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Does the Internet really make us more productive? This question has been debated since the the inception of the Internet.

Do the access, collaboration and tracking it gives us save us time and allow us to complete tasks quickly or does it distract us and make us loose focus? Studies of online productivity have been largely inconclusive because the Internet is not the only variable in the equation.

You also have to factor in the person or team using the products.

These tools are not miracle workers.

They will not just magically start saving you time or making you money.

Online productivity tools work best when you manage the products and ensure they are being used to their fullest capacity.

So, how can you identify areas where you can apply online productivity tools effectively? It is typically easiest to start by mapping out what you spend your time on... What takes the most of your time? What is done online? What is done offline? What are the most important tasks for you to get done? How can you use online tools to streamline your day? Can you manage your contacts better with a new CRM? Can you apply labels and filters so that email takes you less time? Are there tools that can decrease your inputs while maintaining the same output? Are there tools that can increase your output with no additional inputs? For example, if Jim uses Microsoft Office to write and share all of his documents and spreadsheets, would it be faster and more effective if he switched to Google Docs and Dropbox? Would the collaboration tools increase quality of outputs while decreasing time spent on back and forth? The key to getting the most out of online productivity tools is that they must be managed and maintained.

You must make a commitment to utilize tools to their full potential or they will just become a distraction.

InternetA worldwide interconnection of computers and computer networks that facilitate the sharing or exchange of information among users.Contact1. A record of a user's basic contact information that may or may not include a history of interactions with that contact; 2. contacts; a list of all of the individuals and companies that one has conversed or interacted with in a particular Web application. CRMCustomer relationship management; a system used to help manage, track and organize contact interactions.EmailElectronic mail; a system where a message is composed and sent via the Internet to be read by another person in a different location.Filter1. The process of reducing the size of a set of data by removing unwanted pieces of information based on certain qualities or characteristics (verb); 2. a tool of many Web applications that automatically removes or categorizes data based on a set of rules and attributes (noun).Label1. A customizable categorization system; 2. a Gmail feature that allows users to group email messages together for organization and easy reference.ShareThe process of sending links or content to specified recipients or entire networks.SpreadsheetA table of rows and columns that can be manipulated for calculations. Dropbox1. A cloud-based hard drive that a user can sync with multiple computers; 2. a feature of Highrise that allows users to create contacts and tasks via specific email addresses.BackA feature of Web browsers that lets users return to the last Web page viewed by clicking on the "back arrow," which points to the left and is typically located in the upper left hand corner of a Web browser. The keyboard shortcut for Back is typically the "Backspace" key.Discovering The Internet1990Using the Internet to be More Productive
lesson111highDiscovering The Internet

Video transcript

Does the Internet really make us more productive? This question has been debated since the the inception of the Internet.

Do the access, collaboration and tracking it gives us save us time and allow us to complete tasks quickly or does it distract us and make us loose focus? Studies of online productivity have been largely inconclusive because the Internet is not the only variable in the equation.

You also have to factor in the person or team using the products.

These tools are not miracle workers.

They will not just magically start saving you time or making you money.

Online productivity tools work best when you manage the products and ensure they are being used to their fullest capacity.

So, how can you identify areas where you can apply online productivity tools effectively? It is typically easiest to start by mapping out what you spend your time on...

What takes the most of your time? What is done online? What is done offline? What are the most important tasks for you to get done? How can you use online tools to streamline your day? Can you manage your contacts better with a new CRM? Can you apply labels and filters so that email takes you less time? Are there tools that can decrease your inputs while maintaining the same output? Are there tools that can increase your output with no additional inputs? For example, if Jim uses Microsoft Office to write and share all of his documents and spreadsheets, would it be faster and more effective if he switched to Google Docs and Dropbox? Would the collaboration tools increase quality of outputs while decreasing time spent on back and forth? The key to getting the most out of online productivity tools is that they must be managed and maintained.

You must make a commitment to utilize tools to their full potential or they will just become a distraction.

21 Questions That Stump Most People About the Internet