Time is one of our most precious resources. Yet we battle daily to make the best use of it. This presentation addresses how to get more done in less time with less stress by maximizing your productivity and setting priorities. Learn to pinpoint where you need to take control. Improve your comprehension and focus and more effectively perform when juggling people, paper, and priorities. Topics Include: self-assessment, tools of time management, how to say no, project lists and to-do lists, conquering procrastination, the myth of multi-tasking, and dealing with interruptions.

Bring order to your chaotic life with five fantastic organizational tools

By Guest Blogger, Jane Johnson

Picking up a few sophisticated scheduling apps is a must if you want to use your phone to become more productive in your day. Whether you are looking for a daily organizer, a task manager, or period tracker, the following five apps provide user-friendly scheduling functionality.

Download the following 5 calendar apps to put your life in order…

1. Remember the Milk (Free – for iPhone)

Dubbed the “Swiss Army knife of to-do list management” by Lifehacker.com, Remember the Milk is an app that enables users to take their to-do lists with them… anywhere they happen to be! This app will synch with your Outlook, iCal, Gmail, Google Calendar, etc.  Complete tasks on the go as you search tasks and organize them by priority, due date, time estimate, lists, tags, and more. You can also coordinate tasks by location by viewing tasks near one another, and then planning a task route according to the most efficient way to get everything done.

2. Dropbox (Free – for Android)

It was just the other day that I realized that I couldn’t possibly live without Dropbox! This app allows me to save all of my photos, word documents, and videos from my smart phone—which then automatically backs them up on all of my computers and mobile devices (as well as the Dropbox website). Talk about safe keeping! Thanks to the Dropbox app, I’m able to take everything that matters to my life and my job on the go, and have instant access to it wherever I go.

3. Evernote (Free – for iPhone)

I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles, and thank goodness for the Evernote app. This app helped me seamlessly plan my very short 3 day trip, kept track of all my travel plans (including my flight e-tickets and passport), helped me organize and save my receipts so I could redeem them with my employer, and plan a daily itinerary that I could use to check off tasks as I completed them.  Thanks to Evernote I was able to organized, take notes and photos, and record voice reminders while I was at work and play during my trip.

4. Toodledo Pro ($1.99 – for BlackBerry)

Toodledo Pro is an app that simply improves productivity. This app allows users to organize tasks according to folders, tags, contexts, subtasks, and more—then search and sort through these same tasks using your preferred search method. And the great thing is that you can take Toodledo with you anywhere—via your mobile phone, on your laptop calendar, or integrated directly into your web browser. Plus, Toodledo makes collaboration effortless. It’s never been easier to work with a remote group of people on shared projects with collaboration tools that let you share documents, images, and project details, import existing tasks to delegate responsibilities among individuals, and import tasks from various sources into one central task management tool.

5. Dragon Dictation (Free – for iPhone)

The Dragon Dictation app allows users to speak and instantly record their thoughts, reminders, or notes to themselves via text or email. It’s a great tool for when you need to work hands-free (since dictation is 5-times faster than typing on a keyboard) and a lot safer if you’re operating a vehicle.  You can use this app for work or fun! For instance, easily dictate status updates directly to your Social Networking applications such as Facebook or Twitter. Dragon Dictation is available in various languages—including English, Spanish, German, etc.

Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on mobile service providers  and popular devices like the Android powered Samsung phones.

To-do lists. Just the name of them sounds exhausting. They have become the thorn in many of my client’s side. Whether they are written in long form on paper, or maintained electronically on a computer or handheld device, they cause much stress.

And here’s one reason why. Most people unknowingly combine their master to-do list and daily to-do list together. This one act causes the list to become lengthy and overwhelming, which in turn almost guarantees failure. The person with this massive all-in-one to-do list will either abort the list altogether, or try desperately to get tasks done, all the while feeling inadequate and like a failure due to his or her inability to accomplish the items on the list.

What to do (yes, pun intended!)? Keep ‘em separated!

Create a master to-do list and a separate daily to-do list.  The master list includes tasks you plan to and want to get to, but cannot accomplish in one day, similar to a project list.  Your daily list is only made up of the tasks you intend to, and can realistically accomplish, in one day, which is usually only about 3-5 items.  The daily list puts your master list into action on a daily basis. That way, you get the satisfaction of actually crossing off your daily to-do’s, but have a more comprehensive list so you don’t forget tasks you need to tend to at some point later on.

Here’s an example. You need to do a home renovation project like paint your basement. Your master to-do list reads: paint basement. But the daily to-do list will break down that master item into several separate entries over a longer period of time.

  • Monday: choose paint color
  • Tuesday: call 3 painters for estimates (this is called delegating, but let’s save that for a future blog post!)
  • Wednesday: clear furniture from area to be painted
  • Thursday: buy paint.

Get the picture? The master to-do list names the project and the daily to-do list breaks out the action steps in a manageable, reasonable and realistic manner in order to accompish that project. That way, the items actually get done. And isn’t that what a to-do list is supposed to be for anyway?