Sunday, June 04, 2006

Four Tools to Help you Reclaim your Time

Organization is probably the most important skill to have and utilize in your time management arsenal. We work so hard to become the organized, efficient selves we so long to be, only to later let down our guards and fall back into our old disorganized, time guzzling and wasting ways. Time is the once commodity that can never be regained. Time can't be bought and sold and you can never get back the time that you have lost. Don't use needing to spend time with your family as an excuse to waste time in your work life.

This is so tempting to do, especially when you work from home. But by allowing inefficiencies to creep into your workday you are robbing your children of more time with you. Time that, if you were operating your business effectively, would be there time anyway. One of the first things you need to do is make a list. Go back to the drawing board and recreate the efficiency you have lost.

Step one would be eliminating those things, which tempt you to waste time. If you need a plan of action, make one. It's really that simple. Having no plan means you waste time that could be spent more efficiently on task, trying to figure out what task you should be working on. Write down your plans and your strategies, your goals, and what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. Post this in a prominent space where it will be seen each and every time you are tempted to waste time playing solitaire or you don't look at your day planner as your first course of action for the day.

Step two; remember that your day planner, organizer, agenda, or palm pilot is your business Bible. It is your holy book and you should keep this as sacred as you keep your personal beliefs. If you stray from your planner regularly, then your planner isn't working for you. Below you will find a list and description of 4 software programs that are available online and reasonably priced. Each of these offers a free trail before purchasing. Perhaps if your current method isn't working for you, one of these will help you organize your time in a more efficient method that will enable you to follow through.

The first program I have found is called Quick To-Do Pro. It is available at and offers a 30-day free trial. If you purchase Quick To-Do Pro alone it will cost $34.95 if you purchase it in combination with their contact management program you will save 25% and pay $54.95 for both. It offers an easy to use interface, translation into 15 languages, and has a special window for task details. There is no one size fits all software. What works best for one may not work best for others, that is why I have chosen to include 4 different software programs to tell you about. This way you can look at them all and chose the one that suits your needs best.

The second program is called Thingamajig and can be found at if I were to choose by name alone I would choose this program hands down for simple creativity. However, there is a lot more to this little program than meets the eye and at $20 after a 30 day free trial I find it to be quite the bargain. Thingamajig offers specific goal setting trees, record keeping, reminders for important appointments, and an easy to use drag and drop interface. One thing I really like about this program as opposed to many that I haven't mentioned here is that the free trial is fully functional and not limited. What you get in the trial is the same software that you will be able to use once the trial has ended.

Third, the Achieve Planner seems to be getting an inordinate amount of press lately. Everywhere I look I am seeing advertisements and testimonials about the wonders of the Achieve Planner. Sometimes where there is smoke there is fire. The Achieve Planner can be found and downloaded at, this planner offers a 30-day free trial and the regular version weighs in at a hefty $49 with the pro version costing $79. This is by far the most expensive of the programs I will tell you about here. I am only telling you about it because I have seen the screen shots and they are quite impressive. If this program is bug free, I can see where it has massive potential to significantly impact the time management issues of anyone who learned to use this program effectively. If you find a program that assists you in becoming more productive in less time, then $79 is a small price to pay. But that is just my opinion.

The final program that has made my short list is Chaos Software's Chaos 6. This program can be found at and is full of neat features. I like this program for many reasons. The primary reason is that it combines three features that help tremendously with time management and organization into one. You get the functionality of a 'to do' list, appointment setting capabilities, and contact information that is searchable from all databases. The interface for this software is intuitive and easy to use and there are alarms for scheduled tasks.

I hope I have provided you with a good start towards reclaiming your time and maximizing your efforts. If used properly any one of the four programs above could be a great help in your accomplishing that goal. Remember what I said, there is no one size fits all, take advantage of the free trials these offer until you find the one that works best for you. Good luck.

About the author::

Peter Dobler is a 20+ year veteran in the IT business. He is an active Real Estate Investor and a successful Internet business owner. Collect more free software and bonus content for your own web site at

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