When it comes to Getting Things Done, Darika Ahrens is the woman you turn to. Not only is she the High Priestess of Social Media in the UK, she’s also a great big lifehack nerd. If there’s a tool out there for making life easier, Darika has already signed up, logged in, and taken the “Darika” username.
We asked her to teach us how to be better humans. She kindly obliged.
BEST TOOLS FOR GETTING THINGS DONE….AT WORK:
This is obvious as so many people are using it, but now I can’t stand sending files back and forth, multiple versions of the of the same document being created, or chasing people for files. (OK, I could never stand that but now at least people can stand working with me a little better).
Dropbox means a team can collaborate on and share the same files from any of their devices (avoiding duplication) without the IT department having to set up some hideous remote access thing, or (worse) having to always work from the same machine.
You can also access documents on the go with iPhone, Android, and a soon-to-be-released Blackberry app. You guessed it, there’s an iPad app too.
Tip: Rookie mistake is to bypass downloading the desktop plug-in. Dropbox doesn’t save you a shed load of time/pain if you only use through the browser.
Mindmeister for planning
I was never really into mind mapping but sometimes I get overwhelmed getting started on stuff.
Mindmeister is a simple way for me to start jotting down ideas, planning notes, and collating research which I can tidy up afterwards or even convert into a PDF or Document Outline which quickly forms the basis for a project plan or brief.
Again, it’s collaborative, so I don’t have to rely on my own brains to power up a new project and can share with people to make real time additions.
Tip: Additional features like attaching notes, hyperlinks, and even allocating tasks with priorities and due dates can transform your Mind Map into a super-powered to do list. Although I am currently preferring….
Milestone Planner for project management
Despite outward professional appearances I am not naturally the most organised of people.
One of the things I hate more than creating deadlines for myself is working them out and assigning them to other people. The minute I saw Milestone Planner I signed up and added one of my latest projects and I’m loving it.
Following Fergus O’Connell’s ‘How to get more done’ philosophy on planning (a book I’m pretty sure I never got round to finishing) you can plot out a project, work out the time available, and work backwards on what milestones you’d need to hit at what dates – allocating ownership as you go.
And yes, it’s collaborative so you can get other people to weigh in and help plan out the project and agree to deadlines.
Tip: Don’t underestimate the power of logging it to see those words “Missed target date” written under a deadline. You can immediately isolate where a project might be coming off the rails and get it sorted before it snowballs into a bigger problem.
COMING NEXT: The best tools for getting things done in my life.