What apps are going to help you save time in 2022? Which productivity tools are a must-have in your toolbox? In this video, Scott Friesen shares 7 apps and websites that will save you both time, effort, and best of all, they're all FREE!
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It's a brand new year, and I want you to save time and get so much more out of your technology. So in this video, I'm sharing with you seven free apps that are going to help you be more productive and help you get more done in 2022. Hello everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And when I say free, I mean free. Each and every one of these tools is either 100% free or they have a free forever version. So no, we're not just talking about a trial period. You can actually use this day in and day out as you try to be more productive this year. So let's dive into app number one, and we're taking a look at Text Blaze. Now, text expansion is probably one of the easiest and fastest ways to save time online. You can take a very complicated email response or a template and whittle it down to just a few keystrokes on your keyboard and then input it wherever you want. So let me give you a quick example. Here I am within my Text Blaze dashboard where I can create and manage all of my snippets. Now, a snippet is again, just a few different keystrokes here on my keyboard, but they can contain so much information. So let's say that I need to respond to a quote and it's always the same question and I'm always giving the same answer, but I don't want to type it all out. Rather, I would just like to put in these three keywords. /qo for quote options and look what I've got. I've got an entire email here, including links, including bolding and some formatting that I can use again and again, instead of having to write this out, instead of having to go find it somewhere else and then right click and copy and paste it, I can just use these keystrokes and I've got everything here waiting for me, but there's a variety of other ways in which we can use this as well. How often are you sharing your video conferencing link, for example? Well, how about if I go /vc, there is my link and I can put this wherever I need to. Now the other great thing about Text Blaze is that you can do more than just having the same information, you can actually customize and actually ask for certain things to be filled out in advance. So here you can see I've got a snippet called the review process. So I'm going to type that one in here just to show you what's going to happen. Before it inputs it into my email or my Google document, or really anywhere where I want to include this. It's actually going to ask me a few questions because maybe I want to customize and address this person. So in this example, maybe it's an email response. I'm going to say, "Hi, Jane, thanks for sending over these files. I will review them and get back to you by January 1st." Now, you'll notice that January 1st is highlighted, that's because I've actually said that my standard turnaround time or my standard response is going to be three days. So if I come over here and if I click on the review process, here, you can see the nuts and bolts of this snippet. So here I want to customize it. I want to address the individual by name, but I've also put in a very simple formula saying, listen, put this out by three days. So that's going to be my standard turnaround. I don't want to have to do the calculations in my head, especially if it's two weeks or 45 days or whatever the case may be. Just put this into my response, save me so much time, make it easier for me to reply and put this into whatever I'm doing. So whether it's email, whether it's social media, whether it's anything else online, Text Blaze may be the ideal text expander for you. Now, the next free tool on our list is Loom and Loom is all about video content. You know as well as I do that in 2022, video is king. In fact, video has been king for quite some time, why? It's just so much easier to record a brief video and to respond to someone personally, but also to maybe show someone, if you're doing a screen cast or maybe a screen recording, if you're helping somebody out or you want to show them exactly what you are experiencing on your end, Loom is the perfect solution for you. In fact, I've been using Loom a lot more often these days to record a personal message to many of my clients. So here within the Loom dashboard, all I need to do is select the new video button. And in this case, I'm going to select record a video. Now, on the right-hand side here, I can adjust my settings in terms of what microphone I'm using, what camera I'm using. I can see a preview of myself here in the lower left hand side of the screen. Now, we can adjust a few things here. Maybe I don't want myself to be quite as large, no problem. I can make that a bit smaller or a bit larger. I can also change my background as well. So if I want to use something a little more plain or a little more flashy, I can do so. Sometimes the backgrounds, you know, they don't always work as well. The blur feature is maybe my recommendation because it does a much better job with our faces and our heads and our hair. So I'm going to say use the settings. All I need to do at this point in time is say start recording. It's going to give me a brief countdown after I say what I want to