Want a “behind the scenes” look at the tools I use to help me stay productive in my business? This week, I’m sharing 10 of my favorite time-saving resources. Enjoy!
1. Dragon Dictation – Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition app that allows you to quickly record a message that is instantly transcribed for text or email. I personally LOVE to use this iPhone app when inspiration strikes in the car and I’m not able to write down the great blog post idea, headline or course offering I just came up with. With a click of a button, I’m able to capture the thought and send it to myself in an email.
2. Evernote – Evernote is a software application you can download to your computer, as well as your mobile devices. It allows you to store, organize, and access practically anything and it syncs your content across all of your devices. You can capture your ideas into “notes” and also save audio clips, images, photographs, Word documents, spreadsheets, Web clippings and more. Then, you can tag your notes for easy reference later. Since I’m such a huge lover of information, this tool has been a Godsend to help me easily get at what I need when I need it.
3. E.ggtimer – As you may know, I’m a big fan of using timers as a productivity tool–to help me stay focused and to break larger, overwhelming tasks into more manageable, bite-sized portions. E.ggtimer is a simple, easy-to-use online countdown timer. You just set a time and then you’re alerted with popup and beeping sound when your time is up.
4. TimeTrade – As most business owners know, scheduling can sometimes be a nightmare. Most of my clients have regular, recurring session times, but occasionally I need to schedule one-off coaching sessions. TimeTrade is an online appointment scheduling tool that I use to automate both that process, and the process of scheduling my enrollment conversations. I just select which times I’m open for those sessions (because I “batch” my schedule, I reserve Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for clients & prospects) and the tool automatically syncs with my Google calendar. Then, I send a TimeTrade-generated link to clients and prospects and they’re able to see my availability and select the time that works best with their schedules. It eliminates all those typical “back-and-forth” scheduling emails.
5. Teux Deux – I often talk about how much I love David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” process for handling task management. Well, Teux Deux is the tool I use to execute it. It’s a browser-based “to do” app that allows me to capture absolutely everything I need to do (yes, every single task!), separate those tasks into context-based lists, assign them to certain days of the week and designate recurring tasks (e.g., write my blog post every Tuesday, take my vitamins every day, etc.). And there’s an iPhone app as well, so I can easily add tasks as I think of them and delete them as they’re completed.
6. Unroll.me – Unroll.me is a FREE service that helps users manage their junk mail and subscriptions. It allows you to mass unsubscribe from the lists you no longer want to be on and pulls your selected subscriptions into one convenient daily digest email. So instead of receiving multiple subscription emails in my Inbox throughout the day, I receive just one (seriously, just one!).
7. Outright – Outright is a FREE online bookkeeping tool. It automates your accounting tasks by pulling all of your accounts (bank accounts, credit cards, PayPal, Amazon, etc.) into one place and organizes your data into IRS-approved tax categories. They also have an iPhone app so you can enter your mileage/cash transactions on the spot and a paid version of the software with enhanced capabilities. This tool saves me HOURS each and every month that I used to spend recording my income and expenses.
8. Dropbox – Dropbox is a FREE cloud storage service (with a paid upgrade option) that lets you easily sync files between computers and mobile devices, share with them with others, and create backups. I love having access to all of my files when and where I need them, being able to send my clients direct links to the audio and video recordings of their sessions (rather than emailing large files to them), and having the security of knowing my files are backed up daily.
9. Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows me to manage all my social media networks in one place. I use it to schedule Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts, track my mentions and monitor conversations on certain topics. They offer both a FREE version of the web-based tool and and paid versions with enhanced analytics and scheduling options.
10. Buffer – Buffer is another social media management tool. You can add the content you’d like to share into your “buffer queue” and each piece of content will automatically post throughout the day, in the order it was added, at pre-scheduled times. You can set up your automatic posting schedule based on when you tend to get the most engagement on each of your platforms. I use it in tandem with Hootsuite, primarily for Twitter (as I like to Tweet more frequently than I post on Facebook) and to share web page content that I’m reading (once you install the program, a little button appears on your screen that you can click anytime you want to add web content to your “buffer”–easy peasy!).
So there you have it–10 of my favorite productivity-boosting tools.
I’d love to hear…Have you used any of these tools? Do you have any additional ones you’d like to share? Please go ahead and post in the comments below…