Mike's NBC-TV stories

Get Organized in 2015: What You Need to be Productive

So much to do…so little time. We all wish we could be more productive, get things done and organize our life. That’s where technology can really help and I have some favorite tools to help you get it together.

But before I share with you my three favorite productivity programs and apps, let me tell you about Getting Things Done.

Getting Things Done – or GTD – as the productivity gurus refer to it – is a a time-management method, developed by productivity consultant David Allen. A whole cult has formed around Allen and his system. I admit to being one of his followers. Without getting too technical, it revolves around five basic steps: (1)Capture—collect what has your attention, (2) Clarify—process what it means, (3) Organize—put it where it belongs, (4) Reflect—review frequently, (5) Engage—simply do.

I juggle a lot of balls. Three websites. Three podcasts. Consulting work. TV and radio gigs. I’ve tried every possible system out there, starting with the old Pal Pilot and then the Franklin Planner and — for the past couple of years — GTD.

Here’s my Amazon affiliate link to Allen’s Book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

If you have a trouble staying on track and getting things done, I can’t recommend it enough.

Now, that said, I use his method on a number of software programs and apps. Here are the three I highlighted in my PC Mike report:

Everyone’s heard of Evernote but few know how powerful this free app and web service is for getting organized. Evernote works on all mobile and computer platforms and synchronizes with all your devices. You can grab webpages, save and categorize emails, and store documents, receipts and notes. I run my online life off this tool. It’s amazing. Whether I’m on my iPhone, iPad or laptop or desktop computer, I have access to everything I need on Evernote, which synchronizes automatically via Wi-Fi.

For Apple users who want the ultimate task management and planning platform , try OmniFocus2. It works with Mac computers and mobile devices. It is extremely powerful, allowing you to fine-tune a system to keep life and work in balance, stay on top of projects and goals, accomplish them faster. It’s very powerful. It costs $30 for computers, $20 for mobile devices.

Windows and Android users may want to try Toodledo. It place stores your notes, lists and outlines. You can collaborate with friends, family or co-workers, and it safely stores and sync all your data to your devices… both Apple and Android. It’s free for a basic account, more fuly featured ones start at $15 a year. Apps are $2.99

There’s one other piece of software I use, to, that really saves me time. It is called TextExpander. I write about it a few weeks ago. TextExpander is an amazing typing shortcut app I use for my Apple MacBook Pro laptop and my home desktop. It lets you quickly type “snippets” of text, whether a full letter or paragraphs or a signature. No more fat fingered typos. I love it for use while traveling because I can respond to email and write faster and more accurately, keeping data charges down while online via my mobile hotspot.

But here’s the deal, last week the company provided me several copies that I can give away. They went an hour after the email went out in which I offered them to those who subscribe to my PC Mike Newsletter. But I talked to the company this week and they are offering 20 percent off the $34.95 cost to Roadtreking listeners. Just use this link and you’ll get 20 percent off the normal $34.95 cost. Again, this is for Mac computers and for our blog readers only. Everyone else pays 20 percent more.  I must have 100 or more snippets that I’m using. Every time I type something that I know I will use again, I make it a snippet. Very handy.

Here’s my NBC-TV PC Mike segment on this topic:

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.