5 minutes read
As a CTO for media companies, my job is to be progressive in exploring new technologies. At the same time, I have to make sure I'm not overwhelmed by the many ways I manage my data usage.
Anyone working in the knowledge economy needs e-mail or office productivity software to handle its daily tasks operations. Besides email, my daily work is about creating, managing, and accessing files or documents. Any tool that improves my skills has a big positive impact on my efficiency.
The projects and tasks that I'm responsible for on a particular day determine the files I need. By keeping a close eye on my day-to-day tasks in a single, trusted system, I can better manage my workflow. And any tools or services that can reduce information overload are of great benefit. The technology should help to avoid disturbing noises that lead to productivity losses.
Here are three tools I use on a daily basis to facilitate access to documents, keep track of what I do and automate my life:
If you are a technophile, hopefully these will be obvious and you can skip this section. If not, and you have not started relying on these services as your file storage solution, this is absolutely crucial to you. Stop saving your files on laptops, desktops, tablets or cell phones. The mantra I live by – and consistently taking on my role as a CTO – is accessing data from anywhere, anytime with any device. If your files are stored on your laptop that you left home, you can not do that.
Google Drive is my personal and professional data hub. Dropbox, Skydrive and Box all have the same functionality. I do not store data on my devices, eliminating the fear of losing the device, damaging the device, or leaving it at home when I need some files at work. The beauty of the cloud-based data store is that I always have access to it.
The argument that these services are dying or not so sure is weak and shortsighted. We're talking about companies like Google and Microsoft, which have thousands of the best engineers. They invest billions of dollars in their infrastructure. I'm pretty sure your internal system is far less secure – no nuisance to your IT team.
2. Track daily tasks with Todoist.
There are many ways to keep track of your daily tasks, with the most frequently-reviewed note being the note on your screen. But since you're an entrepreneur and an innovator, you need something digital that's accessible from everywhere.
The solution on which I am very supportive is Todoist. I do not need anything special, I just need something simple, clean and functional. Todoist is a web service that can be accessed with any browser. The interface is simple, intuitive and consistent for all devices. I can now create, review, and update my tasks on my Macbook, Chromebook, Android phone, iPad, and Nexus 7. The best part is the task of creating e-mails. I used to mark emails in my inbox with the label "to do" or "follow up". Now I forward them to my Todoist email address and a task is created that I can track.
3. Automate your everyday life with IFTTT.
IFTTT, whose name rhymes with "Gift," is the unsung hero of my personal digital ecosystem. I use it only recently and in a short time it has become indispensable. IFTTT is an acronym for "if that is, then that" and the simple explanation is that it acts as your digital Swiss Army knife. For example, if I update my Facebook profile photo, IFTTT will automatically change my Twitter profile picture to the same new photo. I can also set it up so that every email attachment in Gmail is automatically saved in Dropbox. Or how about an e-mail or text if the weather forecast says it's going to rain? If I lose my phone in my house, I can send an e-mail to IFTTT, which triggers a service to call my phone. You get the picture.
The strength of this service is the extreme flexibility of creating and using any number of "recipes" to tailor solutions to your specific needs. There are currently over 70 "channels" to use, including Twitter, Facebook, Email, Telephone, New York Times SMS and more. If you do not use this service, you need to start today as it will greatly improve your digital life.
The digital information that incriminates you is growing exponentially every year, but the tools and technologies that help you are evolving at a fast pace. Using the right tools is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur
Opinions by Entrepreneurs Employees are their own.