How to be efficient – my tools

Being efficient is crucial for your everyday life regardless if it’s about how you spent life with your family members or if you’re working on projects. Below I’m listing my favorite tools which help with efficient work. I truly believe in these products and I’m using all of them for at least two years. For a more detailed description on how I use these tools please check the getting things done method, however I suggest to read this article first, so you have a better understanding what tool is what for.

Notes (Evernote)
By far my favorite tool is Evernote. I have it on my mac / phone / table. You could log in in any browser. This application has the possibility to create and share notebooks and notes with #tags. You can even group notebooks. All notes on your devices will be synchronized, conflicting edits will be shown, although best to avoid any conflicts. It has a great user interface with many feature, and it could be used as part of business and share notes within a team take meeting notes. And of course it supports including photos, links, attachments, lists, basic formatting in your notes. Best moment: when I took a photo of a business card, it read the data on it and pasted in the note as text. It doesn?t always work, however a nice feature.

Create notebook stacks to organize your content even better. Ie. Stack: Travel, notebooks: Switzerland, Hungary, Cuba etc. Stack: Writings, notebooks: articles, poems, references
The first few users registering with this link will get 10 points, enough for 3 months Evernote premium.

Todo list (Wunderlist)
If you need a simple todo list application use Wunderlist. It synchronizes between your devices if you install the apps. It has a browser interface. You can create multiple lists with reminders, share lists etc.

Planner (Trello)
If you need a bit more than a todo list, use Trello. For yourself, for managing a small or bigger team. Phone app, browser interface, you have it.
Trello is working by creating boards. In each board you can create lists. For example a simple project management board would have: todo, in progress, testing, done lists. Of course you could name these exactly as you want. You can create multiple boards with different lists. I have quite different lists for my daily life board or for my novel writing board.
Each list item in your lists can have a description, deadline, colored labels, attachment sand other users (or yourself) can comment on the items. You can use plugins called powerups with your trello tables to provide extra functionaly.

Trello is a great way to use it for the getting things done (GTD) method.

Save pages: (Pocket aka ReadItLater)
Do you ever find an article on the web which is interesting and have no time to read? Just save it to your pocket, and you’ll be able to read the article later, even when you’re offline. Perfect for long flights. This application on your phone or computer let’s you save articles for later reading. It will also simplify the layout (aka reading mode in most browser), so you can focus on the content more. If you set it up, it will automatically sync saved articles and save them to your device, so you can read it any time. Read articles could be deleted or archived. Search & tags are supported.

Always double think if you really need an article later. More often then not the article will be outdated if you read it a few months later, in this case I recommend not to save the article however add an action item to your favorite planning tool. Otherwise you’ll end up with 1000+ unread, outdated articles and videos from the past. My pocket has 150 articles and I still think it’s way more than it should have.

Novel or paper writing (Scrivener)
For writers, by writes. If you want to take your novel writing or school papers seriously. Scrivener has some many features it is even hard to list, specially because I’m using probably a fragment of it. Your project structure looks like: folders and texts, however you can create as many folders and sub folders as you want and choose the most efficient way to organize your current project. By default there is a research folder where you can store any research information, photos, websites etc.

Let’s say I would like to write an article about mountain bikes. So I can create research items with different topics: bike frames, types of mountain bikes etc. I can add images, links to each of the texts, and completely keep my article and research material separated. There’s autobackup feature (your projects could be synced with dropbox), versioning, status (NA, first draft, second draft etc.), synopsis. Rendering to PDF or ebook formats. Word count, full screen (focus) mode. Thousands of settings for default or specific styling per each project. Cork board view.

Write daily. Set a reminder in your calendar or use a dedicated app to create your habits.

Written by András Kapros
Aspiring Coach / Mentor / Author. I would like to motivate you to change your life and be happier and more fulfilled. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help.