Tick-Tock Tales: Mike Meets CloudCal & CloudTasks

Welcome to a new blog series that explores some of the wonderful things our users get done with CloudCal and CloudTasks. This week we talk to Mike Wright, a self-confessed workaholic who relies on both apps. 

For most of us, dealing with personal meetings is usually enough. But for some, planning and organizing them for other people is all in a day’s work. That’s exactly what Mike Wright does, a recruiter based in the US. Mike is responsible for making sure his company interviews and hires the right kind of talent, and it all starts with his calendar – organization is the key.

Mike, how important is organization to you? 

I am a workaholic, so hitting my professional goals is must, but at the same time I want balance in my life. Juggling everything requires dedication and a sharp eye for detail, especially when deadlines are looming. Whether it’s something for the office or my family, CloudCal and CloudTasks give me my entire schedule at my fingertips. Organization is invaluable.

What is your main productivity goal?

I interact with a lot of people throughout the day, either in person, on the phone, or through email. It is very important at work that I have a list of people I need to contact in the morning and throughout the rest of my busy day – it needs to be clear and always accessible. CloudCal ensures my day goes smoothly by showing all of my calendars in one convenient place.

What were your struggles before CloudCal? 

Flipping from one calendar to the other was a constant hassle. I have 8 calendars that I use daily. It just didn’t work for me anymore. 

So how did CloudCal help?

Both apps offered a very unique solution that I couldn’t find elsewhere: they can be integrated. With a few taps, I could see all of my calendars and tasks in one place, which immediately solved my problem. On top of that, I could seamlessly share tasks back and forth from CloudTasks. This boosted my productivity no end, and continues to do so today. 

What were the results?

I have seen tremendous results using CloudCal and CloudTasks. I haven't forgotten an appointment or double booked anything in a long time… what helps is that there’s a clear overview of everything, so mistakes are easy to spot. I don’t have to switch between different apps and services, which saves me a lot of time.

What’s your top CloudCal tip?

My tip is simple: only use the features you need, which is easy with both apps. A lot of other apps cram functions and features that get in the way of your productivity. Keep it simple, and I guarantee you’ll save lots of time and get more done – I have!

Have your own story to share? Drop us a line at hello@pselis.com.

New year, new resolutions.

That time of the year is approaching – we’ll soon close the book on 2015 and start drafting our big, bright plans for 2016. Whether you want to hit the gym or shoot for that promotion, the new year brings with it new opportunities.

But how can you collect resolutions and organize them properly? How can you get started on achieving them? And how can you see them through? It takes structure and discipline, but luckily CloudTasks is here to help.

1. Be realistic, be strategic.

Start by collecting your ambitions and to-dos. Unlike most projects, New Year’s resolutions are generally quite bold, so it's important to be realistic and consider the amount of time and energy you will need to complete them. Planning to become an astronaut, win the Tour De France and paint a masterpiece is more than most people can handle (unless you’re a strange mixture of Buzz Aldrin, Lance Armstrong and Picasso), so try picking 3 to 5 realistic goals that you can accomplish within a year.

Inspiration: Lose weight, learn to drive, stop smoking, save money.

2. Set the stage, bit by bit.

With your ambitions in mind and CloudTasks to hand, it’s easy to get everything reading for January 1st. Create a list called “2016 Resolutions” and note down all of your goals (like the ones above). The goals will probably be quite big, so we suggest using subtasks to break them down into smaller chunks. This will not only help you forecast how much time you’ll need to complete each goal, but will help you keep track as you go and give you a boost of motivation every time you tick a subtasks off. One step at a time!

Learning to drive subtask examples: research driving instructors, book 20 lessons, organize theory test, buy car.

3. Keep yourself on track.

Most of us like to take our time with tasks, but some need a boost of motivation along the way. Many projects, such as losing weight, also rely on regular reminders or set dates that coincide with actions. If you’re working towards a goal that has time-sensitive actions, set up reminds on your tasks so you remember to do them. The first one could certainly be “Start your goals!” at 12am on January 1st.

Lose weight reminder examples: Sign up to gym on January 2nd, weigh in on January 7th, run with personal trainer on January 11th at 7am. 

4. Collect all the details.

Contracts, dates, names: as big goals pick up momentum, they usually collect lots of additional details. Don’t let them slip through your fingers. Whether you need to send a PDF as proof of ID or require some notes along with your to-do, CloudTasks has a suite of features that allows you to keep all of these details in one place. Use voice input, attachments, notes, and sharing for better context.

Save money detail examples: write note detailing forecasted income, attach PDF of recent bank statement.

