by Pat Hammond on Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Congratulations! It took years of trial and error, months of testing and gallons of blood, sweat and tears, but you've finally cobbled together the perfect combination of productivity tools to keep your projects on track. Your moment of triumph was a long time coming and you earned it, but don't spend too much time basking in the glory because you still have to figure out how to connect all the parts.
I feel your pain.
You found the perfect note taking tool, the best calendar and the most efficient project organizer. They each do exactly what you want the way you want, but they're three separate products.
What happens when you want to use Evernote to make an appointment on your Google calendar or move notes to Trello?
What happens when you need to work with a client who only uses Basecamp or Zoho?
The most popular apps have on board tools for migrating content to other popular apps like Google, Basecamp and Trello but they're not always easy to use and it can get tricky trying to remember which app you've given permission to.
If you're like me and use multiple apps it can get overwhelming.
Fortunately there is a solution.
In fact, this is such a huge problem that there are a lot of solutions.
Today I am going to share ten super easy, budget-friendly tools that will help you organize and coordinate the way you share content across apps.
And just so we're on the same page, when I say budget-friendly, I mean very budget friendly. Nine of the ten have a free version and the one that doesn't costs a mere $14.95 a year.
Pretty sweet, huh?
As awesome as these tools are, there are still a few important things you need to remember before committing to one.
Not all of these services do the same thing.
I tried to choose "connectors" that would have the broadest appeal, but they don't all offer connections to the same apps nor do they provide the same exact service.
Some, like Zapier, seem like they have a connection for just about every cloud service you've ever heard of, but others like Cronofy and Remember the Milk have a much smaller scope. My best suggestion on this is to think about your needs.
There are always limitations.
There is a delicate balance between how many connections any specific app will allow, how many connections come with the free version of your chosen connector app and how many you need. Before you go to the effort of connecting all your favorite cloud apps take a minute to think about your workflow.
Also consider that any product can change their offering at any time. Facebook and Google are both famous for this and they're not alone. LinkedIn routinely changes what you can do or how things are done and just yesterday Evernote announced new limitations to their Basic (free) service and as well as changes to their paid options.
Free is good, but sometimes it worth paying.
I like free, especially when I'm trying out a new product, but there comes a point when you have to suck it up and dip into the piggy bank. You've already cobbled together a bunch of free services to build your perfect project management system, if the difference between chaos and organizational nirvana is less than $50 a year just pay it, especially if the ability to connect your apps is going to save you hundreds of man hours a year.
This is probably the most important thing to remember. All of these online tools and apps are supposed to save you time and make things easier.
If your system is so complicated that you're spending all your time managing it instead of getting things done it's probably time to find a new one.
To put it another way, just because an app is wicked cool doesn't mean that it's the right tool for you.
NOTE: I will be adding a list of these apps to the Tools & Resources page