It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you that finding new tools and resources to increase productivity is one of my favorite things to do! It’s amazing how much some of these tools can save time in your day and make room for other, more important things.
Not only do I use these tools in my blog and business, but they have revolutionized my personal responsibilities as well. In today’s blog post I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite tools and resources I’ve found to increase productivity.
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PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS TO HELP YOU GET MORE DONE
Asana a project management tool that I use to run just about every aspect of my business.
I love Asana because it helps me to take big projects and break them down into individual tasks to make them seem a LOT less overwhelming. It also allows me to create a workflow for projects to tackle regularly such as new blog posts.
Asana is where I keep a big-picture marketing calendar for the year where I note affiliate promotions and launches and other important dates.
Asana is also where I house my long-term to-do list of business tasks I need to take care of.
Moving forward, Asana is the tool I’m going to be using to manage bigger projects like eBooks and online courses.
This is the tool I use to organize my daily to-do list. While Asana is the tool I use to do the big-picture planning for my business, Todoist is how I break it down into manageable tasks every day.
Todoist is my favorite of the task management apps I’ve used. It’s really powerful, and I especially love that you can connect it to Google Calendar. Since I like to schedule tasks for a specific time on my calendar, this really comes in handy!
I love how easy DropBox makes it to access files across devices. It’s a cloud storage tool that you can access from literally anywhere! I have it downloaded on both my laptop and my phone. And if for some reason I’m working on a different computer, I can access all of my files on the website.
Not only is it helpful to be able to access files across devices, but it just provides some peace of mind knowing my files are backed up somewhere. A couple of years ago one of my laptops was damaged by water and I wasn’t able to recover anything on it. But because all of my files were saved in my DropBox, I didn’t lose anything important.
Google Drive is my favorite alternative to Microsoft Office. It’s the easiest way for me to create documents or spreadsheets and, similar to Dropbox, I can access those files anywhere.
Plus, unlike Microsoft Office, it’s totally free! This is where I keep an outline template for my blog posts, and where I write each post before moving it over to my WordPress dashboard.
I also use the spreadsheets a lot to track different parts of my business.
Finally, Google Drive is perfect for sharing files with others. You can create a file and share it with anyone else, and you can both edit it and make notes to each other. It’s the perfect tool if you do any sort of collaborative work.
You may have heard of the Pomodoro Technique, where you set a timer to work in 25-minute intervals, followed by 5-minute breaks. For the 25 minutes of work, the task at hand gets 100% of your attention. No distractions. But it’s made easier by the fact that it’s only a short block time before you can take a break and let your attention wander.
Some tasks you’re working on might take you more than 25 minutes, but you can simply repeat the process for as many Pomodoros as it takes.
You can use literally any stopwatch to manage this, however, an online tool such as this one makes it about as simple as it can get.
This is a newer tool for me, and I can’t believe I didn’t start using it earlier! Toggl allows you to track how you’re spending your time. I have found it really useful because I want to make sure I’m cutting down on any blogging tasks that don’t have a direct impact on my income. Toggl has allowed me to see which tasks I’m spending too much time on.
Toggl is also a great tool for the random freelance work I pick up because then I can track how long it takes me to do certain jobs and see which projects are the most profitable per hour. Those are the projects I’m going to want to do more of!
While Toggl is the tool I use to track time spent on certain tasks and projects, RescueTime is a tool you can use to figure out where you’re spending your time online. This is a great tool for figuring out where you’re wasting time so you can take steps to fix it.
The best part is that you can set parameters for or block certain sites that you know to be time-wasters for you. No more mindlessly scrolling through Facebook!
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That”. This tool allows you to connect different apps and programs to create various “recipes”. The options with IFTTT are just about endless and I’m constantly coming across new recipe ideas that I never would have thought of!
From a blogging perspective, this tool is great if you want to share the same social media post across platforms, share posts from your favorite bloggers, or save social media posts to use again for later.
IFTTT is also a great tool to use for scheduling purposes, such as for syncing events and tools across platforms.
It’s getting a little ridiculous how many passwords we have to keep track of these days! It seems like every site has slightly different requirements, and it’s just possible to remember them all!
That’s where LastPass comes in. You save all of your passwords in LastPass, and then use LastPass to log into your various accounts.
The premium version also has an option for families so you can all access joint accounts easily.
Social Media Scheduling
Scheduling my social media posts for my blog is probably the biggest time saver of all for me. It allows me to increase productivity exponentially. If I wasn’t able to schedule my Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in advance, I would honestly have to spend hours more each week on social media.
–Tailwind: If you can only afford to invest in one tool to help you grow your blog, make it this one. Tailwind is the tool I use to schedule pins on Pinterest. It’s super easy to use – check out my full tutorial here! Basically, it takes me about an hour to schedule all of my pins for an entire month, making the small investment MORE than worth it. Plus you can sign up for your free Tailwind trial here to figure out if it works for you before you commit!
–SmarterQueue: It’s taken me a while to find the perfect scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter, and I finally found it with SmarterQueue. Not only can I easily schedule social media posts to promote my latest blog post, but they also have evergreen promotion. Meaning I can add a post once, and it will share it again and again! This is perfect for getting old content in front of your audience again. Plus SmarterQueue is WAY cheaper than most of the other evergreen scheduling tools (it’s only $19.99/month) and you can try it for free before you commit!
–Planoly: If you’ve been blogging a while, you know that Instagram is SUPER important these days. Planoly is by far my favorite tool for keeping up with Instagram. They have a drag and drop scheduler so you can figure out the best order for your Instagram posts. Then you can write your captions on the app OR on your desktop. The best part is, you can now schedule IG posts to go live automatically with Planoly, rather than getting a notification and having to still manually post! Planoly is great because it’s free as long as you’re sharing fewer than 30 posts per month, and still super affordable if you’re sharing more than that.
BEFORE YOU GO
Make sure to check out these other posts you might like on Refined Revelry!