5. Rearrange as you go.

Plans change, and when they do it takes determination to stay on track. If new tasks crop up, collect and process them as quickly as possible. If lists get bigger and bigger, try different sort and filter options on each to get a clearer view – one setting is not applicable to all lists. Tap the three lines at the top of a list, choose your view, and you’re good to go. CloudTasks is flexible, just like you need to be.

Sort & Filter examples: alphabetical sorting in the lose weight list, priority sorting in the save money list.

Of course there are many other neat tips and tricks that you can apply throughout the year, and we’ll be back with more. But for now, use these to get started – we’re looking forward to seeing those big goals become reality! 

Unwrap the holidays with CloudTasks

The holiday season is upon us! Food, gifts, and family: we’ve got it all to look forward to, but first comes the hard work. Planning the festive period can be tricky, especially when other people are involved, which is why we’re here to offer a helping hand. So grab your phone, load up CloudTasks, and try our top productivity tips this holiday season – jolliness guaranteed! 

The best wish list? This one.

It’s a time of giving, so keeping track of gifts is essential. As the list grows and you shop in different places, you need a list that’s smart, one that can keep track of all the small details. Best turn to CloudTasks – here’s how.

1. Create a new list in CloudTasks called “Christmas Wish List”.

2. Start adding gifts manually, or do it as you browse (see next point).

3. Once you've found a great gift with Chrome, tap on the three dots at the top.

4. Tap ‘Share’, and then ‘CloudTasks’.

5. Add any other info, such as a due date.

6. That’s it! The URL will be saved along with the task, so you can always head back to the best store or the best price.

Bonus tip: Assign stars to the most important or time-critical gifts so they’re always top of mind!

Recipes at the ready.

Everyone looks forward to food during the holidays. When it comes to the main meal, it's important that you remember all of the ingredients, remind yourself of when to start preparing, and have the step-by-step recipe instructions to hand. 

1. First, why not decide what to serve? Create a “Dish Ideas” list and collect your favorites. If you’re searching Pinterest, for example, you can even attach a photo of the dish to the task so you remember how delicious it looks – just add an attachment. 

2. Decided on the menu? Great, now create a shopping list and hit the store. Prioritize the most important items so you get those before they’re sold out – we’re thinking Turkey!

3. Timing is crucial. Create a “Prep” task and give it a due date and time. This will ensure that, no matter how much fun you’re having with the family, you won’t forget to peel the potatoes.

4. Now to the cooking! Set up a task with a reminder and add a note containing the entire recipe – this will save you time!

Bonus tip: Forget something? No need to worry. Invite a friend to CloudTasks and assign them a task in a tap. Whether it’s picking up cookie dough mix or an extra bottle of wine, CloudTasks has got things covered.

Time to party.

The New Year is a time to reflect on accomplishments and embrace ambitions – oh, and party! Organization is the backbone of any great event, and CloudTasks has a whole suite of features that makes the process effortless. For those throwing a party outside of the home, here’s what you need to do.

1. Create a “Venues” list to collect the best spots. Do any have a brochure or price list to download? If so, attach the documents to the task – these will come in handy when you need to make a decision later.

2. Most of the venues will need to be booked well in advance, so set a due date and time for each task to remind you to contact your chosen one.

3. Who’s invited? Create a list of your closest friends and family, and attach a note to each task with their personal details inside. This will make it easy to invite them nearer the time.

4. Let people know what to bring! Drinks, food, fancy dress – it can’t be forgotten. Create a list of the essentials and assign your friends and family to pick them up. They’ll thank you later.

Bonus tip: If you’re on the go a lot, you can use the Voice Input feature to capture all of your to-dos – even with your hands full!

There’s much more to do around the holidays, but we hope these tips will get you off to a good start. To help you carve out the time and get everything done, why not download CloudCal and integrate your to-dos? It’s the best way to get an overview of your availability and forecast what needs to get done – and when!

P.S – Don’t forget to share that wish list with Santa!

 

Tick-Tock Tales: Jurgen Meets CloudCal

Jurgen Van Gussem

Jurgen Van Gussem

Welcome to a new blog series that explores some of the wonderful things our users get done with CloudCal and CloudTasks. This week we talk t o Jurgen Van Gussem, a father of two who relies on CloudCal.

If looking after two daughters isn’t hard enough, try working for the government. It’s all in a day’s work for Jurgen Van Gussem, a happily married father of two who lives in beautiful Belgium. We spoke to him about what it takes to organize his life, from the professional to the personal, and how CloudCal helps sow everything together. Read on to learn his top CloudCal tip.

Jurgen, how important is organization to you?

