This isn't a blog post.

I'm compiling time-saving tips for daily life, which I will post here or elsewhere (with a link from here). Do you have any to add?

So far I have found some apps that save time doing routine tasks. Let me know if I missed anything.

Ifttt (If This Then That) - Automate tasks across your apps

Keyring – Put all loyalty cards on your phone

CalendarTree - Add entire schedules to your existing calendar with a few clicks

Remember the Milk - To do list

Fastcustomer app – Calls you back when customer service is on phone

Camcard – Scans business cards

Easilydo – task automation

World Time Buddy app - Know what time it is someplace else



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Jul 22, 2014
Typing is faster than clicking
CLCL (Windows) - Clipboard Manager - type control-C to see up to the last 100 things that were on your clipboard (text, pics, URL,etc.) reduces your time switching windows, and really helps picking back up where you were the day before (What was the URL/order number/quote/odd word I copy/pasted yesterday?)
Launchy (Windows)- type alt-space and type in the program you want (chrome, cmd, itunes, whatever). Mac has something built in, I think.
Jul 16, 2014
Did nobody really mention that you slipped Calendar Tree (your software) into this list? Or were the ones that mentioned it deleted?
Jul 14, 2014
I bought three laundry bins: whites, colors, and jeans. I sort my clothes as I take my clothes off. Now I don't have to sort through a large pile of laundry every time I want to wash socks (or whatever), and don't have to clean up a pile of clothes I dumped out to rummage through.
Jul 12, 2014
Phantom II - it's personal preference. I just don't like the design of most Casio watches and generally prefer Timex.

Also, in Northern California you're a lot closer to Fort Collins, Colorado where the "atomic time" signal is created. Even the old signals usually didn't have much trouble reaching there. But get out to New England and it's so weak...even with nighttime skywave propagation...that it's often difficult for devices to read it long enough to synchronize. It doesn't help that being anywhere near an active AC power cable/circuit will wipe out the 60kHz WWVB signal. (60kHz is a harmonic of 60Hz AC power cycling...granted a mighty weak harmonic, but the WWVB signal's pretty weak, too!)

BTW, my original post should've said "Plus 1 for Waze and Plus 1 for Keyring". Don't know why the blog software stripped out the plus symbol. (shrugs)

Speaking of Waze, anecdotally speaking I am convinced that all patrol cops now keep Waze active on their smartphones when staking out a patch of the interstate...and soon after they see themselves reported on the map, they move to a different spot. Anyone else got any hard evidence to prove/disprove this unscientific observation? I'd love to know...
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 12, 2014
Time saving tip? Always be working on the most important thing at the moment, and the next most important thing next.
Jul 11, 2014
For aaronread:

I don't know if this is helpful, but there are a number of watches available now that will synch with WWV/WWVB much better than older versions of radio-set watches. My watch (my sports watch, anyway) is a Casio Pathfinder Triple Sensor.

The Casio synchs every night at midnight, and if it doesn't synch on its first try, it switches frequencies and tries again, which earlier watches didn't do. As we all know, WWV/B broadcasts time signals on frequencies of 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20 and (experimentally) 25 MHz.

I live in northern CA and don't have any trouble synching. You can also 'force' a synch if for some reason where you left the watch didn't get a good signal. I have also found that, even if the watch fails to synch, it's only off by about 1/4 second a day, which is good enough in most cases even if you need precise time signals.

As a gadget junkie, the watch is fun. It tells me everything: tides, phase of the moon, altitude, barometric pressure, temperature, compass, stopwatch, timer, with memory on many functions, and one other thing, let's see, what was it . . . oh, yeah, it also tells the time, lol.

So don't worry if the old Timex takes a licking and doesn't keep on ticking (apologies to the late John Cameron Swayze, and you have to be old to get that one). There are some great alternatives out there.
Jul 11, 2014
Drafts - great for grabbing notes, links to Evernote, email, messaging, google, amazon. Hard to describe.

Evernote - external memory. Has a great business card scan interface that ties in with LinkedIn.

Copy2Contact - lets me scrape contact info out of text, like an email signature, and create a contact on the iphone. Used to use Xobni for that, but they are gone.

