What are the tools I use and how can they really make a difference? That’s the theme for February.

I am an Evernote Certified Expert and Evernote posed this question to that community of people:

What tools/apps do you use in conjunction with Evernote to enhance your productivity, organization, etc.? 

I believe in repurposing content, because I don’t care what you write. In this noisy world of ours, only a small fraction of people are going to hear you, no matter how the message. But when you’ve crafted the message, you’ve done the hard part. Instead of one-and-done, repeat that message to different audiences.

So here’s my response.

Remember The Milk for tasks and projects. These are the actionable things.

TaskClone. This service allows me to enter tasks in an Evernote note and have them appear in Remember The Milk. The task includes a link back to the note in Evernote. When it’s time to do the task, you’re instantly taken back to the note that holds all the good supporting information. TaskClone works with any of the major digital task managers, not just Remember The Milk. After a little over 10 years, TaskClone now becomes TaskClone 2.0. I worked with it in Beta, and it’s even better than the original. Watch this interview I had with Troy Christmas, founder of TaskClone.

Google Calendar for appointments and events (day/time specific). TaskClone also allows me to enter a date into an Evernote note and have it show up in Google Calendar. I love the ability to overlay multiple calendars and share individual calendars. Because my tasks are on Remember The Milk, I can keep my calendar clean and show only true appointments that are day and time-specific.

Google Contacts.  This free contacts manager integrates well with Gmail. When you get a new phone, you never have to worry about copying over contacts. If you have them in Google Contacts, when you log into your Google account on the new phone, add the Google Contacts app, and they are all there.

Gmail checks all of my email addresses, including my Gmail address, and funnels them into one place. I have several email addresses, but they all funnel into Gmail. The search capabilities are amazing, and every email has its own link. So I can copy and paste a link into Remember The Milk or Evernote, and when I click it, it takes me right to that email.

TextBlaze is my text expander. We often have the same sentences, paragraphs, and sometimes entire emails responses we use over and over. TextBlaze lets me hit a couple of keys and the text appears. (I am an affiliate for text blaze. If you want to try the pro version for a month you can do so at this link. After that, continue with a subscription or revert to the free version. Even the free one is great.

If This Then That is a service that lets other services work together. For example, if someone goes to the “Contact Us” tab on the website, the results go into a Google Sheet simply because what’s on the “Contact Us” page is a Google Form. But, here’s where If This Then That comes in: I have an “applet,” as it’s called in If This Then That, that says, “IF a line is added to [name of spreadsheet], THEN create a new note in Evernote.” The particulars I built into the applet tell If This Then That what information from the Google Sheet to put into that note, such as the person’s name, their phone number, their email address, and their message. It also inserts for me a set of questions I routinely ask when I contact that person. A second applet creates a new task in Remember The Milk, puts the person’s name in the task along with the phone number, gives the task a date of today, assigns it a priority of “high” and tags it “phone.”  

Feedly aggregates into one place the content I want to consume. Imagine having all the blogs you like to read, YouTube channels you like to view, and podcasts you want to consume all in one place.  That’s what Feedly does.

Calendly makes scheduling appointments easy. If your word involves scheduling meetings or phone calls, Calendly takes the headache out of back-and-forth messages trying to nail down times when you are both available.

Snipboard is a handy tool that lets you take any image and turn it into a link. You don’t have to worry about attaching an image. Just give the other person the URL. When they click it, they see your image.

Bitly is my link shortener of choice. I have added the Bitly Chrome Extension to my browser. That way, when I am on a site and want to create a shortened link, all I have to do is click the extension. Bitly even allows me to customize the back half of the URL into something memorable. 

Read Aloud is a free Chrome extension that reads my stuff to me (because I simply cannot prrofreeed what I type). My ears catch the errors my eyes would miss.

Library Extension is a huge time-saver when I am looking for a book. Think about you last time you were viewing a book on Amazon. Before you bought the book, you wanted to see if your local library had it. Library Extension automatically loads into the sidebar the availability of the book in your local libraries of choice. The extension also works within other websites such as Goodreads. But all you have to do is add the extension and one time indicate what libraries you want to be searched.

Start by clicking through each link to get a feel for each tool. Pick one and get started.

Life is too short and time too precious to waste one more day. If you are someone who stumbled upon this site for the first time, let me help you take a major step forward right now. When you join my email list, I’ll give you two free gifts. The first will get your desk clean. The second will put everything you have to do in one place. Plus, each week you’ll hear from me with nuts & bolts tools and strategies to make life easier and more productive. You’re one click away from making it happen