Podcasts are my new go-to, in the car listening pleasure, since I’m sick of local sports and music radio (yeah, I know, satellite is awesome, but I ditched it.) Recently, one of the podcasts I was listening to was discussing productivity tips (and some apps) for the office.

Many of the tips and apps were pretty basic — e.g. use Spotify to stream music — but one of the tips got me thinking of other ways to be more efficient.

The tip that got me thinking.

The efficiency suggestion that really triggered my process evaluation was to set website tabs in Chrome that’ll automatically open on startup. Specifically, the suggestion was to have Chrome automatically open Google Keep where the user can keep her list of tasks to accomplish for the day.

I’m not generally an “open-all-of-the-tabs” kind of guy, but this “hack” made a lot of sense to me. I use G Suite for my office email, calendar, and contacts, and I also love using Google Keep as a quick and easy way to set up reminders and add specific tasks.

My utilization got me all, “woot, woot!”

One of the core problems I find with “not liking” a product or service, is that I don’t actually¬†use the product or service.¬†For instance, my wife doesn’t care too much for Google Assistant. When pressed on why she’s not a fan, she says it’s because Assistant “doesn’t do the stuff she wants,” and “it’s too much work.” In reality, I think she doesn’t like Assistant because she’s not in the habit of using the program to accomplish tasks.

And that’s exactly where I was with Google Keep. I like the program well enough, but I hadn’t really integrated its features into my life such that the program became more essential. Since hearing the podcast, I’ve really pushed myself to start utilizing Google Keep more for work and personal tasks. Amazingly, as I’ve used Keep to create tasks lists and store ideas, I’m finding more ways to integrate the program into my life; and thus make Keep more essential.

To start, I took my paper task list that I use daily to plan my “getting things done” scenarios, and converted it exclusively to Google Keep. Each day I create a new task list for specific projects, or add to the list I’m already managing. I can easily evaluate my progress throughout the day from my desktop or phone; which is also nice since Keep syncs easily between both devices.

Setting my browser to automatically launch Keep on start forces the program to become a front-and-center program. Keep’s cards of unaccomplished tasks are staring at me as constant reminders that I’m mindlessly browsing the internet.

Branching out.

So after using Keep for a number weeks, I decided to start finding other ways to become more efficient. The most obvious was to start auto-loading my law practice management program, which has helped increase my timekeeping accuracy and case management tracking.

Now I’m looking for other areas where I can implement these concepts — perhaps mileage tracking apps? — and make the most of my efficiency. The important key is to utilize the tools you already have to make yourself a more productive person.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

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