Tools for Productivity

Personal Development | 0 comments

It’s been one hell of a year (and even that is an understatement), so if you’re like me, then staying on track during the workday is just a little harder than usual – and you might be in need of some extra tools for productivity. 

(Also, if you’re like me, then you do most of your work on the weekend sitting backward on the toilet with your laptop up on the water tank – because it’s the only time your husband is home to watch your toddler, and it’s the only place you can work in your NYC apartment where she will leave your alone. The struggle is real, ya’ll.)

Here’s what’s working for me:

1) Knowing what needs to get done.

I make a list for the week and divide it out across the days I’ll be working. I never give myself more than 1 major to-do on a weekday since I’m home with my toddler until daycare is a thing again. Nothing gets added to my daily list on the day of – new tasks that come in can be delegated to other days in that week or the following week.

2) Music

Favorites are usually movie score playlists on Spotify for deep focused work, like this one.

3) Pocket

We all consume a lot of content and much of it is valuable, but it’s not always the best idea to read an article that finds its way to your inbox in the middle of your workday. With Pocket, you can bookmark content that you want to consume later.

I first learned this trick from Paige Brunton. She takes this a step further and when it comes to business-related content, she designates a specific topic (Pinterest, email list building, etc) to each month and only reads content related to that month’s topic. Everything else goes in Pocket for a later date.

4) Software that saves time.

This is a big one. Aside from just keeping myself on task, I love employing systems that limit the amount of time I need to spend on administrative or repetitive tasks. These are some of my favorite software tools for productivity:

Acuity

Acuity is an all-in-one service that enables you to schedule client appointments, take payments, and request any additional information all in one go. It also syncs with your calendar so that you’ll never double book. Imagine how much time you’d save if you never had to go back and forth with someone to schedule a simple call or appointment?

I have a whole post about Acuity here, if you’d like to learn more.

Later or Plann:

Social media can be such a time suck – get a scheduling tool! I currently use both Later and Plann for different businesses of mine. The jury is out on which one I like better. 

Later auto-posts, so that’s awesome. Plann pings you to remind you to post. Point for Later.

Plann has a much better user interface that enables you to see your feed, and a better hashtag cloud saving feature for Instagram. Point for Plann.

Either way, find a social media scheduling tool that you like and then take one or two days a month to batch plan your posts!

Streak:

If you have Gmail or an email account run by Gsuite, you already have Streak. Use it!

My favorite Streak feature is Snippets, which enables you to save versions of the emails that you send alllll the time, such as reminder emails, general service inquiry responses, etc. Next time you send one or your routine emails save it as a snippet.

tools for productivity

To do this, look for the snippet button at the bottom of your email draft. It looks like two little pages. Once selected, save your email as a new snippet. Tip: before saving, delete the signature and highlight any parts of the text that you’ll need to change (name, specific project details). If you’re saving a snippet that’s in reply to an email, be sure to delete the thread as well.

(PS – if you like my email signature, I have a post that shows you how to make your own here.)

Next time you go to send a similar email, click on the same button and select the snippet you saved and the email will auto-populate. Awesome, right?

Alright, those are my top tricks and tools for productivity. Give them a try and let me know how it goes!

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Hi, I'm Kara

I’m one part website designer, one part strategist and one part accountability partner.  I help service-based solopreneurs get set up online without the tech headaches!

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