6 Tools to Boost Productivity

[dc]H[/dc]ow can you make your life easier? Very often in my day, people ask me for suggestions and resources, so I thought I’d compile some of my favorites and share them with you. Go for the easy.

Check out these apps, websites, and software to help you streamline tedious tasks and motivate you to get shit done.

Mindmeister: FREE for basic version

mindmeisterIf you’re a visual person like me, and you’ve got some home, school, or work projects to plan out, MindMeister is a great online mind mapping tool that also has a smart phone app.

Create, customize, revise, and share right from your computer or phone. There’s all sorts of fun colors and fonts you can play with to honor your creativity as you sort out some left-brain details.

Pomodoro Technique: FREE

pomodoroYou’ve probably heard me mention this before, but it’s worth repeating. Time management tools typically do nothing for this big picture, right-brained, multitasking business owner. Then I found this — one of the loves of my life.

It’s as simple as picking a task to work on and setting a timer for 25 minutes. (I swear there must’ve been studies done on that number because it totally works). Once the timer rings, you take a 5-minute break — away from the task at hand.

During my break, I’ll stand up and stretch, step outside for a breath of fresh air, throw in some laundry. Whatevs. Then, come back and do another round. I promise you that you’ll make progress on even the most daunting of projects. Give it a go, but remember, you MUST take that break!

Wave Accounting: FREE except for payroll services
WaveAccounting

Once Outright (another online accounting program for small businesses) was bought by GoDaddy, I knew I had to find a new service. (I’m not one to support sexist companies whose CEOs like to kill elephants for fun).

I’ve only recently signed up for it so can’t speak extensively about its abilities, but so far, so great. Personal and business accounting, invoicing, payroll, and payments — it’s all rolled into one! Import your bank transactions, prepare for taxes, accept payments and more. Certainly makes my business life easier!

Buffer: FREE

buffer-appNeed to be better about regularly posting on social media, particularly for your business? Enter Buffer. With smart phone apps, browser extensions and a website, you can schedule several posts to be uploaded at your chosen times. Link up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, and easy and efficient sharing is at your fingertips.

Reading a blog and want to share just a line or two from it? Simply highlight the text, right-click (or ctrl+click) and choose Buffer. (Must have the browser extension installed for this to be available). This is just one of the handy tools offered by this program.

Do Nothing for 2 Minutes: FREE
do-nothing

After all of your plotting and planning, task completing, social media updating and bookkeeping, you need a break. This simple website quickly helps you stop and come back to center. Be sure your sound is on!

Upon arriving at the site, a two-minute countdown immediately begins, accompanied by a beautiful ocean view and the sound of crashing waves.

Your challenge: sit still and do nothing for two minutes. Sound easy? Give it a go. If you touch your keyboard or mouse, the time will reset.

There is an accompanying smart phone app (Do Nothing) that allows you to choose the length of your break: 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes.

No go do nothing…

Tell Me Later: iPhone app $0.99 (similar android app is Remind Me Later)

TellMeLaterOnce you’re all centered and zen, new thoughts and ideas may come flooding in. Fear not! Just open your Tell Me Later app, jot down a thought and choose the day and time that you’d like to be reminded of it. You can have your reminders sent to you via text, email, and/or Twitter. Choose your preference in the settings.

Here’s a fun self-care idea: Schedule love notes and positive affirmations to be sent to your phone periodically. It’ll be a nice surprise!

OK, your turn… What apps, programs, and websites do you use to make life a little more snazzy and productive? Please share in the comments below!

4 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    These are great! I’m moving into a 90% work from home role at my employer(s) and we have all kinds of cloud based technology to help us with time management, but the motivation side was a little lacking!

    I’m going to try Wave for my personal accounting for 2013. I’d read about it before but hadn’t been motivated to actually try it.

    Your mission has been accomplished!

    Reply

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