Organize your financials

Having trouble keeping track of your money? Here are a few pieces of software that will help organize your money and give you peace of mind.

  • Quicken Essentials for Mac – Show bank balances, import transactions, categorize spending, create budgets.
  • Quicken for Windows – Show bank balances, import transactions, categorize spending, create budgets.
  • Intuit’s Mint.com – From the makers of Quicken, this online service has similar features as its desktop software, but is free and accessible online.
  • Freshbooks – Fantastic software for small businesses. Includes invoicing, time tracking, expense management, and more.

Twitter lists

With Twitter lists you can:

  • Organize your twitter friends into groups
  • View and manage those groups with a desktop app like TweetDeck or Tweetbot
  • Keep lists of accounts you don’t want to follow, but want to check in on from time to time
  • Share your lists with others
  • Subscribe to other people’s lists

How to use lists

Keep track of your reading

Good ReadsIf you read a lot of books, it’s nice to keep track so you know what you’ve read and what you might like to read in the future. GoodReads is a great (free) website that lets you save book lists, write reviews, and share recommendations with friends. They also have a mobile app for updating your book list on the go.

Note taking software

Note takingIf you’re like me, you’re much faster at typing than writing with a pen and paper. Here are some great applications to try if you’d like to take notes and organize them on your computer:

  • Google Drive – Create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets for free on your Google account and access them anywhere.
  • Evernote – Create notes and collect your documents in one place. Keep your files in sync over the web so you can access them anywhere.
  • Notational Velocity – Free and basic note taking database. Just search for a note and if it doesn’t exist yet, create it. Makes it easy to organize your notes.
  • OmniOutliner – Simple outlining program for the Mac. It isn’t free ($50-99) but still excellent for basic note taking.

Text message reminders

Don’t have a smart phone, but still need an easy way to send reminders to yourself? Here are two options that will help you out:

Google Calendar:

  1. In the calendar list on the left, click on the down-arrow button next to your calendar, then select “Reminders and notifications”. Click on the link at the bottom of the screen to “set up your mobile phone to receive notifications”. Walk through the setup to verify your phone.
  2. Once that is set up, create a new event on your calendar with a specific time. Click the “Add a reminder” link and add your SMS reminder for the time you would like to receive your reminder. Save your event!

gcal-reminder

Oh Don’t Forget:
If you don’t use Google Calendar and want an even simpler way to send text reminders, try Oh Don’t Forget. Just put in your number, date/time and your message and send! You can pay $5/month for a premium service that removes the ad from your reminders and lets you save recurring reminders.

ohdontforget

Label your Finder folders by color

The Mac Finder is the window that pops up with a listing of all the files and folders on your computer. Did you know you can label these folders and files by color? Just right-click (or control-click) on the folder/file, and under Label choose your color. I like to do this with frequently accessed folders so I can find them more easily.

Hide/show Gmail Labels

If you use a lot of labels in Gmail, the list in the left column can get quite long. There is a simple way to show only your most frequently used ones: underneath your list of labels on the left, click on “More”. You can click and drag any label from above the line to below it, or vice versa.

Another way to manage your labels is to go to Settings (the gear label in the upper right corner) and then click on Labels. From here you can click Show/Hide to choose which labels will be visible in your list.

Uninstall Mac applications

Typically if you want to delete an application, you just drag it to the trash. But that doesn’t actually remove all of the files associated with the app (like preferences, widgets, or other files). Over time those files can take up space on your computer. I suggest using a program called AppCleaner. Open it, drag the app you want to delete onto it, and it will tell you which files are associated with it so you can delete them all. Plus it’s free!

Try it!

Filtering your Gmail

Filters, like Labels allow you to organize your Gmail. You can set up rules that will automatically categorize or file messages depending on custom criteria you specify. For example, maybe you want emails from your Mom to be labeled “Family”, or you want emails sent from your boss to go directly in the Trash.

In Gmail’s search box, click on the drop-down arrow on the right. First find the messages you want to label or file: Type in a name or email address in the From box, and/or a word in the Subject box (i.e. Receipt, Itinerary). Then click on the “Create filter with this search” link. Now choose what you want to do with the messages you’ve specified. You have choices such as: Archive the message, Star it, Apply a label, Delete it, etc. Chose some actions and click “Create Filter”. If you want to apply this action to the matching conversations Gmail just found (see your Inbox), check that box first.

You can also set up email filters with:
Apple Mail
Thunderbird
Outlook
Yahoo