Lifehacker How You Work Challenge

Today Lifehacker asked readers let other readers know how they work–here’s my contribution.  You should post yours on Lifehacker here.

Location:  Seattle WA & Environs

Current gig: Executive Assistant (at a tech company); Teacher/Trainer; volunteer board member

Current mobile device: iPhone 4S

Current computer:  Which one?  Dell Latitude for work; HP Pavilion dv7t home; Acer Aspire One Netbook when on extended travel

One word that best describes how you work:  intuitively / effectively

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?  MS Office—really, it’s true.  I use it at work, at home, with my volunteer groups, and now that I have 2010 (at work) and 2013 (at home) and can quickly PDF items, it makes it quick and easy to communicate with almost anyone.

OneNote—the SkyDrive sync function means that I can access notes from all my projects in one place, and the ability to email just a page with great formatting with just one click has been a lifesaver more than once.

Chrome—that I can have all my bookmarks and favorites everywhere I go, even on my iphone is a lifesaver.

For volunteer work and keeping up with home-on-the-go, Google-Docs, Gmail (where I have 4-5 personal email accounts delivered), Drive (sharing docs with volunteers).

Google Maps—the mass transit integration is pretty good, especially paired with OneBusAway on my iPhone.

Doodle—I use this for work meeting scheduling, volunteer meeting scheduling, even for family meetings!

Dropbox—my non-work stuff wherever I am.  Though I still use USB sticks when I don’t know if I’m going to have access to the internet.

I’m not up to “do without” status with Clipsi, but I may get there soon.

What’s your workspace like? As an exec assistant, I’m in the hub of the office, so my desk is central, noisy, piled with stuff people don’t know what to do with otherwise.  I have a dual monitor set up, wireless headset phone, and my notebook & pen right by my keyboard.

What’s your best time-saving trick? #1 Right click dragging emails to the task icon in Outlook to create a task/reminder that I can also link to OneNote—it pings me everywhere!

#2 Not hear the conversations around me, but to listen to them enough to know just what’s going on in the office and to be one step (or on busy days at least a ½ step) ahead of my boss/team.

#3 Always have my notebook and pen around to take down tasks.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Tasks in Outlook—they show up on my task bar, in my phone, and in OneNote integrated with background info and other links I need.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? My notebook and pen—don’t leave my desk without them (though I may leave my computer and phone behind)

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Remembering details picked up in small talk so that when I introduce people—either in person or electronically—I can add a little interesting bit about each one that will connect them in a common interest or idea.  It gets them talking.

What are you currently reading? The Martyred, by Richard Kim & The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

What do you listen to while you work? Either the noise around me, or a Nerdist Podcast

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert (I get recharged by being alone); but I can small talk and network with the best extroverts around.

What’s your sleep routine like? About 6-8 hours a night, up at 5:30 AM most days.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see a lot of other administrative professionals answer these same questions.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “It will all be OK in the end, if it isn’t OK, it isn’t the end.” And don’t ever be afraid to let your smart show.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?  This is the one area of life—lifehacking—that has interest from multiple generations of the family.