Technology Tools to Keep New Years Resolutions

Organize. Get in shape. Volunteer more. We all have resolutions, whether we start them on January 1st or not. Over the past several years, I kept setting the same goals...a clear indication that I wasn't making much headway. The difference came when I tracked down tools to help; technology can go a long way toward helping us make better use of our time and organize our personal and professional lives. 

Storing dozens of passwords and account logins in your head takes up valuable brain real estate. Between my grant portal logins and countless social media accounts for work and home, plus online bill-pay, I was going out of my mind trying to keep track of special characters and secret codes. 1Password is available for mac, pc, and iPhone, and helps organize and store your logins. If you want to take it a step further, it can also store credit card information, bank accounts, and secure notes. Not only is it refreshing to have all of my logins securely organized, but it makes paying bills and hoping online a much faster and easier experience. If you're working in grant portals that require frequent password changes, this will bring you back your sanity.

Omni is amazing for task management. Not only do I manage personal and professional projects in Omni, but I can see what tasks I've assigned to staff, interns, and volunteers. I can set deadlines, reminders, contexts, and dump all of my to-do's in one place. Before OmniFocus, I was making at least 3 lists a day, more if I had meetings, and if one post it went astray, those tasks were gone forever. Omni has a wonderfully fresh interface and even communicates with my calendar so I can see deadlines and meetings for the week. 

Grocery Gadget
Grocery Gadget works wonders if you're running a busy household. This grocery list app allows you to take photos of the item you need (in case you aren't doing your own shopping), and multiple users can add to a shared list. That way if you run out of toilet paper, it can be added to the list by someone at home - sparing you an extra trip and saving money along the way. If one of your resolutions was to lose weight or be healthier, it is also wonderful to see all of the nutritious (or not so nutritious) food on your list.

Lightroom Creative Cloud
I adore photography; it is one of my favorite hobbies and thanks to Lightroom, I've nearly filled the hard drive of my mac. That being said, I was so apprehensive about integrating Lightroom into my professional workflow. Our communications team had graphics stored across multiple shared volumes in a crypt of subfolders.  I had no idea what to expect from import and export, but after doing basic edits in Photoshop for weeks, it became clear that Lightroom was the better tool. I was so pleasantly surprised how effortlessly it imported and cataloged the photos from the shared drives - effortlessly. I can now run quick edits for social media and web thumbnails without bringing in full Photoshop. If you're working with photos of your family or work, give Lightroom on Adobe's creative cloud a change - you won't be sorry.

Happy Friday everyone!

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