We get it. You’re a super busy business owner and you have a ton of stuff you need to get done every day. Thankfully, the Golden Age of apps has made it easier than ever to get more done with greater efficiency. You just need to know which apps to get. Here are ten great tools to help you streamline your productivity and make your work day a little less stressful.
Evernote can do wonders to make your life easier and help you run your business more effectively. The popular note-taking app lets you easily add all your thoughts as notes, and sync them across your phone, tablet, or computer. In line for coffee at Starbucks and think of a great opening line for a proposal or a business plan. Quickly enter it into Evernote and you can check it later. Evernote helps make sure no flash of inspiration or crucial bit of data will ever get lost.
A good to-do list is essential for any business owner to get things done. The better your to-do list, the better you’ll work. That’s why Wunderlist can be a great tool to supercharge your lists. It’s a sleekly designed app that makes adding tasks quick and painless. You can even set timers and reminders on things you have to do, so they’ll nudge you to complete them.
Good work habits mean great productivity. But good work habits—whether it’s sending out invoices or doing your finances on a daily basis—aren’t built overnight. They take time to nurture. Habit Bull helps do that. The app lets you enter any routine you want to develop. When you complete a task, you get to check it off in the app, and it will track your success. If you stumble, you’re success rate takes a hit and it’ll let you know. It’s a powerful motivated to get you to lock in those good routines, and become a better worker in the process.
Working non-stop, no matter how much you have to do, is not good for your productivity or health. You need breaks to clear your mind. Everyone from tech companies workers to small business owners are turning to one effective way of doing that: meditation. Calm offers a variety of easy meditation programs that cover whatever you might need – stress reduction, concentration enhancement, a confidence boost. Calm makes it simple for you to recharge in the middle of your day, and then dive back into work refreshed.
Ever ended your day and wondered where the time went or whether you could have used your time more effectively? Rescue Time is a tracker that you install on your devices and that monitors what programs or websites you’re spending your time on. The resulting report shows you exactly where your time is going, and where you’re wasting it. There’s no better way to become more productive than by understanding where your time is going and maximizing it. You can even use Rescue Time’s website blocking so you don’t spend too much time on Facebook or Twitter.
Nobody wants to deal with the nightmare of being buried under hundreds of unread emails or losing track of a customer email that you needed to respond to. Inbox by Gmail is a useful productivity tool because it turns your Gmail account into a to-do list. Emails essentially become tasks. When you’re done with one, just check it off, and it disappears from view. That way only emails that remain are ones you still have to tackle. Can’t deal with an email right away, but don’t want to forget it? You can either prioritize it by pinning it, or snooze it so that it’ll pop up at the top of your inbox later. You’ll be amazed how getting control of your inbox can boost your productivity for the day.
You might be thinking, “Podcasts are distractions!” Well, yes and no. They may take up time, but have you ever noticed how being inspired can often lead to a surge of productivity? Who hasn’t discovered a life hack, or an excellent bit of advice, and gotten excited about trying it out ASAP? The same principle applies to the long list of great podcasts for small business owners that provide inspiration. So, take some time to let yourself be motivated, then channel it right into your work.
Cloud storage—Google Drive, Dropbox and One Drive—isn’t just vital for your business. When your documents are safely backed up, you can have access to them anytime, anywhere, allowing you to boost your productivity. Did you go on a business trip and realize your Powerpoint presentation is on a different computer? Or do you need a change of scenery and want to go work at a cafe? If your documents are in Dropbox, Google Drive, or One Drive, you can go about your day without missing a step.
Sometimes our brains need a little nudge to be productive. Ambient noise has proven to be very effective at enhancing creativity, motivation, and concentration. Noisli offers an easy way for you to play background noise. You can access it through either their website or a Chrome extension you can install. Then just queue up whatever suits your needs, and see how much more productive you’ll become.
When you’re working for yourself, your calendar is everything. That’s why you need more than just whatever your phone came with. Sunrise is considered one of the best calendar apps out there. It’s not just simple to use and look at it, but it’s smart. It has the ability to automatically integrate events from any other apps you give it access to like Facebook, Foursquare, and TripIt. It also makes it easy for you to enter any business calls, meetings, or tasks. You need to be able to quickly figure out what your business day or week involves. Sunrise makes that possible.
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