More efficiency, saving time and the ability to focus on deep work are 3 of the top reasons why these top productivity tools are so popular among entrepreneurs and professional people of all levels. Especially as 2017 unfolds. You know, new goals, new targets.
Being able to power through your work day with energy and focus is a rare thing nowadays. With so many digital tools to distract us, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, it is any wonder we have time for actual work.
Getting Things Done
David Allen’s masterpiece titled Getting Things Done, is the go-to book on how to boost your productivity and efficiency levels. David teaches you how to capture all your critical tasks and get them out of your head and onto a recording device.
Today, I’ve captured the Top 5 Productivity Tools for 2017 to boost your productivity and help get things done faster.
Toggl is known as the ultimate productivity tool, and it is a breeze to integrate into your daily activities.
Ironically, the trick with many of these online productivity tools is the time it takes to learn how to use them. Then once you have mastered the basics, you need to spend time on how to get the most out of them, including the advanced features.
The beauty of Toggl is the sheer simplicity and intuitiveness of the software. You will be up and running in minutes.
Tracking your time and daily tasks with Toggl
If you are an agency and need to keep track of your day, then Toggl will be the perfect addition to you and your team. No matter if you are writing the perfect blog post, creating new videos, writing a PR piece or updating your social media account, Toggl is seamless in identifying how much time each task takes.
Monthly reports are a breeze
Toggl will allow you to generate monthly reports quickly and accurately. You cal pull report from the last few days, weeks or month. Everything.
Due to the simplicity of using it, everything gets recorded quickly and efficiently. No time wasted loading up software and integrating it with CRMs or anything like that.
Just open Toggl in your browser and get to work. Watch the video below to see how simple Toggl is.
If you are a salaried employee, manager or top-level executive, you are likely curious as to how you spend your time and how efficient you are.
Toggl is perfect for the salaried worker to hone in on where their most productive days are and where they are wasting valuable time.
Shallow work versus Deep work
The time-consuming tasks can be referred to as shallow work, and at the end of the month, a review may uncover the fact you are spending 20-30% of your time doing shallow work.
With this knowledge, you can then go to your boss and ask for a shallow work budget and get those tasks handled by someone more appropriate.
Who is Cal Newport and why are his books so freaking awesome?
In Cal Newport’s latest book, Deep Work, he reminds us of the importance of doing deep work as opposed to shallow work. Deep Work is a very thought provoking read on what we need to do to get more done.
I was so inspired by Cal Newport’s book (listened to the audio version through audible), that I immediately listened to it again.
I’ve found Toggl to be the perfect productivity tool to help uncover the good, bad and ugly of what I get done on a daily basis.
Evernote is one of the most practical and user-friendly productivity tools for those who value their time and ability to source things quickly.
This handy online tool is essentially the one place you can store everything from website URLs, notes, PDF documents, the full capture of a single page, note taking and lots more. The great news is it will move with you across all your devices.
Many years ago, Delicious used to be the go-to tool for keeping a cloud-based version of all your important URLs and share them with friends and millions online.
Evernote has now well and truly taken over from where Delicious left off and added so many tools and functions that it truly is the one must-have item in your arsenal of productivity tools.
Adding tags to find your notes with ease
The real beauty of Evernote is the ability to add ‘tags’ to anything you save. Adding tags makes it incredibly easy to locate the hundreds or thousands of useful resources you have tucked away for safe keeping. Irrespective of whether you are saving some SEO notes, Marketing Automation ideas or a suite of digital marketing videos you found handy, then the Evernote tags are perfect for this.
Previously there was just a free version, which is brilliant. The free version allows you to sync across two devices and store up to 60mb.
But for those power users, there are other options available with pricing for PLUS at $49.99 per year and Premium at $89.99 per year.
If you haven’t already grabbed a free Evernote account, then jump in and grab a free account today.
And if you are a real power user, then you MUST read my friend’s post titled ‘Tame the Evernote Beast‘. Joshua is possibly the most efficient and impressive getting things done guy I know.
If you love the Getting Things Done mindset, then you will love Trello. Trello allows you to dump everything on your mind in the one place and collaborate with team members to get things done. Simple.
If you need to organise your workplace and Digital Marketing department then Trello is perfect. Adding items to your weekend shopping list, Trello has you covered. Running a product launch, then jump into Trello.
Multiple clients with various stakeholders
Working with multiple people across different projects just got a lot easier with Trello as you can assign and add people to your Trello cards to keep your life organised and remain sane. Phew.
You can create cards for each client, keeping their work separate. Or if you want to keep things simple, keep everything in the one board.
Keep things simple
Below is an image of how we setup Trello for client account work. You will notice we have:
- Working On
- VA Tasks
I like to use my inbox for all the new ideas to improve the business. These are often bigger projects that need to be broken down into smaller chunks.
We also create a new board for every new client. Trello is the perfect addition to any agency who works with multiple clients. We then just replicate the folders mentioned above, and we are set to go.
Each of these columns can be adjusted to whatever you like. My home Trello board has different headings up the top. This is just an example.
Trello takes next to no time to get up and running and is incredibly intuitive.
Using Trello with Toggl – The perfect combo
In addition to Trello being the perfect productivity tool on its own, it integrates with Toggl. At Profile Booster is track all our core tasks using Trello and press start on the integrated Toggl button.
You may be asking, ‘Are there other Getting Things Done GTD tools other than Trello?’
If you and your team are looking for an activity tracking solution, then open up a free account with Trello. Your team will be very thankful you did.
We love LastPass. It is that simple. LastPass is a password keeper that remembers all the passwords for every login you have.
Nowadays, it is common to have hundreds of passwords for accessing everything online.
Old school methods just don’t cut it if you want to be ultra productive
Old school people love to record these in encrypted excel sheets, but this is severely limiting and time-consuming.
LastPass allows you to have one central password to give you access to the hundreds of saved passwords you have.
Not only that but you can click one link within LastPass, and it will open the URL and log you in automatically.
LastPass, a true life saver and one of our top productivity tools for busy people.
What about sharing passwords with remote workers – isn’t this dangerous?
For marketing teams who need to provide access to remote teams or outsourced workers, LastPass has a brilliant solution.
To keep your information safe you can share your login details but hide the password.
Your outsource team can gain access but never see your password. This feature alone is brilliant.
Dropbox has been around for quite some time and is the go-to site for cloud storage and file sharing among your peers.
For a busy digital marketing organisation, having the flexibility of storing data in the cloud can save a lot of time.
In addition to storing files in the cloud and file sharing, we use it to store all our website backups, both for our sites and those of our clients.
Backing up websites with Dropbox
For all sites, we run weekly database backups and full site backups once per month. When it comes to pricing and storage levels, free accounts get 2GB of storage, and Pro accounts offer 1TB of storage.
Pro Dropbox accounts are $11.58 per month. You can go to the Business level which states on the website ‘as much storage as needed’ for $14.17 per month.
For those who need extra storage, the Enterprise edition is the best option. You will need to speak to dropbox about pricing for this.