My Top 5 Apps For Staying Productive #productivityhacks

So I was reading an article about how to measure progress when I stumbled upon a useful hash tag: #productivityhacks. Turns out I am not the only one who gets overwhelmed by their todo list. There were some rather helpful ideas shared so I decided to share my own should they be helpful to someone else.

First I identified the primary source of the chaos. I can schedule and prioritize just fine but I still wasn’t getting all the important things done. Truth is – I procrastinate. But why? I am far from lazy. I noticed there were always some things I just wouldn’t want to tackle. For me they all had the same theme. They were administrative tasks. Administrative tasks suck the life out of me. Unfortunately they are a reality.

So I got busy testing all manner of apps for my laptop, phone, desktop. The trick was finding apps I knew I would stick with over time.

Here were my basic requirements:

  • They had to be easy to understand and use IMMEDIATELY
  • Available on multiple devices and would sync with each other
  • Either free or close to it

Here are the ones I found most useful.

Free & Low Cost Apps Solutions

Brain Fog

Fitbrains http://www.fitbrains.com/

Sometimes just taking a break isn’t enough for me to switch gears and have enough energy to take on those administrative tasks. Oddly, I found using fitbrains (developed by the creator of Rosetta Stone) often will do the trick. It is designed to exercise your brain in different and very specific ways on a neurological level.

Email

Sortd. www.sortd.com

I don’t know about you but a lot of emails stay in my inbox because I have to take more steps before they are ready to be deleted or filed. The trouble is my inbox was so full important emails were getting lost.

Sortd. allows you to give your emails a home in multiple todo lists until they are ready to be filed. Seriously, I’d marry the developer of this one. It is so well designed I reach zero inbox status on a regular basis.

Social Media

Buffer www.buffer.com

[br]When I do take a mental break and look at various social media apps its really easy to spend too much time. But with Buffer at least I can capture interesting posts I want to share with my audience with a single click and Buffer automatically schedules it to be delivered based on a calendar I set up. I cannot stand being essentially spammed by someone who posts endlessly. This tool lets me do all my research at once and then leave it alone.

CRM

HubSpot www.hubspot.com

While I am handing out marriage proposals I’d marry these developers too. Thank you! So many of the CRMs available are either crazy expensive and way more than I need or they are cheaply designed and pretty much useless. Hubspot gets it right. They offer a free package to the small guys and offer add ons for more powerful tools when you need them.

Receipts & Mileage

Quickbooks Small Business www.quickbooks.intuit.com

Quicken has finally figured out the importance of user centered design. For years I struggled with their software but not anymore. The mobile app automatically tracks my mileage. It connects and syncs to all my bank accounts and cards automatically. It’s easy to assign a category and attach a picture of my receipt straight from my phone. I take a snap shot and throw it away instead of having a graveyard of receipts in my car and laptop bag. Hallelujah!

Do you have #productivityhacks to share? Please comment and share.