Does it seem like every day, you are working to keep track of more and more emails, appointments, and files with no end in sight? We feel your pain! In order to keep your business running effectively, you must be able to manage the information overload and prioritize meetings, emails, and files in an efficient manner. Here are some tips and tools to keep your computer organized so that you can spend less time organizing your life and more time running your business!
Email is a powerful tool that, if used incorrectly, can be a huge waste of time. Email enables you to correspond with people across the world, send pictures and files to anyone, and communicate almost instantly. But for many of us, the volume of email and spam messages can be overwhelming.
One of the most potent free tools for managing both your business and personal emails is Gmail. Google’s mail service, Gmail has features that make your inbox easier to manage than Outlook!
Gmail can be configured to collect emails from multiple email addresses and integrated into ThriveHive’s marketing platform. Change your name when you got married? Changed your business name and email? That’s no problem! With Gmail you can have all correspondence forwarded to your Gmail account.
Gmail organizes emails into tabs that filter your inbox by priority. Primary will be emails between clients and coworkers, social will be emails from Facebook and LinkedIn, and Promotions will be emails that you’ve subscribed to, like ThriveHive blog posts.
Gmail offers all sorts of neat tools to keep your emails sorted – multiple inboxes, labels, and starring. Gmail is even smart enough to analyze your incoming emails and rank them by importance, based on keywords and which emails you are most likely to open and reply to. On top of that, it has one of the most effective spam filters out there.
Related: How to use Google Alerts
While we’re ridding ourselves of the plague of Outlook, you should also look into Google’s Calendar system. Google Calendars lets you set up recurring events, create guest lists, and set up custom alerts through email, browser pop ups, and text messages. Google Calendar events can be color coded so you can easily differentiate between business and personal events.
Related: 2015 Marketing Calendar
Google Calendars are able to be shared as well! Manage employee schedules through Google Calendars by adding individual Google Calendars to your own. Keep track of events by integrating your business partner, spouse, or children’s Google Calendars into yours. Marketing tools like Eventbrite are easily integrated into Google Calendar with the click of a button!
Of course, like Gmail, Google Calendar works on all Android and Apple phones and tablets.
These days, work follows you home from the office, and it helps if you have all the files you need. If you’re already integrated with Gmail, Google Drive is a no brainer! Google Drive can help organize and manage your business and your life by enabling you to save documents and files to the Google cloud associated with your email address. Google Drive is included with your Gmail and Google gives you enough space that it’s unlikely you’ll run out.
In Google Drive you can create and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms. Google Drive allows you to upload existing documents for sharing and collaborative editing with others.
Another excellent cloud file service solutions is Dropbox. Dropbox works just like a folder on your computer. Any file copied or saved into your Dropbox folders will automatically appear on any other computers and devices with your copy of Dropbox installed. Better yet, you can set certain shared folders to only appear on certain machines, allowing you to keep more private files or work documents away from your personal devices.
You can also share files easily with other Dropbox users or, if you put the file in the Public folder, share them with anyone, even people who don’t have Dropbox. Simply copy the file into the Public folder, right click, then ‘Copy public link’ and send it to whomever. Now your files can go with you anywhere and be seamlessly shared with others.
Have you ever needed a file, but been unable to find it on your cluttered desktop? Fences will save you from a lot of frustration. Stardock’s nifty little program let’s you ‘fence in’ sections of your desktop, label them, then corral your various icons into them. This way you can keep your files and folders separate from your programs and whatever else you may have on your desktop. You can even set up a fence that will automatically grab any new downloads or desktop icons. You’ll never again lose your stuff in the clutter. Fences is only available for Windows operating systems. It’s also the only tool on this list that isn’t free, but the saved frustration is well worth $9.99 cost of the program.
Give these programs a try and get your digital life under control. If you use the right tools, your email and computer will be as neat and tidy as a clean desk. Have you found any other awesome time savers? Let us know in the comments below.