share, I'm going to say share my entire screen. Here comes my countdown. And now we're recording, so it will record my cursor. I can go around and highlight things. I can click on things and show people what I'm doing or what I'm experiencing. In this particular demo, it may look a little choppy because I'm not only making a Loom recording, but I'm recording this video as well. If I wasn't doing so, it would be a lot smoother. When I'm all finished, all I have to do is come down here and either hit pause, if I want to move to somewhere else on my screen. I can hit cancel or the check mark to say finish that recording. I'm then taken to a preview of my video where I can edit it, I can trim it. I can even add a call to action button. And the great thing is, is that I can just copy and paste this link and send it to basically anyone. I can embed it within an email. I can send it via a text message and people are now understanding exactly what I'm talking about, or maybe I can help them that much faster with a solution. So if you want to get involved with video recording and especially screen recording, quick and easy and free, be sure to check out Loom. Now, when it comes to project management or taking notes or task management, you have an awful lot of tools to choose from, but there's one tool out there that is not only free, but can actually cover all of these areas and allow you to be as flexible as you want and that tool is Taskade. Now Taskade really allows you to manage your projects or your personal tasks any way that you like Here I'm within my personal project workspace. And I'm going to click on this project roadmap for just an example. Now, one of the great things about Taskade is that you can view your information in so many different ways, whether you're including links and tags and other checklists within your notes area, you can really customize the look and feel, yes, you can assign due dates. Yes, you can assign and collaborate with others. But if you don't like working in this list view, no problem. We can come up here and do a board view. So if you prefer a Kanban style of managing your tasks, working from left to right, you can do so as well. Taskade also has what they call an action view, which is almost a bit of a combination of a spreadsheet or a database type view so that you can really take action on all of those tasks and projects that you've been creating, but it doesn't stop there. We also have a mind map view, so you can break things out by different sub categories and really brainstorm amongst yourself or with a team. And last but not least, it even has an organizational chart view as well. So if you're needing a very flexible project management or brainstorming tool in 2022, and don't want to be restricted by a limited number of projects or workspaces, Taskade may be the choice for you. Be sure to click the link in the description below to learn more. Now the next app on our list might just be the most powerful, but don't let IFTTT intimidate you. There are an awful lot of options here, but it's actually a lot simpler to use than you may think. Now, IFTTT stands for if this, then that. And the whole concept around this tool is that you decide what the trigger will be. Let's say, when you receive a particular email, or if something happens on your calendar or maybe something happens within one of your favorite productivity apps, then you want something else to happen. You want another application to be notified, or you want to receive a text message for example, but let's take a quick look at some of the most popular recipes from the past year. Just to get some of your creative juices flowing. So right off the bat, one of the most popular ones from the previous year was to get a weather forecast every day at 7:00 AM. Now, of course you can customize this in terms of when you receive this and maybe you only want to receive it on weekdays, for example, and not on the weekends. As I'm browsing through some of the options here, you can see that lost phones is maybe a common one, text your lost Android phone to turn the ringer volume up to 100%. You know that when someone says, "Hey, why don't you just call your phone? And you're like, "Oh, actually my phone was on mute or the ringer was way down." Well, you can actually create a recipe for that. Tell Alexa to find your phone. Okay Google, call my device. Yeah, losing your phone is certainly a bummer and IFTTT might make it easier for you, but again, you can combine social media accounts together. If you want to have your tweets and your Instagram photos to be in sync, you can do so as well. So a wide variety of different responses, different recipes, a lot of things pertaining to smart homes and smart devices. So if you're looking to get so much more out of your tools or want to combine things together, be sure to check out If This, Then That. Now the next tool on our list is one of my favorite ways to engage my audience, whether I'm presenting live in person, but especially if I am giving a video conference, a webinar, or maybe just a team meeting. And for this, we're taking a look at Slido. Now, Slido is all about live polling, but also allowing your participants to ask questions anonymously, if they want to and make your video meetings that much more engaging. So here within my dashboard, I can create a variety of different multiple choice