Time is one of the scarcest resources – if it’s managed, nothing else needs to be managed. So what happens when you manage this resource flawlessly? You become productive! In fact, according to Paul J. Meyer, productivity is not an accident, but the outcome of a commitment to excellence, focused effort and intelligent planning.
In today’s technological world, when you combine both productivity and technology, there’s no bar to doubling your efficiency. All you need is the right tools. Here I’ll discuss the top 13 productivity tools that will help you accomplish your goals without wasting much energy and time. You’ll have a hard time choosing what you want and what you don’t after going through this list.
The problem is, there are hundreds if not thousand tools to check out – everything from mobile apps to laptop to browser extensions. But the question, how do you cut through the noise? This article throws light on every aspect of these tools. Read it freely, take your time, scan the tools and pick out the one that interests you. I won’t be offended, I promise.
1. Last Pass – Auto Pilot for all your passwords
Don’t be worried if you’re bad at remembering passwords, because Last Pass will do it all for you. For a person with a poor memory like me, it’s like a magic wand.
Example: I was tired of remembering passwords and often ended up setting new ones. Then I installed Last Pass on my devices and stored my passwords in its vault. I even got tips on how to make my passwords better or make them even stronger.
2. Unroll.me – An Efficient Email Manager
Get an inbox you love, get rid of all those unwanted subscriptions and get notified about the ones you really want.
Example: I’m fond of keeping pace with trends, and as a result, I keep subscribing to whatever I read and find interesting. Later on, I realize the stuff just remains in the inbox, unread However, I no longer pay heed to this carelessness – Unroll.me is doing all the work for me now.
3. Spark – Smart Email Manager
Bid adieu to your busy mailbox and put what matters most on top. The tool categorizes your personal emails, notifications, and newsletters to find important messages instantly.
Example: My personal experience with Spark has been awesome. As I mentioned above, I’m poor at remembering things. Spark helped me recover from that. I simply schedule emails to be sent later, which helps me stay in touch with my professional contacts from time to time.
AirMail works the same way as Spark. This tool is one of the most proficient email managers. With this app, you can easily manage and sync your emails, no matter which device you’re using. Additionally, you can clean up the email clutter in your inbox. I personally recommend this tool to professionals who are often busy with emails who also want to increase their productivity.
4. Evernote – Organize, Synchronize and Summarize
Keep your notes here, organize them all and even post them on the same platform. The best feature of this tool is its scanning scheme. No matter what you’re looking for, just enter a single keyword and you’ll find what you want in a matter of seconds.
If you’re someone like me, who keeps switching from one device to another, this is an app you don’t want to miss. Evernote helps me a lot by syncing my stuff across different mobile devices and my desktop. I hope it will be as useful for you!
5. Google Keep – Streamline your Workflow
Google Keep is an efficient Evernote alternative. It offers extremely robust features, making it great for the workplace. Initially, I felt it was a basic note-taking app, and nothing else. But later, when I dug deeper, I recognized that it offers many other useful services. You can unleash the power using tools like:
If you explore this app, you will find a “Remind me” button at the bottom of each note in the keep. Just like me, I can imagine you ignoring this feature, as we already have many other reminders on our phones nowadays. But Google Keep has closely integrated this reminder with Google Now.
When you click on this reminder button, you can choose to set the location or the time reminder. With time, you can simply pick whenever you wish. With location-based reminders, you need to input the name or the address of a specific location. When you do it successfully, your smart device will alert you when you’re near that place. If you are worried about accessing this app, you can also access it via Google Now.
Forward it to Documents
With voice commands, image imports, widgets and a lot more, your Keep notes may get a little unwieldy. So if you wish to use that same text for something more complex, Keep probably isn’t the best place. However, don’t be sad. . Fortunately, you have access to get all the same text in a note in the Google Drive document.
Just open the note you wish to transfer to Docs, and go into the overflow menu. Below, you will see the option “Copy to Google Doc.”. When you tap on this option, you grab all your images and text and transfer it to a new Google Doc. The original copy is left untouched – and you can say that you’ve mastered Google Keep.
Make Lists by Voice
Keep is great for making shopping lists, guest lists, etc. When you’re creating a list, you can easily add new items to it without even opening the app – with the shopping list, you can add items using your Google Voice search facility.
