Boost Productivity as a Google Junkie

We all use our computers to become more productive and more efficient.  Much of our activities revolve around using the internet.

Today, I’ll introduce you to ways to be more productive by taking advantage of all the tools that Google offers.  The best part of it all is that these tools are all free.

As an avid Google junkie, let me walk you through my day.

After Waking Up

As I open my eyes in the morning, I grab my mobile phone and since it is on Google’s Android operating system, its linked to my Gmail.  I check my Gmail account for emails.  There are other email options like Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail or the old-school AOL but my preference is still Gmail as it ties in to pretty much to everything else I do.  Plus, there are some nifty tricks that improves productivity.

I also receive notifications for my Google Voice number to my Gmail.  Two birds with one stone.  Its much easier to just read through voice mails converted to text, although not 100% accurate, it gives me a good idea.

Google Voice provides you with a virtual number that your able to assign to a real number.  So if I assign it to my home and mobile phone and someone dials my Google Voice number, both home and mobile phones will receive the call.  This comes in real handy because I can pick up a new Google Voice number any time if needed.  It also features the ability to send and receive SMS text messages.  There are some other ways to increase efficiency with Google Voice.

Two things out of the way, I prepare to head out to the office.

Before I head out,  I check Google Maps for traffic conditions and expected commute time.  Now I have an idea what playlist to play to start off my day!

Hours at the Office

After arriving to the office and grabbing a second cup of coffee, I log onto my Google Calendar to see my daily agenda.  Too bad there isn’t something to dish up some caffeine.  Great thing about the calendar is that it sends automatic updates for tasks that are due or event reminders to my Gmail.  You are also able to customize it to serve multiple calendars from personal to work related.

Done with my scheduling, I check out Google Reader.  I keep up with all the readings and bookmark what is necessary to explore further.  It’s a tidy application to keep all the RSS feeds.  For those that aren’t familiar, using a RSS feed reader is like having your own personalized newspaper or magazine.

However, I still need to know what is going on in the world, so I check my stock portfolio on Google Finance and scan the news via, you guessed it, Google News.

While I am taking all this information in, I want to take notes for later use.  Rather than on a regular pen and notepad, I just use Google Docs.  Google Docs allows me to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets.  Its a full productivity suite.  The good part is that all the documents are stored on the internet.  This makes it easy to continue work after I get home without emailing the document or saving it on a memory stick.  Another feature is its ability to share documents so you can collaborate and work on the same document.

I’ll fit in a bit of unproductive behaviors and catch a couple videos on YouTube.  Most likely the ones being referred to me by friends or co-works through instant messaging via Google Talk.  Sure there are other popular instant messaging platforms like AIM but this one is probably not blocked by the corporate office firewall.  Also, its one less piece of software bloat to be installed on the workstation.

End of the Workday and Back at Home

As I leave the office, I check the traffic info again.  Perhaps even check Google Local for a restaurant to bring home dinner.  What’sis this?  Chick-Fil-A sounds like a pretty good meal for dinner tonight.

After dinner and some television to unwind, reading or the gym, I do one more round of checks of my Gmail, Reader, Calendar, etc. before I call it a night.

So there you have it, an entire day using Google’s free tools to increase my productivity and efficiency.  A bit scary on how much I rely on these services.  I embrace them without worry.  These productivity tools are just too great for you to not utilize.  Let your imagination run wild and you will see how you too use these services as well.

Here are some resources to increase productivity using Google’s tools:

There are a ton more other ways and methods to embrace and use these tools to increase productivity.  If you have any unique ways, please feel free to share.

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