Chris Hamoen wrote about his favorite iPhone apps for business last week, and that got me to thinking about what apps I use, and what for. The what for was easy – productivity. With so much to do, so little time, how can we possibly keep track of it all? Without constant reminders, alarms and notifications, I would be lucky to get to work, let alone make it through the day.
For the most part, our lives have become automated and routinized, which is good news for those of us who were not blessed with the ability to multi-task. There are hundreds, even thousands, of tools and applications to help increase productivity in our day-to-day lives. But which productivity apps are making life easier, and which are just cluttering up our daily task lists? Productivity tools are only useful if they are easy to use. Less is more and simple is better.
We cannot manage time – we can only manage ourselves. So, here is a list of five of my favourite productivity tools, the ones I use everyday to do that:
- Google Calendar – My (colour-coded) calendar is my life! It’s the only way I can remember where I have to be and when I have to be there. It automatically syncs with my smartphone and laptop, so that I don’t have to worry about inputting events twice or, heaven forbid, double booking.
- Sanebox – At first I was skeptical of an email inbox organizer, but after a surprisingly amazing free 30-day trial, I decided to let Sanebox take care of the sifting and sorting of my emails. Sanebox prioritizes and begins to learn which emails go into which folders and organizes emails to make it easier for you to see and deal with the important ones first.
- Dropbox – Whether you’re storing, accessing, or sharing files and photos, Dropbox can guarantee your documents are secure in the Cloud. Its versatility allows me to easily keep an entire backup of my important files, which I can access while traveling. And I can share files with anyone I want without worrying about huge email attachments.
- Evernote – How on earth did I ever take notes before Evernote? It organizes and keeps track of all my notes, while syncing across all of my devices. Whether I am taking notes in a meeting or brainstorming for my next big idea, Evernote tags and categorizes my notes accordingly. Oh, and the best part? It doesn’t limit you to just text notes – you can add pictures, charts and spread sheets!
- Hootsuite – Or as I like to call it – my social media dashboard. I use it to aggregate all of my social network feeds, which helps me to keep my social pages updated while not taking up too much of my time.
Being organized at home is just as important as being organized at work. Stay tuned for my next post on sales productivity tools in the workplace and how you can better organize and manage your sales force. (Ed. I’m sure she will mention SalesWays’ ASPEC Sales Productivity app, right Marianna?)
And for a primer on getting organized to use these apps to their greatest potential, I recommend David Allen’s Getting Things Done.