5 Cool Digital Tools for the New Year

With the new year, we’re all looking for ways to get more organized and improve our lives. Here’s a few digital tools that have helped Brett and I tremendously:

1. Remember the Milk (rememberthemilk.com) – This is a free, incredible tool for managing tasks and to-dos. It has tagging, date, location, time estimate, frequency, and notes. You can enter everything in quickly and easily with the keyboard commands or email your tasks to it. I use it for all of my to-dos (including GTD) and to clean out my email inbox. I also find its weekly planner function to be very useful. (Bonus: Nice iPhone interface)

2. Google Calendar (google.com/calendar) – I ditched Outlook this year and opted for Google’s free online calendar. I can have several different calendars for work planning and share with Brett without cluttering up his calendar. You can just check each calendar to show it or hide it. I have about 9 calendars I use. It’s easy to add events through the Internet, cell phones and text messaging. (Bonus: Nice iPhone interface)

3. Basecamp (basecamphq.com) – This is more of a business tool, and you do have to pay for it. But if you have to work closely with others on projects or have get a lot of approvals on text, this tool is worth its minimal cost. I use the whiteboard group editing function for the weekly newsletter that I publish as well as other text that needs approval by many people. The to-do list is also useful for communicating with others and following up on progress. It saves me hours every week!

4. Google Reader (google.com/reader) – Another free useful tool from Google… I just started using Reader, but Brett loves it and has been using it since it came out. Here’s how I use it: I come across a URL of a site that I am interested in, but I don’t have time to read it all right then, and I would like to come back to it later as a resource. Most sites have RSS feeds now, so I just grab the RSS link and add a subscription in Google Reader. Then I can see the headlines and a some of the stories of all the articles on each of those Web sites, all at the same time in Google Reader’s interface. I can group the Web sites into folders, mark the articles as read, see pictures, search all those sites for keywords. It enables me to review hundreds of Web sites in one easy location. (Bonus: Nice iPhone interface)

5. WordPress (wordpress.com) – Want to share your thoughts, observations, photos or resume on the Web? You can register for a free Web site with most of the same features you’ll find on this site (although we host our own site from WordPress.org). It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends.

Let us know how it works out for you. Happy new year!

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