I often get asked what are the top productivity tools I use. It got me thinking about all the time management and productivity apps and services I use on a daily basis and as I started writing about them, a new post was formed.
Some of these time management tools I have used for years, others for as little as a month. But rarely does a day go by when I don’t use each and every one of these productivity tools.
10) Audible – Audible is a service that allows you to download audio books on your phone, computer or iPad. I often listen to books on my phone or iPad as I drive. You may not think of an audio book app as something that would show up with time management tools, but it allows me to get through books I would not otherwise have the time to read.
9) Hootsuite – This is one of the time productivity tools I have been using for a couple of years now. When I first started out on Twitter I was using Tweet Deck. But one issue I had was if that each computer I owned had a different set up for Tweet Deck and Hootsuite was a web based product that allowed me to have the same setup no matter what computer I was on. Since then I have been an exclusive Hootsuite user. Hootsuite allows you to set up different profiles and streams on one window to make it easy to quickly see the things that are important to you.
8) Evernote – Many people have used Evernote for years. While I have had my account for years, it was not until four or five months ago that I started using it on a regular basis and since then has become one of my daily time management tools. If you have never used Evernote you can easily Google Evernote tips and get dozens of them. One of my favorite uses is when I see an article on the web I want to remember or find later I will clip it to my Evernote for easy access down the road. This is really a help when I see Paleo recipes I want to try later. There are so many great things you can do with time management and Evernote. I think I will need to start working on a post for that.
7) Text Expander – This is the newest weapon in my productivity arsenal and is quickly becoming a favorite. Text Expander is a tool that allows you to set up a code snippet as they call it. You can associate whatever you want with that snippet so every time you type that snippet in any window, email, document or whatever it will automatically replace the snippet with the predetermined text you assigned to it. I know there are a dozen or so emails that I type on a regular basis to different people. The emails are typically the same and are sent when a certain time arises in a transaction or exchange. Now instead of typing the same email over and over I can type it once, get it perfect and save it to snippet. Now when I type that short snippet, the email is written for me.
6) iPad – Do you have an iPad yet? I guess this depends on the industry you are in, but an iPad has been an amazing tool for me. I can honestly do just about everything I need to on an iPad. I have written blog posts on there, but that is typically the one thing I do not do on a regular basis because it is just so much quicker to do on my MacBook Pro keyboard.
5) Linkdip – This is a new kid on the block, and unless you are a blogger you can just keep moving. Linkdip is a social service that allows you to receive points for Liking, +1′ing, retweeting and linking to other people’s posts. As long as you have points you can then ask others to +1, Like or link to your content if they like it. Does it work? Trust me, it does.
4) Google Reader – With tools like Twitter ( follow me ) and Google Plus ( circle me up ) some people say they no longer need Google Reader to track all their RSS feeds. They say they find everything they need in their streams from their friends. Well for me Reader is still one of the time management tools I need.
3) Dropbox – Dropbox is a must for me. I store all the files I need for work on my Dropbox account. That way I never need to worry about my computer or iPad crashing. All my files are automatically backed up. The other great thing about Dropbox is you can share files or folders with other people which can greatly help with your time management activities. Dropbox does need to watch out for Box.net though. Right now if you download Box.net from an iOS device (iPhone, iPad etc) you get 50GB free for life. I am considering switching to Box.net for this reason. Right now you get 2GB free on Dropbox, but you can also get free space by inviting others. And yes, if you click on this Dropbox link and signup, I get an extra 250MB!
2) Gmail – What is there to say about Gmail that has not already been said? I love my Gmail. Although I have had to learn tricks to make Gmail work better with my time management, it is a tool that does save me lots of time with quick organization. The key to Gmail is learning to use labels and auto filters. Once you master them, there is no better tool I have seen to manage you email. Also Gmail is the best spam filter in the universe!
1) Wunderlist – Wunderlist is by far the MVP of my time management systems. I have written about Wunderlist dozens of times. I simply could not get through the day without it. It is always open when I am at my computer working. If you like a simple, yet very powerful to-do list, your search stops here.
There you have it, ten time management tools I use every day. Now let me know, what are the ones I missed that would be on your list?
***Late edit. I do not know how this slipped though, but Google Voice should be on this list. The ability to get your voicemails transcribed into text messages, free text messaging and saving all those voice mails I may need for later is priceless. This should have been on the list.