If time is money, you can’t afford to waste any. Yet, you likely do waste time on tasks that take you longer than they should. Those few minutes here and there can add up to hours per week that you might be misusing, time that could be spent on the things that really matter. This is true no matter your company’s purpose, from manufacturing to business services to outsource development of software.
Take scheduling meetings, for example. All that calendar checking and back and forth emailing or voice messaging about which days each person is available takes time out of your busy day. It gets even worse when more people are involved. But there are tools to help. Calendly integrates with your calendar and shows what dates and times you have available for meetings, so all you have to do is ask the person you want to meet with to visit your profile and choose a time that works well for them.
Similar tools can help you in a wide variety of areas, including project management, document storage, note-taking, and time tracking. The following list offers 7 solutions that are well worth trying. The best part? Many of them are free or very affordable. And all of them can help drive your productivity to the next level.
As mentioned above, Calendly is a meeting scheduling tool that allows you to show others what times you have available. Just send them a link to your account and they see a list of possible times. When they pick one, the system sends both of you a confirmation message. Calendly is highly customizable, so you can adjust aspects like how many meetings it’s allowed to schedule in one day. Use for free or upgrade for more features.
Google Drive enables you to store, share, and collaborate on documents, including text files, spreadsheets, and slide decks. Google gives you 15 GB of free storage for your documents and includes a folder system to help you keep everything organized. If you use the Microsoft ecosystem (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), you can convert these documents into Google Drive equivalents (Docs, Sheets, and Slides). Use for free or upgrade for additional storage.
Google Keep is a nicely designed note-taking tool that gives you access to your notes whenever you’re logged into Google on any device. You can include text, photos, drawings, checklists, and even labels to help you stay organized. You can pin the notes that are most important, so you always see them first. And you can share with others (such as a lunch order list that everyone on your team can add to). Google Keep is free.
Harvest is an excellent tool for keeping track of how you spend your time. It’s very easy to use and includes reports that enable you to look back to see how much time, for example, you spent on a specific project. It can include teams, so you know how much to bill a client at the end of the month, based on how much time everyone puts into their work. Use for free or upgrade for more features.
Are you experiencing article overload? That is, do you come across relevant reads online with no way to save them for later? If so, Pocket can help. Just sign up for the service, install the extension on your browser and save any article you choose. Tags help you stay organized, so you can use it for multiple projects, especially those that require extensive research. Use for free or upgrade for more features.
Todoist is a simple to-do list that helps you see at a glance what you need to accomplish each day. Didn’t get everything done? No worries, you can easily move tasks to another day. Categories enable you to separate tasks for specific projects and you can even add sub-tasks for complex assignments. It even tracks your productivity, letting you know how many to-dos you completed each day or week. Use for free or upgrade for more features.
Trello is a very handy and simple to use project management tool that includes boards, lists, and task cards that you can easily move around as a project progresses. The service includes templates to help you get started with specific types of projects. It also integrates with tools you may already be using such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. Use for free or upgrade for more features.
At work, just as in life, you need the right tools for the job. If your job involves keeping busy with important things like project work, research, and development, production, marketing, or planning, you need to spend as little time as possible on less important activities such as scheduling, researching, document management, and juggling multiple projects.
The wrong platforms can slow you down, while the right ones can keep you on track. Those listed here are just a few of the many productivity products available to help you spend your time where it matters most.