Friday, June 09, 2006

Free or Free Trial Programs to Help you Manage your Time more Effectively

We all know that good organization skills are essential to solving many time management issues we may be experiencing. How many hours do you lose each day, week, month, and year as a result of bad organization? The answer would probably astound you, especially when you consider all the things that poor organization effects.

It is a good idea to have one central organizational tool. With palm devices and pocket PCs becoming more widely available, I seriously encourage anyone who is able to make the investment in one of these devices. I have no recommendations of one over the other; just make sure that the one you choose is one that works for you. No investment in a product such as this is worthwhile if it doesn't work for you. If you are tied to your computer, as a home worker, some of us are fortunate enough to be able to plan our days completely on our computer rather than needing a portable planning device, you can find many organizational and scheduling tools online for free. If you need the portability a handheld device offers, you need to search a little more to find a program that will share information between your personal computer and your handheld device.

There are many such programs available for a fee, for the purpose of this article; I'm going to concentrate on two such programs. One offers a free version that has more limited features than the paid versions and the other offers a fully functional free trial. This gives you the option of trying out a limited version (which may in fact be all you need) and choosing which format works best for you before you invest your hard earned cash into a program. This way, if the program is too complicated for you to use or you just don't really like the way it looks or any little thing about it, you haven't wasted any money and don't feel compelled to keep a program that isn't working for you. You'd be surprised how often people continue using something that doesn't really work for them, simply because they paid for it and don't want to feel they are wasting their money. In reality, they are wasting their time, which is much more costly in the long run, than wasting a little money today would be.

Here are a few programs for the PC that will help you organize your life, your schedule, and your computer files and folders, which will ultimately help you manage your time much more effectively. The first such program I am going to tell you about is Tree Pad, which can be found at Tree Pad has been around for a long time in this business, since 1995, and offers a one-stop shop for your organizational needs. The free version, Tree Pad Lite offers fewer bells and whistles than the paid versions but can provide you with a good indication of whether or not you like the interface, find the system easy to use, and can incorporate it effectively into your daily routine. You can also try some of the paid versions free for 21 days. If you feel the need for bells and whistles and feel they will not distract you from the tasks at hand, then perhaps one of these would better suit your needs. I always recommend going the free version first in order to get a general feel for the software.

The second software program on my list is Personal TaskMaster, which can be found at The reason it made my list is because the interface is easy to use, you can email your task sheets, import them to a spreadsheet, or print them and post them for all to see. You can even set up the reminder system to best suit your needs. They offer a 30-day free trial of the software, so you can try it before you buy it and the software is reasonably priced at $24.95. If you have no intentions of ever buying some sort of time management software, I don't recognize using this product at all. You do not want to take the time learning the interface if you are not willing to pay for the service. If you want something free, stick to trying the free services such as this that are available. If time management is something you are willing and need to invest in, this is an option that may work well for you.

If you find that your day goes by and you aren't getting as much accomplished, as you would like, then perhaps you should try taking steps to insure that you are holding yourself accountable for your time. Schedule each task of your day and set a realistic but firm time limit. Use calendar and organization programs such as those mentioned above to help keep you on track and on target. Once you establish these habits of time management you will find that you are able to accomplish more tasks in less time.

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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