This is the last in a three-part series on how to automate your day so that you have more time for the important things, stay at the top of your game, and remain relevant and marketable in your field. Check out our first post for helpful smartphone and social media hacks to leverage in the morning and our second post for helpful e-mail, research, project management, buying, and delegation hacks to use in the afternoon.
At the end of a busy day at work, you’ve probably accumulated more paperwork than is useful to anyone. How about automating your note-taking and document storage via a tool like Evernote? Evernote not only allows you to save your ideas, things you hear, and things you see throughout the day, but you can also scan the day’s papers directly to an Evernote virtual notebook. If you’ve ever had the experience of losing out on valuable content because it was taken off a website before you could copy it, Evernote can help with that. Get rid of those Firefox bookmarks and import all of your important web pages into Evernote as clipped notes. Two major advantages of Evernote: it works with every kind of mobile device and computer, and it allows you to encrypt confidential data.
As for all of those business cards you’ve collected, consider downloading an app like ScanBizCards that allows you to automatically input card data right into your online contact database so you don’t have to worry about losing or storing the physical cards.
The last thing I want to do when I am unwinding in front of the TV at night is worry about my finances. Using a tool like Mint, you can set your bills to pay themselves and set up and automatically follow a budget. Mint also makes it easy to keep track of where your money is going so you don’t have to sort through reams of bank and credit card statements. One caveat, though: don’t automate your finances so much that you don’t keep track of how much money you actually have and whether it’s enough to pay your expenses.
How many times have you had your hard drive crash? Well, I can tell you that once is too many. At the same time, you don’t want to spend your evenings thinking about backup. Fortunately, you can automate regular backups of your devices to an external hard drive using software such as Acronis and to the Internet using a service like CrashPlan.