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6 Affordable Tools to Help You Save Time & Increase Productivity

There are a number of demands on a busy professional’s time. You make many sacrifices every single day to clear your to-do list and yet are barely able to do so. Then there’s this dreaded thing called backlog. How many times have you exclaimed in exasperation that there aren’t enough hours in the day?

There are a number of demands on a busy professional’s time. You make many sacrifices every single day to clear your to-do list and yet are barely able to do so. Then there’s this dreaded thing called backlog. How many times have you exclaimed in exasperation that there aren’t enough hours in the day? If you find yourself perennially struggling with managing your time and work effectively, you might want to consider getting some smart help. Whether you lead a team or manage your own business, here are a variety of tools to help you save time, improve your productivity, and also cut down on stress.

Remember The Milk

  • Don’t forget to call Bob. (He holds all the strings to your bright financial future!)
  • Don’t forget to reply to that (super-urgent) email to your boss.
  • Don’t forget to catch up with that (all important) client from China.
  • Don’t forget to get flowers for Lara. (She’s already threatened to break up with you once!)

Poor you. Juggling so many roles, wearing so many hats. Nothing is more human than forgetting but those of us in a role of responsibility don’t have this luxury. The aptly named Remember The Milk app is just for folks like you and me.

You can create any number of tasks and set reminders for yourself so that all your important work gets done as timed by you. (You may have to set a reminder to schedule the setting up of tasks, however.) The user interface is delightful to look at as well as to use. Set up your priorities, time estimates, and notifications, tag tasks as personal or professional, and plan your days effectively to maximize your productivity.

This app is an accompaniment to the online service of the same name, which means you can sync it across devices and access your lists from anywhere. (It works with Evernote, too!)

I’m not saying this is the best task management app of its kind in the market, because ‘best’ is subjective. It’s just very good and more importantly something you can rely on when you are in a pinch.

Asana

Mashable calls this the “Tesla of productivity tools.” Now I’m not a fan of going overboard when describing apps, but I do believe in giving credit where it is due.

With Asana you can save hours every working day because you don’t need to send emails anymore. Instead, you send tasks. This software allows you to bring up to 15 of your team members on board and create, update, and share tasks so that everybody is on the same page regarding the team’s priorities and deadlines. Use it on a project basis and save a lot of time in back and forth communication.

The interface is eye-catching and the product itself intuitive and easy to use. It is, however, more suited to smaller teams than big ones and does require a bit of learning due to its various features.

SelfControl

It’s sad that we have to resort to using apps to save ourselves from wasting time on idiotic websites. The application SelfControl gives us that which many of us apparently don’t possess – self-control.

I used it out of sheer amusement and found myself relying on it more and more. The underlying principle is very simple — you have to block sites and set a time period for the sites to remain blocked. This software will work better for those who are stricter with themselves as they can create huge ‘blacklists’ of websites to block so that they can focus on their work. The best thing about this tool is that there’s no way around to unblocking these sites, not even if you restart the computer or delete the application. (This is why SelfControl is better than Focus.) Not being able to unblock websites before a certain amount of time has passed means now you are stuck with what you have, i.e. your work, and (hopefully) you will keep doing it. Sounds cruel, I know, but ultimately this enhances productivity!

Voxer Walkie-Talkie

Skype is great for inter-office communication or even that with your friends. But when you are only on the phone and can’t be bothered to type out messages to stay in touch with your contacts, how about speaking to them in a way that does not lead to call charges?

Voxer Walkie-Talkie then is the audio version of WhatsApp. It was created with the idea to make verbal communication easy between groups of people. You can not only speak to them via your mobile device but also send images and videos while doing so (using your data allowance). You can also play back old messages for fun (or for any serious business reference). This saves a lot of time, if you can get your important contacts on Voxer too, and gets things done faster.

Administrate

This tool makes managing your training tasks a breeze. Stay on top of multiple admin challenges when setting up training schedules and executing them. The folks at Administrate have thought of everything when creating this application as it brings together all the training-related functions in a smart and user-friendly interface. Managing your training courses, customers, events, and invoices is easy, thus saving you many hours per project. This application is comprehensive, customizable, and also mobile-friendly, which means you can access as well as update your work on the go. If you run a training business or head a training department, I recommend taking up Administrate’s free trial offer.

Meetings

This app is a God-send for those who are in and out of meetings all day.

Meetings makes it super easy to keep track of your meetings as well as note down the minutes for later reference. It helps you organize your meetings by noting down the names of participants, the agenda, the decisions to be taken, and the tasks to be reviewed. You can also share the agenda with others as well as effortlessly email the meeting minutes to those concerned.

The interface is so cool and fun to use, it actually makes you look forward to meetings. Bring it on!

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