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Personal Productivity

Personal Productivity
Technology with Integrity

By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.


Making the most of your time gives you the competitive edge to be more productive.  Recent developments in computer technology give you new opportunities to make the most of your time and resources.  By spending a little time on improving your skills, you can get the right things done, be more relaxed and organized, and be better informed.

Outlook Tools
If you are not using outlook, consider it. In addition to Email, Outlook has a Calendar, Task management, Contact manager, and Journal – a tool for tracking your communications and activities.  What most people don’t know is that there are add-ins to outlook that allow you to use leading time and task management methods.

Steven Covey, famous for the “7 Habits” series of books, has written software that integrates with outlook. It allows you to list and prioritize your values, and to set goals. It then has a mechanism for translating the goals to specific activities which go on to your calendar. The software will also sync with palm or pocket PC devices, allowing you to have your planner with you at all times. www.franklincovey.com

David Allen, famous for his “Getting Things Done” methodology, also has software that integrates with outlook. The essence of his approach is to provide a way to clear your mind by keeping everything you need to know about your schedule, tasks, and other information in a system you can trust. He also has a method for taking every project or problem and organizing it into a “next action”. This allows you to focus on your highest priority activity with peace of mind. The add-in for Outlook provides some additional tools which make it easy to use this method for organizing emails, prioritizing and categorizing tasks, and managing projects. www.davidco.com

Working from anywhere
The goal for managing existing information is to have immediate access to what you need when you need it.It is now very easy to set your office network and computer up to be able to access your desktop from home or from a laptop connected to the internet. You can use a VPN, or remote Desktop session, or access your desktop from anywhere you can get on the internet with a web browser.  If you are not doing this already, talk to your computer consultant. Most newer network servers have this capability built in.

The latest generation of cell phones allows you to receive email via your phone. Cell Phone / PDA combinations allow you all the capabilities of a PDA, with the ability to stay up to date with your office calendar, email, tasks etc. It also provides internet access, which can be combined with an intranet to allow you to access key information stored on your office network, such as client history, word and excel documents, etc.

Staying informed
The goal for managing new information is to get only relevant news, and to have it come to you rather than having to search it out. There are many tools that will push information to your computer – email lists, RSS feeds, and web portals all help you filter information. Google news allows you to customize searches of the news to get just what you want.

Stay informed about available tools, and pick and choose the things that fit your personal work style. By leveraging appropriate technology, your personal productivity multiplies.

Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networks for the past 18 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE, and Novell CNE.  He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, and custom software development. They can be reached at (559) 733-1940 or on the web at www.toriangroup.com


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