11 Online Tools to Increase Your Productivity as a Leader
There are many things that compete for our attention, dragging us into a dark hole and leaving us feeling unaccomplished. At the end of the day we may ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I accomplish what I set out to do today? How did I get here?”
With this glaring reality, we need to be able to use tools that will increase our productivity and, ultimately, our bottom line. Time is money, and we can leverage the currency of productivity to make our daily lives richer, fuller and more accomplished.
Leaders, use these 11 awesome online tools to win your days in the workplace:
Setting up meetings with colleagues can be challenging. This difficulty is multiplied if you’ve ever had to schedule a meeting with someone in another country with a 12-hour time difference. Take the hassle out of scheduling by using Calendly. This app allows your party to see the times you are available so they can opt for a mutually convenient time. This reduces the back-and-forth emails of trying to find a time that works well for everyone. The free version provides basic scheduling features, but there is also a premium version with more advanced features like webinars, customizable email notifications and more.
If you are looking for an inexpensive way to get tasks done with a quick turnaround time, Fiverr is a viable option. This global online marketplace for goods and services got its name from the fact that for as little as $5 you can freelance out tasks to a pro who will get the job done for you, allowing you to focus on the work that requires your undivided attention. There is no sign-up cost.
With all the opt ins we fall prey to, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by our many email subscriptions. Making our inboxes all the more cluttered, we are also sent emails we never subscribed to that continuously inundate our inboxes. Lessen the number of emails that come your way by joining Unroll.me, a free service that pools all your subscriptions into one email. This tool identifies subscription emails and lists them for you.
4. Boomerang for Gmail
If you want to take control of when you send and receive email messages, Boomerang is your new best friend. You can write an email now and schedule it to go out at a time when the receiver is most likely to respond. There is also a follow up option that will automatically reach out to the receiver if you haven’t heard back from them within a certain timeframe. You can also pause your email, which essentially puts your inbox on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode until you hit unpause. This allows you to focus on a task without being tempted to respond to emails. Studies show that we are less prone to stress when we check emails less.
Trello is a free web-based project management software that allows teams to stay informed on the status of a project. It makes collaborating with team members easy and fun for any type of project you’re working on, whether it is creating a blog post, planning a product launch or something else entirely. Essentially, each board has a list of lists to organize and keep track of everything. You can add comments, create checklists, upload attachments, and add labels, due dates and more for convenience.
Buffer makes it super easy to share articles from the web to social media. By simply logging into Buffer and connecting your social media accounts, you can schedule content to go out whenever you please. Buffer is free, available on mobile devices and lets you have up to three social profiles.
I use a number of visuals for my podcast and other ventures. Canva is my go-to graphic design tool for basic design requirements. I use the free version that allows me to design anything from social media artwork to book covers to flyers, infographics and a host of other elements. Its drag-and-drop feature and layouts allow me to design, share and print my creations. I use the free version, but if you need to do more like add team members, a premium version is available.
If you are into event management, Eventbrite is for you. Organize, plan and sell tickets to your events by using the platform. Share them across social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter. Attendees are able to purchase tickets, and you have the ability to collect payment all through your Eventbrite account. If your country isn’t listed, simply opt to collect via PayPal. It is free to set up, but there is a fee levied on each ticket sale, which you can reflect into your ticket pricing.
Speakers who want to keep track of their appearances will love this one. Capture and share images and videos to mark as highlights from your featured TV appearances or any other video that you consider important. Jing takes a picture or video of your computer screen and uploads it to the internet, a clipboard or your computer. Jing is free to set up and you can also add basic visual elements to your online conversations.
Zoom provides a viable option for video conferencing, online meetings and webinars into one easy-to-use platform. Schedule a meeting and invite guests to your meeting room anytime you’d like. This is a more professional alternative to Skype. You can choose to set up a basic or pro account.
11. Mastery Journal
So many of us struggle to master productivity, discipline and focus. The struggle has always been real for me until The Mastery Journal by John Lee Dumas came around. This step-by-step guide helps you focus and become disciplined and productive over 100 days. The book’s plan guides you on a path to find and put into action a focused productivity mindset. This journal is available for $39 and is well worth every penny.
That’s it for my list of 11 tools to increase your productivity. If you have an awesome tool that you cannot do without as a leader, please share it with us and your fellow leaders on Facebook or Twitter by tagging us at @Leadercast.
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Heneka Watkis-Porter is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and host of The Entrepreneurial You Podcast. She is founder and CEO of Patwa Culcha International, which owns the authentic Jamaica clothing brand, Patwa Apparel. Heneka is also creator of the Caribbean’s first virtual conference and expo: The Entrepreneurial You Virtual SME Conference & Expo.