Productivity Tools for Realtors and Business Owners
Over the years I’ve experimented with different productivity apps, and I think I’ve finally landed on a system that checks all the boxes, so to speak. With so many apps and resources available, it can be overwhelming to filter through and find what you really need. I’m not big on pen and paper because I will lose those items, so I really rely on tech in order to stay organized, and I’ve dialed it down to five categories that I need in order to keep my business and personal life functioning smoothly.
- Note Taking
- To-Do List
- Project Manager
- Cloud Storage
I’ve used a note taking app for years, and notes have two purposes for me. One is to jot something down quickly so I won’t forget it, the other is research. For quick notes, I use the Notes app on my iPhone. There are so many others out there, but I love how simple this app is to use, and the search capabilities. I can search a keyword on the app and it will bring up a note from years ago. I refer to previous notes often and am terrible with keeping organized folders, but the search function allows me to easily go into the archives, and that is mostly why it gets my vote.
The research component of my notes is when I’m learning something new or having a brain dump on a business process. For this, I like Evernote and Notion – both wonderful products, but I always fall back on Google Docs. I love the entire G-Suite, and I find that keeping everything tied together between Docs, Sheets, and Drive works well for me. I still dabble in the other two apps above, but most of my writing takes place in Docs, including these blog posts!
I use Google Calendar, but think most calendars are basically the same. For me it’s more about how they are used. I’ve made some great changes to how I use my calendar over the years, and the biggest adjustment was not using it as a to-do list. In addition to my appointments, I used to write tasks in my calendar at a certain time of day thinking if I put it in the calendar, it would have a better chance of getting done. The problem is that the tasks would pile up and I’d find that I was double booking myself with real appointments. I needed a to-do list, so I went into my Notes app and started putting my tasks in checklists there, and only using my calendar for appointments. An improvement, but not the best solution. My To-Do lists would then get intermingled with my notes, so I needed a different app altogether.
I found a great app called Todoist. The user experience is amazing, I can set due dates and times, and there are amazing features I haven’t explored yet such as delegation, storing documents, filters etc… I use it on my Mac and my iPhone, and it’s the best solution I’ve found for getting tasks accomplished while maintaining an organized calendar.
Sometimes I’ll decide to go ahead and implement something into my business from one of my Google Doc braindumps, so it becomes a “project.” For me, projects can become stale after ambition wears out if I don’t break it into bite sized pieces and set a timeline. One example of a recent project is getting my broker’s license. There’s the class, the fees, proof of experience, fingerprints, exam crash course, take exam. I took the class a couple of years ago, but COVID came and I put it off until just recently, so now I’m redoing some of the previous steps I took and in order to keep myself on track, it’s going into the project manager. I use Asana, and find it to be very helpful in my business and personal life. It’s also a great way to stay organized with tax prep!
When I started buying rentals in the midwest, I needed a place to keep all of those documents – the closing statements, 1098’s, management reports, insurance docs, financials and tax returns, etc… I knew I needed the cloud otherwise things would go missing all too often, so I started using Google Drive. We use Drive and Dropbox in our business, and I really like both. Having a system for storage that is searchable and easily shared with collaborators has been amazing!
I started this post mostly for business owners, but I use each of these tools in my personal life as well and think that at least some of them can apply to anyone. I hope it’s been helpful!