I’ve got some gifts for you to unwrap and play with today! You’re going to love these tools that will help you optimize your productivity. You may have some of these tools already on deck but are you using them…?
These tools will help you efficiently accomplish the things you need to get done in both your Business & Life. Over here, we’re all about working smarter not harder and we want to work smarter so we can spend our free time LIVING, doing things that make us feel good. We’ll start by applying strategies to make our tasks less time consuming. First we’ll optimize our work, we’ll get into automation & outsourcing. Without optimizing first, we lack the foundation we need to automate and outsource efficiently.
Here are 4 special productivity gifts in pretty gold wrapping paper, just for you. You can thank me later, I want you to start working smarter today!
1. Self-Tracking – Rescue Time
If you’re not tracking how you spend your time, you’re missing out on valuable information! The first step in optimizing your life is becoming aware of your habits and how you spend your time. Simple tracking will help you figure out where you are allocating your time so that you can find areas to improve your efficiency. We’re talkin’ valuable insights on how you can optimize not only your time but your entire life.
RescueTime is an excellent resource for tracking how you spend your time online. This software runs quietly in the background of my MacBook and tracks where I go and how long I’m there. Real stalkerish, I know, but since I’ve had it installed, I’ve been way more mindful of my Facebook fetish. I’ve been workin’ my ass off because I’m aware that I’ll be getting a little cute report on how I spent my time. However, I still take a hit in my “productivity pulse” since the software categorizes iTunes as “very distracting”, a girl can’t live without her music. When I wanna check my report, I check. I’m not telling you to get crazy obsessed with it, I want you to learn something about your habits and start to optimize from there. Just start, the results RescueTime provides is valuable & it’s a freebie!
2. Create Your Searchable Brain – Evernote
This is the ultimate source of productivity. One of the gold keys to optimizing your entire life. This is about creating your external brain, really! And to put the icing on the cake, this brain is searchable. This isn’t just a note taking system, you can throw anything in Evernote, have it archived, searchable and shareable. You can use it to dump ideas, articles, travel plans, random notes, audio files, pictures, links, pretty PDFs, whatever! Isn’t that sweet or what?
If you’re not using Evernote, get your hands on it now. If you’re already using it great, but are you overusing it? I highly recommend OVERUSING IT. I’m giving you a permission slip to go crazy with it. I’ve been overusing it and the benefits have been amazing. Not only do I have more mental clarity but I’m not hanging onto every single creative idea that pops into my head. No more little neon sticky notes everywhere. I can also access all my Evernote notes and notebooks from any device. And it’s another freebie!
3. Remember Everything – Followup.cc
Their tagline- “Stop Forgetting! Remember to FollowUp” I’m not sure how I’ve been living without this all these years, seriously! Trying to remember your responsibilities & figuring out how to get them all done can be a pain in the ass. You know what I mean. Here’s how I use it:
- Example 1: I got an email from Menessh Sethi, the brains behind Hack the System. In the email he sent me three of his best articles on networking. At the time I got the email, I wasn’t able to read them, so instead of closing the email and forcing myself to remember to “get back to it later”, I used followup.cc. I forwarded the email to email@example.com. That email vanished from my inbox like magic and returned at 6pm when I had the time to read the articles and leave comments.
- Example 2: I got an email from another dear friend, Afzal Syed (Ave-SAL, sEEd), who confirmed that he shipped me a productivity DVD that I would love. I wrote him back to say thank you. I knew that I’d like to followup with Afzal after watching and implementing what I learned. Instead of forcing myself to remember to follow up with him, I forwarded the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. So in 3 weeks, I’ll get a reminder along with the initial email & a note to myself: “Noelle, followup with Afzal regarding the productivity DVD”.
Not only can you use this to followup with emails but you can use it to remind yourself about anything! It’s endless, use your creativity here! Think about all the things in your life that you need to remember. Forget about remembering, just write yourself a quick note & forward it to email@example.com. It’s simple to use and will give you the freedom and peace of mind you need, I promise…and oh yes, it’s a freebie!
4. What’d You Get Done – iDoneThis
I have to be honest, this is my favorite productivity tool! It’s like I have my own productivity assistant who emails me every single day at 9pm and asks, “So Noelle, what’d you get done today?” iDoneThis is amazing and is the ultimate accountability tool. It takes me less than one min to write down what I’ve done then I hit send. The items that I listed will be stored in my iDoneThis calendar where I can look back and review my productivity at the end of the week.
What’s wonderful about this is that I’m not stuck at the end of my day with a fat to-do list of shit I didn’t get finished. Instead, I end my day with a list of stuff I actually did finish and I feel great about it! It motivates me to be more productive the next day & the next day. It’s amazing and I promise that if you use this tool, you’ll get more done. Another freebie for self-tracking but this is FUN! If it ain’t fun, it doesn’t get done! I love it!
Love Note: I know that sometimes you may feel like the last thing you need is another productivity tool. I want you to take action with this and implement something. Pick a tool from above and try it out. I use everything I listed above and it’s made a significant difference in my productivity. If you’re a bit overwhelmed, the best thing to do is Get Started. Start with the one that interests you and play with it. You’ll never know what will work for you, unless you try it out. Still not sure what to try first? Try iDoneThis, Trust Me!
If It Ain’t Fun, It Doesn’t Get Done!