In the New Year I’m going to start reviewing a lot of tools that I’ve been using over the past 12-24 months to get more organised and productive but I thought I’d give you quick heads up as to what some of the major items I’m using are.
1 – Any.Do
I love lists.
Well, that’s not strictly true. I love writing lists, and I adore the satisfation of being able to cross completed items off. I used to use a Moleskine notebook to jot everything down but I found this a bit constrictive in that I couldn’t easily recurr tasks, move tasks to different projects, or roll them over if they didn’t get done.
Tie that in with the fact that I’m trying to go as paper free as I can and that’s why I’ve mainly moved over to a software based tool.
Any.Do is a simple to-do list system that allows you to set up projects, assign tasks, sub-tasks, notes and files.
You can recurr tasks and assign tasks (and sub-tasks) to different users.
Most of the features are free, you can sync it with Google Tasks and it runs really well on my Android phone so it’s a must for me.
I’ll be reviewing this as part of my “Get Organised In The New Year” series.
2 – Any.Do Cal (Synced with Google Calendar)
Any.Do recently launched their calendar applicate which, as well as connecting to my Google Calendar, ties in with your Any.Do account to display and manage tasks.
This is great for any time sensitive tasks. I’m currenly using Google Calendar as my Blogging editorial calendar at the moment but I am looking at moving these items away from my calendar and into a task management system (Any.Do) which is where I think they properly belong. I’m not quite sure how this will work so I’ll keep you up-to-date on my progress!
3 – Evernote and Pocket
These are used for researching articles, saving useful code snippets, quotes, items to read later and post ideas.
I use Evernote and its notebook functionality to manage items that I know that I’ll want to reference many times in the future, or is part of a larger set of information that I’m collating.
Pocket is used to save items to read for later when I have a spare five minutes. It’s great in that you can view saved items offline so you don’t need to rely on your data connection or spotty wi-fi to read an article whilst you’re waiting at the dentist.
4 – WriteRoom
I love distraction free writing. The system included in WordPress is okay but it just never quite worked for me (note that I’ve not tried the new Distraction Free Mode in the latest WordPress update).
I got WriteRoom as part of a software bundle that I purchased years ago for one particular piece of software and WriteRoom just sat on my hard drive doing nothing until the last 6 months or so.
WriteRoom provides a simple fullscreen interface that stops me being tempted to tab into Facebook or Tumblr and lose myself for hours in pictures of cats or Candy Crush Saga requests.
5 – A Whiteboard
This is a recent addition to my productivity arsenal. I didn’t want to go out and spend a bundle on a whiteboard if I wasn’t going to use it, plus I don’t really have anywhere to hang it, so I simply laminated 6 sheets of white A4 card and blue-tacked them to the back of my wardrobe.
I can then use different coloured whiteboard markers to write down different tasks. When I get up in the morning this list in right in front of me and I can immediately say to myself “Today I’m going to get xyz done”. I usually only pick one task but this is really great for my productivity. I get this task done and I’m raring to move on to the next one.
Over to you
What are your go to productivity apps? Anything that I should take a look at?