Too many productivity tools to stay focused? Here’s how I’ve narrowed down my productivity toolbox

I’ll freely admit that I’m a bit of a geek.

This has its benefits as a solo entrepreneur, but it can also be a bit problematic – particularly when it comes to app and tool overload.

I’m the sort of person who needs tools to stay on track, keep to the promises I make and ensure I sail productively through each day. But with so much choice, there’s a real danger of spending more time experimenting with such tools than actually getting work done.

My phone and iPad are littered with apps that I installed once, spent longer than necessary configuring and planning how to use for business purposes, before discarding entirely. But I’ve finally narrowed down and settled on a productivity toolbox which helps me stay out of productivity ruts.

The to-do list app

Without Omnifocus, I’d struggle to run this business. I’d rarely deliver work on time, and I’d fail to live up to most of the promises I make.

This is because my memory is pretty terrible, but also because we live in a very noisy world that’s full of distractions. A good to-do list management app is therefore vital in ensuring I have specific tasks to complete each day.

My iPad

I couldn’t live without my iPad. I use it for everything from writing, to task management and even as a way to record phone calls I need to transcribe.

One of the most useful aspects of it, however, came with the introduction of the Apple Pencil a couple of years ago. With that, I can turn my new found love of bullet journalling into something digitally convenient and which is forever by my side.

Skype

It took me far too many years working a ‘regular’ job to realise that meetings are rarely organised efficiently. And, if you work remotely, managing meeting time becomes more important than ever.

This has made Skype an invaluable item within my productivity toolbox. It enables me to hop onto last minute meetings quickly and organise gatherings that would otherwise take days to arrange due to the travel time for those involved.

A timer for every task

I track my time constantly while working. Sometimes, this is for client billing purposes, but more often than not, it’s to provide me with an insight into how productive I am each day.

One look at yesterday’s timer, and I can see exactly how long I worked in total and on which projects. It’s both inspiring and motivational.

My project management app

In truth, I use more than one project management app to get me through the day, but I’d be lost without these tools.

This is mainly because they enable me to collaborate with my partners and customers by dispensing with long email chains or scraps of paper.

Rather than recommending one, I’d suggest heading to your app store of choice and having a play with what’s out there, because project management apps have transformed the way I work, and I have a feeling they’ll do the same for you.

Wrapping up

I’d be lost without my productivity toolbox, but the key certainly lies in refining it down to the tools which deliver maximum value.

What’s in your toolbox?