Sometimes it’s hard to work efficiently when distractions like endless email clutter, chats and conversations, or funny YouTube videos get in the way: we cannot concentrate, we forget the important, getting stuck in what clearly isn’t. Our self-control alone is often not enough to break cyberloafing habits or prioritize our communications wisely, so that’s why it might be worth taking a look at special productivity tools.
It’s obviously much easier to quit scrolling through Facebook updates after having learnt that you wasted almost an entire hour on that yesterday. And this is exactly where these special apps can help: they provide you with accurate data on your productivity, block distractions and remind you of planned tasks. Check out these productivity tools to get started:
- To avoid forgetting your daily to-dos or important details of a project, put them on Paper. Combine your notes, checklists and sketches with documents and pictures (which you can draw directly in the app). The app has rich visual options, like using photos or charts for those who hate long written descriptions. Send your notes, or Cards, to other Paper users — a quick and easy way to share your ideas or explain what needs to get done.
- Optimize your time by combining functionality of different apps and services using the ‘if this, then that’ logic — just like the name of the service suggests. With IFTTT, you don’t need to waste your valuable time on switching between dozens of apps: track your working time combining Google Calendar and location data, automate your smart home appliances, sync your social media accounts — or even explore outer space.
- If you’re a social media addict, going Сold Turkey on it might be the best possible thing for you. No half-measures: block applications, web sites or the entire Internet until you get the work done. You can keep track of your progress, and even share your results on Facebook — just in case some of your friends find themselves in the same boat.
- Another app for those who are so busy that they can’t even Remember the Milk, not to mention meetings and calls. The app sends out reminders via email, text, Twitter, and mobile apps, so there’s no way you’ll forget something important again. Create lists, add tags, structure your tasks, and share them with others.
- Isn’t it awfully frustrating when you get to work in the morning and find out that you need to sort your inbox yet again — just like yesterday and every single day before? Well, using Sanebox will help you make that process incredibly simple by allowing you to filter out all email distractions, organize important correspondence, unsubscribe from mailing lists, and upload bulky attachments to the cloud.
- Now that you got rid of all major distractions, you might need to know which of your tasks you perform efficiently and which are just waste of time. With actiTIME, you can track the time you spend on work assignments, analyze your time expenses and run reports to get a better idea of your productivity. Business owners and freelancers would also appreciate the ability to calculate the profitability of specific projects. This particular productivity tool could be useful for everyone — it is simple enough to use, but provides a very detailed overview of the time spent on specific tasks.
The list could go on and on: there are dozens of excellent productivity solutions available, but they’re useless without our own motivation. So let’s try not to turn this review into yet another distraction and get back to work: thankfully with software productivity tools, it’s a lot easier to do.