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Getting Things Done with the Magic of Flow Concierge

Getting Things Done with the Magic of Flow Concierge

    Ever have something that you know you need to do, but just don’t want to take the small amount of time to do it? Have tasks that are so menial that the thought of taking the time to do them is almost offensive? Well, that’s a little harsh, but you get the drift.

    We have so many things to do in a day that we can get pretty backed up. We all know that delegation is a great way to take some of life’s todos off of our platter, but sometimes we don’t really have anyone to delegate to.

    Flow Concierge

    Enter the pilot program, Flow Concierge. Flow is the group project/task application that is simple, effective, and just darn beautiful to look at and use. They are rolling out a new feature that you can use to delegate tasks to a “Flow Concierge”.

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    You can basically ask your Concierge to do anything that can be done online; look something up, compare things, answer a question, etc. What they can’t do is anything physical (“go feed my dogs”), create content or writing from scratch, offer legal advice, or do anything that involves paying for something. Anything else is fair game.

    The Magic

    So, I had a magical experience (yes, in the Steve Jobs sense of the phrase) with Flow Concierge today. It showed me just how powerful and awesome having a mini “virtual assistant” would be.

    My wife SMS’d me asking when her warranty for her MacBook was up (the bottom of it is falling apart). When I got the message a thought also hit me, “oh, boy. Our 2 year (marriage) anniversary is next week, too. What to do, what to do?” I had already been accepted into the Flow Concierge pilot so I thought I’d give it a go.

    First task: “when is my wife’s MacBook warranty no longer valid (then gave them her serial number.”

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    Second task: “is there anything fun to do this weekend in the Erie, PA area?”

    I then assigned the task to the Flow Concierge that is now built into my Flow interface. Then I went about my other work tasks that I had to get done.

    About two hours later when I was clearing out my personal email inbox, I saw that my Flow Concierge had updated my tasks with a comment and then made a final answer and marked them as complete. I found out that my Wife’s MacBook warranty is sadly not valid (oh, the horror!) and that there isn’t really that much to do this weekend in Erie, Pa (other than go to the Philharmonic, which will work for our anniversary).

    To say that it was like magic is sort of an understatement. Yes, finding these things myself would be easy enough, but I didn’t want to take the time to do it in the middle of the day. Rather than blow it off until later when I don’t have any energy, I simply delegated to someone that had the energy and time to do it.

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    This is a seriously awesome addition to a task app that is already excellent and the geniuses at Flow should be proud of themselves for such a great idea and implementation.

    The drawbacks

    One of the biggest things that I can see as a drawback going forward is the potential price of the Concierge service after the Pilot program. There would be nothing worse than using this in Flow and then one day they announce that it will be very expensive. Or, even worse, Flow could just cancel it all together.

    The service does seem to be “too good to be true” so far, but hopefully it gets baked into the full Flow product.

    Conclusion

    Flow is a pretty awesome tool to manage your projects with a team or otherwise and the new Concierge pilot program makes it that much more awesome. To be able to delegate menial tasks that will take 3 – 10 minutes of your time throughout the day can add up quick in the grand scheme of things.

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    If you have a Flow account, try to get into the Concierge pilot program by checking out this link. You will be glad you did.

    (Photo credit: Flow logo via Flow)

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on May 28, 2020

    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

    18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

    No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

    If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

    But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

    Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

    Let’s dive straight into the list.

    1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

      If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

      RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

      2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

        If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

        This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

        3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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          This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

          Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

          4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

            Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

            Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

            5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

              There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

              6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                  Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                  This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                  Available on iOS and Desktop

                  8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                    This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                    This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                      Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                      MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                      10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                        1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                        11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                          When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                            This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                            Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                              This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                              Available on desktop (macOS)

                              14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                  Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                    Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                    17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                      This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                      Available on iOS and Android

                                      18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                        Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                        So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                        More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                        Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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