3 Essential Tools to Help You Boost Productivity: 2017

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This productivity tools list includes some affiliate links for your convenience.


The more you grow your business, the more you realize how hectic entrepreneurship can be if you don't have a system in place -- and the tools you need to carry them out. I've rounded up my favorite tools to stay organized and on track while managing two businesses. From calendar management to notes, social media, and accountability, at least one of these platforms may become your business' new best friend. 
 

Asana

If you haven’t started using Asana, you are seriously missing out! Asana helps you stay on task as a team or individually by having the ability to create tasks and mark them complete. Each task can be assigned to numerous people and you can comment on the status of the task.

My take on it: Asana is most useful if you are working as a team or have a virtual assistant. It requires dedication to the app (or at least use of its many integrations) so if you are one to "forget" to use it, it won't do its job the way it should. If you're going to take the Asana leap, don't half step it. 

  • Price: free for up to 15 members
  • Availability: Web browser, macOS
     
 Photo credit: Asana, iOS App Store

Photo credit: Asana, iOS App Store

1Focus

Warning! 1Focus is a game changer for entrepreneurs who get easily distracted. 1Focus allows you to block any websites or apps that will lure you away from your work. Just set the timer and be prepared to be denied access to the indicated apps and websites until your task is finished.

My take on it: Don't knock it until you try it! The product is geared toward students and pretty straightforward, but can be a big help. Though I must say, it isn't entirely a fool-proof solution (ie. blocking Facebook if your task is to interact with your clientele on Facebook). 

  • Price: $9.99
  • Availability: macOS
     

Evernote

Evernote is literally my life binder. I have folders set as categories for my blog, freelance writing, consulting services, travel, and personal growth. Within in each folder is a notebook, where I narrow down the topics and within those notebooks are notes based on that topic.

My take on it: I am shocked when I hear people haven't jumped on the Evernote train. I still use the free version but love that it can sync 2 devices and even work offline (syncing when you get back online). When browsing the web Evernote's web clipper extension will work wonders for those "read it later" moments.

  • Price: Free (Premium paid option available)
  • Availability: Web browser, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android
 Partial Evernote Screenshot From My Desktop

Partial Evernote Screenshot From My Desktop


HootSuite

If social media drives your business, then Hootsuite is a great tool for managing it -- most of my clients prefer it as their tool of choice. You can manage your social media accounts from just one location, bulk schedule, report analytics, and more. If juggling between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube drives you crazy, this is a great option.

My take on it: I've generally stopped scheduling with third-party apps on my own accounts. Why? Because I become more engaged with my audience when I am present (and that punishing low social media reach caused by such use sucks).

Is this always possible? No, but it's helped me carve out time to share my passions and answer questions, rather than schedule and go. Do I still recommend it for people who run multiple accounts and need the support? Absolutely, because there are very few other apps that do the job like Hootsuite within the free-99 budget range.

  • Price: Free (with limited features)
  • Availability: Web browser, iOS, Android
     

Goal planner and content calendars

If you haven't sat down and worked on your content calendar you need to get your life together. :-)

Whether it is a planner notebook or Google Calendar synced with iCal, start color-coding and scheduling your content, goals, and important task-based steps to success, broken down by the day, quarter, month, and year.

In fact, The Sow Collective has a dedicated productivity worksheet specifically for goal-setting (available to club members) that helps you break down the tasks, projects, and goals that will help you paint the big picture... and start making money from it!

  • Price: Free (goals worksheet comes with clubhouse membership)
  • Availability: Web browser, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android
     

Which is your favorite way to stay productive?

Regardless of what you choose, remember three things: plan, focus, and execute. Find 1-2 tools that will help you accomplish those essentials and you'll be sure to start getting stuff done -- for real, this time. 

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