Time is a precious commodity, especially as an entrepreneur we are left with more tasks than day. No one wants to spend the workday madly scrambling to get things done. Attempting to run your business inefficiency would only result in a nightmare. Unfortunately, it is one that people endure every day causing unnecessary stress. This is why learning about some of the tools that are available for making the workday go not only smoothly, but at the highest level of productivity is one of the best things that you can do. Mastering some of these tools will help you to get things done faster and more efficiently which in turn will take away that tight, painful stress feeling in your shoulders.
Post-Its are one of those unassuming items that everyone has lying around, but no one ever really uses. Use them. Use them constantly. Once you start using Post-Its regularly, you will wonder how you were ever able to survive in a world without them. They are great for writing short memos and sticking to places where you are guaranteed to see them.
2. Google Docs
One of the most useful creations of the digital age is Google Docs. The format is very similar to traditional Microsoft Word (before Vista screwed everything up), so even the most tech-illiterate person in your office can easily pick up the basics. What is great about Google Docs is that it is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. No more flash drives, emailing documents to yourself, or, heaven forbid, the dark age of floppy disks. In addition to how easy it is to access your files, Google Docs uses a sharing and comment feature that allows multiple people to work on the same document at once or to make comments in the margins. Group projects are a breeze.
Email is one of those technological things that we love to hate. There are so many good things about email, but once that inbox hits the thousands, you start to realize how much you hate it. Sifting through all those emails can take all day and can destroy your productivity. You could limit yourself to checking your email a couple of times a day, but what if there’s an emergency or important message? Allow me to introduce AwayFind. This service alerts you via phone, text, or push notification when you receive a message from a preselected person or something with specific keywords in it. No more missing vital emails. No more feeling swamped by emails that are unimportant. For only five dollars a month, AwayFind is worth it.
4. Gmail’s filters, labels, and archives
Google has done a bunch of marvelous things to boost the efficiency of the online community, and Gmail is one of the best tools out there. Labels in Gmail can allow you to mark specific topics or phrases that appear in emails and then archive them into groups. This makes it easy to find and reference older emails, and is especially useful for workplaces that communicate a lot through email. Filters allow you to label emails that meet certain criteria and sort them automatically into a file. This means that they could bypass your inbox all together and simply get stored nicely and neatly where they need to be.
SaneBox is a great way to sort your emails so that you do not have hundreds of unread messages sitting judgmentally in your inbox for days on end. For only seven dollars a month (that’s less than a Netflix subscription), SaneBox will use an algorithm to filter less important messages into a “SaneLater” folder. This allows you to see the important stuff right away and get to the things that can wait later when you have time to deal with it.
6. Lined notebooks
You may have thought your lined notebook days were behind you when you graduated high school, but they’re not. The simple lined notebook is one of the most important office tools that you can have on hand. Electricity is not 100% reliable, and neither are the companies providing the office WiFi. What will you do when you have a deadline and the network goes down so you can’t access your Google Doc? Write your ideas in a notebook of course! In addition, physically writing something down can be more rewarding and give you more of a sense of accomplishment than typing it.
Draft is an amazing app for collaborative editing and can make getting feedback about a project much easier. With Draft, additions to a document are highlighted in green while subtractions are highlighted in pink. You can view and compare multiple versions of the draft side by side to examine changes, and comments are displayed right next to the relevant text. The writer can choose to accept or reject changes that are made to the document, and you can easily go back to an earlier version if needed.
WordPress is ideal for connecting with readers online, but it also has some uses as a word processor. Writing a draft within WordPress itself is useful because it helps to code html. It also makes it possible to see the draft on a web page so that you know how it will look once it goes online. The appearance of a document can change quite a bit from Word to the web, so this is great for making sure the format works.
9. Kitchen Timer
Most of us have timers on our smartphones, but that timer is attached to hundreds of distractions. It is so easy to turn your timer off and take a quick Facebook break that consumes your productivity and twenty minutes of your time. A regular kitchen timer eliminates these distractions while keeping you on a schedule. Set the kitchen timer for short increments of time and work intensely on a specific task for that time. This will help keep you focused, and makes it easier to take a five minute break when you really need one.
10. Rainmaker Platform
The Rainmaker Platform is the solution for anyone who is serious about content driven marketing or online entrepreneurs. The platform has the tools to build a website without hunting for hosting, fighting to find solid SEO, handling the hassle of maintenance or upgrades. Basically, the platform makes managing your website easy.
What tools have your found to boost your productivity? We would love to hear all about them in the comments below.