Alison—a business owner friend and occasional client—recently commented that I was well-organised, which surprised me. I don’t remember that cropping up on my school reports alongside “daydreams frequently” and “should perhaps forget his rock star ambitions”. So I began to ponder from where I had acquired this apparent new skill. Further information was necessary, I felt. So I asked Alison “Compared to whom?”

It’s at this point that I should have remembered not to seek further qualification of a compliment, particularly from a female. Alison simply shrugged and began to re-arrange the dozen or so Post It notes that adorned her office wall.  (Yes, it’s well to remember that if someone says “You look good today!” just leave it at that and enjoy the compliment. Don’t ask “How good do I look—and why?” It sounds needy.)

It was watching Alison re-arrange her rainbow of Post It notes that made me realise that my newfound ability of being organised was not in fact a personal, inherited quality. It was thanks to technology.  It should be pointed out that I don’t work in technology, although my Grandmother used to think I did. I once heard her boast to a neighbour that I worked in computers—presumably because she had seen me typing away at one. I tried to explain that this was rather like saying I was a taxi driver because I drove a car, but it fell on deaf ears, which was ironic as she was particularly hard of hearing.

I know that I am not alone in my adoption of technology—or “tech”—but I have never been one to rush out and buy the latest gadget for the sake of it. Sure, I enjoy TV programmes like Click and The Gadget Show and have many business friends who are technology experts and help me out. But rather than searching for new toys to download or buy, I tend to look at things the other way around, identifying a task I do often and then look for technology that might make it easier, or cheaper. I’m a self-employed Marketing Consultant and Copywriter, so there is always plenty to do and anything—app, gadget or whatever—that will make life easier, is welcome.

 

 

Meet The Apps

I recently discovered an application called Join.Me. It allows you to share screens with anybody while you talk. So, virtual meetings: Not a new idea (I think it was called it video conferencing once), but previous offerings have typically been aimed at the corporate rather than solo business operator market (That’s a posh term for a One Man band). As a Marketing Consultant and Content Writer what could be more valuable to me than being able to collaborate with suppliers and show clients visuals real time?

My other big find—about a year ago—was Nozbe.  A project management application, Nozbe is probably the reason why Alison mistakenly thought I was well-organised. This piece of genius allows you to set up clients, jobs, tasks, timelines and notes and have them appear in a daily reminder list to tell you what you’ve probably forgotten. You can even collaborate with others over it and it sends them a notification when you update something.

So, I use these applications and others to make me appear more competent than I actually am. I tell Alison about them, but she’s not interested. Her vintage Nokia 1610 mobile plays a dated digital ditty and as she reaches for it she tells me that she’s happy as she is, doing things the old-fashioned way. Funny thing is, she’s an extremely successful business owner, so who am I to argue?