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English FORUM => Technology and Internet => : admin August 10, 2010, 07:10:28 PM

: 10 ways to increase Productivity with technology
: admin August 10, 2010, 07:10:28 PM
This is a text that I wrote just before our website crashed. I should have listened to myself and made a backup! Unfortunately, our new server DID NOT have the backup function installed and we lost a lot of work.



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10 ways to increase your Productivity using Technology.

Here are 10 simple ways to use technology for free (or at low cost) in order to increase your productivity. Increasing your productivity will mean more sales, more profits or more free time for you. This is not something I read somewhere else. These are personal comments that I know work, and that I use every day. I share these simple tricks because they can be useful to ANY business, in Thailand or not.

1) Centralize your e-mails, use a good email provider like Gmail.

You should centralize your emails and have a good email provider like Gmail. Gmail is easy to navigate, and provides a large space FOR FREE.

The search functions are excellent, you can access it from any computer, phone or tablet. Data storage is CAPITAL for any business. It means phone numbers, client lists, emails, contracts, bills, budgets, etc. It should be accessible quickly and easily. Gmail can do all this.

Also, if you receive too many emails, you can manage them at intervals daily (for example - 3 times a day. So you won’t be always interrupted by receiving emails on your mailbox or phone.).

2) Use a smart phone

The cost of a smart phone is probably around 1,000 baht per month. Some people think they don\'t need one, or think it\'s too expensive. Well, if you are in business, you probably need one.

Remember that your phone could be used as a GPS, a computer, a camera, an agenda and much more. You might save money there.

Also, you don’t necessarily need an Iphone or Blackberry. There are other cheaper alternatives. ( but I have to say Blackberry is very good for emails.) A Smartphone is not eternal. Think that it might last 2 or 3 years.

The down side of Smartphones is that you might feel like you are working 24 hours per day.

(You can\'t believe all the work I can do with a smart phone... like answering emails instantly, from anywhere. Like synchronizing phone numbers with contact lists. Even modifying a website from anywhere in the world.)

3) Use technology available to lower your costs and get better results. That is often just a good software or website. Most of them are available for free.

I give you three examples: “Skype”, “Gotomeeting.com” and “Google talk”

a) Skype. You can now have video conferences or conversation for very low prices or free, anywhere around the world. ( Not only can you save money, but it can be a marketing tool to talk to new customers.)

b) Gotomeeting.com is a website where 2 users, from anywhere on the internet, can see the screen of the other or even move the mouse of the other computer. ( A very effective way to show Powerpoint presentations, how to work on software, or other stuff.)

c) Google talk is an instant messenger application of Google. We have been using it in our office for many years now, to talk in between us (the staff). (Google talk can be installed on computers, phones, etc.)

I’ll give you 2 examples of the daily use of Google talk, for us.

i) In our office, I can be on 3rd floor and my assistant sends me a message from the first floor. No need for an intercom. She can ask me a question, tell me that a client arrived, etc. I can do the same: bring me that, do you know if X called? Etc.

ii) I can be on the road, and I have a direct and instant message on my phone. Free of charge. I can answer immediately and the work is DONE. We use it also with some clients.

4) Use a calendar application or other software to remember things.

I use Google calendar to setup appointments and all tasks. Google calendar will send you a message whenever you want, before a meeting for example, to remind you something. You can synchronize it with your phone or other software. (Fantastic and free.)

5) Use shorts-cuts on your computer.

You will save a LOT of time if you learn some easy short-cuts. Why do you have to go to COPY and PASTE when you could do CTRL-C (Copy) and CTRL-V (Paste)

Simple stuff like CTRL-N means NEW PROJECT (new window)

Short cuts can be different on a Mac, Windows, etc. Gmail also has different shortcuts. Check them on Youtube. You have videos for all subjects now.

6) Use social media for your business.

Facebook, Twitter, Delicious and others are free. As you know, some of them are very popular. Why don’t you use them? If people don’t want to read you, they will block you.

Social medias, if well used, can also save you time or show you what you want to follow, read, see quickly.

7) Use E-commerce to promote your products or use internet banking

It’s not expensive to make a website. If you don’t have time, use someone and pay him/her. A website is an investment to the future. Even if your sales increase just by 1 or 5%, it could be the difference between a bad and good business for you.
A website is much MORE than just selling your products. It’s also advertising for you or your business card. Use systems like PAYPAL to get clients paying you. It’s efficient and quick. You can sell not only in 1 country but all over the world your products. That’s the power of Internet. It is free to setup a Paypal account and easy to connect with your website.

8) Use dual screens if you work a lot on a computer.

If you work more than 2 hours per day on a computer, stop working with only 1 monitor. You will see that working with 2 monitors will save you time and time means money. I save probably 20% of my time using 2 monitors connected to one computer.

How does it work? If you have a PC, you will need a video card with 2 video outputs. That cost about 2,000 baht (to my knowledge). And you just buy another monitor, which are cheap now. A good one with good size might be about 4,000 baht. So, for 6,000 baht, I save 20% of my time EACH MONTH. Instead of doing some work that would take me 3 hours, I do it in about 2 hours and 30 minutes. I save time by not opening, closing windows, by using shortcuts on many applications already opened. If you have a M ac, I believe Mac has 2 video ports already built it. Not sure...

If you buy a monitor these days, ask to have HD, HDMI or VTI port. HD will become the standard soon.

9) Synchronize your applications, software and hardware.

You should synchronize your calendar, emails and other applications together. This is when it becomes REALLY useful. Google is full of other applications like Google ANALYTICS to show you how your website is doing. I use Google Adsense, Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, etc. Even Youtube is Google. (All of them are free, except Google Adwords which is advertising your products with Google.)

And how much do our websites cost us? Nothing. We make more money than the actual cost. Yes, it\'s time consuming, but it\'s also good marketing at a low cost. If you want to compete, you should lower your cost and maximize visibility.

Synchronizing means also your emails or contacts to your phone. People working with your should be easily in touch, same as clients. You can also synchronize many accounts together, like many Google calendar. With that function, you can supervise the schedule or timetable of your employees as example.

If data storage is very important for you, make backups. Use simple hardware, not expensive, that can do the work and can also be used for many years. That is not synchronizing but just a clever use of data. You don\'t want to lose everything!

10) Keep some time off for yourself.

You need it. Technology can’t solve all problems! That last topic without any real content is my time off!