With a family and a job working for the Belgium government, my life gets pretty busy. I need to organize a lot, both at work and at home, to get things done and keep people happy. But it’s not always easy combining the two. In the past I used separate tools, but this just made organization harder as I was concentrating my energy in different places. I’m always looking for ways to boost my productivity and streamline my workflow, as managing and planning activities in the simplest way possible makes life easier.

What is your main productivity goal?

My main goal is to keep track of family events in all forms – from school appointments, to vacations, to family parties, to birthdays – and at the same time keep track of work events such as meetings and lessons. To do it all from one place is the ambition, as this helps me coordinate everything in a smooth way.

What were your struggles before CloudCal?

It was always hard for me to plan personal and professional things side by side. The tools I used for work made me adopt processes that didn’t translate well to family life. Because of this, I never had a convenient view of future events and this led me to forecast my time improperly. I would often forget tasks, and I even forgot the odd birthday or two. Not good.

So how did CloudCal help?

I consider myself a power user, so I went in final search of a good digital agenda that could meet my needs. CloudCal popped up, and I instantly fell in love with Magic Circles. Magic Circles solved my main problem: getting a nice overview of future events to help better forecast my time. The different agenda views were a bonus too, as they gave flexible workflows to match the task at hand.

What were the results?

Letting people down is the worst. Now I can keep track of my family and social life, as well as my work life, without forgetting tasks, meetings, birthdays, and other things. I’m more organized then I’ve ever been. The Pselis team is constantly improving CloudCal too, which means new features are added that boost my productivity even more.

What’s your top CloudCal tip?

If you’re planning a meeting or other event, always attach a relevant local or Dropbox file if you can. This can be an agenda, a contact list, or a presentation. For me this is yet another way of keeping things together, and is a convenient way of having your materials to hand at a moment’s notice.

Have your own story to share? Drop us a line at hello@pselis.com.

Make good habits with CloudTasks

Not all habits are bad: going to the gym, keeping track of your work, and even remembering to take out the trash are all good ones to have. But to start a good habit and keep it up, you have to be disciplined.
There’s no magic potion or pill to get you up at 6am every morning for a run, but luckily there are tools out there that can help support your habit and give you the motivation you need at the right time.
CloudTasks is a great addition to your productivity plan, and has some handy features built in to keep you on track for the long haul. Let’s take a look at some.

Inbox: where ideas are born.

Perhaps you’re the type of person who has a lot of grand ideas, but often forgets them by the day's end? Use Inbox to quickly capture these ideas and store them for later reference. Inbox is only a tap away from your home screen, so it’s an easy routine to adopt: think, tap, type, tada!

Notes: never forget the specifics.

 A lot of people and talk: meetings are the cauldrons of any business, where big ideas regularly meet small to-dos. Take CloudTasks with you to the next one and get into the habit of storing background information in notes, along with your tasks. This way, when you come to start on a project, you’ve got all the wishes and requirements of your team or boss right there at your fingertips. Never forget the specifics again, and give your productivity a healthy boost

Reminders: your personal coach.

Reminders are a staple of habit forming. CloudTasks allows you to assign a due date and time to any task, and when the time comes around you’ll get a handy notification as a reminder. Whether it’s to do your taxes or drink some more water, this feature is invaluable in keeping you on top of a new routine. 

Recurring tasks: think less, do more.

Recurring tasks automatically pop up in your ‘Today’ list at a specified time, so you always know what’s up next on any given day. Similar to reminders, they keep you on top of new routines – both regular and irregular – without the need to input them over and over again. You can set tasks to recur daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, at even or random intervals.  

CloudCal integration: make time for your tasks.

If there’s one thing we all need to help form habits, it’s time. But how can you get an easy overview of your availability, so you know when you can slot in your next habit-forming action? CloudTasks seamlessly integrates with CloudCal, a calendar app that shows the hours you’re free with a quick glance, so you never miss an opportunity to be more productive. Like CloudTasks, it’s available free on the Google Play Store.

And that's it! Do you use CloudTasks in any other interesting ways? Have you accomplished something great with it recently? We'd love to know.
Share your story with us at hello@pselis.com. Stay strong!

Save webpages with tasks for better context

On the lookout for gifts? Gathering inspiration for your next meeting? However simple your project may be, CloudTasks has a feature that will make your to-dos a whole lot smarter. You can now save webpages directly inside your tasks, giving you better context around the project as a whole.

Let’s look at an example. If you’re making a shortlist of gifts, you can save URLs to online stores such as Amazon along with the task to buy them – making it easy to get back to the detailed product information you need.

This feature is great for lots of projects, from the personal to the professional. Here’s how it works:

1.     Inside Chrome, tap on the three dots at the top.
2.     Tap ‘Share’, and then ‘CloudTasks’.
3.     CloudTasks will create a new to-do using the title of the webpage, and will add the URL to the ‘Notes’ field.
4.     Place it into your preferred list and complete any other information, such as a due date.

