A year has passed since I made the small step into solo working and the giant leap into uncertainty. It was exciting. In some ways, it was also kinda lame.
At my old office job, if an invoice came in, I got up, strode over to the office manager's desk popped it on there. It may as well have gone down the memory hole.
Working solo means (quite literally) working on your own. All those finicky admin tasks that need doing? Those rest squarely on your shoulders.
We live in 2015. We don't have hover-boards yet but we're able to automate our workday experience. I use automation across all my devices (an HTC One M7, Nexus 7 and my PCs) and it makes my working life a hell of a lot easier. Here's my top 3 picks for automation tools.
I am a total Android fanboy. As soon as I get an Android device, I root it (nothing untoward, I promise) and install custom ROMs for peak performance. Pushbullet is the name of a handy tool forwarding notifications across all your devices. If one device gets an SMS, it's pushed to your PC and tablet. If your tablet has one email set up on it, it's sent to your other devices. I can even send SMS from my PC through my phone. It frees up my time to keep working without checking my phone or tablet every so often. (Saves battery, too!)
This is one of those apps that'll have you saying "where has this been all my life?" IFTTT stands for "IF This, Then That," which makes use of all the various APIs and automates tasks around them. For instance, you can send all your Twitter mentions to yourself as a daily digest at the end of the day. I use it with clients to send notifications to their email when I've updated their Dropbox. Another trigger sends an SMS to a missed caller asking them if that number is best to reach them. There's thousands of combinations or "recipes" to try, or set up yourself. Once you find yourself saying "I wish THIS happened when X happens" IFTTT figures out a way!
Ahh yes, the humble (and much maligned) TweetDeck. In its heyday, TweetDeck was the premier "social dashboard" app that handled nearly every major social network: Twitter (of course), Facebook, LinkedIn and even FourSquare. Sadly, Twitter bought out TweetDeck and stripped it of all its cross-platform charm. That's not to say it's still useful. I use TweetDeck to schedule tweets, making life easier when I'm on the run. Buffer does an OK job, but I'm a stickler for tradtion. It just takes the hassle out of scanning all my twitter timelines. Better yet, I can access it from anywhere. Sometimes simplicity (albeit forced) is a good thing!
What are your favourite automation apps?