While technology is supposed to make our lives easier, at times it can feel like it’s made our work lives far more complicated (hello, email overload). But here are four techy tools that will truly help you manage your work life more smoothly. Take a look and see if there are some here you don’t know about!
1. Mailbox: Take more control over your email
“While we can't get away from email,” say the makers of the app Mailbox, “we can change how we interact with it. We can put email in its place.” The app – available for OSX, iPhone, iPad, and Android – lets you postpone email messages to deal with later. If you receive an email that you want to reply to at some point but can’t answer immediately, you can swipe to the left and schedule a time for the email to pop back up in your inbox – keeping your focus on the messages that are important now, while ensuring you don’t forget about the others. This functionality means that you can easily delay that email from your mom until tonight or have a message from your boss that you receive late on Friday pop up at the top of your inbox Monday morning.
2. Boomerang: Even more control over how you use email
Ever wished that you could write an email but schedule it to send at some later time? Or wish for a magical assistant to remind you when you’ve neglected to get back to someone or when you still haven’t heard back about a request you’ve sent? If so, you’ll love Boomerang, which is a Firefox/Chrome browser plugin for Gmail or Google Apps accounts. (There’s also a paid version for Outlook.)
Boomerang lets you schedule emails to send at a later date and time; schedule a time for an email to bump back up to the top of your inbox to remind you to follow up or take other action; and even set it to remind you when you send an email and don’t hear back.
3. Cut down on scheduling back-and-forth
If you spend too much time dealing with back and forth while trying to schedule meetings, consider using a self-scheduling program like Timestamp or Acuity. Both let you save time by having others book time with you from a Web interface that syncs with your calendar, shows what time you do and don’t have available, and gets it all confirmed for you. Acuity also includes features like limiting the number of appointments booked in a single day and automatically emailing reminders ahead of time.
4. Easily make quick screencasts
Have you ever tried to explain something to someone in another office and been frustrated that you couldn’t show them your computer screen? Enter Jing, another free tool for quickly making screencasts that you can then share with colleagues. You can record up to five minutes of all or part of your computer screen, and share the video when it’s complete. You can even add arrows or highlight parts of the screen. It’s super useful if you want to demonstrate how to use software or help troubleshoot a technical issue.
And of course, don't forget about QuickBase, our own cloud workspace to utilize existing, or create your own, custom business applications for solving all kinds of project, workflow and data management problems without writing code.