When your work involves tons of research, writing, fact-checking, cross-referencing, and collaboration, you can get stuck on information overload.
What you don’t want to happen is to end up wasting precious time sifting through multiple categories of data to piece together a coherent picture out of it all.
Add to that your other daily tasks that you need to manage, and you might end up becoming a good candidate for analysis paralysis.
Some apps that have helped me get things done are ColorNote for organizing my day-to-day tasks and Evernote for creating an outline for my article ideas, as well as formulating my more mid-term and longer-term goals.
Byword also helps me with managing my files. I shift from phone to laptop to desktop depending on where I’m working.
What I used to do to keep my files intact is to transfer via Google Docs, so I can access and edit wherever I am. However, my desktop utilizes a different word processor, so does my phone, and so does my laptop.
Byword solves these compatibility issues and makes editing via multiple mediums much easier.
As you fall into the endless vortex of free information that is the World Wide Web, navigating through various sites to gather information can suck your focus away from you.
So I use browser extensions like StayFocusd and Strict Workflow to help me monitor my time. StayFocusd regulates your usage per site and browsing/scanning sessions by setting time limits to every page you visit.
Strict Workflow, on the other hand, enhances your productivity by encouraging you to work in 25-minute bursts, all while blocking distracting websites. This pressures you to more prudently use your research time.
There’s also the very handy app I have in my phone, Pocket, that I use to store online content that I then file for further reading while on the road, even when there’s no Wi-Fi or strong-enough mobile Internet hotspot available.
Writing and editing
I use Writer for writing whatever comes to mind, mostly personal, internal racket I need to get out of my system and on to a word processor to help me move on and function more clearly – a mental detox of sorts.
Another online service I also found particularly useful is WordCounter, as I have this ironic condition of being deathly sick of redundancies and repetitions and yet chronically prone to making these very mistakes in my writing. WordCounter helps me monitor and modify these visual imperfections.
Decluttering, planning and compartmentalizing are just some of the phases in managing how you work. The next phase, and usually the most difficult, is sticking with the plan, going through with it despite setbacks, and still finishing right on the dot.
Sure, technology has given us more work to do and with faster speed requirements to get that work done, but with all the productivity apps now available, it certainly doesn’t lack in also giving us the ability to achieve more at a quicker rate.