Over the last year, I have received a huge number of questions about how I maintain an orthopaedic surgery practice, oversee a sports medicine program, serve as team physician to a number of sports teams in Charleston, and still have time to write and maintain a blog on a regular basis. And with The Dr. David Geier Show starting, even more people are asking me how I make time for all of it. The obvious answer is that I enjoy writing and connecting with loyal readers and providing sports medicine information to all of you. I wouldn’t spend the time it takes to do it well if I didn’t love it. But I still need help.
There are a number of gadgets, programs, and essential items that make it easier to write blog posts and maintain a social media presence. I don’t have any financial relationship to any of these products. I only mention them because they help me immensely. I thought it might be fun to offer a glimpse into tools that make me more effective and successful.
Organizational Life Changers
I include these two programs together because they have been equally amazing as ways to get organized. Evernote is a program that you can install on your computer, phone, or tablet and access notes anywhere. You can type information to store. You can upload photos (I often take pictures of my parking spot at an airport and then use the geo-tag feature to find my car a week later). You can scan documents straight into Evernote. And you can read and search the notes from any device. The main reason I love it, though, is the web clipper. I will clip a web page with an article that I think will make an interesting blog post and tag it with “blog post idea” or “famous athlete” or “breaking news.” I can access it when I need that information when I go to write. So whenever and wherever I am when I have time to write a post, my research is always with me.
Dropbox is another program that I installed on my personal computers, phone, and iPad. It is more of a file cabinet in that it has every file for my blog and show – artwork, logos, blog posts, receipts, analytics report, etc. What makes it great is that if needed, I can access that information anywhere. I can log on to the web version of Dropbox and download any file I need. Let’s say I’ve started a post and saved it in the Rough Draft folder on my laptop. I happen to have 30 minutes of free time at work, but my laptop is at home. I can go on the web version of Dropbox and pick up where I left off. Also, I can share Dropbox folders so that people that might need files can get and use them without me having to email them. (That’s great for really large files.) It completely eliminates saving to flash drives or emailing files to yourself or others.
Work from anywhere
MacBook Air (http://store.apple.com)
I have a desktop computer, but due to my working whenever I have free time (and my tendency to work while rocking in my rocking chair), the MacBook Air is my go to computer. What makes it wonderful is how small the redesign made it. It stays charged much longer than my previous MacBook or laptop PC’s did. Plus I can throw it in my Waterfield Designs backpack with a legal pad, a pen, a highlighter, and some research articles and can work for hours anywhere.
WaterField Designs bag (http://www.sfbags.com)
I almost always have one of my two bags from WaterField Designs with me. This is a company out of San Francisco that makes custom bags for various computers, phones, tablets, etc. I have two made specifically for the smallest MacBook Air. It holds the above-mentioned laptop, legal pad, and a couple of articles, pens, and highlighters. It is portable enough to take anywhere. The key for me is that since I rarely have 4-6 continuous hours to work, I need to use the 30-60 minute gaps to be productive. If I spent most of that time getting everything that I need to work together, that time is wasted. This bag, the MacBook Air, paper, pens, and Evernote and Dropbox can get me working in 60 seconds.
Moleskin notebooks (http://www.moleskine.com)
I have tried seemingly every note taking application for my iPhone and used a number of different organizational systems over the years, but I have always found myself relying on memory when those systems stopped working. I still fall back to that more than I would like, but I have been trying much harder to write everything down. For some reason, writing on paper is more effective for me. These Moleskin notebooks have been perfect. I always have the smallest one (and small pens) in my pocket to write everything down. Anything that runs through my mind that I might need later (ideas for blog topics, names, to do items, etc.), I try to write it down. I use a larger one for each episode of The Dr. David Geier Show. I know others have had success with digital organization (and yes, I know that Evernote and Dropbox could substitute for them), but these Moleskin notebooks work for me.
Comfort + productivity
Anyone who knows me realizes that I can’t sit still. As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to rock in a rocking chair while watching TV or hanging out rather than sit on a sofa or non-rocking chair. Well, it is the same way with working. For some reason, when I sit at a desk, I get easily distracted. Put me in my rocking chair (that I had custom made – that’s how important it is) with music or sports on in the background and I can crank out posts or most other work. Yes, I know it’s weird. True story: I got into the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) as an out-of-state applicant despite the admissions officer there telling me that they basically don’t accept anyone out of state except athletes. I wrote my personal statement for that application arguing that I could only come to UNC if the dorm rooms were big enough for my rocking chair. Yes, it’s a problem.
Keurig single-cup coffee maker (http://www.keurig.com)
I don’t sleep much. Usually I sleep 4-6 hours a night but very rarely more than 6 hours. That is somewhat by choice but even if I have no reason to wake up early, it is rare for me to sleep more than 7 hours a night. Having said that, 4-5 hours multiple nights in a row can be hard. My Keurig coffee maker is a lifesaver. It makes coffee right when I need it very quickly. My coffee of choice? Jet Fuel.
So that is a small glimpse into my workflow and tricks to be more productive. What do you think? Are there any gadgets, software, or tricks you like that you want to share? Please let me know!