By IMRAN HASHIM
It’s no surprise to anyone that our daily demands appear to be multiplying as quickly as, and often much quicker than, the rate at which we accomplish them. And yet, some people seem capable of doing a whole lot more than their peers. How is this possible?
Given that we all have the same number of hours each day, surely there are some productivity hacks in action.
In addition to the excellent tips shared throughout this week’s pullout, here is a look at ten apps to boost your productivity in both your personal and professional lives:
1. Start your day with Any.do
Productive people start their day with a list of to-do’s written down. Scientifically speaking, there’s a neurological process that wires us to strive to a certain objective when it’s written down – and a major delight to strike it off the list once done.
Any.do taps into that. With its clear and simple user interface, it’s a pleasantly nice app to start your day. Be mindful of the to-do list though, realistically you should be focusing on three major task “wins” in a day.
2. Automate tasks with IFTTT
In this era of the “Internet of Things”, you just can’t escape it anymore. No, it’s not robots taking over the world – just those mundane tasks you wish someone can do for you.
Having a tough time remembering birthdays? The app If This Than That (IFTTT) can automatically post for you on Facebook or email. You can even auto switch off your WiFi on your mobile outside work or home to save precious battery.
3. Book your calendar with Cal
Synchronise all your calendars with Cal, which also works directly with the Any.do app. Is your next appointment somewhere you’re unfamiliar with? Google Maps is integrated into it so there is no need to open several apps when one can do the job faster.
4. Prioritise task with Gneo
This is urgent. That is important. Sounds familiar? Gneo helps you to identify actual urgent/important tasks and prioritise them accordingly.
5. Take notes with Evernote
Usually, pen and paper note taking will do. And it’s perfectly fine until you need to share the info with some unfortunate soul who might end up struggling to decipher your handwriting.
Save the trouble and leverage on tech- Evernote is easy to use and really useful to collect and gather information. It has good indexing capabilities with proper tagging, making information flow much more fluid.
6. Map out ideas with Mindly
So you have ideas. Lots of ideas! You jot them down, then lose the piece of paper. Why not keep ideas flowing in a nice universe map instead? With Mindly, you can give structure to your ideas and visualise them clearly.
7. Keep track of your expenses using Expensify
Ah! Receipts and expense claims. If only they could magically sort themselves into a spreadsheet so claims can be processed. The world would be a better place.
Well, it’s not magic, but it’s the same result. On Expensify, snap a photo of your receipt, tag it by category and voila – an automated report. The job will be done in just a few minutes. No more missing submission deadlines or accumulating shoeboxes of receipts at the end of the year.
8. Organise and assign tasks using Trello
Find yourself putting the cart before the horse? Organise projects big and small withTrello, a helpful app which allows you to assign and keep track of tasks.
9. Eliminate distraction with SelfControl
Spending too much time on too many social media sites for unproductive purposes? Why not give it a break once in a while and focus on the task at hand.
SelfControl, as the name suggests, controls your browsing activities. Set the time limit and specify the sites to block, and you’ll be locked out. No distraction at all; full attention on your work.
10. Track your activity with RescueTime
Time is an important resource in our lives. Sometimes without noticing, hours just fly by and you ask yourself what tasks have you actually completed?
RescueTime helps you to track and audit your activities on your browser – serious work or otherwise, every second and minute. Yes, all that adds up, and you might be in for a surprise once you find out your true habits in front of the screen.