Is your kitchen and laundry room stocked with all the latest conveniences?

Or do you still do everything by hand?

I’m guessing not.

But lots of us are still trying to work that way.

There’s only one problem. The world has changed, and your work has too.

You’re expected to worker harder, faster, and smarter. You’re expected to know more and find anything at a moment’s notice. You’re expected to communicate down the hall and around the world.

It’s tough to keep up.

But there is something you can do: Upgrade your appliances.

Let’s start 2013 with three shiny new tools. We’ll walk through them together.

1. Use LastPass to manage your passwords. (Cost = $12/yr)

The sticky notes on your monitor won’t cut it. And your credit card company will never know if someone is trying to hack your account because you lock it up every month when you can’t remember the password. Quit fighting this battle and get the right tool. Here’s a video that shows how it works.

Click here to go to LastPass. (Don’t worry. It’ll open a new window.)

There’s a big button that says “Download LastPass.” Click it. It will know exactly which version you need for your computer. Just follow the instructions. As you login to each of your accounts for the first time, LastPass will ask if you want it to remember the username and passwords. Click “Save Site” for each one, and you’re done.

Do it right now. Here’s the link again to go to LastPass.

Seriously, I’ll wait. . . .

If you haven’t clicked, then I expect you to start washing your laundry by hand. That’s the choice you’re making. This tool is the equivalent of a modern washer and dryer. It’s really that simple, and you’re wasting that much time.

2. Use Dropbox to store your files. (Start for free, then $99/year.)

You can stop emailing files back and forth to yourself. You never have to remember to back up your files. You can access anything from anywhere or any device. Think of this one like the dishwasher. You can wash a few dishes by hand, but once you get any volume going, the machine really helps.

Click here to download Dropbox, and then move all the files you store on your computer into it. It’s that simple.

If you’re like most folks, you have a My Documents folder or files are scattered all over your Desktop. Just drag those right over into your new Dropbox folder. It will do all the rest of the work for you.

3. Use Evernote to clean out your files and still remember everything. (Start for free, then $45/year.)

Do you ever clip newspaper or magazine articles to save for later? Or bookmark webpages to remember them? You probably also have stacks and stacks of files – on your desk, in your briefcase, and in dozens of cabinets. It’s time to replace all that with Evernote.

Think of this one like your business microwave. It’s revolutionary.

But it doesn’t come with a how-to manual. For that, I highly recommend you download a copy of Evernote Essentials from my friend Bret Kelly (and read his cool story). It will walk you through how to get started with the basic setup and has the advanced tips and tricks for when you’re ready.

Nearly every week, I learn something new that I can use it for. About a month ago, I went through my messenger bag and cleared out 12 pounds of files (12!!) that I was carrying around each day. Now, it’s all in Evernote, easily accessible on my iPad Mini. And my shoulders are so very thankful. (I bet yours will be too.)

So, are you ready? Let’s start the new year with some new tools.

I promise they’re the cheapest business appliances you’ll ever buy, and they do lots of heavy lifting without ever complaining.

Plus, you’ll want to have these installed as I share even more time and money saving tricks in the coming weeks.

Any questions?