Tools play a crucial role in today’s day to day work. The common ones are email clients, spreadsheets, word processors, schedulers, etc.
Depending on your work, you can have a lot of specific tools as well. For example, if you’re a financial analyst, you may rely on databases and Bloomberg. If you’re a designer, you may be using photoshop and illustrator on a daily basis. If you’re a writer, you may be into MS Word or Google Docs.
Today, I want to share my top 5 productivity tools that I use almost daily. These tools have helped me become more productive in my 9-5 job and I am sure these can help many people like me.
Also, these are not industry specific tools, it generic ones that can be used by anyone.
- Evernote: Evernote is a great app to take notes and arrange it. I often get an idea at weird times – sometimes when I am traveling, while walking my dog, while having lunch, while trying to sleep. Since I can use Evernote on my phone, which I always have with me, it’s super easy to note and arrange these thoughts. It allows me to tag and categorize stuff that I record so that I can pick it up later when needed.
- Google Docs: Google Docs is a powerful tool and I find it way better than MS Word. The fact that it is cloud-based makes it a lot more convenient. Among the G Suite of Apps, Google Docs has really picked up and I see everyone using it, from someone in the office to a blogger in the café to a serious author. Google Docs allows a lot of customization and you can even create a research report in it (which I considered was the forte of MS Word). You can easily style the pages, change margins in Google Docs, insert images, insert headers and footers, and do a lot of cool stuff.
- To Do Lists: This is one of my favorite tools. You can create a to-do list on a paper, on your phone, in an Excel spreadsheet, or any other way that suits you. The trick to making a to-do list work is to make sure it is realistic. As a practice, I try not put more than 5 tasks on my to-do list.
- Pomodoro Timer – With the attention span as low as mine, it is really easy to get distracted. Pomodoro Timer works on the concept that you should work in batches. A typical Pomodoro timer is set for 25 where you’re expected to focus on the work at hand and not get distracted at all. So you need to keep your phone aside and close all those tabs that have social media website open and only focus on what you need to get done in the 25 minutes. When you’re done with a 25-minute slot, you can take a short break and then come back again for another 25-minute slot.
These techniques and tools have been working great for me.