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Technology and tools help us do more with less. They help us accomplish tasks with less time and effort.
Willpower and memory can only take us so far. Not only that, but can be incredibly flawed with all of our human biases.
Tools and systems will always win. Especially when it comes to being more productive and organized.
We can use technology and productivity tools to our advantage to help us get more done, achieve more in less time, be more efficient and live better, freer lives at ease with less stress.
Here is a list of productivity tools that will help you be more productive and organized.
Google Calendar is probably the most important productivity tool for my productivity, planning, time management and organization.
You have to have a Gmail account to use google calendar. It’s free and super easy to get and use if you don’t already have one.
Google calendar syncs across all your devices so it’s easy to access and make changes on your phone or computer.
It has many different features, but it’s very clean and simple as well as easy to use.
You can change the view so you can see the calendar by week or month.
You can create different calendars for different types of tasks and events that all show up in one place. This is also great for time blocking.
The different calendars I use are:
Using google calendar changed my life and I am never going back.
I always have my calendar in the background so I am always looking at it, planning out my days and week, and making changes if necessary.
Trello is great for organizing lists and for project and task management.
It’s also great for goal setting and creating tasks for each goal.
It helps give you a big picture view of everything and lets you easily organize, arrange and move things around.
There are so many different things you can do with it, ways you can use it and things you can use it for.
You can organize and plan out pretty much anything. You can add photos and links and make everything visual and easy to access.
Here are some things I use it for:
- Organizing tasks I would like to complete daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and in 3 years
- Planning trips and vacations
- Running my blog and planning blog posts and other tasks
- Organizing and planning my learning including courses and books
- Having big pictures vision of values, priorities, goals, bucket lists
- Having idea and lifestyle lists (for example girls’ baby names or future house ideas)
OneNote is what I use to take notes and write blog posts.
You need a microsoft account to use OneNote and like google calendar, you can also use the app as it syncs across all device.
I love how you can have different notebooks and different tabs in each notebook in one place. It keeps everything organized and easy to access.
OneNote is great if you do a lot of writing or note taking, or have a lot of information you want to keep in one place.
I also mention Evernote because it’s a very popular one that a lot of people use to save information and take notes.
Reminders is a great and simple iOS app for reminders and tasks that you’d like to be notified about.
It’s great for lists such as groceries and daily tasks. You can schedule reminders for a specific day, time, location or when messaging someone.
You can also have reminders repeat daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, every 3 months, every 6 months, yearly or create a custom rule.
Todoist is a great alternative for android users.
RescueTime allows you to see where and how you spend your time online.
You can set goals for how much time you’d like to spend in one area (writing, business, etc.) or how much little time you’d like to spend (entertainment, etc.).
This can help increase productive work and decrease consumption and distractions.
For more information on how to reduce online distraction, social media use and consumption, I highly recommend you check out Take Control of Your Technology: How to Avoid Phone and Social Media Addiction.
HabitBull is a habit tracker app that I use and love.
You can list out different habits that you would like to have and set rules for how often you want the habit completed.
Each day, you mark the habits that you completed.
It’s very simple and easy to use and has helped me build and strengthen habits.
It also makes sustaining a habit very rewarding and exciting when you can keep a chain going for your habits.
The app is available for iOS and android (under the name Habit Tracker).
The pomodoro technique is a simple but effective way to increase focus and productivity during work or studying.
Working/studying for 25 minutes then taking a five minute break has been backed by research to make you achieve more productive and focused work.
Keep in mind that simplicity is key when it comes to organizing and productivity. You don’t need all the list, goal and calendar apps there are. Or another planner. You don’t need the latest productivity program.
Having a plan is more important than having a planner. You just need to use something, make sure it works for you and stick to it.
Don’t stay in paralysis analysis trying to figure out what’s the best of the best for productivity.
Don’t be afraid of not knowing how to use something and having to learn new technology. You will be able to get the hang of it.
Constantly switching apps, planners and programs or not doing anything at all won’t help you.
For tips of being more productive working from home, I recommend the article How to Be Productive Working From Home.
These productivity tools listed are great but simple tools to start with.
You just need to start.