon so make sure you stay tuned for that! 🙂
The next thing I use to keep myself organized is iCal. iCal is key to keep me on track of my day because I get side tracked really really quickly. As an entrepreneur, I can get pulled in a million different directions at once so I utilize iCal’s notifications feature to notify me when I need to stop what I’m doing and move on to the next thing. I also utilize the travel time feature because I’m notoriously late almost all the time! Yikes, it’s embarrassing to admit! So I input the addresses into my meetings and events so I’ll get a notification when I need to leave to minimize my tardiness. It helps a lot!
Finally, the last 2 items that I’ve implemented into my workflow that has changed.everything.
For long term goals, like yearly or quarterly goals, I use Evernote. If you’ve watched my Evernote videos you’ll see that I mainly use it for long term goals, traveling, anything that needs more of a journaling set up. Take notes? Evernote. Need to create a timeline? Evernote. Have a list of articles I want to read on my down time? Evernote. Planning events? Evernote. It took me a while to get into Evernote because it was so versatile I didn’t even know where to start. If you’ve seen my YouTube tutorial on how I set up my Evernote this was my starting point. I’ve kind of tweaked it just a little bit since then and I’ll be making a follow up video soon so you can see my set up for 2018. Stay tuned for that too!
A few things I’ve learned while using Evernote non-stop this year is:
- The notebook set up I used in my Youtube video worked really well for me
- The Inbox set up I used changed the game. Thanks to the other fellow Evernote users for the inspiration!
- Creating templates in Evernote was a pain at first, but made my life so much easier in the long run
Finally, Todoist is what I decided to use for my short term goals. Trust me guys, I’ve tried almost all of them. But Todoist is by far the best task manager for me. In the video below, I share with you on how I set up my Todoist account.
A couple things I’ve learned this past year about Todoist:
- If you categorize your tasks as soon as I input them instead of using the inbox feature I can keep things much more organized.
- Keyboard short cuts saved my life
- Utilize that recurring task feature, trust!
- The today view is my best friend
I’ve given myself a year with the system above and my productivity has increased 10x over! There is still more that can be done and there are still ways I can improve my system (if only these apps could read my mind! ok, that would be overboard and way too scary!) but all-in-all I can safely say that this year has been my most productive ever and that’s thanks to the system I invested in.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these apps aren’t going to change your life overnight. It’s almost like cleaning out your closet – things will get a lot worse before they get better. But sit tight and ride out the storm because when the clouds clear and you have everything in place you’ll do a happy dance!
Work smarter, not harder.