Online Services That Help Me Keep Life Straight
As you may know by now, my work requires me to travel pretty often, and one of the biggest challenges when you find yourself in a new place every week, iis keeping track of the little things. As it turns out, I utilize quite a few apps and web services to help me out with that.
Obviously, the first thing I need to keep track of with my schedule are travel arrangements. Tripit is a great service to do just that. I simpy email the confirmation emails from airlines, hotels, car rentals, etc. and Tripit turns it into an agenda that I can look at on my phone at any time. It’s that simple, and I have all of my travel details at my fingertips.
This is actually a new one in my toolbox. What it helps me with, is keeping track of to-dos and other lists. The extra nice thing is that I can publish and/or share lists with others. So, while I’m traveling and adding new trips, I can share a list of upcoming classes with my wife. (This is nice because I may have classes planned that I haven’t bought tickets for yet, so they don’t exist in Tripit.) We can also use it to create a grocery list, or a list of places in Oregon that we want to explore on the weekends.
I can also have it email me reminders, and if I put a duie date on an item, there’s also a calendar feed that I can add to my Google calendar.
As a blogger and social media user, it can take a lot of time to find interesting articles and share them on all of the social networks, or on my blogs. IFTTT is a huge time saver for me, because I can do one thing, and trigger a number of actions that occur automatically. For example, when reading an article, I can bookmark it on Diigo, and depending on which tag I use, that article can be shared on a Twitter account, a Facebook or Tumblr page, etc. Or I can upload a photo to Flickr and automatically create a WordPress blog post of it. Seriously, a HUGE time saver!
Diigo is great for bookmarking an article and sharing it out, but sometimes I just want to mark something for myself to go back to. Pocket is great for that, and since they have an app, I can go back and finish reading those things, or check out something that was linked in the article whenever, and wherever, I have a few minutes.
I travel. I have a work laptop, two personal computers, an iPad and an iPhone. When I need to grab a document, there’s a fairly good chance that it might not have been created on the device I am using at that moment. Dropbox lets me access it from anywhere. And yes, I also use Google Drive for some things (especially sharing with coworkers), and am looking at using OneDrive. The idea is the same though, regardless of which cloud storage service you use.
This is also a new tool. I use this to track my bike rides. Why? Because my Fitbit is great for tracking steps, if I’m walking or running, but is kind of crap for tracking bicycling, because I’m not actually taking any steps. Endomondo uses my phone’s GPS to track me as I ride, and uses my personal information to caclulate the calories burned, etc. Even better, it automatically syncs that information into my Fitbit app, and that, in turn, automatically syncs with the Weight Watchers app, giving me bonus points for physical activity.
As a sub note to this, the Fitbit is also great when I am walking, especially when I’m just out taking photos. Tracking how far I’ve hiked isn’t a big priority when I’m trying to capture photos, having a wearable tracker means I don’t have to think about it at all.
Mobile Banking Apps
Yeah so, when I need to make sure I’ve got enough available balance on my credit card before purchasing those tickets to London for work? How nice to have that information right on my phone.
Simply put, Evernote is for everything else. It’s my place to make notes and have them available anywhere. I also use Penultimate on the iPad to write instead of typing, because sometimes that is just easier. (Especially in a tight airline seat!) Given the recent changes Microsoft has made to OneNote, including handwriting on the iPad, I am itching to give that a try as well, but I also have 5-6 years of notes in Evernote, so that is going to be hard to leave behind! I’m curious if anyone out there is a OneNote user, and what you really like about it.
I have no idea how people had a job that required travel and kept track of this stuff before the internet.
What tools do you use to keep track of your own life? Leave some recommendations in the comments!