If you need to track your time, there are plenty of apps that can help you. Many of them are designed for freelancers who need to track billable time so they can invoice clients, but others track activity on your Mac, so you can know where your day has gone. Timing ($29, $49, or $79) combines both of these features, allowing you to easily start and stop projects, to know how much to bill, and also see which apps you use, and which websites you visit.
For many people, this latter feature is a novelty; you can see exactly how much time you spend on Facebook or Twitter, for example. But some professionals may bill time spent in a specific app or on a specific website for their clients. If this is the case, Timing can automatically add up all that time, so you don’t even need to tell the app when you’ve started working on a project and when you’ve finished.
About four years ago, I moved from France to the UK. Moving to another country is complex, and expensive; you need to cart a lot of stuff with you. Preparing for the move, I tried to slim down my possessions in many ways and examined the many items that filled my shelves. One thing stood out: I had about 10 linear feet of records for my business.
This pile of records were printouts of accounting documents, invoices and expense receipts, and printouts of tax forms. While this was only a drop in the bucket compared to all the stuff that would eventually fill a moving truck, it seemed like a good time to get rid of those documents and go paperless.
Going paperless is a good way to cut down on clutter, and it can help keep things more organized and more secure. As you can imagine, going from all or mostly paper to paperless can certainly appear as a daunting task–but with the right tools and know-how, it can be done! Are you ready to go paperless?
This post covers how you too can keep all your records in digital form, and outlines the advantages of going paperless and how to securely store and archive your documents.
Some years ago, I decided to go paperless. What this means is that I don’t keep paper records for anything other than those documents which cannot exist in digital form. I was living in France at the time, planning to move to the UK, and I had about ten linear feet of records from my business. I thought it would be a waste to have to move those documents.
I bought a Fujitsu ScanSnap, and a copy of the first edition of Joe Kissell’s Take Control of Your Paperless Office. Once I figured out the process – scan everything, make sure you tag files consistently, and make backups (and more backups) – it was easy. Now, I’m fully paperless. (Again, for those documents where I absolutely don’t need to keep originals). To be honest, this is the best productivity change I’ve made in my life, and Joe’s book guided me through the process.
Take Control Books has just released the third edition of Joe’s great book, with up-to-date information about hardware and software, more info about useful apps, and a more in-depth discussion of file naming.
Here’s part of the publisher’s blurb about the book:
Joe first guides you through choosing your tools, including scanners and OCR (optical character recognition) software, devices and services for storing scanned documents, and apps to categorize, locate, and view your documents. Once you have your gear in hand, Joe shows you how to convert paper into digitized files and gives you ideas for how to organize your workflow. He explains how to develop an efficient approach that reduces the amount of time you spend pressing buttons, launching apps, and otherwise managing your war on clutter.
If you’ve already embarked on a campaign to reduce the amount of paper in your life, Take Control of Your Paperless Office has a chapter about reassessing your strategy to make sure you’re working as effectively as possible given recent changes in hardware, software, and services.
Plus, Joe discusses using iPhone apps to scan documents while you’re away from your office, creating a digitized image of your signature, and using an online fax service. He even covers switching to paperless billing and bank statements and relying on a paperless postal mail service.
TECHNOLOGY HAS GIVEN us one-tap access to taxis, laundromats, all of history’s collected information, and sex. Yet it can’t give us a decent to-do list.
Most of the myriad to-do list apps are fine. Some of them are very good. But none of them has ever solved my problem — your problem — of having too much to do, too little time to do it, and a brain incapable of remembering and prioritizing it all. Which explains why the old ways remain so popular.
I’ve tried a number of to-do apps and approaches over the years, but they never stick. Some are very well designed, but they end up requiring far too much management and interaction. I’ve gone back to using my email inbox and my calendar to manage my work tasks. I’d be tempted by a paper-based solution, but, even though I work at home, I sometimes want to see what I have to do next on my iPhone.
Now, you may read this and say that it’s my fault that I haven’t been able to adapt to a to-do app. And you may be right. But I think I’m not alone, as this article says. Any suggestions for a different way to do to-dos?
When you want to collaborate with someone on a document or project, Apple’s iCloud.com offers collaboration features that can make it easy to work with others. Whether you just want friends or colleagues to make comments on your documents, or whether you are creating documents with others, you can use Apple’s iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) and iCloud.com to streamline this process.
Here’s a look at how you can collaborate with iCloud.com, the features it offers, and what’s missing.