Free productivity tools are not all the same. In fact, many are not worth your time at all. So in this video, Scott Friesen shows you 5 time-saving apps that will make your day so much easier. Get ready to get your day back without spending a dime!
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Sometimes it's the simple things in life that can make the biggest difference. So in this video, we're looking at five productivity tools which are very easy to use, but can have a big impact on your day. Hello everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And the first tool that we're looking at here is pocket. Now pocket is all about clipping and grabbing pieces of information on the internet so that you can read it in a distraction free environment. Let me show you how it works. Here on the web, you can see that I have the pocket extension available to me here in the top right hand corner. So let's say I'd like to read this article but it's a 13 minute read. I just don't have time for it right now. So instead I can come up here and select the pocket icon and instantly it is saved to pocket. If I like, I can add some tags or put it in a particular list, but let's keep things simple for our example. Next up, let's say I grab this article here which I would like to read through as well, but I actually don't have time and I also don't want to be bogged down by all of these images as I go through this content. Once again, I going to hit the pocket icon and in one click it is added to my list. Lastly, pocket also works for other content, such as videos. Here's a video that's a half hour in length. I don't have time right now, but maybe I will later this evening. Once again, all I have to do is hit that icon and it is added to my list. Now, when I go back to pocket and select my list, you can see that I have both the article, these two articles, and that video added to my list. And the great thing is, is that it's not just going to send me back to that webpage. I have a reading focused environment to do so. Let's click on this therapy article as an example. When I click on it, you can see that all of the advertisement is taken away. I can just focus on reading this article without all of the other distractions. If I go back and if I select something like the YouTube video, for example, I'm not brought back to YouTube. I can watch it right here within the pocket player. So again, I'm not distracted by other things, other advertisements, or perhaps other videos. I can just focus on the content that I want. Now, the next tool on our list is also about gathering information, but information which is often hard to get at. How often have you been watching a video and perhaps someone has put up a large quantity of text, and you'd like to take those notes to be used somewhere else or just maybe for your own personal reference. Well, you could pause the video here and take out a notepad or try and write it down in your note taking app. But with the Selectext extension installed, you can see that there's a new button in the top left hand corner of my video. If I select this it will automatically find all of the text on the screen. Then I can click and drag and select just what I want, and when I release it is automatically copied to my clipboard. I can then go into any other application and paste that information and use it for my own purposes. Here is another example, from the very same video where the author has just pasted a screenshot of a particular email. Once again, I can enable select text and now all of that text is selected. I can just select what I want. I don't need this copyright down below. And again, I can now go and paste this information wherever I like. Selectext is a free Chrome extension and works on almost all video sites including Skillshare and even university lecture recordings. Now, speaking of learning new things let's see how we can create a user friendly guide either for ourselves or for others, so that we can remember how to perform certain tasks. And for that, we're taking a look at Scribe. Let's get started by looking at what a finished Scribe looks like. If I open up this one, titled Google drive sharing tip, you may think that I captured a number of screenshots and then I came in and had to type in this text and then add things like this orange circle. But what if I told you I didn't do any of that? In fact, it took me only 55 seconds to create this entire Scribe. The way that Scribe works is to record yourself doing those precise actions and without changing a thing, Scribe will record where you went, what you did, and will even automatically zoom in and highlight where you clicked. Let me show you how easy it is to create your own Scribes. In this example, I've returned to the pocket website. And perhaps I'd like to show someone how they can change pocket to dark mode but also change the layout of their list. All I need to do is come up to the Scribe extension and select start recording. What Scribe will do, it will confirm that the capture has started and in the lower left hand corner you can see this lightly blinking light, letting me know that everything I do from now on will be recorded. So first I'm going to come up to my list because this is where we're going to change the layout. I'm going to click on my icon and I'm going to select this option down below. This is what I think they are going to prefer when it comes to their list layout. But then I also want to change it from light to dark. So I'm going to select dark as well. And lastly, I'm going to click off of the menu so that they can see the page in front of them. When I'm finished with whatever it is I want to show, I can come down here and click complete recording. This will bring me to the Scribe interface where I can see the entire Scribe but also edit for minor changes. So for example, by default it's saying this is the get pocket workflow. I might want to come up here and say get pocket dark mode and reading layout, maybe something a little more descriptive there. I can add a further description if I want. Scribe is going to show how many steps are included in this guide and also how long it took for me to record it. Now, keep in mind I was going extra slow and narrating along the way, something that you don't need to do. The