I can be a bit funny about technology.
I love it, but also hate it. I think many of us feel the same way.
I hate Kindles. REAL BOOKS FOREVER!
But I can lose an hour putting together interior design boards on Pinterest for my non-existent cabin in the woods.
And I’ve tried all the planning apps out there, but always come back to good ol’ pen and paper. Drawing a line through a completed task is SO satisfying!
Love it or hate it, technology often does make our lives easier and there are a few apps that definitely make my job less stressful and allow me to be more productive.
In turn this often means I take less time to do things and can keep my costs down for clients. Win-win!
Here are five productivity tools that I use for my business..
I use this pretty much every day for both my clients and myself. Want to create an eBook? Canva. A nice graphic with your logo on it? Canva. How about an image to accompany your latest blog post? CANVA!
Until I discovered this amazing website I really felt that I was lacking an important tool in my marketing tool box, because I couldn’t create images. But Canva has changed that, and it’s easy to use.
There is a paid option which amongst other features allows you to dictate the size of your own images, but I have mostly found that the free option offers everything I need.
Sometimes you just need to switch off from all external distractions, get into the zone and get down to business. I use Noisli when I’m writing blog posts and need to concentrate.
Noisli allows you to mix different “white noise” sounds together to create the perfect aural environment to get your brain going – especially when you pop some headphones on! I really like the more nature-based sounds, but they also have man-made sounds like trains chugging along and coffee shop background noise if that’s more your cup of tea (or coffee…)
There is a great blog post on the website about how you can improve focus and boost productivity with the right sounds.
If you sign up for an account you can also access a plain text page which allows you to write without the distractions of anything else on your screen – something I use often if I’m struggling to find the right words and really need to focus. You’ll often find me recommending Noisli on Facebook group pages such as the Mums with Hustle Biz Club group.
Social media management can really feel like a 24/7 job sometimes – but Buffer certainly takes some of the pressure off by letting me scheduling content in advance for clients and for my own business.
You can use Buffer for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but I personally prefer to use it to schedule Instagram posts, whilst posting natively to the other platforms in order to please the Algorithm Gods.
There are a number of social media scheduling platforms out there, but this is the one that works for me at the moment. It’s also very reasonably priced if like me you’re managing a number of social media accounts.
Buffer is really useful for all business owners, not just social media managers – and if you just need to schedule content for one business , it’s free. Knowing you’ve got a your week’s Facebook and Instagram posts sorted within 30 minutes is a great feeling and means you can focus on other things.
As someone who spends a LOT of time on Instagram for work (and let’s face it: for fun, too), the Repost app is a great tool. It allows me to share content amongst different Instagram accounts in just a few taps whilst also crediting the original poster.
An upgrade of just AUD$6.50 lets you remove the attribution mark and save it for the description, which makes your post look much more attractive.
The Repost app is available for both Android and Apple phones.
For those who don’t know, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management method pioneered in the 1980s which centres around the premise that we are capable of concentrating on a task for 25 minutes before having a short break. The Tomato Timer website simply has a timer which runs for – yep, you guessed it – 25 minutes before notifying you to take a five minute break.
It’s incredibly simple but the technique really works for me. If I’m dragging my heels on a task I find that starting the timer really motivates me to focus for 25 minutes – and then I can make myself a cup of tea during the five minute break before I start another 25 minute session. It’s not for everyone, but it really works for me. You can read more about the Pomodoro Method here.
I hope you find some of these productivity tools useful for your own work processes – and I LOVE finding new ones so please feel free to drop me a line and let me know which ones work for you!