Who doesn’t need more productivity in their daily routine? I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who said they’re completely happy with their productivity.
Interesting as that is, all I want to do about that today is give you some free tools. Nasty, aren’t I? 🙂
So here you have four tools that I use pretty much on a daily basis, greatly improving my output.
1. First off is 750words.com – my favorite tool to get those first words of the day flowing nicely. Sure, pen and paper is still the number one but this gets pretty darn close. Check out my writeup from a few months back over here.
And when I’ve got the free-form stuff out of the way, it’s time for some task management…
2. The best tool for tasks I’ve found is Producteev.com – a really well conceived tool that lets you group tasks by tags and color codes and attach notes and and and… phew, it just works so well. Plus they’ve got a great iPhone/iPod application as well! Syncs quite nicely. Close to perfection, in fact.
And when I’ve got the daily todos sorted out, it’s time to get cranking!
3. The great tool for that is the Pomodoro technique – facilitated by Mytomatoes.com. What in the heck is that you ask? Well, it’s this deceptively simple looking way to manage your time effectively.
Here’s how it works: you set the timer for a 25 minute sprint of productivity. Then record your achievements and take a 5 minute break. Then another 25 minute sprint and record achievements. Eventually a longer, 15-30 break and then you continue.
I was skeptical at first but quickly realized what makes it work: 25 minutes is short enough to want to accomplish a lot in that time and record it. You won’t want to see a log of ‘browsed internet, read email’. 🙂 And 5 minutes is short enough to refresh and yet keep you focused on what you were doing. Try it, it works great!
Special thanks must go to Sakari Turunen for pointing me to this awesome resource and methodology!
And finally, to keep things in perspective, you’ll need this final resource…
4. Make lists. Lots of lists. It’s how our brain works, and it’s easy to create and maintain. Workflowy.com is the site, and the way it helps is it gives you a place to maintain the big picture. So you won’t have to keep it all in your head (which helps too I guess, heh).
Cheers to Robert Somerville a.k.a. GuruBob for pointing me to this great tool.
That’s about it! Four cool tools I use just about daily and heartily recommend.
Now, when it comes to real creative work… there’s obviously more. 🙂 Come back soon for another article on that.
Now get cranking – another day, another chance to increase your output! Ship, ship, ship!