The best tools for boosting productivity and creativity
Time is by far the most valuable commodity for every entrepreneur and digital marketer. We always strive to do more work for less time. Efficiency is the name of the game.
In this marketing nugget we will look at some of the best tools for boosting productivity and creativity. At the end of the day it’s all about the results. So let’s get started.
Workflowy – WorkFlowy is a notebook for lists. It has been used by Ev Williams (founder of Medium, Twitter, and Blogger), Farhad Manjoo (the New York Times technology columnist), the CEO of Atlassian (a company worth over $3 billion) and many others. It is great for sketching your ideas or organizing a plan. There’s a try it out function, so you don’t even need to register to give it a go.
OneNote – OneNote allows you to quickly take notes and easily share those with others. It’s also popular for students who organize their notes to better revise for an exam. Simply put, OneNote is a digital notebook, which you can carry anywhere with you. It automatically saves and synchronizes your notes so you can focus on your thoughts and ideas.
Office Lens – Named one of the “Best Apps of 2015” in the U.S. and Puerto Rico by Google Play, Office Lens trims, enhances, and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable.
You can use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files, and save to OneNote, OneDrive, or your local device. It’s pretty much like having a scanner in your pocket, which can digitize notes from whiteboards, blackboards or even receipts.
Coffitivity – A lot of people find it easier to work in a coffee shop due to the people around them. It creates some kind of a vibe that boosts creativity and concentration, so you might get more work done. Now instead of walking down to the nearest cafe (a waste of time) and spending $5 for an overpriced coffee (which you can spend on something better like Facebook ads) you can just hit the play button on Coffitivity (pretty creative name if you ask me).
You have three free options to choose from – Morning Murmur, Lunchtime Lounge or University Undertones. If you are willing to spend 9 bucks you can upgrade to premium and go to other creative locations, such as Paris Paradise, Brazil Bistro or Texas Teahouse.
Jazz and Rain – This is a great alternative to Coffitivity for those of you who are not into “random noise”, but have your creative juices flow from a more relaxing atmosphere. As the name suggests, here you will enjoy relaxing jazz and the soothing sound of rain.
Aside from the classical jazz you can also select Electro Swing Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Chill Music, Epic Music or even Holiday Christmas Music for the festive season. Actually this is my second most favorite place to listen to music (only after Spotify), as it creates a nice and cosy atmosphere just for work.
Brain.fm – this is the last musical tool in this list, I promise. It’s just that I like it so much that I couldn’t drop it from the article. It works on the principle of unlocking music’s potential to influence the brain’s cognitive states.
You can select one of five states – Focus, Meditation, Relaxation, Naps, or Night Time Sleep. It may sound like complete madness, but in most cases you should notice better concentration levels within 15-20 minutes.
f.lux – when you are trying to build your business from scratch you most likely will start work before sunrise and will finish work after sunset. It goes without saying that the long hours in front of the computer will have a negative impact on your sight.
That’s where f.lux comes in. It’s a cross-platform computer program that adjusts the display’s color temperature according to location and time of day. The program was designed to reduce eye strain during night-time use and reduce disruption of sleep patterns.
Marinara Timer – this is one of my favorite productivity tools, since it incorporates the pomodoro technique. This is a time management method in which you use a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks.
In Marinara Timer you get two additional timers – Custom Timer if you want longer or shorter intervals and Kitchen timer, which is simple timeboxing timer. If you’ve never tried the method I seriously encourage you to give it a go. You won’t regret it.
Strict Workflow – This Chrome extension is very similar to Marinara Timer, but aside from being built into your browser it can also block your access to particular websites (the social networks are included by default).
For example, you can enforce a 25 min block on Facebook, your email account or any other website(s) that distracts you while you are in a working mode. You can then start a 5 minute break, browse the sites you want, and then get back to work. Pretty handy extension.
Momentum – Momentum is another productivity chrome extension, which replaces your new tab page with a personal dashboard featuring a To Do task, weather temperature and an inspirational quote. It’s designed to give you what the name suggests – momentum to start and finish your daily task.
So every time you open a new tab (in my case that’s every few minutes when I am doing research) you get a pleasant reminder of what you need to focus on. This is a great way to eliminate distractions and beat procrastination.
Rescue Time – I’ve been using RescueTime for over a year now and while it doesn’t boost productivity directly, it does help you reflect on your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.
After you install the chrome extension sds it runs in the background and tracks the time spent on various applications and websites, giving you an accurate picture of how your day has gone. You can then check your daily or weekly report and improve your working habits.
Buffer – this is a well-known social media management tool, but I decided to include it here for those of you who haven’t heard of it or are still not using it. Shame on you.
It’s 2017 and if you are still manually posting your content on the social platforms then you are lagging behind. Start using the tool and automate your postings. You will save a TON of time.
Slack, Trello and Asana – These are three amazing collaborative platforms that make the work and completion of various projects much more manageable. They are great for creating a virtual office in which it is easy to track everyone’s activities and tasks.
Since most of you are solopreneurs or work with a small team of just a few people these last tools might not be applicable at this point. However, keep them in mind when your company grows and you start recruiting more and more employees. They are certainly worth it.
Well, these are some of the tools that I find very useful for boosting productivity and creativity. If you know other great tools or want to share your personal experience with any of these, feel free to use the comment section below.
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