If you’ve been following me or reading my stuff for any length of time you will have heard me reference productivity. I am always trying to get more done in less time and I loooooove me some productivity tools!
This post is a snapshot of the suite of applications and tools that help me live the business cliché of working smarter and not harder.
These are the top 7… the ones I really couldn’t run my business without.
1. My Smartphone Access Anywhere Anytime
I have an i-whatsit but I think we can generalise my number one tool as a “smart phone”. Being able to access my emails, the internet and most of my other business applications out and about is just incredibly handy. Of course, the ability to access your business everywhere you go can make it a bit hard to switch off sometimes!
2. The Pomodoro Technique Time Management
This productivity technique was created in the 1980s but it’s still extremely popular. The premise is to be as efficient as possible by breaking your time into 25mins chunks called pomodoros. You plan out your work and how many pomodoros each task will take. Then you set a timer and work! During that 25mins you only work on one task, ignoring all distractions.
I invite you to give it a go. It’s a wonder if you work billable hours.
3. TeuxDeux Task Management
I’ve tried a lot of different task list apps and I TeuxDeux is my favourite. It’s simple, sassy and easy to use and it helps me organise my days and weeks. You can create, drag and drop tasks and access your lists from your smartphone. And their errors message are classic!
4. Dropbox Document Management
Cloud storage is fantastic when you need to access your documents on the go.
A Dropbox is created on your computer and any file you save to Dropbox instantly saves to your computer, phone, and the Dropbox website. It makes sharing large files with clients a lot less of a headache and you get 2G of space for free!
Even if you mostly work from your desk, there’s always a time when you wish you just quickly read or update a document right now!
5. Hootsuite Social Media Dashboard
There are a few of these dashboards about and they all roughly do the same thing. From a single interface, you can keep up with your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn connections as well as update your individual profiles. Hootsuite lets you post to Instagram as well, which I like.
Try a few dashboards out as it really comes down to which interface you prefer. But whichever you chose, save time you will!
6. Bit.ly URL shortner
To save valuable characters in your social media updates I highly recommend using a URL shortner. I love bit.ly because it’s easy to use thanks to a Chrome extension and according to the research by Dan Zarella, in The Science of Retweets, it is “more retweetable” than other url shortners. Good enough for me!
7. Skype Internet calls for a few cents – or less!
Most people will have heard of Skype for the free video and voice chats (over the internet). All hail the internet! To chat to overseas clients (and family and friends) it’s an absolutely dream but you can be at the mercy of your internet connection.
I have a subscription which means I can make local calls in any country for a LOT less than my mobile provider charges. Keeping my operating costs down couldn’t be easier!
I could mention more but now it’s over to you. Do you use any of these? Do you have other application you just couldn’t live without? Let me know!