Fwd Mtg - lets you forward a meeting that you didn't create on the iphone.

Jul 11, 2014
This is something I read in a time-management book.
"Touch each piece of paper only once."
In short, any paper that comes by your desk and requires any action to be taken on it, do it immediately. Do not place it at the side somewhere, so that you have to pick it up again, read it again, again place it somewhere, etc. etc.
It will generally require just a couple of minutes of thought or effort. Finish what you have to do with it the first time you touch it, so that you never have to waste time repeatedly on it again.

The following two tips do not save time per se but are things I find very useful:

a) Say you're ironing your clothes. While doing this you remember you have to take your morning dose of medicine. What do you do? Mostly we tend to finish the ironing, by which time we forget about the medicine and leave for work. The medicine remains untouched. The trick is to "Recognise what you're more likely to forget and do that task immediately." Pop the pills and then continue ironing. You're not likely to leave for work in crumpled clothes.

b) Imagine you're sitting at your desk. You have to file a piece of paper in a file that is some distance away. What is the logical thing to do? You punch the holes in it and then put it at the side, so that you can take it and file it when you next get up from your chair.
What I do now instead, is get up immediately and file the paper. In short, I take every opportunity I can to repeatedly get up from my chair, instead of remaining seated in it for long periods of time. This is more of a health tip but I find that it helps a lot in avoiding getting a stiff back.
Likewise, I no longer shower when I bathe. I use a bucket and mug, which forces me to bend down repeatedly and get at least some exercise. Every little bit matters when you're nearing fifty.
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 11, 2014
This isn't a cheeky answer, it's serious.
If you want to save time, and are ready to pay money to gain time, what you should do with your loyalty cards is not to use them at all.
Forget keyrings and apps, save time and tell the cashier "no, I don't", and just pay.

This is a generic advice that also works in lots of other situations:
- As a lower bound, when you are e.g deciding between two items because one is more expensive, and the difference in price is smaller than the amount you'd make working on the time it took you to make the decision, stop thinking right away and get the expensive one.

If you make $60 per hour in your job and it's taking you a minute to decide between getting 6 eggs for $1 or an offer for 12 eggs $2, maybe because you don't know if you'll use them all or whatever, stop thinking, get the expensive one and be done with it. You're literally wasting your time there.

Remember, this is about saving time, not money or the planet, or what have you.
Jul 10, 2014
Grocery IQ, multi-store lists , you can even take the time to set up aisles etc.
But most what I like is multi-person sync so say my wife can send me items she wants me to pick up or the kids etc. So I basically now say if you don't send it to me I don't pick it up.

Jul 10, 2014
1 on Keyring.
1 on Waze.

I use Geofency (iPhone) to track my location since I spend a lot of time for my job working at remote AM/FM transmitter sites. It's not perfect but it's still helpful.

I wear an obscure Timex watch that, unfortunately, is no longer made. But it's one of the only Timexes that could sync to the WWVB "atomic time" signal, meaning I always know exactly what time it is. (this is important to my job, which uses time-based automation) Supposedly this year we will start seeing new watches designed to pick up the new phase modulation of the WWVB signal; it'll make the devices more effective at getting the signal even in locations where they've had problems in the past (like most of SoCal and New England).

Not quite what you mean, but I've found Yelp helps me find restaurants I want to eat at a LOT quicker than any other method. (shrugs)

FWIW, I have found something as simple as always putting my keys, wallet and watch in the same place, right as I walk in the door, has been remarkably time-saving. At least viewed against my wife, who rarely LOSES her keys but often has to spend time to hunt for them amongst several purses, tote bags, or locations around the house.
Jul 10, 2014
I hate laundry, so I do everything I can to simplify it:

All of my socks are the same, so that I can throw them in a pile at the end
I (finally) purchased enough white clothing that I can do a decent laundry load of just whites, using a whites-specific detergent, so that I no longer need to worry about keeping them clean
On my apartment laundry key, I write down (in white board marker) how much $$ is left on it so that I'm not caught by surprise when it's out of money

Jul 10, 2014
I lay out all my clothes for the next day: Pants with everything in the pockets, clean underwear and socks, etc. Admittedly you're really just moving the time spent, but it speeds up morning rituals when time is perceived as more valuable. Also, night before is a better time to find out you're out of clean stuff. At least you can rinse some shorts & socks and have them dry by morning.

