Time Savers.

Useful Things by Chris Coyier

Most of us do quite a bit of time-wasting with technology. From video games to blog grazing to texting friends to late night YouTube benders, we spend more time every day using technology to entertain us. But at its root, technology is supposed to save us time and make us more efficient. Here is some technology that will do just that:

Stamps.com
Print exact postage right from your home printer. No lines at the post office is enough to sell me, but there is more. You can add your own graphics, hide the shipping costs, import addresses, print postage and mailing addresses at the same time, and get free delivery confirmation. Also worth mentioning: there’s a 4-week free trial.

DVR’s
Gone are the days of mindlessly zoning out to whatever is on the tube. DVR’s make it possible to watch all your favorite shows whenever you want with about a 30% time savings in commercial time. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, now is the time. There are a ton of options available, from open source software like MythTV, hardware/software solutions from your cable/satellite provider, or commercial software like BeyondTV or ReplayTV PC Edition. There’s virtually no excuse for not watching TV on your own terms, in your own time.

External Hard Drive
Printing your own stamps might save you a 30 minute trip to the post office, but here is a way you can save hundreds of hours: back up your data! We’ve told you before about backup software and solutions, but one of the most tried and true solutions out there is to buy an external hard drive, hook it up, and copy your files onto it. Old school, low-tech, and easy as pie.

GTD
Not exactly technology at it’s root level, GTD (Getting Things Done) is an organizational system for people helping them achieve “Stress-Free Productivity”. I find myself implementing more and more of the ideas all of the time and it really is an amazing way of organizing your life. The best way I can explain it is that your life is full of “stuff” – and GTD helps you identify and categorize all that stuff so that at any given time, you can quickly analyze what is around you and what you are capable of so you can best manage your time. There are plenty of software tools out there to help you with this, but I am not comfortable recommending anything in particular. If you are interested, a simple search will find you more than you ever wanted to know.

How do you use technology to save you time?

Comments (1)

One reply on “Time Savers.”

I got a video capture card (Happauge WinTV-PVR150) for Christmas and it is awesome! I use TitanTV.com and I can schedule a recording from any computer with internet access. I never have to do that “Oh crap, I’m going to miss ___” any more.

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