first step is to navigate to, well, to your get pocket site. And if this is something too specific, again, we can edit anything here as well. Maybe what I'm going to say is just go to getpocket.com Click my list. That's what I did. Then I clicked here and then I clicked this icon. If I want to be more descriptive, again, I can change the title then click the dark field and then click here. Actually, I didn't need to click here. Did I? I only clicked here in this last step just to remove this screen. So I'm going to come up here and say, delete this step. When I'm finished with any minor edits, I can come up here and select done. Now I'm ready to share this Scribe. I can either share a direct link, so I can send people to this Scribe, or I can also export it to things such as PDF. Or if you upgrade to the pro version, you can export to other formats as well. If you'd like to use Scribe for free be sure to click the link in the description below. Now, the next service on our list has been around for a very long time but continues to evolve as it connects more services and allows you to create your own custom triggers. IFTTT, which stands for, if this then that, allows you to create your own custom applets. What is an applet? Think of it as a recipe when you want things to do something specific and perhaps between two or more services. In my example, I'm going to come up here and select the create button. And here you can see the basic recipe which is waiting for inputs from me. Now, in my case, I want to be alerted of when things are snowing at my local ski resort. So my trigger, I'm going to select if this and I'm going to select the add button. In this case, I'm going to look for a weather service. Now I could start scrolling, but I I highly suggest that you start searching for either keywords or key apps and services. I'm just going to type in weather. And in my case, I'm going to choose this one which is called Weather Underground. Now, under this service, you can see there's a large quantity of different triggers, which I can set up. But in my case, I want to look at this one here. Tomorrow's forecast calls for, because I only want to receive a notification when something specific is in the forecast for tomorrow. I'm going to select this one and now I can choose a few other specific conditions. Mainly what is the weather condition I'm looking for and at what specific location? So here, I'm not looking for rain. I want to be notified when it's going to snow tomorrow. So I'm going to select snow and no, I don't want just a general location. I want something a little more specific. So I'm going to type in silver star, perfect Silver Star Resort. That's the address I want it to look for. I can select create the trigger. So now we know the if, but what do we want to do about it? If there is snow in the forecast how do I want to be notified? Well, that's the 'that'. Here I'm going to select add again and I can choose another service. Now, in my case, I'm going to be looking for an email. So I'm going to type in Gmail and I'm going to select that option. Next, I can choose a specific action for Gmail. Because I want to send this email to myself, I'm going to select this middle option. But if I wanted to notify other people, I can send to up to 20 recipients, I would choose this one here. Let me select this middle one. And yes, that's the account I want to send it to. I can customize things such as the subject line, tomorrow's condition tomorrow. That means this is going to say snow tomorrow, right? Because that's what I'm looking for. And here's the body of the text. Of course I can customize any of these fields if I want to. But in this case, I'm going to leave it as is. I'm going to select the big create action button. And now my applet is almost ready. I'm going to select continue. And I will see a summary up above. If tomorrow's forecast calls for snow then send yourself an email from this address. Last but not least, let's select finish. And now this applet is ready to go. I will receive an email the day before if there is snow in the forecast at my local ski resort. Next let's take a look at a free extension which helps us with avoiding distractions. Limit is a free extension, brought to us by Freedom which is all about trying to block out how much time we spend on particular sites. With the limit extension installed, we have a very simple interface which we can use to either add additional websites and also limit how much time we spend on those websites. Now, by default, you're going to have a collection of roughly 10 websites listed here. And yes perhaps some common culprits such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are listed. And by default, it's going to give you a limit of 25 minutes, but you can customize this for each service. Maybe I want to allow myself 60 minutes on YouTube but I only want to give myself about 15 minutes on Instagram each day. If I want to add additional websites, I can come up here and just paste in the URL. Lastly, if I want to see a visual indicator as to how much time I've spent on a website, I can toggle this switch at the top. But remember whether you toggle this on or off if the limit extension is installed, it will block you from all of these sites after that limit has been reached. So with amazon.com as an example, let's go to the amazon.com website. Here, you can see I'm on the home screen and really nothing out of the ordinary, but because I have that show timer turned on in the top right hand screen, it's going to tell me exactly how long I have been on this site. And although you might find this distracting, it can be a helpful reminder that you don't want to spend too much time on this site. In fact, I really appreciate that it doesn't show a second by second countdown. It only updates every 10 seconds. So it's a little less distracting as you navigate around the site. But because I've set Amazon for 25 minutes, once 25 minutes is reached, this site will no longer be available to me until the next day. And if you're looking for even more ways to stay productive and to avoid distractions, you're going to enjoy this video on the screen in front of you. Remember being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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