Posted under Business Related
, Free Resources
, Home Business
, Small Business
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Posted under Technology
, Time Management
These days, it seems no one leaves home without their cellphone. As work-at-home professionals, we have so much going on in our daily lives, that it’s easy to use our cell phones as our primary organizational tool. Unfortunately, many cellphones have features that never get used at all. We’re going to show you seven simple ways a cellphone can help you keep your work-at-home job more organized.
*Set unique ringtones for each major contact*
Know who’s calling without looking at the phone. For each major contact, such as clients, your spouse, child’s school or daycare, doctors, co-workers, etc. set a different ringtone. Whatever you choose to use is up to you; just make sure you can keep track of who’s who with the ringtones you set. You can grab free ringtones pay for real music ringtones or make your own. If you have an iPhone, sync iTunes with your contacts.
*Use your address book*
For contacts you use frequently but don’t receive calls from, such as the local pizza delivery company, the salon, and the pharmacy, keep them in the address book. This will save you time, because you won’t have to look them up in the phone book or remember their phone numbers. To keep things organized, you can create groups in the address book, too. You can even take the advice from our first tip one step further and customize a ringtone for each group, in case the pizza place has to call you back. Learn more on how to setup groups for BlackBerry, iPhone, LG Shine, and HTC Ringo Mobile software.
*Use your calendar to keep track of appointments*
Take time to place appointments in your cellphone or web-hosed calendar like Google Calendar. This way, you can glance at the calendar each day to get an idea of what needs to be done and when. Your phone will send you a reminder about the appointment at a time you choose, usually all the way up to 15 minutes before the appointment. This is especially helpful for work-at-home parents who have multiple appointments and people to account for. Set your reminders with enough time to get to each appointment though, because getting a reminder 15 minutes before you’re supposed to be in the doctor’s office isn’t always enough time to make the drive.
*Use your alarm feature*
Set alarms on the phone to get up in the morning, to remember to take medication, or to remember to get dinner out of the oven. Many cellphones have the ability to store more than one alarm and to choose a repeat frequency such as: Everyday, Monday through Friday, Once, or Never. When setting up the alarms, be sure to choose the frequency that works best for you, or expect to be bothered the following day when it’s no longer applicable.
*Use the voice recorder to record reminders*
Most new cellphones feature some sort of voice recorder. Use the voice recorder to record reminders like, “We need bread, milk, and eggs from the grocery store,” or “Reminder: Make reservations for dinner on Monday night.” These voice recordings will save to your phone for you to review later. Most phones do not allow for more than 30 seconds of recording time per note, so keep this in mind as you record. If you need something more powerful, consider using a voice-to-text service (see our review of Jott) that syncs with other mobile and web-based apps to become a cloud computing workaholic.
*Use the notepad or text messaging to take notes while out*
While you’re out and about running errands or spending time with family, if an important phone call comes through or you see something you want to remember later, use the notepad, or a draft text message —whichever you prefer— to make note of it. When things slow down a bit and you get time, go through the notes or messages to remember what you noted. This works better than the voice recorder when there are large numbers of people around.
*Keep a to-do list on the notepad*
Remember more than just your appointments. Keep a to-do list each day on your notepad or with a task management app like Remember the Milk. If you need to keep a strict timeline, you can use the calendar to schedule each task of the day. As you accomplish things, cross them off the list. Taking time to setup a to-do list each night will help you see just how much you can get done in a day and significantly improve your time management and make it easier to get things done in the long run.
Whether you use all seven of these tips, or just a few of them, you can be sure you’ll become a more organized work-at-home professional.
About the Author: Caitlin Douglass is a freelance writer that specializes in technology, productivity and mobile news. Caitlin is available for content development at caitlin.douglass [at] gmail.com.