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Use These 12 Free Resources to Get More Organized in 2017

Use These 12 Free Resources to Get More Organized in 2017

2017 has already started but you are not really too late to reflect about what has worked for you and what is not really cutting it. And, after much soul searching, if you have arrived at the conclusion that you need to be more organized in 2017 once and for all, then take my words you are not the only one. But the million dollar question is: how?

When it comes to making life more organized, there is no one-size-fits-all so you have to find out what works best for you.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey, Famous American Author

Here is a list of 15 free productivity resources that can get you more organized in the coming year.

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1. Google Drive

For those who swear by Google, Google Drive, which includes Google Spreadsheet and Google Docs, will make your life easy by sharing and editing a range of files. You can even share notes from within a document. It’s absolutely awesome to use. Give it a try!

2. IFTTT

IFTTT stands for ‘If This Then That.’ For those who are hooked on to social media, this cool resource allows various services and apps to connect and work together. You can create your IFTTT recipe to automatically upload your Instagram photos into your Google Drive account. The awesomeness of this resource is that it can be utilized in endless combinations! 

3. Rescue time

You can install Rescue Time on your computer to track down which websites and programs you use the most. For those who want to track their time, it is one of the coolest tools that not only shows which program or website you are spending most of your time at but also shows in which hours you are least productive.

It will also show you the best and worst days of the week. If you buy the resource and become a premium user, you will have the ability to block out distracting sites. Use this tool to stay productive and organized in the New Year!

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4. Toggl

Toogl is a time tracking resource that is extremely easy to use. You just need to click on the Toogl button and the timer will begin. You can easily track the time you take to complete various tasks. It also gives you a weekly report on your performance. 

5. StayFocused

StayFocused is an extended and free version of Chrome that blocks distracting sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc while you are working. This tool can be customized – you can choose websites you want to block and the time for which you want it to remain blocked.

6. Chrome to Mobile

This unique extension of Chrome allows you to directly move the web pages and other things that you are surfing, to your phone. It helps you to stay organized and keep browsing the internet easily when on the move. 

7. LastPass

It is an innovative resource that comes in handy for those who struggle to remember their passwords. For those who have a hard time handling too many accounts, this amazing resource remembers all your passwords, so you will not have to panic about remembering passwords anymore!

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This tool can be used across several devices. It stores and audits passwords in your vault so that you can create more secure passwords. It is a secure tool to use. It uses multifactor authentication for your master password. By using this resource, you can definitely stay more organized in 2017! 

8. Pocket

Have you ever come across an amazing content or video but you don’t have the time to check it out at that instant? For those who love blogs, Pocket is an easy-to-use resource that helps you save videos, images, songs, contents, etc to check out later. When you have some free time, you can open it on your mobile or computer and check them easily. This way you can keep your list and life organized!

10. Podkicker

If you are one of those podcast addicts, this is a must-use resource that will help you organize your subscriptions. It has an easy to use interface and above all its free! But you can also update to Podkicker Pro to get rid of unwanted ads. 

10. ELance

Sometimes it can be really challenging to concentrate on jobs but imagine if you could make use of a resource that will do the job for you? If you want someone else to write your blogging content, Elance is the place to visit! You can sign up with the site for free. You have to pay them 10% of what you earn per project. You can try this resource once in a while when you want to hang out with friends or watch a movie without having to lose a client!

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11. Hemingway

Do you have anyone to proofread your blog content after you are done with it? No? Don’t worry, here’s a cool resource that will check the grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, punctuation and sentence fragmentation of your content and highlight the errors so that you can rectify them. Give it a try and stay more organized and focused! 

12. SaneBox

For those who need to keep their email organized, SaneBox has qualities like Sherlock! Yes, it can analyze your past and current mail activity to figure out which mail matters to you and which doesn’t. This resource helps in moving the less significant emails to SaneLater folder which you can retrieve when you have spare time. Unlike some other tools that completely banishe the unimportant emails, here they stay hidden. A perfect resource to stay organized!

Remember that merely signing up for these 15 free resources will not solve all your organization and productivity issues in an instant. Try picking one these resources and stay true to using it every day! If these apps are not of much help then check out the 5 minutes hacks to solve all your woes.

Featured photo credit: http://getrefe.tumblr.com/ via 68.media.tumblr.com

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Anuradha Sarkar

Digital Marketing Manager

Use These 12 Free Resources to Get More Organized in 2017

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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