Last week at Internet Librarian International 2011 I gave a presentation on productivity for librarians. I’m a fan of the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and like to utilise online software to help organise my work and increase my productivity. I thought I’d give a brief overview of some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way as well as sharing some of my favourite productivity tools.

The main tips I wanted to share included:

  • Filtering email – use labels or folders; keep inbox purely for incoming messages (not storage or actions to follow up); establish rules for different types of items
  • Filtering RSS – organise feeds using folders based on topics or priority (I have an A* feeds folder); weed feeds on a regular basis; don’t be scared of the mark all as read button (this is something I still need to work on!)
  • Filtering tweets – use Twitter lists to focus on certain topics/areas (e.g. work colleagues, librarians, favourite tweeters); use saved searches to follow tweets of interest (for example, I currently have #chartership, #mlibs, and #cpd23)

Software and tools I like to use include:

  • Nirvana – to do list
  • Evernote – note taking and storage
  • TripIt – travel organisation
  • MeetingPad – meeting minutes on iPad
  • PlainText – distraction free writing on iPad
  • Nozbe – to do list which syncs with Evernote and Dropbox
  • IFTTT (If this then that) – service which can be used to set up to transfer information from one place to another

The full presentation is embedded below:

I really enjoyed speaking on this topic as it helped me think about my information processes in more detail (though unfortunately what I discovered was that it needs work to make it more streamlined). I had some interesting discussions with other productivity tool geeks too, including Emma Cragg whose previous blog post and presentation on this topic I found really useful.

I’m testing out a few productivity tools (currently beta testing new software IQTELL) and am always up for trying others – do you have any recommendations?

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