Wouldn’t it be great if you could get twice as much done in the same amount of time?
Well you can and in this post we’ll look at a number of fantastic tools that can help you make much better use of your time.
Are you ready to boost your productivity?
Let’s dive in!
Boost your productivity with these helpful tools
Use these tools to put yourself in an awesome state of mind, improve your focus, and become more organized.
It’s easy to try out too many tools and feel overwhelmed so start off picking out a single tool.
Then try it out for yourself and see how much it improves your productivity.
The ideal tool will be one that helps you get into your flow.
Take your work outs to the next level with Strava
Exercising has plenty of health benefits but in the context of this post it’s worth noting that it can make you smarter and improve your productivity.
With Strava you can record your athletic activity using a mobile device, upload it and compare it to others.
Think of it like your electronic accountability partner – it’s a great way to stay motivated whether you prefer to run, cycle or use a cross trainer.
It’s free to get started and all you need is a GPS compatible device. This includes iPhone’s and Android devices but other devices are supported too.
Improve your focus and get more done with Focus@Will
We’ve all had those moments when we find it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
There could be a variety of reasons for it, but the outcome is the same – a lack of productivity.
And over the years I’ve found that music can be a powerful way to improve our focus.
But the truth is that not any old music will help.
A lot of music, mostly mainstream music only serves as more of a distraction and usually exacerbates the problem.
So, what’s the solution?
I’ve found that music without vocals, particularly ambient music can have a very positive effect on my focus.
Now, we’re all different and my taste in ambient music may not work for you.
This is where Focus@Will comes in.
It’s a web based music player which comes ready loaded with a great selection from different genre’s of music – all of which have the potential to improve your focus.
All you have to is select a genre you’ll like and let the music improve your focus. And if you have ADHD type 1, there’s a genre that will help you focus too.
This isn’t a free tool (prices start from $5.99/month), but before using Focus@Will I was using Spotify, and I still do from time to time.
But, what I noticed was that I spent so long trying to find the right music that I burned up all the extra time I was saving by increasing my productivity. Sometimes even more.
For the impact that this tool has had on my productivity, it’s a very worthwhile investment.
Note: since using Focus@Will I found another tool called Brain.fm. It’s well worth trying out both to see which you prefer.
Take computers out of the planning equation with a pen and paper
In the digital age we often become too reliant on computers, especially for writing.
Sometimes the best way to plan your day is to go back to the trusty pen and grab a piece of paper.
At the end of each day, I’ll sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, away from any computers so I can plan the next day without any distractions at all.
Boost your productivity with E.ggTimer.com
I find that my focus is much sharper when I break my time into shorter blocks and take short breaks every so often.
This has become a popular technique partly thanks to the popularity of the Pomodoro technique where you work for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break.
This isn’t for everyone though so you may want to try out different timings and see how it impacts your productivity and your focus.
E.ggTimer.com is a good tool for this, but I often find physical timers easier to use.
Write notes and stay organised with Evernote
I juggle a lot of different projects so I find myself taking a lot of notes.
The challenge has always been keeping notes together and organized. I used to have notes on my computer, notes on my phone and other notes on pieces of paper.
With Evernote I’m able to keep all of my notes synchronised whether I’m using my mobile phone, my computer or another device.
It’s great for web clippings and other things too.
Manage your to-do list more effectively with Asana
While I use pen and paper for my daily to-do lists, I’ve found that for planning tasks in advance and working on more complex projects, something more is needed to keep things organized.
Using Asana you can manage to-do lists for various projects and overlay due dates onto a smart calendar layout.
There are team collaboration features and a bunch of other ways you can use this too.
Create a simple calendar with Google Calendar and access it everywhere
I’ve found it helpful to keep a “default diary” which helps me to keep on track.
Think of this like a diary for your ideal week which includes all your regular tasks along with any appointments/meetings – all blocked out so you know exactly what to do and when to do it.
Google Calendar is a great tool for this but I have found that specific tasks are better managed using another tool.
Project management made easy with Trello
Whether you are managing a project for work or a personal project around the home – Trello is a super helpful tool.
What I love about Trello is that it’s extremely visual and makes it easy to see what you need to do and how things have been progressing.
Each Trello board can have individual lists with cards on it, you can attach images, add due dates and also collaborate with others easily.
It’s available on mobile and desktop too.
Manage passwords easily with LastPass
It’s a good idea to have different passwords for every website you sign up for but the problem is remembering all of those passwords.
That’s a challenge.
This is where LastPass comes in; it’s a browser extension that saves your passwords leaving only a single password for you to remember.
Access your files anywhere with Dropbox
If you want to access files from your computer on other devices or even other computers – Dropbox can help.
Just install Dropbox (it’s free for up to 2GB of storage space) and you’ll see a new folder on your computer called “My Dropbox”.
You can then add any files you’d like to backup and/or access using other devices.
Over to you
Tools can be incredibly helpful when used in the right way but it’s important to be clear on your purpose and what you’re trying to achieve.
Don’t overload yourself by using too many tools, pick one and see how it works for you. Some tools may not be a good fit and others may be perfect – it takes a bit of trial and error.
Ultimately it boils down to matching yourself up with the right tools that help you get into your flow.