This is something I started doing after the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Jul 10, 2014
One of the biggest timesavers isn't an app, but a line command:


It's amazing how much more time one has when one is not tied to a computer / tablet / smartphone.
Jul 10, 2014
Nobody cares about your socks. I have about 100 pairs of socks. There are three types -- around 40 pairs of tan socks all exactly the same, 40 pairs of black socks all exactly the same, and 20 pairs of white socks all exactly the same. They go in the sock drawer, and I never bother to pair them up. If one gets a hole, I throw it out. If I get low enough on a particular color that I think about buying more, I throw out everything in that color and buy an appropriate number of identical new socks.
Jul 10, 2014
One feature that would be nice in "Google Now" would be suggestions for couples. It would be pretty simple for Big Data to detect that a pair (or group) of phones are recording identical GPS streams (speed and location). In that case, "Google Now" suggestions could focus on an average of the couple's interests, or focus on couple-friendly activities in the area.

One example comes to mind: Let's say you and a buddy are going to rob a bank but you don't want to take two cars. Your plan is to meet at a mall, carpool to the bank, and then afterwards go back to the mall to get your car.

From your home to the mall, Google would only see one GPS stream, but from the mall to the bank it would see two identical streams, so an assumption could be made that a car was left at the mall. No button press to remember the mall location would be necessary.

After the robbery, things might be a little adrenalin-charged and your buddy might accidentally drive past the exit to the mall, potentially wasting precious time. But that's where your phone would automatically help with a gentle, timely reminder, "Your get-away car is at the next exit."

Jul 10, 2014
I am a very methodical person — to the extreme. Even something as simple as getting dressed is a process. Each morning I simply grab the shirt in my closet on the end. I then pick pants to go with the shirt. Done. I place clean shirts at one end of the closet and pull shirts to wear from the other end — that way my apparel rotates. I got the idea years ago from the movie, The Fly, where Albert Einstein was quoted as believing that man had a finite amount of thought, so he wore an identical outfit each day to avoid wasting thought on what to wear. I figured that I didn't have to wear the same thing each day — I only had to avoid deciding what to wear. My process provides variety as well as lack of thought.
Jul 10, 2014
If it only takes a few minutes to do, do it now. It rarely affects other things you're doing and tracking a bunch of 5-minute tasks is a waste of your time.

Unless you're afraid of losing your cellphone and/or having it stolen, keep a gallery of photos or scans of all your important documents. Drivers license, passport, social security card, birth certificate, spouse's stuff, kid's stuff, shot records. Doesn't hurt to have a few bills from this year. If people need to see any of this stuff, they will sometimes accept pictures, and you can other times email it from your phone and they'll accept that in lieu of the actual document.

Windows People -- Do your web browsing in a VM (I use virtualbox). When your browser/plugins/etc is compromised and/or you get stupid things installed, you can easily throw it away and start over with a fresh copy in a couple minutes. If you provide IT support for friends/family, make them do it. Tell them it's a privacy thing, or whatever stupid reason they'll accept. The virtual machine I use (you really only ever need to install one, no matter how many people are going to run copies of it!!!) has a VPN and torrent software, so my kids don't get busted for pirating music. You can keep it on a thumb drive if you keep it lean.

Don't believe anything anyone tells you unless you can independently confirm it from a reasonable and unbiased source. Bad information wastes time and money and most people are gibbering morons spouting bullcrap.
+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2014
If you want to know what time it is somewhere else, you can get that from Google.
Just type in "Time in <city name here>"
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jul 10, 2014
My big thing is not so much a tool as a mental trick.

Before I go off to do something that involves multiple steps, I try to go through each step mentally and take note of what I'm going to need. I usually don't manage to get everything, but it's much better to stop for thirty seconds and think than it is to spend time running back and forth several times.
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