Solopreneurs are constantly on the lookout for new gadgets and applications to help manage time, reach goals, track projects and complete tasks.
Unfortunately, the one-size-fits-all solution just does not exist. All of these answers must have an element that taps into the way we work and think. A great phone app is not useful unless you spend the majority of your time on your phone. An electronic solution is not helpful if you find pen and paper more comforting. And of course, not all solutions will work for every situation. One size will sort of work for most people. But multiple sizes will provide a much better fit for more people.
My overriding goal when I instruct, consult or speak is to provide options instead of “THE Answer.” Most times, people intuitively know when an option has potential or just doesn’t feel right. I am sure not all of these productivity solutions will work for your personality and work environment, but there is a good chance that one or two of them will.
When I think of productivity solutions, my mind always travels first to Franklin Planners, because well….they were my first. I started with their paper/binder versions long before computers were commonplace and then moved to their software version later on. I have also participated in their educational opportunities. Although I no longer specifically use their products, the fundamentals they provide are still the basis for my task/goal/time management routines today.
Many think Franklins are outdated due to their association with paper, but paper is still a favorite method for tracking activities for many people, particularly those who like to write or journal. The Bullet Journal video is a great summary of another paper method. Even if you aren’t “into” paper, the concepts make sense and could possibly be applied to an electronic version.
When you starting talking about apps, the list is practically limitless. So I usually start with bloggers I like, focusing on the things which have proven to be good resources in the past:
- Time Management Ninja is one of my favorite bloggers on the topic of productivity solutions. His most recent productivity app post featured two free applications I began using recently. Workflowly is a great way to outline thoughts or organize a project. Trello is a great way to organize projects, particularly if you are working with additional people. Craig also posted about his favorite Mac apps as he upgraded his computer. These weren’t necessarily as interesting to me as I am not a Mac person, but maybe you are!
- Michael Hyatt is another favorite blogger of mine. As a self-professed gadget guy and productivity geek, he talks about productivity applications quite often. His most recent post discussed 7 applications along with providing a brief “review” of them.
- Charlie Gilkey is all about productivity and has curated this lengthy list of business productivity applications. Not all apply directly to task/goal/time management, but many do.
For myself I use ToDoist for my everyday task management. Currently I find all of the tools I need in the free version, but I could imagine upgrading at some point. I particularly like the system’s ability to manage recurring and repeating tasks as well as its project organizational structure. I occasionally have sync issues across my other devices, but generally they are minor and only a small inconvenience.
I also have become a pretty big fan of Evernote. I love that I can share notes with my Virtual Assistant and I always have a pretty good idea where to look for information I want to remember. Honestly I have just scratched the surface, but even basic functionality has increased my ability to get things completed more efficiently.