Staying focused at work is an every day challenge. Notifications, phone calls, last-minute meetings — distractions are everywhere. According to a recent study, the average worker is interrupted 87 times a day. These interruptions can cause you to lose your train of thought and it can take a few minutes before getting back to the work at hand.
As I am someone with predisposition to distraction, I decided to test several applications and other tech tools that can help increase productivity. A couple of months ago I downloaded and registered for several of these tools. For 4 weeks I tested them to see if they really were as useful as they claimed.
Any app that received a score of 8/10 or more, I highly recommend them to everyone. Some of these apps received a lower rating. This does not mean that they are useless, I simply have some doubts about their benefits. After all, we all have dozens of applications on our computer and smartphone, so every new one we download needs to add value.
What it is?
Momentum becomes your homepage for all new tabs opened. In the morning, you insert your main objective of the day.
What I like about this application is definitely its simplicity. It has one purpose: to help you achieve your objective. Often, I have an important project to finish, but unforeseen events arise. Momemtum allows me to put my priorities in order. Also, the background photos are pretty and are accompanied by a meaningful quote each day. In addition, this app is developed in Vancouver, so you are supporting a Canadian company — for free!
What is it?
This tool has become an increasingly popular organization tool. You may have already heard about Trello or one of their competitors. Trello allows you to make lists and prioritize your tasks. No more the post-its all over your desk.
What would I do without Trello? This tool has become indispensable to my everyday work. In a few seconds, I can create lists, update them, communicate with my colleagues, insert links or documents, and add deadlines. There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction that I feel when I move a card to the "done" column. In my opinion, this is the best tool to stay organized.
Do you want to see only your cards? Go to this website: https://trello.com/your/cards. You can see all your boards and each of your cards. Or simply go to a board and click on "q". Only your cards will be presented. It changed my life. For more tips follow this link: https://trello.com/b/QtjSVKOf/the-ultimate-board-of-trello-tips-tricks
What is it?
Canva is a free graphic-design website. With Canva, it’s easy to create everything from Facebook ads, email headers, to presentations, that look good. You can even edit photos, add text, icons, borders, and more in a user friendly interface anyone can use regardless of technical savvy. Canva also offers many templates if you need a little inspiration to get you started.
I talk about Canva to basically everyone I meet. I find this tool super easy to use for non graphic designers. Whether it is for a last minute presentation, a Facebook ad or an infographic, I always get professional looking results in a short time. It's a must-have, especially if you don’t have a graphic designer on your team.
What is it?
Actually, Freedom is the opposite of freedom. This app blocks access to certain websites for a set period of time. No more unnecessary distractions when you need to be focused for longer than 10 minutes.
You have a project you keep pushing back? Start Freedom and for an hour (or more) you won’t be able to surf through the infinity of Facebook updates. However, this tool is not free and some would say that it's just as easy to block URLs on your desktop, which is free. Personally, I liked the simplicity of this extension, you just have to start the stopwatch. So much productivity can spring up when your favorite procrastination sites are all blocked at the same time.
Password Manager: 8/10
What is it?
Never forget your passwords! This application allows you to store all your passwords and your user IDs in one place.
How many times have I had to reset my password because I forgot the old one? Too many times! With this application on my phone, it's a thing of the past. In addition, if I work from home I have easier access to all the websites which I use for work and to stay connected with my colleagues. There are several variants of this type of application on the market, but I really enjoyed this one. However, it loses points for too many ads.
What is it?
As the name suggests, this website allows you to do nothing for a BIG 2 minutes. When you access the site, a timer appears and you can not touch your mouse or keyboard for 2 minutes, otherwise the meter starts again. As a bonus, there is a beautiful image of sunset and wave sounds.
This web page made me laugh. If I'm no longer productive, I'd rather get up and go for a walk, but this website can be a good alternative. After all, taking a little break is also a way to be more productive afterwards.
If you do not own the Office Suite on your computer or often work from home, Evernote is for you. This virtual notebook let you take notes on any device and synchronizes it all.
Pocket is an extension allowing you to save articles that you do not have time to read immediately. Just click on the icon and your article will be saved. When you find some time to read, you simply access your account and all the articles are there. Once read, you can archive them.
Feedly allows you to simplify and speed up your daily search for content on the web. On this platform, you choose your favorite sites (newspapers or blogs) and each day Feedly compiles your news in one place.
Doodle is effective at finding the perfect time for a meeting without the back-and-forth e-mails. Doodle simply works like a mini survey that is sent to each member of the group who picks the time that suits them best.
Personally, I prefer reading on paper. However, my ecological conscience drives me to try to print only when necessary. With Liner, you can highlight your text directly on the site or in PDF format and then save it as is.
What is it?
IFTTT (if this then that) allows you to create applets that trigger changes in a sequence of operations. Sorry? Here is an example to better understand: you can create an applet to receive an email in your Gmail inbox whenever NASA makes an official announcement. IFTTT offers hundreds of applets for many platforms (Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify ...).
Personally, even though several people recommended it to me, I found IFTTT rather complex to use. When I looked at the possibilities of automation, none seemed essential to me. Maybe I do not repeat the same tasks often enough to automate them.
Be Focused: 7/10
What is it?
Be focused promotes the Pomodoro technique which is a time management method. The technique shows that you are more efficient if you work in intensives intervals of 25 minutes followed by short breaks (5 mins is considered a short break). When you repeat those two steps 4 times and you can take a break of 15 minutes.
I like the idea and the Pomodoro technique, but you can easily apply this method without having to download this application. Your stopwatch or timer on your cellphone does the job just as well.
What is it?
Sortd installs directly on your Gmail account and allows you to easily classify your emails in different sections (much like Trello). This way you can organize your email and add any any other tasks.
I've been using Gmail for a long time so I didn’t like to see the interface change. Moreover, Sortd did not help me to be more organized since I already use Trello, which is similar. On the other hand, if you are the type to lose your emails in your inbox, Sortd can be useful.
With a productivity increase comes more time to concentrate on growing your business😊. Are you looking for some tips to do just that? Good new for you! We've got 10 tricks that can help sports and recreation organizations generate more revenue.