As regular readers will be aware, I started a new job recently. Same company, whole new job. So I’ve been spending some time closing out old tasks, removing old contact lists, archiving old documentation. I keep a copy of everything in case someone has a question in the future but I don’t need it weighing me down or clogging up my machine.
While going through this process I have been reviewing the toolset I use for working.
Obviously there are the usual items as provided by your company – laptop, MS Office, Sharepoint etc. Setting up my calendar for example has been interesting as my work now falls in to actual categories or groupings – areas and streams of work. So I’ve been colour coding meetings and tasks in my calendar to reflect that. I quite like it. I’d never bothered to do so before but not only is it more visually interesting, it’s actually quite useful.
So then, what other tools could I or should I be using to make myself more effective?
I have both an iPad and an iPhone. I sync my mail and calendars with both as well as contacts. All regular stuff really but the mail is particularly useful if you are out without your laptop or more importantly you can go without your laptop and still be able to respond if necessary.
However, I’ve never really been one for taking notes on the iPad. I don’t type very effectively on it, my ‘finger writing’ is appalling. So how useful is it for meetings for example? My friend B, that I am now working with, is getting a stylus for her so she can write notes just like she does in a notepad. I’m interested to see how this goes, but as my handwriting is nowhere near as neat as hers I am not sure if this would work for me – though I do like the idea of syncing it directly to Evernote or somewhere like that.
The other dilemma of course is the use of notepads. I love a good notepad. I have quite the collection of them – in fact I buy them faster than I can use them. The trouble is they are so pretty I don’t necessarily want to use them for work. Plus which size? I have A4 size ones and A5. A4 is better for lots of notes, A5 is more portable. Then there are portfolios. I have a nice Filofax folder that an A4 fits into and a nice black leather one. I also have A5 filofax diaries (do you think I might have stationery issues?).
So my question to you, dear reader from this rather rambly post, is what are you go-to tools for the work place? What can’t you live without?