Using Free Online Tools to Get Organised
For some, being organised comes naturally. These people can add "well organised" to their CV's. These are the lucky ones, because for most of us, being organised is a skill that we must learn. I am one of those people that needs to work at being organised. Luckily there are many free tools that we can use that help tremendously in our quest to be organised.
To do lists
Online to do lists are a real lifesaver. In the past, I would right down things that I had to do in notepads, whiteboards, envelopes and other random places. I would spend time rewriting my lists every day. That is time waste. With an online to do list, you can record and manage all your tasks on one central place.
My to do list manager of choice is Remember the Milk. You can create as many lists as you like and each is accessible through the top navigation bar. So, for example, you could have separate lists for: general, projects, ideas, study and personal tasks.
Remember the Milk uses a tagging system, similar to del.icio.us. So, as well as having separate lists, you can tag each task. For me, that is useful for accessing all the tasks for a particular website that I am working on. Click on that tag will display all the tasks, irrelevant of the list that it is in.
Diaries have become a thing of the past with online calendars being easier to and faster to use. My personal favourite is the Google calendar, which integrates nicely with Remember the Milk. I keep all my appointments in the calendar, and block out time dedicated to certain areas of work, such as SEO, development and creating content. Once you have integrated Remember the Milk, tasks that are due on a certain date will appear in the Google calendar.
Using your browser’s favourites is an ok way to storing your favourite web pages. Using del.icio.us is a brilliant way. The single best thing about del.icio.us is the tagging system, which is now commonplace in other online tools. You can tag your favourite web pages under multiple names, and then bundle your tags into suitable categories, making it very easy to find relevant information at a later date.
Of course, del.icio.us is more then just a bookmark tool. It is a social book marking tool, making it very easy to share your favourite sites. You can add other del.icio.us members to your network and easily reference tags for them to view. You can also view anyone’s del.icio.us bookmarks and to find useful web sites/pages that they have tagged.
Add the del.icio.us plug-in to your Firefox or Internet Explorer, and you can tag web pages as you surf easily and quickly.
Why spend time navigating to the websites or blogs that you visit regularly when you can read all the updated content in one place? That is the beauty of RSS Readers. Add all your favourite blogs and websites to your reader of choice and you will cut your surfing time down significantly. I find the Google Reader the easiest to use.
Do you ever open your email client, see 150 new emails, and then close it in horror? Well, most of that email is stuff that can be sorted into folders and read at a later date. Most email clients have filtering tools where you can move email to relevant folders when it arrives in the inbox. I do this for any regular newsletters that I receive and announcements from affiliate networks. That in itself cuts my inbox down by half and gives me more time to focus on the important emails.
Google Personal Homepage
The Google Personal Homepage, now called iGoogle, makes it very easy to keep all of your tools in one place. You can integrate Remember the Milk, Del.icio.us, email (such as Google mail) and your Google calendar into your personal homepage.
You can then add a vast number of "widgets" from other providers. Many of these widgets are simply RSS feeds, so you can use your Google personal homepage as a RSS reader as well.