Time Management - Productivity Tools

There are literally hundreds of time management and productivity tools available on the Internet and to review them all is beyond the scope of this eBook. Many of these tools are free or sold for a nominal price and cover a wide variety of activities.

You need to decide which areas of your everyday activities or tasks take up more of your time and effort than you feel is reasonable. When you have this list, you can then research the best available productivity tool for you.

Miscellaneous Productivity Tools

To give you an example of the type of tools you can harness to improve your efficiency, we have selected and described five. Each one deals with a different aspect of your work tasks and gives you an idea of the huge number of tools you can utilize to improve your productivity.

Hyperwords - www.liquidwords.info
This application is compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome as well as WordPress and Mac OS X. It offers multiple actions to be taken with just one click on any highlighted text.

For example:
• Search Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine you specify.
• Look up in Wikipedia or any other reference of your choice.
• Share what you find with email, FaceBook , Twitter, and Wordpress.
• Convert any number, including currencies.
• Translate into different languages.
• Copy plain text or as a citation, with Web address and so on.
• Dynamically change how you view your page.

Evernote - www.evernote.com
Evernote is a suite of software and services designed for note taking and archiving. Within this system a 'note' can be a variety of different files, offering you great flexibility in how it can be incorporated into your daily tasks.

Evernote Productivity Tool

You can use your 'Notes' as file attachments themselves, or attach other files to your Note. Your Notes can also be sorted into folders, then tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched, and exported as part of a noteBook , offering you great flexibility.

Evernote is extremely versatile and supports a number of operating system platforms (including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Chrome OS, Android, iOS and WebOS), and also offers online synchronization and backup services.

Lastpass - www.lastpass.com
This is a password management program available as a plug-in for Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari. Password security and management is an increasingly complicated, frustrating, and time-consuming business.

Lastpass Productivity Tool

Passwords in LastPass Password Manager are protected by a master password and are then encrypted locally and are synchronized to any other browser.

The system also offers its users many benefits, such as a form filler that automates password entering and form filling, password generation, site sharing, and site logging.

This application also offers a premium subscription that includes iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone, Windows Mobile, WebOS, and Symbian applications, enhanced support, multi-factor authentication, and no advertisements.

Mind42 - www.mind42.com
Mind42 is an online mind-mapping application that allows users to visualize their thinking using the proven mind-mapping method. The product runs within a browser and provides WYSIWYG functionality. It is available as a free version limited to five users. Collaboration is an important feature of this product and offers you considerable flexibility. It is recommended by Freelance Weekly as one of their favorite time-management and organization tools.

Syncback - www.2brightsparks.com
This application is free for home and business use. It allows you to schedule backup jobs, enabling you to create specific backup jobs for certain folders or file types. You may wish to familiarize yourself with your organization's backup procedures and policies before you incorporate this into your own or your team's working practices.

This straightforward utility allows backing up and synchronizing files to the same or different drives, to different media (CD, DVD, Flash, zip), or to a remote server.

Syncback Productivity Tool

You can control the way files are compared and selected for backup, although the program comes with ready-made profiles to make the process as easy as possible.

From the above descriptions, you should begin to see which areas of your work can become more efficient and less time consuming for you, simply by using these types of tools.

To have a significant impact on your own productivity, you should select a specific area you wish to address, download and install the best tool that offers you the biggest productivity gain, and then gradually integrate the full functionality into your working life. Alternatively, you can choose one that overcomes one of your pet hates, for example remembering passwords.

Once you have integrated this into your work, you can then add others until you feel as though you are chasing diminishing returns. Remember that each tool will take time and effort to get worthwhile results.

The more familiar you become with the tool, the better able you are to define which aspects of the tool best fit with your working patterns. It is always better to use one tool well than several tools poorly.

You may also be interested in:
Time Management Productivity Tools | Urgency/Importance Grid | ABC Analysis | Pareto Analysis | Reverse Schedule | Closed To Do List | Calendar Tools | To Do List Tools | Launcher and HotKey Tools | Monitoring Tools.

Key Points

  • These tools are each designed to make a specific task as easy as possible.
  • The best approach is to download and install the tool that seems to offer you the biggest productivity gain, or one that overcomes a pet hate - for example, remembering passwords or backing up your work.
  • Each tool will take time and effort to optimize results and you should master them one at a time.
  • You can then add others until you feel as though you are chasing diminishing returns.
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