RescueTime.com is a web tool that tracks what websites you visit during the day and measures how long you spend on them. Are you one of those people who spend all day refreshing your email or social media sites instead of working? If so, RescueTime might be something you should consider using. In addition to tracking how long you spend on the website, it allows you to block any distracting websites for a certain amount of time. So next time you need to finish a project, have RescueTime block those distracting websites until you’re finished.
2. Post-It Notes
Post-it notes are a wonderful tool because for something so simple, they’re incredible useful. If you keep a stack of post-its around, you already know how easy it is to jot down a simple note for yourself. It’s a great way to keep track of thoughts or activities you need to followup on during future projects. Another great thing is that if you stick them somewhere you’ll definitely see – such as a mirror or a door – you’ll remember to follow through with that activity. Physical reminders are powerful. They are getting more and more rare in our increasingly digitized world.
If you’re not fond of using post-it notes and prefer something digital, try Evernote. Evernote is an online tool that allows you to organize your projects and allows you to take notes and store them in a database. Do you have a website you want to take notes on? Evernote allows you to add notes to the page. Best of all, you can access Evernote from any device, thanks to its cloud-based storage.
4. Project Management System
There are plenty of free websites or online programs that are centered on project management. Trello, for instance, is an online program that allows you to create multiple projects and manage them as you see fit. Project management systems are a great way to keep all your projects organized. When you’re organized, you’re able to work more efficiently.
Do you need to access one document on three different computers? Dropbox allows that to happen. Dropbox is an excellent online program that allows you to stay organized and reach your files easily. It’s a free online database that allows you to upload files to your specified folders and share them with anyone or any device. This saves you the hassle of having to save files to a USB or having to email them to multiple people. What a headache that used to be. Instead, share a certain folder or log onto Dropbox on a different computer to reach everything.
6. Read It Later
Read It Later is another free online program that helps keep you organized. It’s easy to become distracted when you’re trying to do work that happens to be online. Are you researching something for a project or job? Do you become distracted by sites and articles that have nothing to do with what you’re working on? Well, with Read It Later installed on your tablet, laptop, or phone, all you have to do is click an icon in your browser and that link will be saved for later. This provides a great way to save sites you might want to revisit and let you concentrate on the task at hand.
Do you have trouble concentrating? Do you start one task and then get distracted by another? Well, a timer can change all that. A timer is a great, easy way to boost your productivity. Set it for whatever amount of time you think is necessary and get to work! Sometimes working with a time deadline is the easiest way to finish a project. Use a physical timer or an online timer. Simply Google ‘online timer’ to pull up plenty of options worthy of your time.
8. Notepad for To-Do Lists
Paper and pencils or pens might seem like obvious choices, but you might be surprised by how useful they can be. To-do lists can greatly improve your productivity. Get into the habit of writing a to-do list each morning. Writing everything down will help you remember what you need to do. Not to mention, being able to cross multiple things off a list is a very satisfying feeling.
9. Online Calendars with Pop-up Notifications
Online calendars such as Google Calendar are a great way to keep you organized and increase your productivity. You can input all your projects and their due date and set reminders before they’re due. Reminders can range from weeks to days to hours. Having deadlines and reminders will help keep you on schedule.
Collabtive (yes, I’m spelling that correctly) is an open source program that allows you to collaborate with other people by sharing files and delegating jobs. It’s a quick, easy-to-use program that will save you time and allows you to track the progress of all your projects. This platform is a great way to keep updated on all your projects. Since they’re all in the same place, you save yourself a ton of time that can be used to focus on other things.