This week we celebrated/survived April Fools’ Day. In commemoration of that great holiday, we have compiled a list of tools that will help you avoid being a technological fool for the rest of the year.

Cloud Storage

If you’re not storing information in the Cloud, you need to start now. Cloud technology combines convenience and accessibility with a great price tag. You can save any file type on the Cloud, making it a versatile way to backup your files. Don’t be intimidated by this new technology because it’s user-friendly. It’s simply a matter of selecting and saving.

Document Management

As we discussed in an earlier blog post, the key to managing documents is the 4 S’s: search, sort, store, and save (or sack). When searching, you need to look at every possible location where data is stored on your computer. Begin with the My Documents folder, then check your hard drive, CD’s, flash drives, and anywhere else you save files. At that point, sort the files by the time they were created and the medium, whether the files are video, music, spreadsheets, photos, etc. After categorizing your files, make sure to backup everything, preferably on the Cloud. Don’t be tricked into thinking your files are safe if they’re saved in only one location. After the files are backed up, feel free to discard the files you don’t want to keep.

Document Tracking

Tracking provides one of the most powerful ways to share data, allowing workers from across the globe to share ideas in a seamless, light-speed fashion. Employees can create, share, edit, delete, and move documents that can be viewed by the people you designate. Even better, you can identify who made changes to a certain document, and when those changes are made, helping you to better regulate workflow. Make sure to implement document tracking for your next group project.

File Sharing Tools

To stay competitive as a business, it is not enough to know how to store information; you have to know how to share it as well. The ability to have your employees collaborate quickly and securely is critical to having an edge. In order to do so, you need to access internet networks that you are familiar with, and use encrypted Wi-Fi. It is also important to install a firewall if possible, which lets you control what information is sent out and who the recipients are. Another important measure to take is keeping your software up-to-date, which helps you stay a step ahead of data phishers.

Workflow Tools

Setting aside time to optimize workflow is necessary to work efficiently. You need to start by organizing your work environment. It’s a lot easier to keep your mind uncluttered when your workspace is uncluttered. Then, it is essential to prioritize the materials and data you need to organize. The first way to prioritize is in terms of time. Pull out a calendar, and break your tasks into a timeline. Write a list of what needs to be done today, within a week, within a month, and larger time increments as you see fit. The last thing to do is to speed up your workflow by finding ways to improve processes. Look for software programs that can help you be more productive, and eliminate tasks that are unnecessary.