Leading futurist, conference speaker, author and consultant Gihan Perera last weekend provided valuable insights into techniques, websites and apps which can save travel managers and agents a great deal of time.
Perera delivered the keynote presentation on the opening day of TravelManagers’ ‘Adding Value’ conference in Bangkok. He also conducted a workshop at the conference. Perera is an expert on digital disruption, global reach, and how the changing workplace affects us at all levels – individual, team, organisation, and community. He has been using the internet since 1987, before most people had ever heard of it.
Perera told his audience of wonders such as a relative who has built a thriving business out of taking aerial pictures of shopping centre car parks and using them to work out who buys what and when – vital and valuable information. He touched on the YouTube website Charli’s Craft Kitchen, in which a couple of kids share their recipes. The site earns them good pocket money, like USD 140,000 from Google ads – each month.
The only way to predict the future is to create it, Perera says.
For the rest of us, here are Perera’s useful tips, websites and apps:
The Pomodoro Technique, named after the little tomato-shaped oven-timer device. Buy one and use it to help organise your day. Set it for 15 minutes (or any time you choose) and devote that time to concentrating on one task, whether it’s cooking or social media. Then take a five-minute break. Repeat, and feel free to shorten or lengthen the time periods to suit yourself. This maximises time and concentration.
The following are useful sites and apps, which you can learn about by pasting the URL in your browser and reading. Most of them are free, or the outlay is very small.
Process.st Workflow management without the spreadsheets and paperwork. A simple, free and powerful way to manage your team’s recurring checklists and procedures.
Rescuetime.com Find your ideal work-life balance. With so many distractions and possibilities in your digital life, it’s easy to get scattered.
Evernote.com Create a project to-do list. Jot down a reminder. Or snap a picture of a sketch. A note can be anything you want it to be. And once you make a note, it’s accessible wherever you go, forever. This is also good at recognising handwriting, apparently.
Google.com/docs/about/ Create and edit web-based documents, spreadsheets and presentations online, free. Store documents online and access them from any computer.
Dropbox.com Get to all your files from anywhere, on any device, and share them with anyone. You can put in big documents as PDFs and share them with colleagues.
LastPass.com LastPass remembers all your passwords so that you can focus on the more important things in life. You just remember a master password and it sorts all the others out. Free, but the premium version, which does more, is only USD 12 a year.
Upwork.com Get more done with freelancers. Web developers, mobile developers, designers and creatives, writers, virtual assistants, customer service agents, sales and marketing experts, accountants and consultants – they are all out there!
Fiverr.com All kinds of services, including research, logo design, proofreading and much more, for USD 5. “Try it – the most you can lose is five dollars,” Perera says.
Zoom.us Video conferencing and web conferencing service. “We are reaching more external parties and have better internal collaboration with greater fidelity than ever before,” says one user.
Slack.com The team behind the Mars Curiosity Rover is one of tens of thousands of teams around the world reportedly using this messaging app to make their working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.
Idonethis.com More than 160,000 people use I Done This’s daily check-ins and progress reports to run more effective and productive teams.
Inboxzero.easi.net Various facilities aim to achieve the grail: an uncluttered inbox with ideally no emails pending in it.
Written by Peter Needham