If you’re an entrepreneur running your own company, or a freelancer working on several client projects at once – time management may be one of your biggest challenges.
Emails. Meetings. Checking in with employees. Receiving feedback on your projects. The list is endless.
It’s these daily repetitive tasks that can slow you down. However, there are many useful online productivity tools that can help streamline these recurring activities. Efficiency is a critical part of a productive working environment. Here’s a list of the 10 best online productivity tools to maximize your time and bandwidth.
1. Best online tool for eliminating distractions: RescueTime
Ever wonder where those hours go? Now you can track and review this precise (and startling) data. RescueTime will track time spent on websites and applications, then categorize them for easier analysis.
You can see how many hours you’ve logged online and whether it was “work” related or “unproductive time.” At first, you might be alarmed seeing exactly how much time you spend on YouTube and Huffington Post , but hopefully it’ll propel you to take charge of your precious time.
With RescueTime, you can set up weekly goals, helping you to be intentional about improving your productivity.
You can analyze your data to see when you are most productive – morning, evening, and that can help you plan your day more efficiently.
RescueTime: Free or $9 /month
2. Best online tool for streamlining tasks: IFTTT
When you find yourself repeating the same tasks over and over again, then this is for you. IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That, lets you create “applets” that allow for various apps, services and devices to connect and work together.
You can save your new iOS contacts to your Google Contacts or automatically back up your iPhone photos to Dropbox. Don’t limit yourself though, why not set up a notification whenever the International Space Station passes over your house? The possibilities are endless.
3. Best online tool for saving passwords: LastPass
Instead of running the risk of being a hackers dream-come-true, you’ll want to avoid using the same ID and password for your various online accounts.
But just how much time do you waste remembering every single ID and password you’ve ever created? Even the whole process of requesting a new password, confirming it’s you, then resetting it can be so frustrating, and worse, you may forget it again at a later stage.
LastPass is your online skeleton key. With the browser extension, log in using your single master password and it’ll start saving all your passwords. LastPass uses multi-factor authentication and is highly recommended by CNet and has a 5-star rating from PC Magazine.
LastPass: Free or $2 /month
4. Best online tool for communication: Slack
Slack, a real-time communication tool, operates in private or public channels for various projects and offers notification and reminder settings to help track conversations. Slack has built-in voice calls and video calls with screen sharing, removing the need for added communication apps.
Other useful features include file sharing directly from Dropbox or Google Drive. The search feature also includes hashtags, making it easier to spot highlighted keywords.
With over 6 million active daily users, it’s no wonder Slack is dominating the online collaboration space.
Slack: Free or $8 – $12 /month
5. Best online tool for Social Media management: Buffer
Manage various Social Media accounts easily with Buffer, and schedule specific content-sharing times. It also provides you with valuable reports and insights to help you understand the effect of your posts on your audience. Buffer also offers you browser extensions (for Google Chrome) and mobile apps (for iOS and Android).
Buffer helps you store and share content so you don’t flood your followers all at once, which will ultimately dilute your intended message.
Buffer: Free or $15 – $399
6. Best online tool for proofreading: Hemingway
Hemingway Editor is a great tool to help you write with clarity and focus. It highlights wordy sentences in yellow and more egregious ones in red. Whether you’re writing for clients, marketing material or your personal blog – use it to improve your style.
Hemingway: Free or $20 for the desktop version
7. Best online tool for project management: Trello
Trello is a simple and visually appealing project management and collaboration tool that uses cards to organize your ideas. It uses the Kanban methodology to keep track of what needs to be done, what you’re working on and what’s already done.
Trello: Free or $10 /month
8. Best online tool for email management: SaneBox
If your inbox is overflowing, consider trying SaneBox. It analyzes your ongoing email activity to predict which emails matter to you and which can be discarded into the SaneLater Folder. It’ll group all your newsletters and magazines into the SaneNews folder. Extra features include the ability to snooze emails, track when people open read your email, ability to place emails into the SaneBlackHole and future ones will go straight to the trash.
SaneBox: $7 – $36 /month
Great alternatives: Spark
9. Best online tool for note taking: Evernote
If you haven’t heard about Evernote, it’s about time you give it a try. It’s a great note-taking tool and serves as your one-stop-shop for storing important files and documents. Use it to jot down quick notes, write up blog posts or record audio notes.
A useful feature is the Evernote Web Clipper extension. You can clip articles from across the web and save them into Evernote for quick reference while working on projects. It also syncs across all your devices, ensuring you have all your notes whenever you need them.
Evernote: Free or $70 /year
Great alternatives: Google Drive
10. Best online tool for your To-Do list: Todoist
Todoist is an excellent task management app for managing your to-do lists, with a sleek interface and helps you stay on top of your daily tasks. Easily prioritize tasks, share projects with others and set due dates and reminders. It’s a comprehensive tool which exceeds a standard calendar.
Todoist: Free or $29 /year
Great alternatives: Wunderlist
All in all…
We live in a technologically advanced era, but with that, comes a multitude of distractions. These productivity tools are not meant to be a quick fix. By using some or all, won’t guarantee that you’re instantly more efficient. However, by adopting a more productive and positive mindset, along with some online tools, one can overcome the constant noise that surrounds us.
Find what works for you, and remember…
~ Persist and Grow Forth ~
Which productivity tools do you swear by? Did I miss any miss anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please share them in the comments below.