6 Productivity Tools to Supercharge your Work Efficiency
Time management tools
The most important aspect of productivity is never wasting time. Unfortunately, we all know how easy it is to do so — and how hard it can be to maximize every second. With these two tools, you can easily manage where your time is going, so you can continue making improvements to your work schedule.
Calendly is one of our favorite tools for saving time while adding meetings to our schedules. It totally eliminates the need for a long back-and-forth chat about availability and ensures you never overbook your time. With a free plan, which is perfect for most individual users, you can connect Calendly directly with your calendar app and set preferences about your availability. You’ll then get a unique link filled with all the times you can meet for a set amount of time. When a meeting is needed, simply send the link over to your customer or coworker and they can schedule a time themselves. If anyone else’s worst nightmare is two clients showing up at once — or when you’re too slammed with work to even talk — sign up for Calendly now.
Not everything we do is written on our calendars. When you want to track exactly how much time is spent on every task, Harvest can help you out. With Harvest, you can start and stop the clock whenever you begin or complete a task, so you can get detailed insight into your efficiency. Integrate it with Asana, Trello or Basecamp and you can get time entries directly on your task management app. This tool can also help you accurately bill clients and provide unlimited invoices and estimates. Over time, your data will help you pinpoint where you need to create a new process, hire someone or outsource tasks, so you can focus on what you do best. Upgraded plans allow you to do the same across your entire team.
There’s no better amount of time to spend on a project than none at all — as long as it still gets done, at least. That’s why we love automation. For the repetitive processes that literally don’t require a brain, you can simply assign a robot to do it for you. Below, we’ll introduce you to the productivity tool you need to increase your personal efficiency for no cost at all.
IFTTT (If This Then That, get it?) is one of the simplest automation tools that you can start using for free. With just a few clicks, you can create an Applet, which is an action that IFTTT completes on one app when it receives a trigger from another. For example, with IFTTT, you can backup an Instagram photo in your Dropbox just by using a hashtag or instantly sync new contacts to a Google Sheet. You can even get notified when the International Space Station is flying over your office, which is the only good reason to drop all you’re doing and go outside. Want to automate more than your personal tasks? We recommend Zapier, a more robust automation tool, for teams and businesses with more than three people or a high volume of processes to automate.
Email management tools
Email is a necessary evil in business. It’s an incredible communication tool, but can actually waste 2.5 hours every single day. Here are the productivity tools you need to limit the hold that email has on you:
We’re always signing up for email newsletters we don’t want and forgetting to unsubscribe to the ones we no longer love. Unroll.Me is a free productivity app that lets you see everything you’re subscribed to and tap to instantly unsubscribe to any. Say goodbye to emails from that online store you visited once three years ago! Once you narrow down the emails you do want to see, you can consolidate all your newsletters into one daily roundup in your app. You can even set this roundup to arrive after your work day is over, so you don’t get distracted by a long read.
Most of us don’t have the time to wine and dine every lead on our contact list. Luckily, streamlining your people management is as easy as using Streak, the CRM for Gmail. Streak is a free tool that helps you move your customers through the sales pipeline, all from the comfort of your G Suite. You can see exactly how and when everyone is interacting with you via email, then get the reminders you need to keep your business moving. Streak won’t tell you your lead’s hair color or your client’s favorite restaurant, but it will tell you when they open your email, so you know when follow-ups are appropriate. This CRM tool also allows you to easily personalize emails without wasting time through mail merge and split multi-topic conversations as needed. With upgraded plans, Streak can turn into a helpful collaboration tool that you can share with your team.
Even when you’re tucked into the quietest corner of your coworking space or hidden away in your home office, the internet offers hundreds of distractions to choose from. Here’s the productivity tool you need to boost your focus every time you work:
We’ve all been guilty of surfing the internet when we really should be focused on the task at hand. Freedom is a tool designed to block the sites and apps that waste your time the most — or block everything except the ones you need — on a customizable schedule. If that’s not enough, you can even put yourself on Locked Mode and force your willpower into action. No more “necessary” Twitter breaks! Freedom does cost $2.50 per month, but you’ll get a totally customizable app and website blocker that even helps you track your session history. Want a free tool that can still give you the tough love you need? Get the Go F*cking Work site blocking extension on Google Chrome to — and we quote — “stop being an unproductive little sh*t.”
Make your productivity skyrocket
Productivity tools are here to stay. As our work increasingly moves online, the apps and software listed above will help you maximize your personal productivity, so you can do more for your clients and your team. And if you need a physical space outside of your distraction-heavy home and noisy neighborhood coffee shop to be even more productive or to set up these new productivity tools, check out CO+HOOTS’ membership options. And if you’re part of a small business team that needs a part-time office space, CO+HOOTS’ new month-to-month flexible coworking solutions for teams new month-to-month flexible coworking solutions for teams (of five employees or more) may just be the workspace plan you need.