While I believe for some of us there’s a tendency to use software tools when low-tech might be better, there’s no denying that software can be used to save us time. I mean, surely that’s obvious? Without my digital calendar I’d be screwed, always looking up on a paper calendar when I’m available — something I simply can’t do as a freelancer who is always running to meetings or shutting everything off to focus on writing.

That’s why it was great to see a little “behind the scenes” post from Asian Efficiency on how they produce their podcast. While much of my time is spent writing, a good portion of my freelance work is also podcasting. A few of the tools mentioned in this article transcend podcasting and should be highlighted if you want to be more efficient.

First is Dropbox. The company has made some odd decisions, perhaps, but the fact that Dropbox “just works” more often than not makes it incredibly useful. Most of my podcast clients use it. But there are alternatives! I pay for quite a bit of storage on Apple’s iCloud servers, so I could send a couple of clients there for file sharing. The company has made it a lot easier lately, but still not as easy as Dropbox. Many corporate clients like Box.net, but if you want to be ultra cheap, use Google Drive.

Second, if you’re tired of endless emails trying to “find a time” for meetings, use Calend.ly or a similar service. This is maybe the biggest timesaving hack I’ve ever used. Just send someone a short link and they can choose a time that you’re available.

The rest of the post goes into some podcasting basics, like editing tools and microphones. Asian Efficiency seems to like Logic for editing, but I’ve found it impenetrable for that task. I’ll say it’s a bit odd that in a post about productivity they’re using a secondary tool to add metadata to the MP3 files — something that Adobe Audition does already. Surely Logic does this? And if not, I’d suggest they switch. I think there’s a tendency to “go with what you know,” which is an impediment to progress at times. That would make a good post for a later time, however.