Same Jobs, New Tools, Better Results

If you asked a carpenter 100 years ago which of his tools he valued most, he’d probably have a hard time choosing. Today, you are likely to hear a carpenter say “computer” or one of many other new tools that have been developed thanks to technology.

Old Tools

Remember those checklists at the start of every school year? Calculator, planner, a few books, pens, pencils, erasers, markers, glue (oh how I hated projects that used glue!), scissors. When you add the backpack, all the paper, and the Five Star notebooks (“my kid will use the best!”) the price tag easily tops $100 — per year. It’s no wonder then that many schools and organizations have started pilot programs that trade in traditional materials for a tablet computer. Whether or not such a trade is beneficial for students is still a matter of debate, however the premise behind the trade is sound: modern tools have the capacity to improve results at school and in the workplace.

New Tools, Better Results

Being an entrepreneur has never been easier. Today’s technology has allowed us to pack an entire office into one backpack and work from almost anywhere in the world. While innovation in hardware has promoted giant leaps in performance, we owe just as much gratitude to software.

In my own work, new tools have made my life a lot easier. Below are software or services that I use each day in my business.

  • Annotative bibliography; research; note tracking – Evernote
  • Fast, focused writing – Writer by¬†Information Architects
  • Synchronicity – Dropbox
  • Task manager – Reminders; iCal
  • Communication – Mail; Skype; cellphone
  • Advertising – Craigslist
  • Style guide – Online version of the Chicago Manual of Style
  • Free, easy-to-post images – Pinterest

I plan to one day become mobile enough to live in a new city every year.

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