At the risk of sounding ‘anti-technology’ this really has to be said. Advanced tools and technology are great, but only if they genuinely make a positive contribution towards time management. Observing the way some business people appear to flaunt their latest and greatest gadgets to their peers (like spoilt brats) it sometimes makes you wonder how often this is actually the case.
When evaluating this new technology for your own purposes, you really need to try and filter through all the noise to single out only those things that (with minimal modification, if any) could genuinely save you time. The electronic calculator qualifies here for example, as does the microwave oven. The personal computer does too, but only based on the merit(s) of each application that actually runs on it. There are some things the personal computer can do that you may not necessarily want to do on it.
For example, e-mail, text messaging and fax (remember them?) had the benefit of making certain business correspondence less formal and gave the potential to save huge amounts of time. But they came with a downside in that the increased speed in communication they created also led to heightened expectations in terms of rapidity of response from all involved. Receiving multiple requests for a response of questionable urgency’ in one day from individuals is not necessarily good business practice and certainly not (from a productivity perspective) a routine behavior pattern you should condone.
What time saving tools have you tried that turned out not to be so straightforward? Why not share your experiences here by posting a comment below.