Giving it all you’ve got is admirable, but sometimes it’s not the way to achieve the best results. Working smarter means using all the means at your disposal to improve productivity and adopt a workflow tailor-made to your needs & preferences.
Want to get more done quicker? Then start using the seven types of productivity-boosting tools we outline below.
1. Project Management Tools
Lack of organization is to blame for many missed deadlines. Project management tools streamline your team’s workflow by helping you break large tasks down into smaller chunks. You can assign roles & due dates or track projects from start to finish as they go through different iterations or departments.
2. A Password Manager
As if you didn’t have enough passwords to remember before, all these tools just make keeping track of them worse. Luckily, a password manager will tip the scales by decluttering your login details while making them more secure.
The manager will issue long and secure passwords for any account and let you access them from different devices. Moreover, it can serve as a vault to store other sensitive info and may even support two-factor authentication to make your accounts more secure.
3. A Time Tracker
There are only so many hours in a day, and you could likely be utilizing them better. A time tracker’s primary function is to log the time you spend on various tasks. That’s handy if you’re a freelancer or in any situation where you have to justify your billing hours. However, the tracker’s real strength is identifying low-yield tasks you’re spending too much time on. Once you cut those out, your productivity will soar.
4. To-Do List & Note-Taking Tools
More efficient product management is great in the long term. But, you also benefit from more personal organization tools. Note-taking is an excellent way to brainstorm ideas, plan your day, or set reminders for weekly tasks. The most advanced tools let you arrange the notes in anything from tables to timelines and accompany them with photos or videos for a personalized look.
To-do list makers are often part of a note-taking tool’s package but also come as stand-alone. Creating and sticking with to-do lists is an excellent way of setting realistic timeframes and imposing order on your chaotic day-to-day duties. Plus, you get a well-deserved dopamine hit each time you check something off!
5. Collaboration & Video Conferencing Platforms
Whether you’re a freelancer or a full-time employee, chances are you have to coordinate your efforts with others. Collaboration platforms provide a hub where the team can get on the same page, share ideas, or develop future strategies. You can interact with different departments or external groups from the same place, have private conversations, or include a select few people in a huddle.
If anything positive came from the pandemic, it’s that more people than ever are realizing how being in the office doesn’t equate to being more productive. Sometimes you’ll still need a face-to-face to get things done quicker and smoother, which is where video conferencing software comes in.
6. Secure Cloud Storage
You likely send and receive dozens of files daily, many of which could be sensitive. Using a secure business cloud storage to store them takes care of several concerns. Everything you store on the cloud gets encrypted, so only you and whoever you give access to can use the files in their original form.
The cloud comes with automatic redundancies, so you can handle files from anywhere, and if one of your provider’s servers isn’t working. Colleagues can collaborate and make revisions, and updates are available in real time for everyone.
7. Automation tools
Remember how time trackers help you find repetitive tasks that need doing but add little value? Automation tools ensure such tasks continue to run behind the scenes, freeing you up for more meaningful work. They work by establishing links between tools, using one operation as a trigger for others. For example, a single automation might notify your team that a task is complete, send a reminder for the next step, generate a report, and make it available on your cloud storage platform.