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17 productivity tools to help maximize your time (and simplify your life)

Dec 10, 2018 | 4 minutes read | Entrepreneur life

Absolutely nothing is more valuable to an entrepreneur than his or her time, so finding tools to maximize it is a major win. Some tools or apps may be more valuable to your business than others, so we’ve provided you with this list so you’re covered no matter what you’re looking for.

StayFocusd

StayFocusd will keep your attention where it needs to be and away from the places we all know it shouldn’t be—time-wasting and energy-eating websites, apps, and activities. It’s highly configurable, so you can make this Google Chrome extension work for you, keeping you focused on what matters most.

Calendly

How many hours a week do you think you spend going back and forth trying to align everyone’s schedules for meetings and calls? No matter what your answer is, it’s too much. Calendly can help you schedule meetings without the headaches, plus it’s free and easy to use. Win-win-win.

Asana

As a small business owner, you probably have virtual employees or contractors that you need to stay in touch with. Asana is a cloud-based project management tool that allows teams to communicate and assign tasks in one location without the use of email.

Inbox When Ready for Chrome

Your business couldn’t survive without email, but the line between productive and distracting can be rather thin when it comes to your inbox. The Inbox When Ready extension for Chrome keeps your inbox out of sight by default so you can focus on more important work without being distracted by every new message.

Sanebox

This third-party program allows only important messages into your inbox; the rest get sent to a separate folder. At the end of the day (or whatever time you’ve specified), Sanebox—which works with all email clients—will send you a message that contains everything from that separate folder.

Boomerang

Another email-specific productivity tool, Boomerang helps keep your inbox (and outbox) organized. Get reminders to follow up on actionable emails or emails you haven’t received replies to, or schedule emails to be sent later. And to make things even easier for you, it works with Gmail.

Todo Cloud

This task management service provides a simple way for people to collaborate on things they need to do, so they can tick them off as fast as possible. Todo Cloud is so good at boosting your productivity (it integrates calendars, contacts, emails, and geolocation services) that it won the Best Productivity App for iPad Award.

IFTTT and Zapier

IFTTT (If This, Then That) enables you to bring useful programs together in one hub. You can check the weather, send a tweet, post on Instagram, create playlists on Spotify and automatically perform other tasks based on pre-defined rules and behaviors. Meanwhile, Zapier automates redundant or mundane tasks across hundreds of apps and web services (including Wave!) to free up time to focus on more important work.

RescueTime

RescueTime analyzes your daily habits and tells you when you’ve been distracted too much. Running securely in the background, it gives updates on how much time you’ve spent on different websites and performing certain tasks, plus tracks how much you’ve accomplished and whether you’ve achieved your productivity goals.

Evernote

Evernote is a digital filing cabinet, allowing you to scan and store all your documents on a cloud instead of papers that cause clutter everywhere else. It also allows you to take notes and store them on any device; whether it’s writing down an idea, setting a reminder, or making a to-do list, you can store them, share them, and access them online or off, wherever you are.

MeetEdgar

This tool saves you time by organizing and republishing your best content across connected social media channels to drive more traffic to your website. It automatically posts status updates and shares catchy content at pre-determined times each day, and when your content pipeline goes dry,MeetEdgar simply recycles older updates and repurposes them.

Trello

Trello is a cloud-based application with a catchy but simple drag-and-drop UI and messaging support for team collaboration. The app works on any of your devices, and can be integrated with other apps, like Salesforce, Slack and Github.

OneTab for Chrome

Keeping dozens of tabs open at the same time in your browser window will use up your computer’s memory and drag its performance to a crawl—unless you install the OneTab extension for Chrome and reduce that clutter. It frees up to 95 percent of memory by converting all of your tabs into a list, instead of loading pages.

QualityTime

QualityTime is like a personal diary for your smartphone usage. If you’re trying to use your phone less or just curious about how you’re using it, this app gives you an easy-to-navigate personal activities log displayed as a timeline from morning to night, for any given date.

Toggl

Start tracking how much time you’re spending on individual tasks at work with Toggl. It will help you organize your day and think twice about how you’re prioritizing it. It will keep you on track and maximize your efficiency.

Slack

This cloud-based app is a communication and collaboration hub for teams and communities to connect, share information, and come together to get things done. The beauty of Slack is that you can create several channels to discuss different topics, or have private conversations. It also allows you to share and easily find files or messages in your archive.

Unroll.Me

Unroll.Me saves you just as much time as it does frustration by hunting down all your subscriptions so you can look at them in a single email and unsubscribe from the ones you regret signing up for in the first place.

Wave

Wave’s cloud-based software is designed to help small business owners simplify their finances. Connect your bank account and you do your bookkeeping (for free!), invoice clients, accept payments, and pay your staff, all in one place. You can even track expenses on the go with a free receipt-scanning app.

Now that you’ve spent the time going over this list, decide which ones you need, download them, and get back to work!

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