Are you looking to improve your time management so that you become more organized and stay on track? Yes? Then you're going to love today's post because I'm going to recommend eight time management tools that I either use or have used in the past. We are talking about the tools that have made a real difference in how I manage my time. I know they will make a difference for you too!
When it comes to managing your time, it's helpful to have a system. Time blocking, for example, is one such strategy. Blocking out certain hours in your day to dedicate to YOUR work will help you get things done, but couple that with the right tools and your productivity will soar.
So get ready to check out some super helpful tools that, when implemented properly, will help save you time and make business easier.
Helpful Time Management Tools
If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t happen. PERIOD! My calendar of choice is Google Calendar. I love it. It syncs across all of my devices and I can access it anywhere.
Not only do I use this time management tool for client and personal appointments but I also use to block out time to work on my own stuff as well. Stuff like marketing, content creation, admin tasks, planning, and more.
This helps to ensure I set aside time not just to work IN my business, but to work ON my business. Using my calendar effectively also prevents me from over-committing to things that are other people’s priorities. And it keeps me from planning too much to do in any given day or week.
Not a Google Calendar person? That's totally fine. The point is to use a calendar consistently. It can be Outlook, Apple Calendar or anything that works for you.
While I do keep a digital calendar, I love having a physical planner. I really am a pen-to-paper kinda gal. If that's you too then check out the Daily Achievers' Weekly Action Planner, which is a digital calendar that is both fillable and printable.
Now, with that being said, I'm NOT a fan of traditional, dated planners. The minute I miss a day or week, I feel like I've failed, which defeats the purpose of my planner — to help me plan out and prioritize my weekly and daily tasks so that I am productive every day. In other words, my planner helps me focus on what matters so I take consistent steps towards achieving my goals. That means I'm winning every day.
A few years ago, I found Michael Hyatt's Full Focus Planner. Over the three years that I used it, I learned how to break down my goals by quarters, months, weeks, and days, ensuring that I was making meaningful progress in my business.
However, I found that there were lots of sections in the planner that I consistently didn't use and other items that were missing for me. As a result, I created my own tool, the Daily Achievers' Weekly Action Planner.
This is what I use every day to ensure that I'm getting the right work done and making real progress in my business every day. The planner has a weekly organizer and daily pages to help you plan in advance so you can be as productive as possible.
So check it out. It's free and comes with a companion video to help you use it to the best of its ability.
Project management applications can be amazing time management tools, as long as it's the right one for you. In the past, when I was a team of one, I tried tools like Trello and Ora. To be honest, I found that tools like this weren't that effective when working on my own.
When Meghan Monaghan and I started The Messy Desk Podcast, we set up our workflow in Asana. We use a free version of it. It's worked really well for us.
However, when I hired my first real team member, I moved over to what has become my FAVORITE project management tool of all time, Monday.com. Why? Two reasons.
First, my teammate really knows Monday well. It didn't make sense for her to spend time learning a new tool. Second, Asana didn't have the all the capabilities we needed. So, it was an easy decision.
We use Monday.com:
- To create project workflows
- To document repeatable processes
- As a repository. For example, I have a board where I have links to documents and applications that I need to access often. I also have a board where I keep content ideas
- To keep us organized, on track, and accountable
If you have a team, I highly recommend Monday.com
Voxer is — by far — my favorite tool for communicating with my coaching clients.
It’s a “walkie talkie” app, which means my clients and I can communicate by voice. I find it to be much faster than typing emails or texts, and there’s less room for errors which can easily happen when someone quickly skims a written document.
And while it really shines when it comes to voice messaging, you can also use it to share text, images, GIFs, and Dropbox files. This makes it the perfect all-in-one client communication tool.
Slack is my favorite tool for communicating with my team.
Rather than going back and forth via email, we use Slack to share documents, collaborate on projects, and just generally to keep all our important conversations in one place.
Unlike email, you can immediately see that your message reached the right person, and can easily loop additional people into relevant conversations.
I also love that I can access every conversation, with every member of my team, in one central place…without needing to search for and scroll through countless folders and emails!
6. Focus Keeper
If you have trouble focusing, you’re going to love this time management tool.
The Focus Keeper app is based on the Pomodoro method, which helps you break down your work into short, manageable chunks.The Focus Keeper app is based on the Pomodoro method, which helps you break down your work into short, manageable chunks.Click To Tweet
It works like this: Simply set the timer, then work your butt off for 25 minutes. When the timer rings, you’ve got a 5-minute break to check your Facebook, grab a snack, or take a short walk. After 4 of these 25/5 minute segments, you get a well-deserved 20-30 minute break.
I love this app as it really helps me stay focused on the task at hand, and also reminds me to take breaks. I find I’m far less distracted, so I am able to get a ton more work done, in far less time!
If you prefer recording your thoughts or ideas overwriting them down, you’ll definitely want to check out this time management tool, Otter.
Otter lets you record your notes or ideas, get real-time transcripts, and then immediately share them with clients or team members.
I often use Otter to record my thoughts while I’m on the go. It’s so much faster than typing, and I love that it automatically gives me a transcript I can use for myself or share with someone else.
And the best part? For casual use, you likely won’t need more than the free plan, which comes with 600 minutes of transcription per month.
Creating and sticking with effective habits is no easy feat.
HabitShare helps by giving you built-in accountability for your personal or professional goals: goals like exercising, going to bed early or building self-care breaks into your workday.
And while you can use the app on your own, it’s best to add friends who can send you GIFs and high fives to help keep you motivated!
Make Sure You Use the Right Time Management Tools
When it comes to productivity and time management, the goal is to find and implement the RIGHT tools, not ALL the tools. Having too many tools can have an adverse effect. In other words, the right tools should save you time and make tasks easier while the wrong tools (or too many tools) will waste time and cause unnecessary stress.
So choose wisely. And don't hesitate to dump a tool that isn't serving you or you don't need.
Remember, your tools should work for you, not the other way around.
Need more time management tool ideas? Check out these posts: