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Seven Productivity Tools That Can Save You 100 Hours (Or More!)

You know the drill…

Get up early, drop in front of your computer and plow through your day as fast as possible.

Today’s business world is all about getting more done in less time.

So what if you had a few key tools to cut the time you spend on booking appointments, focused you on the right things to do to drive your business forward and plan your next moves in a more profitable way?

Here are my seven top online tools to do just that… (I added some screenshots  of my actual pages below each tool so you can see what they look like in use)

Asana – Task Management

(Free)

Everyone has a to do list but not all lists are created equal. What I love about Asana is its flexibility.

I manage a remote team of four using this free software. It handles everything from basic to dos to complex task templates.

Best of all there is almost no learning curve. It is beautiful and intuitive.

Asana includes these features for free:

  • Recurring tasks
  • Subtasks of bigger tasks
  • Project management and visual workflow
  • Comments so multiple people can work on one task
  • Drag and drop functionality for everything
  • Unlimited team members
  • Unlimited projects
  • And so much more

I have tested a lot of task management software and Asana is hands-down my favorite.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.14.30 AM

Focus At Will – Music for Focus

(Free version with Paid Upgrade Available )

If you ever have trouble staying focused on the task at hand, you need Focus At Will.

Using some pretty serious science this online software plays music that tunes your brains rhythms to their optimal wavelength to stay focused.

You can choose from different styles of music and simply listen through headphones while you work.

I am not someone who can normally listen to music while I’m working – I find it distracting. However, Focus At Will zooms me into “the zone” in a matter of seconds. From there I can crank out work faster and better than any other way.

I was listening to it the entire time I was writing this blog post as a matter of fact.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.15.16 AM

Doodle – Multi-person Scheduling

(Free with Paid Upgrades Available)

How many times have you had to schedule a meeting with more than one person and ended up in an endless series of emails back and forth, trying desperately to find a time that works for all?
What a time suck.

Enter Doodle.

This handy little tool allows you propose times and dates for a meeting or call and then let your attendees choose all the options that work for them.

The software collates all the data and you get a sweet little spreadsheet that shows which times work best.

This one tool has saved me hundred of hours of wasted time in scheduling.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 9.48.17 AM

YouCanBook.Me – Single Person Scheduling

(Free with Paid Upgrades Available)

While we are on the subject of scheduling meetings, how much time do you waste trying to find a meeting time with just one person?

That’s where YouCanBook.Me comes in.

It syncs with your Google or iCloud calendar and allows you to set available meetings times for your guest to choose from.

You simply send them a link and they can book a call or meeting directly on your calendar. Both of you get the meeting on your calendar and you can send reminders as well.

If you don’t use Google or iCloud for your calendar, you can check out ScheduleOnce. It costs a little more but you get Outlook and Office 365 integration.

You can customize the settings to only allow meetings at certain times or to even ensure you have a gap between the meeting and anything else on your calendar. You can even set up different types of meetings with different default lengths. YouCanBook.Me is highly customizable and very simple to use.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.16.10 AM

Evernote – Note and Idea Management

(Free)

Once the talk of the business world, Evernote isn’t getting much press anymore. However, it is still the most flexible, easy-to-use and robust note taking software out there.

Need to keep notes from meeting organized and accessible? Evernote.

Need to clip something from a webpage or remember a page with important info? Evernote.

Evernote stores everything in simple “notebooks” to keep you organized simply. You can add tags and other descriptors to make searching a breeze.

Need to share info with others? Done in a click.

Evernote has a lot of great plugins to other apps so you can copy and store info from the web, your inbox or just about any other source with one click.

I can’t tell you how many times Evernote has saved my bacon when I needed to find notes from a meeting in a hurry.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.16.49 AM

MySpeed – Video Playback Accelerator

($29.99 one-time)

If you’re going to succeed in business you need to continually sharpen your skills.

Today, most learning is done online via video.

But what happens when you start to watch a training video? It is boring! The speaker talks so slowly and you just want to speed them up.

That’s what MySpeed does.

It allows you to watch any online video and adjust the speed of playback. No matter how fast you play it, you’ll never get a chipmunk voice, either.

Think about it.

If you are watching a video at 1.25 speed (my favorite), you save 25% of your time. For an hour-long video, you save 15 minutes of watching time. Over the course of a year, that can add up to hundreds of hours of saved time.

(Note: MySpeed is for Macs. There is a PC version called 2xAV that works great)

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.17.16 AM

Lucidchart – Flow Chart Builder

($59/year)

Success in business requires processes. Whether it is your marketing funnel or your sales system or your product delivery, you need rock-solid systems and processes.

And, you have to be able to communicate those processes to your team.

There is no better way to do that than with a nice flow chart.

But flow chart software can be expensive and difficult to learn.

That’s where Lucidchart shines.

It’s online so everyone can share charts quickly and easily.
The interface is all drag and drop so you can build complex charts without having to dig through hours of tutorials.

Using Lucidchart has allowed us to map out our growth processes and share them across a geographically dispersed team. That means we are all on the same page and everyone knows exactly what we are building.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 10.11.49 AM

 

There are lots of tools you can use to increase your productivity but these are my seven go-to everyday ones.

I’d love to hear what you use and why you like it so please share your ideas in the comments.

 

 

Laura Posey

Laura Posey is Chief Instigator at Simple Success Plans. Her driving mission is to show entrepreneurs how to double their business while taking more time out of the company to make a difference in the world. She is an avid traveler and is always looking to connect with readers around the world.

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