Google is slowly trying to take over the world, but at least they keep providing amazing services while they try to do it. One of my personal favorites is Google News Alerts. It is an incredibly handy, and completely free, service which saves me a ton of time and aids in my productivity. You can set up key phrases that you want to keep on top of, and Google finds and stores every time when that word or phrase shows up in any news source in the world. You can have the results e-mailed to you regularly or periodically, or you can access them through a newsreader. You can set them up right on Google´s main page. I like it for two reasons. First, it means that I can keep up to date with the latest news in areas of interest without having to scan through dozens of websites and news sources looking for things that are relevant. That saves all sorts of time. Second, it brings me information from sources that I would never look at in a million years on my own.
There are all sorts of ways that Google Alerts can save time. One way I use them is to limit my chances at being distracted. I am a huge horse racing fan and there are dozens of horses that I like to closely follow. I want to make sure that I read everything that is written about them. There are several excellent news sites about horse racing, and they all have the news I would want, but if I regularly go to them to look for the stories I want to read I inevitably get distracted by all the other stories, and suddenly an hour or more has disappeared. Instead, I set up News Alerts for each of the horses, and the stories get e-mailed to me as soon as they appear. They sit in a folder until I get to them and I have taken up less of my day.
One of the News Alerts I have set is for time management. It occasionally produces an interesting gem for me. Here are a few of the more interesting stories that have popped up in that category this week:
From the Wichita Eagle newspaper, asking some residents of Wichita what their best time management strategies.
An article from the American Chronicle, with tips to put more time into your life.
From U.S. News and World Report, the world´s fastest time management course.
From The Cincinnati Enquirer, an article on the struggles of time management.
From ForConstructionPros.com, a look at time management techniques.