Beth Ziesenis: Top tech tips to transform your life

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A speaker at the 2018 FCSI The Americas Conference in Denver, Colorado, on 19-21 April, self-professed “author, speaker and nerd” Beth Ziesenis has a few ideas to help attendees get organized for the event

FCSI The Americas is celebrating its 10-year anniversary – and it’s the perfect time to share 10 tools to help you get organized. Every one of these tools will save time (and money) so you can concentrate on your consulting business and keep everything in good order.

1) Organize your passwords

LastPass (free for the basic version or $24 a year for premium)

If you do nothing else in the new year, at least get a grip on your passwords. LastPass saves all the passwords in its vault so you don’t have to keep using the sticky note system around your computer monitor. Use the Security Challenge button to discover all the usernames and passwords for every site you have visited – then let LastPass identify duplicate and weak passwords to replace them with safer, more secure, choices.

Also check out: 1Password, Dashlane

2) Organize your email

Unroll.Me (free)

Between social media notifications, weekly newsletters and monthly industry updates, your inbox is clogged with information that may interest you but ends up overwhelming you. The app sweeps through your web- based inbox to list all your subscriptions. It then gives you the option of unsubscribing from each one with a click or organizing the ones you want to keep into a daily or weekly digest. That way you can get one email with links to all your subscriptions instead of a stream of inbox-clogging newsletters that you never get around to reading.

3) Organize your contacts

Contactually (starting at $39/month)

If your contacts are basically in one big pile in your contacts tab, Contactually can help. With an entertaining game (as entertaining as contact sorting can be), you can quickly toss your contacts into ‘buckets’ to get them organized. Contactually is also a customer relationship manager (CRM) that helps you track leads, find contacts on social media, view opportunities and keep your sales projects organized.

Also check out: FullContact, Insightly

4) Organize your bits and pieces

Evernote (free for the basic version or paid plans starting at $34.99/year)

Evernote is the ultimate organizer for all the random bits of information you need to save. From photos of your projects to client meeting notes, Evernote saves anything that can be stored in electronic format. You can organize information globally into “notebooks” or use tags to link individual items together. Everything you upload is searchable. The free version lets you synchronize across two devices, while the paid versions offer unlimited synchronization, offline access and more.

Also check out: Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep

5) Organize your photos

Google Photos (free)

Chances are you have approximately 4,532 photos on your phone – everything from photos of your client projects to pictures of your thumb. It’s almost impossible to find what you’re looking for unless you spend hours downloading and organizing… unless you’re using Google Photos. You can set Google Photos to automatically download your photos from your devices. Once your images are in its system, Google uses advanced image recognition technology to automatically organize your images by person, place or thing. If you search for the address of one of your facilities, for example, Google will scan your entire image library to display all images from that address. What’s more, Google will store all your media (including video) for free forever.

6) Organize your monthly statements

FileThis (free for up to six accounts or starting at $2 a month for more)

Stop scouring your shoeboxes for that one credit card statement from two years ago. FileThis lets you hook up accounts that have statements, such as bills, credit cards, banking and more. The service automatically collects the statements and organizes them into folders on Dropbox or other cloud-storage services.

7) Organize your medical information

CareZone (free)

CareZone is the perfect place to organize your health information and, maybe more importantly, the health information of someone you care for. The app allows you to scan prescriptions to track refills, doses and usage. You can also keep track of symptoms, organize medical new appointments and collect critical documents too.

8) Organize your travel plans

TripIt (free for the basic version or pro plan for $49/year)

If you have ever fumbled in a taxi to find the name of your hotel, TripIt can help. Just forward every electronic travel confirmation you receive to, and TripIt will convert all the details into an itinerary at your fingertips, automatically grouped by trip and organized together. When you leave for a client visit, your travel schedule is organized into digital cards you can flip through on your mobile device to see confirmation numbers, flight times, hotel locations and even the weather where you’re headed. The pro version keeps an eye on flight prices and notifies you when the price drops below what you paid.

Also check out TripCase, WorldMate

9) Organize your family schedules

Cozi Family Organizer (free for the basic version or Cozi Gold for $19.99/ year)

Having trouble keeping track of your busy consulting life, much less your spouse’s and kids? Cozi Family Organizer brings everyone’s schedules together for an at-a-glance look at your busy family so you can focus on your clients. You can also share to-do and grocery lists, as well as a family journal to cherish memories.

10) Organize your finances

Mint (free)

Mint has been one of the top financial organization and budgeting systems for many years. Once you connect your accounts, Mint gives you a snapshot of your finances, helps you create a budget, lets you pay your bills and keeps an eye on your investments. Alerts tell you about suspicious activity, upcoming bills and even bank fees you might overlook. You can even get a heads up when you exceed your budget.


Beth Ziesenis is a speaker at the 2018 FCSI The Americas Conference in Denver, Colorado, on 19-21 April. For more information on the Conference, click here.