Simply say “Add to my purchase list” and you’ll instantly get a Google Now card that enables you to enter items one after another. Once you’re done, just say “finished” or “That’s it”. Doing this will get everything on the list noted! In addition, you can add even a single item while saying “add an item to my shopping list”. Believe me, this is one of the best features of Google Keep. Don’t skip using it!
6. Scannable – Scan and Go Digital
Scannable instantly turns any paper into digital notes and saves them for future use or sharing. Simply scan your documents and share them with your people, no matter whether you have an access to a desktop scanner or not. This literally multiplies productivity, as you don’t waste time getting to the spot and using a typical scanner.
In addition, you can upload the scanned document to Evernote, iCloud or to an email address, which makes this app a favorite of mine.
7. To Doist – Sync your List Everywhere
This tool syncs your data with almost everything, everywhere, online, offline and offers great speed. With this you can easily collaborate on shared tasks with your friends, family or anyone else, which makes it one of the most flexible tools out there for increasing productivity.
8. Google Calendar – Plan and Achieve
When you schedule everything, the effective time management is the result. So, do you look for something that reminds you of upcoming tasks and other important affairs? Obviously, yes! And Google Calendar is your thing. Install the official app for iPad and iPhone and make the most of your day. Whether you wish to switch between months, weeks or day views, want to connect to Gmail, your flight trips, your reservations … anything you want to be reminded of is added automatically to your calendar.
So, if you are really goal-oriented, Google Calendar is here to assist you.You can even add personal goals – like “run twice a week” – and Calendar will automatically schedule time for it. I find it really innovative, and you will too.
9. Trello – Collaborate and Work more
With Trello, you can organize, prioritize and list your projects instantly.You won’t have any excuse to delay tasks, and if you feel good about teamwork, this is an app you shouldn’t pass up.
Confused about how it works? Well, I don’t know about you, but I literally cannot resist sharing the excellent features that Trello offers. You will know what needs to be tackled first, what’s next, what has been done and what needs to be completed before the deadline, who’s working on a particular project and what you need to start with. Perfect tool for agile teams.
10. Asana – Track, Plan and Move Forward
Asana is not very different from Trello in terms of its purpose, but has different approach. If you want something that can keep your team united and help you communicate about business tasks, this tool is the best pal you can have. Test it and see if it works for you.
11. Toggl – Do all the Tracking
If you are an employer looking forward to tracking timing while increasing efficiency, Toggl is for you then. Just recommend it to your employees and see their productivity double instantly. So far, Google has traced 1,756,842 productive Togglers, and I must say I am one of them.
Are you confused about the limitations in tracking with Toggl? Well, if you trust this tool, forget about barriers to tracking. It tracks everything – and by everything, I literally mean there is nothing that it does not take into account. Be it budget negotiations, tax returns, client feedback, PHP refactoring, live testing, processing, Toggl tracks it all for you and makes you a productive contributor to the organization.
I recommend this smart tool for efficient work output.
12. IFTTT – Keep Technology Connected
With this tool, your world works for you. You can make your devices and apps talk to each other, and interlink your technological world. I can make my voice my personal assistant with IFTTT, because it syncs across systems while I go through my day.
As an alternative to IFTTT, I would also recommend Zapier. This works in the same way as IFTTT. It’s a wonderful tool for busy people, as it moves information between your web applications automatically. The tool follows a simple strategy: integrate, automate and eventually innovate the apps that you use every day. Zapier allows you to connect with more than 1000 apps in an efficient manner.
13. Hopper – Airfare Manager
Are you a travel freak? Be a smart one, then. Hopper is a wonderful app that analyzes the prices of millions of flights and forecasts changes to advise you on the right time to buy tickets. Hopper monitors the prices and finds great deals while notifying you about changes, instantly.
The app is worthy of praise because of its exclusive features. I can save dates, schedule trips, destinations and simply everything related to my trips and their related plans. Moreover, when I have many outings, Hopper that reminds me about the timing of my next destinations and bookings.
A fine substitute for Hopper can be found in Airfare Watchdog. The tool actually lets you book flights at lowest prices, and the top hotel picks as well. It works the same way Hopper does.
Eventually, I figured out that efficient tools that help you organize and align stuff basically improve your work-life balance. You may have lifetime or long-year goals – but when you subdivide them into smaller steps and goals, it becomes easier to implement the overall strategy.