7 Technology Tools to Simplify Your Life
When it comes to managing your time, you have a few choices: you can do it yourself, systemize it, automate it, or delegate it. I’m a big proponent of simplifying and minimizing whenever and wherever possible. I even wrote an entire guidebook all about the process of simplifying (Simplify & Thrive). It means THAT much to me.
In this digital age we live in, our minds are constantly stimulated with texts, emails, and social media. We can open an app on our phone to check one thing and the next thing you know 30 minutes have passed. Ooof, where has the time gone?
While technology is undoubtedly one of the biggest distractions of our day-to-day lives, it is also a powerful tool. If used wisely, technology can help us streamline our workflows and automate routines, allowing us more time to do what brings us true joy. By automating the small, repetitive things in your daily life you not only save time but reduce overwhelm and boost your productivity.
Here are my current favorite technology tools that are making my life a helluva lot easier:
1. Grammarly - Free / Premium Upgrade
Grammarly is like having a proofreader and spell check for eeeverything. This app is also available as a browser extension and proofs across multiple platforms, flagging any potential issues in the text. It also suggests context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling, wordiness, style, punctuation, and potential plagiarism detection while checking your documents against more than 250 grammar rules.
2. Canned responses on Gmail - Free
Email templates are a time-saver! Remember, anything that’s done more than once can be documented and saved for future use. Find yourself sending out the same email reply over and over again? Create a canned response in your Gmail account, so you’ll be ready with thoughtful, pre-written responses that you can send quickly, no matter where you are. Here’s how to enabled canned responses.
3. Boomerang on Gmail - Free / Premium Upgrade
Studies show that checking email only a few times a day reduces stress and boosts productivity. So, I downloaded Boomerang (a Google Chrome extension) which lets you 'pause' your inbox, stopping new mail from coming through until you’re ready for it. Boomerang also allows you to schedule emails to send later, set follow up reminders, and send reminders for emails you haven’t heard back on. Out of sight, out of mind, but Boomerang won’t let you drop the ball.
4. Adero - $119 (Currently available on Android & launches 12/18 for iOS)
Adero is an intelligent organizational system that helps you keep track of your everyday belongings. I'm so glad Adero exists, because ALL humans misplace their belongings, especially when you're rushing out the door. For me, I typically pack my bag to work from a cafe downtown and then hit up a yoga or spin class later in the afternoon. Adero helps me remember to bring all my work day essentials to take me from the desk to the mat without thinking twice. Check out their site to see how it works!
5. Autofill for Chrome (Google Chrome Extension) - Free
I use Autofill for Chrome to fill in forms with all sorts of saved info like my credit cards and address. When you input info into a new form Autofill will prompt you with the option to save it for future use. You can also add, edit and delete saved info and also sync it to other devices. If you’re totally over trying to remember a bunch of log-in credentials for all your platforms and accounts, make sure you check out Chrome’s Password Manager too. It saves all your different account deets and auto-fills your logins.
6. Hazel - $32
This tool helps manage and streamline that thing we all know we should do… organizing our files (#cringe). I know how important file and folder management is, but it’s always been such a time-consuming and repetitive process. Hazel enables you to automate all kinds of file-related to-do’s, like copying and moving, renaming them, or importing them into apps like iTunes and iPhoto. You simply set up your specific parameters, and Hazel runs in the background automatically organizing your files according to any rules you create.
7. Calendly - Free/Premium Upgrade
If you’re booking appointments say sayonara to all the admin time and back n’ forth that goes with it. Calendly syncs to your Google calendar and allows clients, customers, and contacts to book directly into your predesignated available time slots. Not only does it send them a booking confirmation and Google calendar invite, but you can also have automated reminder emails go out ahead of appointment times.
So, what’s eating away at your time? Between checking your phone every 5 minutes and making yourself available to answer every email or text promptly, have you have fallen into a pit of nonstop instant communication and unrealistic expectations? Do a mental inventory of what could be streamlined, and then experiment using technology that makes your life easier, not harder.
Hopefully, the apps, tech tools and automations above help you say goodbye to unnecessary tasks and distractions and spark a few, “I don’t know how I lived without this!” moments.
Got any fav apps, hacks and time-savers? Drop ‘em in the comments below!