Online tools can help you manage your time and schedule appointments with ease.
Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.
As they say: "Time is Money." And with that in mind, today I'm going to talk about free online sites and applications that can help you schedule and manage your time.
There never seems to be enough time in the day. Luckily, there are handy applications that can help busy business owners with time management.
Scheduling Your Time
There are a number of applications that help you schedule appointments, conference calls, and other things that require your time and attention. I've mentioned Doodle at Doodle dot "ch" in a previous show. It's a no-frills scheduling application that let's you invite others who will be participating in the same meeting or call to enter their availabilities so you can find the best date and time that suits everyone's schedules. Doodle more recently added polls and a time zone feature. Another similar application with a bit of nicer interface is GatherGrid. Just create an event, send a link to others, they click the times they are available, and presto! You can easily see the best times for everyone and lock in the date. You may also want to check out TimeBridge.
Your Own Personal Scheduler
Another free application is TimeDriver. With TimeDriver, you can set up an invitation for others to schedule appointments with you based on your availability. You can provide others with details about how to contact you or meet with you. Then block off the times and dates you are willing and able to meet by dragging your cursor across the TimeDriver calendar. Everyone on your recipient list receives an invitation and as they each select the time they'd like to connect with you, it is no longer an option for the others so you are never double-booked.
TimeDriver also provides you with a link for recurring scheduling dates and times. You can add this link to your Web site if you have regular office hours, either in the real world or virtually. There are many ways to use this application including
Scheduling demonstrations of your product,
Scheduling appointments for telephone consultations,
Scheduling back-to-back interviews such as interviewing job candidates,
- And basically scheduling almost any event you can think of that requires your time and attention.
Because of TimeDriver's automated features, anyone who can't afford a personal assistant will feel as if they have one.
Measuring Your Time
Now on to time management. Do you ever wonder where all your time goes in a day? Another free application that helps you manage your time in a different way is RescueTime. Sign up for RescueTime and download their small application to your computer. RescueTime keeps track of what you are doing during the day by determining what applications you've opened and are using. You can add goals and alerts to start actively managing your time. You can also compare your productivity to other team members if you're more than a one-person shop.
The RescueTime Robot sends you a weekly productivity email with a summary of how you have been spending your time. On my RescueTime Data Dashboard, for example, it shows my top 10 applications recently included 10 hours of email followed by social networks; personal productivity; fun, which means audio and videos; news and blogs; Internet utilities; system utilities; design and presentations; business and finance; and less than an hour for research and search functions.
According to my Data Dashboard, Tuesday is my most productive day during the week which also seems to correspond with my weekly workflow. My most frequently accessed applications or sites include GMail, NeoOffice, Second Life, Twitter, iTunes, and several of my blogs.
That sounds about right to me although Grammar Girl, who also tested out this program, noted that if you have browser windows open to Web sites or applications and aren't working on them, RescueTime seems to measure that idle time. So be sure to close your browser when you step away for lunch or even a phone call.
RescueTime gives you more of an overview of how you spend your time than a precise and accurate accounting. Still, having an overview can definitely help you better manage your time.
Bottom Line: There are free Web applications to help you manage time, and the more productive you are, the more money you can potentially make. Now that is good for your bottom line!
That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.
The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com. Tune in for another business boost from The Digital Marketer, the host who's not afraid to go under the Internet's hood & get a little dirty!
Doodle.ch - http://www.doodle.ch/
GatherGrid - http://www.gathergrid.com/
TimeDriver - http://www.timedriver.com/
TimeBridge - http://www.timebridge.com/
RescueTime - http://www.rescuetime.com/