In business, everyone’s always looking for ways to be more productive and improve efficiency. There are various personal changes we can make to improve productivity, but sometimes we need a little guide in the right direction.
Read more: How to be a morning person & get stuff done
Fortunately, there are some very clever people out there making software and apps that are designed to help us be more productive at work. Here are some of our favourites…
Time tracking at work isn’t fun but it can be necessary to work out where people’s time is being spent. Toggl lets you easily enter how much time has been spent on a task and then pull reports to see who’s been working on what. It’s also compatible with task management apps such as Wunderlist.
Clear and simple to use, Wunderlist is a great to-do list that lets you easily organise your tasks, make notes and share them between colleagues. More than one person can be part of the same task, which is useful for group projects.
The 30/30 app works on the basis that you work for a solid 30 minutes and then have a break for 30 minutes. This focused period of working apparently helps you get more work done, although a 30 minute break might make your boss annoyed! Because of that, you can set your work/break periods to whatever time you like.
The great thing about task management system OmniFocus is that it can be as detailed or as simple as you need it to be. If you want something light and uncluttered then it can do that, but if you want to plan everything within an inch of your life, then it can do that too. It also works very well with the Apple Watch.
If you regularly email yourself notes, images, videos or anything else, then Captio is a great little app. It makes it simple to email pretty much anything yourself at the touch of a button which is very handy if you’re out and about.
Genius Scan allows you to take photos of paper documents, converting them into digital versions. This is great if you’re out of the office and need to record non-digital information. It’s like having a full size scanner in your pocket.
If you get a killer idea then take it down in Drafts. It’s a very simple interface allowing you to take down notes quickly and then act on them in a variety of ways, including email, social media or saving to cloud storage.
Droplr allows you to share pretty much anything from anywhere. Whether you’re working on a project you want to get an opinion on or have seen a news article you need to share, Droplr makes the whole thing easy. Again, this is handy if you’re out of the office or working remotely.
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It can be impossible to remember every single password you have, but with OneLogin you don’t have to. When you reach a login screen, it will automatically remember your passwords and usernames for you. This also improves security as you don’t have to makes notes of your logins.
It can be tricky to book a meeting time and date that works for everyone, but that’s where Doodle comes in. It gets people to vote on when is the best time, so you can quickly see when you should book your meeting.
Read more: How to have more productive meetings
You may already be well aware of Dropbox but it’s still worth mentioning. You can store all of your files, docs, photos, videos and whatever else online and then access them wherever you are on any device. Absolutely essential.
Due makes it quick and easy to set reminders and plan your day. It syncs across all devices allowing you to see at a glance what you’ve got coming up.
Another one that many people will already know about, but if you don’t then Evernote is well worth a look. It’s a reasonably simple note-taking app but syncs across all devices and integrates easily with many other apps and software so you can quickly export your notes. It also easily handles images, graphs, video and pretty much everything you throw at it.
If maths isn’t your thing then Soulver just might be. It’s essentially a calculator app, but it’s a very clever one that encourages you to write sums down as you would think about them, and then it’ll work them out for you, including percentages and even exchange rates.
RescueTime is a time management app that records how you’ve been spending your time. It can show you if you’re spending too long on certain tasks or if there are particular websites that are sapping your productivity. It then produces detailed reports to show you exactly where you can improve.
Ever see a website or news article you’d like to look at but don’t have time? That’s what Pocket is for. It lets you quickly bookmark a website so you can come back to it when you have a little more time. It’s useful if you’re out of the office and also to stop you being distracted if you’re in the middle of something.
If you run your life by Twitter then Threadnote might come in handy. It lets you take short, tweet-like notes, categorising them with @s and #s so you can easily find them later.
Do you easily get distracted by certain websites or apps? SelfControl puts a self-imposed block on those sites for a period of time, allowing you to focus on your work without distraction.