Here we are nearing the end of another year and I bet some of you are making your 2016 Goals, aren’t you? To help you reach those goals, you’ll want to spend time on your MITs (see my previous article about MITs – Most Important Tasks) that will help you get closer to your Visions and goals and to do that, you’ll want to be mindful of how you use your time.
Here are just a few free productivity tools you can use on your computer, tablet, and/or phone.
My last article (see it here NO MORE TO DO LISTS ) shares with you why you want to get rid of To Do Lists and to put anything you want done Right on to a calendar. I like to use Google Calendar because you can sync multiple calendars in one – share with others (and just show you are busy in certain blocks), and then sync it to your phone. I also like Google Calendar because my kids’ school calendars automatically sync to it too! The only thing you need to use this tool is a free gmail account!
To keep you on task and in time with your blocked times, use a stop watch. If you’re on a tablet or phone, I like Chrome Stopwatch. Another free tool and easy to use. You can count up or down. For the computer, I like to use Online-Stopwatch.com because you don’t have to download anything and it’s easy to use while keeping you within your allotted time.
To keep track of HOW you spend your time, I LOVE GetHarvest.com (Harvest) which is a timetracker that converts your time to billable invoices and even integrates with accounting software like Quickbooks and Xero. This fabulous productivity time tracker even has Chrome extensions to track how you’re using your time in various programs like accounting, PayPal, Asana, Teamwork, and over 70 other applications. For an individual, this is a free tool you can use for up to 4 clients and 2 projects. You can just use it for yourself without clients! It can be used on your computer, tablet, and smart phone! Now there is no excuse not to know how your time is being spent!
You may have a business accounting program that you’re integrating Harvest into, however, it’s a good idea to keep track of your personal finances too! I love Mint.com that can track how your spend your money & you can make budgets to keep an eye on. You can easily integrate bank, credit card, and other accounts to make it easy to track income and expenses against a budget. You can also MintBills to put all your bills to be paid in one place; saving you time to go on with your life!
Now that your time is blocked, counted, and tracked, you can finally get organized with your notes & thoughts! Evernote is GREAT for organizing thoughts, photos, and hard & soft copy documents like emails, pdfs, etc. in one place and in folders that are accessible from your computer, tablet, or phone. You can save passwords, ideas, links, scanned docs, receipts, and more all in one place! Get the Basic at no cost!
Now that you have some ideas neatly organized… you may want to take those ideas and expand on them! Brainstorm with a mindmap. I like MindMeister . You get 3 maps and you can easily learn to use them to organize all those thoughts and reign them in for yourself; I like to use the right side for business – vision, goals, income, types of income, goals & visions and the left side for personal – health, home, family, finances. It’s a fantastic way to visually see things at a glance and easily make changes on the fly!! I can easily use the other two maps for special project brainstorming!
If you want to have meetings on video or quick instant messages on your phone, tablet, or pc to collaborate on these ideas, I love Google Video & messaging. They are easy to use and you can share screens!! Again, you only need a gmail account and Voila! You’re working with others from anywhere around the world! You only need a webcam, microphone, and audio!
I recently needed some help on a program and Google Instant Messaged a lady I know who uses the program if she knew how to do something I wanted to do. She said she did and would make me a quick video. In less than 3 minutes she instant messaged me a link to a short 3 minute video. The free program she used? Jing by Techsmith. You can also easily do screen captures as jpgs. This will save you loads of time when interacting with team mates!
Here is one more tool you can use! My primary email is a Yahoo account. I have several gmail accounts I use for various business things. When I want ONLY certain emails from gmail to be forwarded to my Yahoo, it’s easy to do with gmail. If you want to get, let’s say, emails from your autoresponder opt-ins that come into one gmail and want to see it in another account, you can point those emails only to be forwarded. You can easily turn off or change the feature anytime you want.
Since I’ve begun using these tools, I’ve been able to invoice quicker, get money quicker, not miss important activities, and best of all, spend more time with my family & doing things I actually want!
If you have any tools that can help me save time and/or money, please let me know by commenting below (and yes, feel free to provide a link if you personally use the program and have an affiliate link!), I’m always interested in knowing what others are successfully using.
Did you find this post useful? I hope you’ll use one or more of these amazing programs today and for the future. They are easy to sign up, set up, and use!
Please share this post so others can prepare for a stellar end to the year and start to next year!
To Your Success!
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