On Fridays, I like to answer questions from you. Usually there’s a theme to the week and this week is no exception. I received a lot of questions about what success tools I use.
I call them success tools for the simple reason is they make my life easier as it relates to my business. Here is the basic suite of tools. Obviously, I use many tools, based on the area I’m working on, but these are my day-to-day staples.
PC or Mac
I use Mac because as a small business owner, I could no longer afford the hours each month (sometimes each week) I was spending dealing with my computer, rebooting, updating and numerous other challenges which took my time away from ‘promoting or performing.’
This change had one of the biggest impacts on my ability to focus and spend quality time doing effective work. I have since persuaded dozens of people to make the switch – even die-hard, stubborn PC owners – and everyone of them had similar experiences. And I must add, starting really enjoying computing.
The next big shift for me was buying a second monitor. I have a MacBookPro with a 15″ screen, which is nice, but I really wasn’t expecting the HUGE increase in my productivity having a second monitor. I bought a 21″ from Dell and set it up next to the MacBookPro. Wow, it truly is awesome to have all that space to work with.
In the last year or so, Outlook has been added to the Office for Mac suite. But I don’t use it. I used to love Outlook on my PC, but there were some things missing. I didn’t want to use separate software for tracking leads, opportunities and projects, so I found Daylite and have been very happy since. They don’t have a version for PC, but if you are on a Mac, this program rocks. And for those inclined toward the cloud, you can use a server version.
Since I have many different email accounts, I use Apple’s mail client. It brings everything into one inbox and allows me to quickly sort, file or delete mail. My email inbox is empty every night. I recognize that gmail and other services allow you to keep your email on the cloud. And I still do that by using imap instead of pop when it comes to setting up, but I like to know there’s a copy of certain emails on my physical computer. I don’t fully trust ‘the cloud’ for my backups.
If you don’t back up your computer – PLEASE DO SO THIS WEEKEND! Imagine coming to the office Monday, pushing the power/on button on your computer…and nothing happening. What would you do? I recommend doing hourly backups locally. The Mac has Time Machine, so once you set it, you can forget it. Windows has a scheduled backup service as well.
And I recommend a virtual or cloud-based service like Crashplan. I’ve been very happy with them. What this does is back up my computer, over-the-cloud. Why? Because if my house burns down (when me and the family are out of it), I would lose any local backups. Crashplan can overnight a complete copy of my computer files and I’d be ready to install it on another computer.
So, those are some of the basic tools I use on my computer. What do you use? What do you like? What do you need help with?