21 productivity tools to help maximize your time (and simplify your 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.
Tell your brand's story using Buffer's simple to use social media planning tool. Take the manual work out of posting on social media using Buffer's scheduling tool. Track engagement and grow your audience using this easy to use social media tool.
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.
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.
Do you often work with audio and video? Speechpadis the best tool for transcribing everything spoken into text. Make your videos accessible for everybody by adding captions in which include dialogue, sounds effects, music and much more.
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 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.
Spend less time hitting backspace and start using Hemingway. Hemingway helps you shorten and simplify complex sentences by highlighting the spots that need fixing. Get your message across to your customers in an easy to understand tone.
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.
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 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’s cloud-based accounting 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 online payments, and run payroll for 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!
The information and tips shared on this blog are meant to be used as learning and personal development tools as you launch, run and grow your business. While a good place to start, these articles should not take the place of personalized advice from professionals. As our lawyers would say: “All content on Wave’s blog is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.” Additionally, Wave is the legal copyright holder of all materials on the blog, and others cannot re-use or publish it without our written consent.