What Are The Best Productivity Tools For Entrepreneurs?
In the business world, time is money! As an entrepreneur, you will quickly realise that your list of to-do's, is one that perpetually grows. Running Offset Warehouse, I quickly realised how valuable it is to use tools that enhance productivity and help you get more work done in less time. Fortunately, there are many such tools that can help streamline work, increase efficiency, track your tasks and generally make life much easier. Let's take a look at my favourite productivity tools.
Evernote is a very popular app that organises, shares and captures all your activities digitally. If offers a workspace where you can do anything from writing notes, capturing photographs, recording audio, designing and planning projects and even saving information for future reference. By saving and synchronising the information across all your digital devices, Evernote promises to help you capture, remember and manage all your experiences.
This application makes to-do lists more interesting, by making a game out of it. Dubbed the to-do list with a personality, all you have to do is download the app and add your list of tasks. As you complete each tasks, you remove them off the list, thus earning rewards and moving up levels. This whimsical twist on the traditional to-do list, reduces the stress factor normally associated with long lists. Instead, it motivates the user to complete the activity before Carrot becomes cross.
When you're in business, particularly a startup, your inbox will soon seem to be forever flooded with emails. As email clutter builds up, it becomes difficult to battle your way through unimportant messages, to reach those that deserve immediate attention. Sanebox saves you in this situation, by separating the high-priority messages from those that you can deal with later. It saves valuable time and makes sure that you do not miss any important email again.
Trello is the digital version of a post it notes, the original (old school) organising tool! You can use this as a single platform to keep your personal, family and professional projects up-to-date. It is easy to organise, manage and differentiate projects using different cards, stickers and colours. This makes it very useful for designers who have to manage multiple projects at a single time. Every project team member will have access to the project board they are part of, which makes synchronising super easy.
This app allows you to create lists and share them with family and friends. It is one of the top downloaded apps on both Apple and Google Play. The people on your saved list receive alerts on what they are responsible for, and thus makes it easier to complete the task. You can use it to synchronise everything in real-time and share updated information with the concerned people at work or at home.
Every business owner has to handle tasks that are time sensitive. Having a digital calendar is beneficial in making sure tasks are performed on time. Calendars allow you to set reminders for important events, schedule and reschedule as plans change. The most widely underused feature, and my personal favourite feature, is the invite button. The invite button allows you to invite other google calendar users to meetings via their email addresses. Not only does this ensure that you're all at the same meeting, but it will inform all parties of any changes to the event automatically! Google calendar is one of my favourite tools, as it is uncomplicated, easy to access and free to use.
With multiple transaction accounts and mail boxes to handle, password management is a necessity for entrepreneurs. You should never use the same password for multiple accounts, and you can't always rely on your memory to remember all your secure passwords. Noting it down is neither a safe nor recommended approach. What you need is a password management program like LastPass that allows you to generate and save passwords for the numerous websites you use. It protects your password data through multiple levels of authentication, and you can also use it on your mobile.
Despite the availability of digital applications, some of us are quite content with pen and paper. Here's a fantastic method for keeping hand written lists, so they don't get overwhelming: Bullet Journals. A bullet journal is a method of keeping your to-do list manageable. It's based on categorising all entrees as events, notes or tasks. In this system of rapid logging, an index is created for each month and day to make a note of the tasks due. Every day starts with the listing of tasks for that particular day. Check boxes are used to track the activities, and ones that are incomplete are carried forward to the consecutive day. I suggest you take a look at the Bullet Journal video for more information on how to correctly use this technique.
These are only a few of the hundred or more tools that can be used to increase your productivity. One thing to remember is that it can take some time to find the right mix of tools that suit your style. Once you do, it won't be long before you reach a point where they help you work more efficiently. They will then play a significant role in improving your productivity.
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