In With the New!

Technology and Time Management

Saturday, March 23, 2013
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Innovative technology is making it easier and faster for most people to take care of daily tasks. Here are a few examples that are pretty simple for most people to employ.

1. Automatic or online bill-paying: Years ago, when I started teaching people how to better manage their lives and bills – and save hundreds of dollars in late fees – there were piles of paper to deal with, including the filing of the bill once it was paid. No more! Now you can have most of your bills (think utilities) deducted directly from your bank or credit-card account and never worry about a late fee or, worse, service shut-off. You can have your credit-card statements emailed to you, and you can transfer funds, pay your bills, and manage your balances any time from the privacy of your computer or device. Take a screen shot of the statement, or download it completely and store it in a “receipt file” on your computer. Paperless and paid!

Juli Shulem

2. There’s an ap for that: Basically, you can find an ap for anything you want to be able to do easier, better, faster, and paperless. Be warned: having too many aps, or spending hours searching for the optimal tool, can end up costing you more time and frustration than the sought-after ap can compensate you for. But if you are having a challenge with a particular task in your life – chances are, there’s an ap for that.

3. Calendar: The days of carrying around a heavy planner are over for most with any sort of a smartphone. The secret to having a calendar work for you, however, is still to actually look at it.

4. Coupon-clipping: Newspapers, circulars, magazines … I think not. You can get deals emailed to you or sent to your phone, or simply Google what you want and see if there is a coupon you can use when shopping online or at a brick-and-mortar. You can print your own coupons and only get the one you want, for what you plan to purchase. Besides reducing paper piles, another potential benefit is reduced impulse-buying.

5. Video calling: I remember when there was talk of how someday we would be able to talk live and face-to-face with people all over the world! Wow! It seemed so miraculous. Well, it’s daily practice for most of us these days. Live far away from the kids? Just jump on Skype, ooVoo, or Google Hangout and voila, instant visiting time!

There are hundreds of ways technology has impacted the productivity of our lives. This is just a very small sample of technology you can employ easily and many of you probably already do. If you are reading this, you already make reading the paper simpler and more eco-friendly. Reading books, magazines, and newspapers in electronic format has forever changed the way the written word is delivered, and that’s okay. The messages are still there. The delivery system is just keeping up with the speed of life.

Ask a question for the column and I will address it at the appropriate time. Email questions to Coach Juli at and put “question for column” in the subject line, and they will be answered right here. Post a comment too!


Independent Discussion Guidelines

#1 - Managing financial affairs online can be very convenient. But it's not for everyone. Those who aren't good at understanding and dealing with internet/computer security issues should either bone up on the latter first, or stick with their old ways.

#2, 3, 4 - Each individual has to figure out whether the recurring cost of mobile data service is really worth it. Don't jump on the bandwagon just because its the "cool" thing to do.

#5 Skype has been incredibly useful for me in the workplace. But is it really a "daily practice for most of us"?

Some good tips but a bit too much cheerleading. A more balanced approach would lend more credibility.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 24, 2013 at 12:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yep, way too much uncritical praise; it just isn't true that there's an "ap for anything you want to be able to do easier, better, faster, and paperless. " While I use Skype often with family members living in Europe, I've shied away from much financial stuff via the Internet, somehow the paper itself lying around (aka bills) gets me going and taking the task on.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 2:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

in terms of things like calendars, addresses, work itself I refuse to be at the mercy of electricity or gadgetry. Paper back-up can't be beat.
I really don't think most people need a cel phone, but they're more expensive so let's push that as the "norm".

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 12:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In this day an age of Internet and on-line bill paying, some of us have been burnt by unscrupulous companies using the paperless system to steal even more of limited finances from us foolish humans. I use a forth party to keep the banks and the companies I HAVE to do business with honest and always demand paper copies to back-up all transactions cause as they say in Government World, "If it's not on Paper, it never existed".
I use "Money Gram" or "Western Union", to pay my bills due to the time limit on funds. This way a company can't hold a personal check for months while extorting additional funds from you month after month under the guise of late payments & late fees. They either cash-up or the paper trail of fail to cash in 30 days is there to offer forfeit of debt against the company that fails to cash in on the funds, thus the question in court can be asked of the debited company, "Why did you wait so long to cash the check"?

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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