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Behind the scenes at Advisor, we’re constantly busy following the financial industry, putting together our two print magazines, and bringing you economic news from all over the world.

So when advisors tell us they’re busy, we get it. Here are some of our favourite life hacks–productivity and technology tips–that can help you save time and keep organized at home and in the office.

Gil Martinez, Advisor’s art director, uses Velcro to attach his external hard drive to his laptop. That way, he can easily move his computer around while accessing files on the drive. He also labels his hard drive with his address, phone number and a note offering a reward, in case it gets lost.

Putting a secondary number in her smartphone’s lock screen paid off for content editor Jessica Bruno. She recently lost her phone; the Good Samaritan who found it contacted her and she had it back within the hour. Here are instructions for adding an “If found, please call…” message to your phone.

Deputy editor Suzanne Sharma says she keeps organized on the go by saving lists in her smartphone using its memo feature. She has a travel list with all her packing essentials, and a grocery list that includes items she buys every time she’s at the store.

“When grocery day comes, I’m not running around my apartment thinking of what needs to be purchased,” she says.

She also has lists to help her keep track of fun things, including movies to watch, and books to read. She says each saves her time in the long run.

Editor-in-chief Melissa Shin’s secret to productivity is an empty inbox. She files emails into project folders, allowing her to find archived ones easily.

“It also allows me to move an email to the folder immediately after I’ve read it or replied to it,” she explains. “My inbox, therefore, functions as a to-do list.”

She puts a follow-up flag on emails with tasks in them, so she gets an alert in on the appropriate day. For personal email, she uses Google Inbox (the next iteration of Gmail). It has a “snooze” function that allows users to file away an email until a future date. For instance, if a friend asks you to email her in two weeks about setting up a lunch date, you can snooze the email until two weeks from now. Then, two weeks later, the email will reappear in your inbox.

Google also helps assistant editor Katie Keir stay on-task. She keeps copies of important files in her Google Drive, in case she needs to work from home, or her office computer breaks. “Of course, you need to make sure files have the right privacy setting,” she advises. “You may be the only one allowed to see them, or you may need someone else to see them, too.”

Any questions about putting our tips in action? Or do you have life hacks of your own? Share them with us @Advisorca.

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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