That’s it! And however big those wish lists get, there’s always unlimited subtasks to help you deal with them. Enjoy!

Getting Things Done with CloudTasks

Getting Things Done®, or GTD® for short, is one of the world’s most favorite productivity systems. It’s simple, quick, and proven to help people accomplish their goals. So how can you combine it with CloudTasks? Well it’s easy, as CloudTasks has been built with the GTD® methodology in mind. Here we look at its five key principles and show how easy it is to get started and take control.

1. Capture

GTD®: Immediately write down ideas, tasks, and anything else that springs to mind.
CloudTasks: Use the provided ‘Inbox’ list to quickly capture everything that comes to mind, ready for sorting later.

2. Clarify 

GTD®: Break your notes down into actionable, manageable tasks.
CloudTasks: Divide big tasks into smaller, bite-size tasks using subtasks. CloudTasks allows you to create as many subtasks as you need, so big jobs like writing a report or decorating a room can be broken down into lots of actionable steps, offering a better overview of progress and a boost of motivation as you tick them off.  

3. Organize

GTD®: Separate your tasks into different categories and priorities. How urgent is your task? Set due dates and reminders if applicable.

CloudTasks: Create task lists based on category, for example: home, work, groceries. Now create tasks inside these lists, and assign priorities to them using stars, with 1 being most important and 5 least important. For maximum organization, you can set reminders and due dates for your most vital tasks. 

4. Reflect

GTD®: Plan your day. Decide which tasks you need to do immediately and which tasks can wait. If you have any poorly defined tasks remaining, break them down into actionable tasks.

CloudTasks: Look at your tasks in the ‘All’ list and start planning when you will complete them. For those that have the highest priority or that should be completed urgently, move them into the ‘Today’ list. Remember: You can prioritize tasks using the star rating system, 1 to 5.

 5. Engage

GTD®: Start work with your ‘Today’ list as a guide.
CloudTasks: Keep your 'Today' list visible throughout the day, and remember to tick off tasks once they're complete. Now go accomplish those goals.

GTD & GETTING THINGS DONE ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF THE DAVID ALLEN COMPANY.

Magic Circles help you schedule client meetings, sessions and appointments

 

For anyone who has lots of meetings, whether you’re a freelancer, a driving instructor, a CEO or a physiotherapist, you may struggle to identify when you’re actually free.

Calendars are usually great at telling us about our appointments. But they often suck at telling us when we have free time.

CloudCal excels at showing you your schedule, at-a-glance, so you can easily pinpoint your availability and book your next appointment.

Just look at the Month view. Every event and meeting is a bar of color on the Magic Circle. So you can instantly see which days are already packed and which days have space.

With Magic Circles you can make sure you’re busy when you need to be – and that you always have enough time to eat lunch. 

 

CCProTip#3

Magic Circles are clock faces

Only CloudCal uses Magic Circles to help you make sense of your schedule. 
But what, exactly, is a Magic Circle?
Here they are in action.

 
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Magic Circles show when you have events 

The Magic Circle is essentially a clock-face of 12 hours. Your events and meetings are represented by coloured sections around the clock face. So you can gauge – with a glance – how busy each day is going to be and when: morning, afternoon or evening.

Thanks to the Magic Circles  now you can quickly judge when you have time for more appointments or social engagements.  

Configure Magic Circles to suit your needs

Magic Circles display a 12-hour period by default (starting at 09:00). But you can change the 12-hour period to start whenever you like. Or set Magic Circles to show the full 24 hours. 

How to remember every important task at work, home and play

Life is complicated. And there’s so much to remember. So many to-dos, and so little time. How do you make sure you always remember the important jobs and never fail to do something essential?

Here are our four tips for using CloudTasks to help you remember your important jobs:

1: Add a due date

Adding a due date means two things:

a.     The task will appear in your calendar (if you use CloudCal). You can also manage the task from with CloudCal.

b.     You’ll get a briefing notification on the day the task is due (unless you’ve turned the briefing off). 

2: Add a reminder

Don’t rely on your memory. If a task is important, why not add a reminder? You can configure the reminder for any time / day before the task is due.

3: Use recurring tasks

Need to prepare for a meeting every week? Need to shop for an anniversary gift every year? Create a recurring task so these kinds of regular event never get left behind.

4: Practice perfect task management

See our blog post on how to develop the ultimate task management routine. In a nutshell we recommend:

·       Creating new tasks as soon as they arise

·       Consolidating your task lists so every to-do is in CloudTasks

·       Write detailed task descriptions so you know what you’re supposed to do.

That’s all from us. Do you have any other task management tips?