How I stay in sync

At any given time, I’ve got a lot going on. As well as working hard as part of the Winco Identification team, I have the UniqueDay wedding photography business, my wife’s beauty business and other projects to keep on top of – not to mention family things as well.

As a 21st Century guy, I’m able to keep everything reasonably under control, using some of the tools that are available today.

The one constant thing is my phone – I use the Apple iPhone, which I have with me just about all the time. I also have to report that Google (which seems to be taking over just about everything) has a big part to play in keeping everything working.

There are really three devices that I need to keep in sync. The phone, my PC at home and my PC at the office. Here is how it all works:

Dates and appointments. This area is controlled by Google Calendar. I use Google Calendar Sync to sync Outlook on my home PC to Google. I then use NuevaSync to Sync Google Calendar to the built in iPhone calendar app. This means that I have access to my calendar information even when I don’t have Internet access on my phone. I don’t have the ability to sync to the Outlook calendar at Winco so I only use office Outlook for email.

Email. I have 3 main email accounts. Winco mail, wedding business mail and a general Gmail account. All 3 are synced to both my iPhone and home PC. The office PC isn’t so helpful since I can only access Winco mail there (of course I can also get to Gmail via the website), but no problem since I always have my iPhone when I am there.

Contacts. Synced between the iPhone and Gmail contacts using NuevaSync.

Tasks/To-Do’s. To keep all my tasks and projects under control I use the great Toodledo service. This a basically a website to keep track of all these things (great if you use David Allen’s GTD techniques) and also has an iPhone app that automatically syncs with the on-line version. This means I have access to all my task and project information even when there is no web access around.

Notes. The Toodledo website service includes a basic, but useful Notes section. A third party developer, Appigo makes a really nice Notes application for iPhone that syncs perfectly with Toodledo.

Documents. For colaborating on documents with the rest of the marketing team, I use Google Docs. (see a bit of a Google trend going on here?) Jott is the final part of my sync strategy. Signing up for the Jott service, lets me call in to the service to make make note of appointments, add to my to-do list, send a text message or update my Twitter or FaceBook status. It is a great way to capture thoughts and ideas while driving, anyone who has attempted to type on the iPhone while trying to stear knows what I mean!)

Calling Jott and telling it about an appointment and having it appear in Google Calendar, iPhone Calendar and Outlook a few minutes later is just really 21st Century.

These days we all have to try and get more done in less time – I’d really suggest you check out some of these services. Also let me know if you have a better way. I’m always wanting to get better!

One final thing; since I set up my system, Google has come up with some additional sync solutions that replicate some of the functionality of NuevaSync. Because my NuevaSync has worked really well for me, I have not felt the need to change.

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