How Do You Manage Your Digital Life?

digital-worldI’ve been trying to achieve something that may be impossible…creating a way to synchronize my digital life and my real life, so that I can meaningfully accomplish things in both areas. Now I consider myself a bit of a techie. And I’ve usually been an early adopter to technology. I opened my Twitter account back in 2007. I joined Facebook in 2008. And I am usually the first in the office to update software. But lately, I’m struggling with how to manage learning curves that come technological advances like an iOS7 update, as well as managing social media and the different ways people communicate.

Perhaps I’m just getting old, but consider this. Today, I had a senior citizen from the church call me on the phone to talk, I had a millennial texting me with questions and information on my cell phone, I had instant messages on Facebook from friends and family, I was inundated with emails, I received two direct tweets from friends and I had a Skype conference call with a church leader.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, because as a former communications major, I love all the various ways and methods to communicate. But as you can see, generationally and professionally we all have different preferences of communication. Notice the inclusion of the demographics associated with the preferred styles of communication above. The professional wants everything documented, so they email. The millennial doesn’t want to answer my call, but will text instead. The senior citizen doesn’t have email and prefers to call and talk over the phone.

So, here is my question…how are you all managing all this? Seriously, with so many ways to communicate, what have you found to be the best way to navigate all these various platforms…voice mail, email, texts, letters, etc.

Along with that, I am desperately trying to move away from paper and integrate meeting notes, task lists and streamline things to be more productive. However, I am finding the apps I’m using don’t necessarily sync well between my computer, my tablet and my phone. I’ve tried Evernote and Wunderlist, but so far not wowed by either. So I would be interested to hear what you’re using and what’s working for you.

Long ago we were promised that technology would make our lives simpler. And in many ways it has. But it has also made our lives a whole lot more complicated. However, as hard as we try to hide from technology…it is there, staring us in the face. So what’s working for you? I’m curious. Give me your thoughts!

2 Responses to How Do You Manage Your Digital Life?
  1. Cris Reply

    Hi Bryan. Purely my two cents… i can appreciate your situation. I think what it boils down to for most, if not all of us, is still a question of organization and priorities. We have put upon ourselves the need to respond to others’ instant messaging or last minute texting as if there was no other alternative time to respond back. So because its instant request, question, or comment was sent, we feel obligated to respond in the same ((timely) fashion. Why is that? Iv’e often asked myself that question knowing that I myself have sent instant messages but did not receive instant responses. And then theres the personality issue. If you’re type A, which I’m guessing you are (as I am), we just have this need to be perfect not for others, but for ourselves. How many deadlines have you missed lately? Am guessing, none! But at what cost? And, there is still that quest for the perfect app that will do everything i want it to, the way i want it to, when I want, etc., etc. I know…my phone is full of “lite version” apps while i decide which is best. Scheduling, with others, and most importantly with yourself, is still my best answer. I actually break down my day to calendar appointments for just about every imaginable task i need to do. Only true emergencies get instant replies. Hope this helps.

  2. Kari Uhlman Reply

    I can certainly empathize with the question of organization and priorities. I use MS Office Outlook with the Business Contact Manager (BCM) add-in to organize accounts, contacts, and business projects. The projects are further broken down into tasks. Here’s the link: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/what-is-business-contact-manager-for-outlook-HP010262568.aspx

    I have also recently successfully tried a Bullet Journal approach and passed this on to a colleague.
    Here’s the link: http://www.fastcodesign.com/3016456/this-note-taking-system-turns-you-into-an-efficiency-expert?partner=newsletter

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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