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The Ultimate Productivity Tools for Saving Time

The Ultimate Productivity Tools for Saving Time

Every good “productivitist” has a toolkit. Inside these toolkits, they have a number of tools and tricks that help them to get things done as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

Inside my toolkit is a program called ActiveWords, a really cool tool for reducing the time you spend doing almost everything on your computer.

I came across ActiveWords last year, and to be honest, my first impression was, “Yeah, cool, BUT I’m too lazy to take the time to set it up.” I didn’t use it. A couple of weeks later I came across an article about the program on The Clutter Diet Blog that convinced me to give it another go.

This time I did it the right way and read The ActiveWords Quick Start guide. With that information under my belt, reaping the benefits was pretty much instantaneous.

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ActiveWords allows you to substitute shortcuts or short keys for pieces of text — very useful — but you have probably come across many programs that do the same thing. However, have you come across a program that substitutes text and also launches programs, websites, folders, and files with a shortcut?

Some of the Ways I Use ActiveWords

  • If I write the words mailhubby anywhere on my screen, Outlook will automatically open up and populate a new email with my husband’s email address.

thehubby
    • When I want to write the title of my book, Chaos to Control, A Practical Guide to Getting Things Done, regardless of what program I am working in, I simply type chaos2.

    chaos
      • I often write emails to new clients and want to include a short bio. If I type bio, three sentences about me appear in the email.
      • I have shortcuts for my address, telephone number, ID number, and anything else I may type frequently.

      You can set the program to trigger automatically when you type words, like mailhubby or chaos2, or you can use a trigger key, like F8 or double spacebar, to achieve a specific task.

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      Other Ways You Can Use ActiveWords

      ActiveWords has Addins for Outlook, for Outlook and GTD, or for Lotus Notes and GTD. It also has Addins for Salesforce and Windows commands, such as minimizing a window. It appears that the makers of ActiveWords thought of everything!

      productivity

        It allows you to create your own scripts, so with a couple of clicks, you could go to your favorite website, copy and paste the latest feed, and email it to your sister.

        Well, I’m sure it could do that if you wanted it to.

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        As you can imagine, using a tool like ActiveWords will vastly cut down on the amount of time wasted on repetitive tasks. You can even check to see how much time you are saving by looking at the productivity section of the tool. You can see the amount of keystrokes you have saved and how that translates into hours and money saved.

        I was very happy with my hours saved and my frustration reduced by removing repetitive tasks. What I didn’t realize was that my life was about to get even better — Enter Evernote.

        ActiveWords for Evernote

        evernote

          If you are an Evernote User, you will already be familiar with how your life can be transformed by a small piece of software. Combine that with the functionality of ActiveWords and you now have a powerhouse of productivity. From anywhere on your PC you can do things like open a new note, clip a selection as a new note, or paste a selection into a new note. Plus, from inside Evernote you can do things like email the current note or share it on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

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          Spending a short amount of time setting up a program like this will save you hours of work and frustration monthly. Well worth giving it a go!

          What indispensable productivity tools do you have in your toolkit?

          More by this author

          Ciara Conlon

          Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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          Published on June 19, 2019

          Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back

          Your Beliefs About Success May Be Holding You Back
          Pause for a moment and think about how you would describe success.

          If your description is dominated by money or status, then your image of success is faulty.

          For example, there are countless people who have these assets but don’t feel successful. Some of these people have enormous amounts of disposable income, but work so many hours during the day that they have no life beyond their work.

          Would you regard these people as successful?

          At first glance, I likely wouldn’t.

          And, then there are the endless celebrities who go from fame to failure (think bankruptcy, addictions and worse).

          Are they successful?

          Probably not.

          In truth, success is about happiness and fulfillment in life.

          But, there is more than one definition of success. Just look at the above example of the person who worked too hard to spend their money. If they’re happy with their life, then we shouldn’t criticize their version of success.

          So how about you? Do you have a clear definition of what success looks like for you?

          If you don’t, you’ll be constantly chasing someone else’s idea of success, and could find yourself totally unfulfilled and miserable.

          The good news is that over the next few minutes, I’m going to give you the tools you need to build a crystal clear picture of YOUR SUCCESS.

          Positive Thinking

          With the right attitude, anything can seem possible.

          For instance, if you’re fed up with your job, but do nothing to change it, then you’ll likely be stuck there for years to come. But, if you see the job as a stepping stone to something bigger and better, then not only will you enjoy your work more, but you’ll have something positive to aim towards (e.g., a promotion or new job).

          The example above demonstrates a little-known factor of success… suffering!

          Yes, suffering may be a negative thing that most people go out of their way to avoid; but successful people use suffering as a springboard to big achievements. Mindset really does separate the losers from the winners.

          Another thing you can do, is to gradually build up your positivity and confidence by tracking your progress towards your goals. And, each time you accomplish something – however small – be sure to celebrate it!

          This is a great way to propel you towards success.

          The Purpose of a Purpose

          What is your purpose in life?

          These are questions I suggest you spend some time thinking about. To help you find the answers, consider the following:

          If you just seek a career, all you will find is a career.

          But, if you seek a purpose, you’ll find something much more than a career – you’ll find your calling. And when you’ve found this, and you begin following it, you’ll be firmly in the middle of the happiness, satisfaction and success zone.

          This is backed by science, with research showing that people who have a purpose and meaning in life have an increase in:[1]
          • Overall well-being
          • Mental and physical health
          • Resiliency
          • Self-esteem

          But, don’t mistake seeking happiness and success as your purpose. These things are a natural result of following your purpose – but shouldn’t be your focal point.

          Austrian Neurologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said it well:

          “It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness.”

          What about YOUR purpose?

          If you’re struggling to identify it, look for the things in your life that you’re good at, enthuse you, and provide a benefit to the world.

          Becoming a Better You

          Are your beliefs holding you back?

          If yes, here are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to break out of your mind trap:

          1. Boost Your Confidence: you can do this by overcoming challenges that come your way. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking, face this challenge head-on by agreeing to do regular presentations for your company, or by joining a public speaking organization like Toastmasters International. Speak in public often enough, and your fear of it will plunge like a river going over a waterfall.
          2. Develop Healthy Habits: I’m talking about positive habits that will serve you day in, day out. Habits such as lifelong learning, eating well, and waking up early. When these things are automatic for you, you’ll reap incredible benefits from them. Take eating well, for example. You’ll feel better. You’ll look better. And you’ll have way more energy to make things happen in your life.
          3. Invoke the Magic of Goal Setting: Without goals, you’ll drift through life like a plastic bottle in the sea. But with goals, you’ll be like a 100m sprinter running towards the finishing line. Goals really are powerful tools. They’ll direct your focus and energy, and will allow you to track your progress in life. I recommend the SMART goal-setting method (find out about this here).

          And, always remember… don’t compare yourself to others; only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.

          Each step you take forward is making you a better version of you.

          Success Is Self-Love

          I encourage you to take the tips I’ve shared in this article and put them into action in your life. Ideally, starting right now!

          Firstly, transform your mindset by facing up to challenges and overcoming them. Then spend time to discover your purpose. And, once you’ve found it – start following it.

          Becoming a better version of you will take some time, but will be worth the wait. Not only will you reach into untapped potential in your life, but you’ll also develop respect and love for yourself along the way.

          So don’t let your beliefs hold you back anymore. BREAK FREE from them and start enjoying a happy, healthy and successful life.

          Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

          Reference

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