Speed Things Up: Five Cheap Productivity Tools

In the office environment, the cliche term “Time is money” is dead on. With a few small steps integrated into day-to-day operations, you can increase your efficiency and most importantly decrease your stress level.

Old School: Pen and Paper

I love the new high tech gadget just as much as the next person, but at the end of the day, pen and paper reigns. For a quick note or thought on the fly, a notepad is the perfect thing to have lying around. That little pad of paper will never run out of battery or break like your PDA or phone. Just worry about it going through the wash.

Get It In Order: Personal Organizer

“There was something I had to do today.” How many times have we said that and not bothered to change our habits? While this is a very basic idea, some people still don’t understand day planning. Write your agenda down to see what you have going on that day. Usually you will see you have much more time on your hands than you thought. A personal organizer can be a small pocket calendar or notepad where you can jot notes and your agenda. If you know your cell phone well enough, most of them can keep a calendar and have some sort of notepad. This simple step can do amazing things to get your day in order.

Your Office, From Anywhere: Google Docs

Instead of emailing a document several times to someone that goes through changes and edits, try taking a look at Google Docs. By uploading documents to Google Docs, the document can be edited and saved all online where you can get it from anywhere. Instead of a chain of emails and countless attachments back and forth to arrive at a final draft, there is one copy kept online. Google Docs also works with spreadsheets and presentations.

Speedy Recovery: Google Desktop

We all have been in the situation where we are looking for a document that has been misplaced somewhere. Instead of searching and filing through all of your documents, Google Desktop can retrieve what you are searching for. This works for just about any document you have on your computer. Google Desktop can also be used to launch your programs with a few keystrokes, or quickly search through all your emails.

Clean and Clear: Desktop Zen

Take a look at your desk where you work. Are you able to remember where everything is? Or are there just stacks of paper with a general organization. Take the time to clear off your desktop of papers, sticky notes, pens, or any other unnecessary items. It will be much more relaxing without any of those distractions around. Not to mention while doing this, you can reorganize your papers and figure out what you don’t need. Another good tip for keeping your desk tidy is cutting down on the paper you print or use. Instead of faxes, switch to just email. By eliminating clutter and distraction, you can work more efficiently and much more relaxed.