While advancements in technology make it easier to reach one another, the wealth of contact information can make it harder to manage relationships and tasks if not used effectively. With so many OPTIONS out there between office, home and mobile phones, pagers, e-mail and regular mail, navigating and managing all the information for each contact can be quite unruly. An effective solution to navigating and managing this information is with TECHNOLOGY.
YOU DON'T NEED THE PAPER
Start by putting away the sticky notes and thinking PAPERLESS. Implementing a paperless system for managing contacts, tasks and time is effective on so many levels. The key is capturing contact information, to-dos and task lists and keeping them in a system that allows you to instantly access it when you need it.
GET WITH THE TIMES
Products such as ACT! by Sage Software, which can be purchased, or Microsoft Outlook, which comes free with many computer systems, are useful tools to manage your contacts, appointments and to-do lists. The following are ways you can use innovative technology products as a LINK to help you be more productive and manage your contacts and assignments.
L = LOOK UP
Look up and manage contacts. Rather than using a Rolodex or paper systems, implementing software products to manage contacts enables you to REMEMBER important follow-ups and gives you instant access to detailed information about every contact in your database. For example, if you need to follow up with a potential business prospect in three months or register for a conference or networking meeting, the program will remind you to do so at the appropriate time.
I = INPUT
Input a DETAILED contact and task record for each person. Keep track of more than just names and contact numbers by linking your entire relationship history –- meetings, calls, to-do items, and e-mails –- in the program. Storing all of the information in one place, rather than in scattered notes and files, will also save you precious time and space.
N = NAVIGATE
Navigate information with an electronic organizer, such as a Palm Pilot. Electronic organizers are the ideal solution for staying on top of things, especially if you frequently work away from your office. They function as your ROADMAP to organization so you can consolidate those scattered reminder notes into an electronic organization atlas. You can store a wide array of information including: directions, a schedule of errands, Online information, important codes, reminders, and locations of items.
K = KEEP UPDATED
Keep information updated AUTOMATICALLY daily. If you use Outlook for your e-mail, calendar and contact information, be sure to use a handheld Personal Digital Assistant device that will download and update that information daily.
TECHNOLOGY AS AN INVESTMENT
Use technology tools WISELY so that they actually save time and help you stay in balance. It is not a good time investment, if you spend time fixing errors, learning unneeded skills or playing games.
Kristin White del Rosso, President of Pea Organizing Services, Inc. is Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®) from the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. For more information, call 704-344-0210 or visit www.thepea.com.
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