Wondering how I stay on top of tasks? Here are my current top 10 favorite productivity tools…
This app will gently wake you up within a 30 minute window at the optimum time when your body is most ready to wake up. If you are feeling exhausted all the time and hate being jolted out of sleep by a noisy alarm clock, I recommend giving this one a try. It might revolutionize your sleep!
It also tracks your sleep cycle, so that you know how long it takes you to fall asleep and how restless you are throughout the night. I love this feature, because it has helped me track trends in my before-bed routine or behavior each night that are preventing me from getting the best night’s sleep possible.
I don’t know the science behind this app, but I will tell you that I’ve truly felt more well rested and energetic in the morning since I started using it. The Sleep Cycle App costs a couple dollars through the app store.
Note: I also have been using my new Jawbone Up3 to track my sleep and love it so much. It’s a lot pricier, though, so I’d recommend the Sleep Cycle App as a great starting tool for tracking your sleep.
Related: How to Get More Sleep
I’ve sung the praises of Google Calendar many, many times. Google Calendar helps me organize anything and everything in my life by getting it out of my brain and into a secure, safe place that I can access from anywhere. I love that Google Calendar syncs across all of my devices and I can share it with family members and business team members.
Any time I think of an appointment, task, meeting, or deadline that I don’t want to forget, I add it to my Google Calendar on the day I need to remember it by. Google Calendar sends me reminders, and I check my calendar each evening when writing my to-do list for the following day.
Their Drag & Drop feature has changed my life. If I don’t get to a task or need to reschedule something, I simply drag and drop that task to another day. It keeps things organized and simple in one place. No more messy loose papers with scribbled words and scratch-outs on them.
I also love the Recurring Tasks feature, which makes it so easy to add in tasks that occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Just add it once and specify how often it should recur. Super easy!
Related: How to Get More Done in Less Time
This is another one you’ve probably heard me mention several times if you follow me online! Gmail has so many great features that help me keep my inbox cleaned out.
Their Send and Archive button allows you to reply to an email, hit send, and it will automatically leave your inbox. You don’t have to send and then go back to your inbox and delete it. All of it happens at once, which saves time in the long-run and allows you to follow the “touch it once” email rule.
I also love the ability to set up filters to have emails skip my inbox entirely if I don’t want to ever see those types of emails. I can use their labeling system to find emails later, or even have a filter set up to have an incoming email labeled and skip my inbox.
In this way, it keeps my inbox clean, and I can find all of those emails in one place when I’m ready to deal with them.
This is an app that is added to Gmail that allows you to choose when you want to send emails, or when you want to receive and deal with an e-mail.
For example, if an email comes in that is not a priority at the moment, I hit the Boomerang button on my email and choose when to have it be emailed back to me. I choose a later date when I will have more time to handle it.
This helps me keep my email inbox clean but still prioritize the most time-sensitive emails first and not forget anything important.
I use Feedly to read all of the blogs I follow. I don’t follow too many, but I would forget to read them each day if I did not have Feedly set up. It’s such an easy way to quickly go in, check my favorite blogs, and read through them efficiently.
Related: How to Make Money Blogging
If you regularly drive to places you need directions for, or if you live in a city with high traffic, I recommend the Waze app for navigation. Not only will this app tell you the fastest way to get somewhere, but it will also alert you to traffic, accidents along the way, construction, and anything else you need to know. It will then give you a bypass detour route that will get you there much faster and help you avoid those obstacles.
This app has saved me so much time and frustration since we moved to Nashville where rush hour traffic can mean it takes 3-4 times the usual amount of time to get to your destination.
The TripIt app has been a life-saver to me with traveling. What I love about this app is that once you set it up, you can elect to have it connected with an email.
Any time I have a new hotel reservation, plane ticket, or any other travel information emailed to me, I can just forward it to TripIt. TripIt then automatically sets up an event for that trip and will add all pertinent information — flight times, hotel reservation number, a map of the hotel, etc. in an organized file in my TripIt app.
It is so convenient, and I don’t even have to think about it! I usually just check the day before I travel to verify that everything is in my TripIt app for my upcoming trip.
I love feeding my mind with good things, because I want to grow as a person. Podcasts and Periscope really help me in this area.
I turn on my phone when I’m getting ready in the morning, washing dishes, folding laundry, working on an easy project on the computer where I can multi-task, or riding in the car. It’s so nice to have great podcasts or periscopes to listen to right at my fingertips, so that I can fill my mind with good things while my hands are busy.
This might seem like an odd tool to have on this list, but it’s really made a difference in my productivity so I had to include it!
I think if we would all do better at learning how to use the delete button very liberally in our lives, it would help us lead so much more productive lives. Delete the spam. Delete or archive the emails you no longer need in your inbox.
Don’t clutter up your life and time with the unnecessary. Become best friends with the delete button and free up time to focus on what matters most.
Related post: What I Learned From 10 Days of Being Unplugged
10. Pen & Paper
I am such a pen & paper girl at heart. When it comes to my daily to do lists, I’ve found pen & paper to be much more effective than anything electronic.
There’s something about the physical act of writing things down helps me to clarify, be more organized, and visualize in my mind what my day will look like.
If it’s only online, I will forget or have to go look it up. Writing it down on paper helps cement my priorities into my mind as I face each day. It makes such a difference in my daily productivity.
What are YOUR favorite productivity tools?
P.S. You can find a list of my Top 10 Favorite Productivity & Time Management Books here.