When you have a busy life time management is not just a skill it is an art form! I keep a flexible schedule, try to make my deadlines as far in advance as possible and learned quickly how to juggle things around. I use every single moment to my advantage. I have equipped myself with tools to help that, taking full advantage of anything I can get my hands on to make life easier. I have a list of programs that keep my world straight. I cannot live without them so I am going to share what they are, why I love it and where you can find it!
Evernote This is a program for keeping notes on the go. It can be downloaded onto your phone (I have a Blackberry) and then is also loaded onto your computer. There is the free version of this as well as the paid version. Anything you put in one device automatically syncs with the other. I have this on two computers and two Blackberries and they all stay synced together, giving me access to my thoughts anytime I want.
Natural Reader I recently purchased this as a solution to a challenge. My grandmother is going blind but really wants to read my books. I purchased Natural Reader for its MP3 components and I was able to translate my test to voice and then load them onto audio CD’s for her to listen to. For months I kept getting the comment that I really need to read my pieces aloud. I always thought, I do, I read it aloud in my head. No, that is not what they meant. I now use Natural Voice to listen to my articles before I publish them. It gives me a great sense of flow and punctuation needs. I am amazed the difference. So if anyone is telling you, you need to read it aloud, try this, it works!
Okay Amy, fine but how does this save you time? Well I am glad you asked. As I stated earlier I created audio files for my grandmother. I also created them for myself for my newer projects. I will load my most current onto my MP3 player and listen to it in the car on the way to work. Again, I am listening for tempo, description and punctuation needs. You can also use it for eBooks that you want to flip into a audio file for the same purpose of listening to them on your way to work, at lunch, at the gym, basketball practice, etc. Cool huh?
Efficient Ladies Organizer There are tons of free digital organizers out there, trust me I know and this is the one I love. There is a very specific reason I love it too, it has a section just for passwords. I have so many passwords I could scream but this has kept them all organized unlike anything else I have tried. It also has a calendar, contact list, task list, event list etc. There is the free version (which I have) and a paid version. Free works good enough for me.
yWriter5 I can already hear the groans of—not another writing program. I again have tried them all and this works for me. Now I am going to tell you why. First, it’s FREE. Second, it’s easy, and third it has enough that I need and not so much that it is annoying. I use this for current and future projects. Right now, for instance I am using it to rip apart a written file into scenes so that I can rearrange them and put them back together. So how does this save me time? Well it is a great filing system for scenes, instead of scrolling up and trying to remember where something was or if the two will fit. Less confusing means, for me less time wasted.
Writers Project Organizer this is a small program I recently purchased to track all of my projects in one spot. While I have the yWriter that is really used for my novels, I also need a place to track any serials, blogging and or profits made off of them. It is also has areas for submissions, agent contact info, publishing submission guidelines etc. Organized means less time wasted searching for information. Clean quick and easy.
Letter Me Later this is a lifesaver and absolutely FREE. It is an online program that allows you to create emails and then schedule them to send at a later date. So you are thinking…so what. Well, here’s what, we all have to promote and promoting takes time. So you can take a hour or so a day and send out your promos, or you can take three hours or so a month and create them all at once and schedule them to send to whomever you want as often as you want, as many times as you want. If you are promoting to groups this is truly a godsend. Use it and maybe you can catch your favorite Prime Time show once in a while.
Wisdom Soft Screen Hunter 5 – Free, easy image capture software. I need an image or I just a piece of an image. Here is what I do, I hit F6 on my keyboard, use a rectangle to isolate what I want. I hit enter and Kazzzam! The image is saved as a jpeg to my desktop. Uh huh, that’s right I went there.
Google Docs – I have found this extremely useful in that I can share docs at anytime with anyone, especially when you are working on something with someone but not at the same time. I can do my part, save it to Gdocs and then my partner can pick it up from there. This avoids, email and phone tag and saves time! What’s even better is that if she has a question about something in the document, we can both be in it at the same time looking at the some thing simultaneously. It is also an awesome place to back up your documents.