It's pretty safe to say that I spend 3/4 of my life 'plugged in' in some way. From phone to iPad, computer to laptop, a piece of technology is never far from my side. Whether or not this is a good thing is an entirely different blog post in itself, but over the past 2 years I have definitely been using all the pieces of technology I have acquired to transform how I keep myself productive and motivated!
It's no secret that being a small business owner means you need to wear loads of 'hats'. So for me, using say, one paper diary and a wall calendar would not cut the mustard! It'd get too confusing and I would regularly forget to update them and it just doesn't work for me. I need different methods to keep track of my diary, plans, ideas and so much more. Here are a few apps I rate and how to use them:
- I was introduced to Wunderlist by my BBB (best business babe) Faye and oh boy, has this revolutionised the way I keep lists. Synced across my laptop, iPhone and iPad (don't fret non-apple users! There's a web-based version too) I make lists for just about everything - longterm goals, 2014 goals, things to do this month, things to do someday etc. You can add members for splitting tasks in joint products, add notes and subtasks to each task and attach documents. For example, in my 'Someday' list I want to overhaul the 404/error page on our website so I've included subtasks like 'research most clicked links' 'upload top 5 products tab' and 'talk to web developer about ideas' and attached screenshots of people who use this piece of their site really, really well.
- Evernote is your online/digital version of having a stack of different notebooks on your desk. Again, Evernote can be synced across your various devices and accessed from a desktop, too, and you can have unlimited 'notebooks' in which you store unlimited 'notes', in which you can store files and add tags. I use Evernote like a journal/paper diary, somewhere to jot down ideas and things like business mileage that I'll need to refer back to at a later date. When we were designing the Rock and Roll Bride collection, I kept all my moods and design sketches organised in a notebook, alongside progress checklists and emails regarding the collection so it was all in one place and easily referenceable. Whenever I'm waiting in line, or on a train, I'll pull up my 'Ideas' notebooks for the blog, products etc and see if any inspiration strikes.
- Pocket has revolutionised the way I store articles online. No more Googling half phrases whenever I want to quote someone in an article or drop a link to a friend (I've come across some seriously dark corners of the internet this way!) I also use it to store articles I might like to read later, and tag the articles accordingly.
- The Self Control app is one for hardcore procrastination times. Like when you've got 6 months of bookkeeping to organise but all your friends are on facebook chat discussing a weekend away (true story) Yep, stick facebook in your 'blocked' list and set the amount of time you want to block it for and you won't be getting on it for love nor money. I'm pretty sure this app is the only reason my dissertation happened
- Technically not an app, but recently I've sat down and organised my notifications on my phone which has helped my productivity LOADS. Simply turning it on silent wasn't working because I kept missing phone calls, but by going through my list of apps and turning off the sound and vibrate alerts for things like twitter, texts and emails has stopped me automatically reaching for my phone whenever these things appeared.
Have you got any recommendations for apps you like to use to keep you focused and productive?
image via this is glamorous