questions, word cloud questions, open text questions here in advance. But when I go to my present view, all participants have to do is go to slido.com, enter in the room number, which you create in advance or use the QR code on screen. And now they can ask me questions here and I can manage those questions in real time. I can even highlight the question that perhaps I'm addressing here and I can check it off when I'm done. But as I just showed you, I can also do a variety of live polling. So in this case I had 37 participants and this is how they answered this question. And the great thing is, is that it's live, so these bars and these numbers actually adjust in real time, which really increases the engagement when I'm delivering a training or conducting a meeting. Here's an example of a word cloud, where I asked a question, in one word, how would you describe your to-do list? And just like any word cloud, you can see that multiple people chose the words helpful and chaos, but then a variety of other words here as well. So a fantastic way to engage your audience. After the meeting is over, as an administrator, you can even go back and capture all of this information for later. So if I want to capture all of my audience Q&A, I can do so, Slido even gives me some fantastic analytics. So I can take a look and see how engaged were my participants. I can copy this word cloud and some of the key words that came out of those questions here as well. So I can maybe adjust and improve in the future. If you really want to engage your next meeting, big or small, be sure to check out Slido. Now the next tool on our list is already very, very popular, but if you're still new to Calendly, make sure that 2022 is the year that you take advantage of this service. I can almost guarantee that you have booked a meeting using Calendly meeting, that someone else has sent you to their booking page. So for example, here, I'm going to click on my 60 minute meeting booking page, for example, and you're probably already familiar with this format and it's just so convenient, right? To send a single link, or you could embed something on your website, for example, and then people can go and look and search for a time that works for them. So they can click on your calendar on your available dates and then confirm a time for that upcoming meeting. The great thing about Calendly is that it will cross reference your personal calendar or multiple personal calendars so that you are never double booked. So in this particular example, I've got a lot of open spaces here, but if I decided to, let's say, take Friday off on the 14th, of course, that would not be made available to me. Now, within the Calendly dashboard, you can adjust the settings for each and every one of your event details. So for example, here, I'm within my 30 minute meeting, but it's already set for 60 rolling calendar days. And maybe that's too much for me. I don't want someone to book me out a full two months in advance. So what I can do is I can come in here and say, you know what? Maybe the next three weeks works for me. I'm going to allow them to go within 21 days and how frequently, well I don't want it on the half hour, maybe I want it on the hour itself. So there is so much that you can customize here within your Calendly experience to make sure that you only allow or accept meetings when and where you want. Now, the last tool on our list today is for all of us who are creating eye catching headlines that are going to make people either click or interested in our articles, our content, our products, our services, whatever it is that you are trying to convey to your audience. And for that, we're going to titlegenerator.com. Now the whole concept around title generator is that you put in some key words and they will spit out 700 unique headlines. So for example, I'm going to type in real estate in this case, all I need to do is click the big get headlines button. And what it will do is generate 700 headlines titles and content ideas. Now, as you scroll down, you'll see there's actually three different pages for you to review, but this is going to give you a variety of different things for you to consider or think about when creating your next headline. Now be careful, be sure to read each and every one of them, because some of them may not necessarily be grammatically correct. Do real estate better than Barack Obama, yeah, I don't think that really makes sense. But believe in your real estate skills, but never stop improving, the lazy man's guide to real estate. Got stuck? Try these tips to streamline your real estate. Now, while a certain percentage of these headlines may not be relevant and may be a little funny as you read through them, many of them will get your creative juices flowing. So whether you're creating a blog post, whether you're creating a video, a social media headline, whatever it is that you're creating, maybe you're wanting to create a catchy landing page for your website. You're going to find some interesting ideas here and with your keywords input into those titles. Now, I would love to hear from you next. What do you feel are some of the essential apps or tools that others should be using in 2022? Be sure to add your recommendations in the comments down below. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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