I have always struggled to manage my time as well as I want. My goal is to find the perfect balance between my daily must-do’s (work, eat, exercise, etc.) and life's unavoidable, unexpected to-do's (illness requires doctor visit, car breaks down, etc.). This may just prove to be a lifelong project, but in the meantime I’m always eager to learn about new tools that may shorten my learning curve! Read on for some super-cool, new time management and productivity tools that have the potential to save you both time and money.
3 Steps to better time management
Time management and productivity are red-hot topics in today's ever-busier culture. Because of this, the challenge we all face now isn't just how to do more, but how to do more of the right things in the time we have.
A 3-step process:
- Step 1: First, we need to understand how we have been using our time.
- Step 2: Next, we need to course-correct where needed.
- Step 3: Finally, we need to put helps in place to keep us firmly on our new course.
These six time management tools can help you accomplish all three of these goals.
6 Time management tools worth trying
Tools one and two will help you with steps one and two. The other five tools will help you stay on course. As you refine your use of time, you’ll be able to focus in on the tasks that can earn and save you more cash!
This tool is listed first because, let's face it—if you don't know how you spend your time, it’s much harder to manage the time you have! Rescue Time runs in the background on your computer or tablet and sends you weekly reports detailing how you spend your time.
There are two versions: Lite (free) and Premium ($9/month or $72/year with 4 months free).
- Lite: tracks your time while you use applications and websites, helps you set goals, sends you a weekly time log report.
- Premium: tracks offline time as well as online time, gives you alerts when you achieve goals you set, blocks distracting websites for you, and gives you more detailed reports.
- RescueTime for computer: https://www.rescuetime.com/plans
2. My Life Organized (MLO)
My Life Organized is a tool to help you make sense of all the different hats you wear; complete with alerts, to-do lists, and priority action-item suggestions. There are two versions for Mac/iOS and PC/Android: Free and Pro. Both Windows versions are paid: Standard and Pro.
- Find your MLO: http://www.mylifeorganized.net/#prices
3. Pocket (formerly Read It Later)
If you spend a lot of time online, it can get easy to spend more and more time online…until you feel like the Internet has literally sucked your life into the screen! Pocket helps you manage your online time by saving interesting articles, videos, and blogs for you to read later. Best of all, you can read what you've saved even if you’re offline!
- Get Pocket for iOS: Join 12 million others using this 5-star app for iPhone/iPad.
- Get Pocket for Android: Won the 2014 Webby Award for Best Productivity Tool.
This my hands-down, #1 favorite time management tool. If you have ever stared at your email inbox in horror (or despair), Unroll.Me may be right up your alley as well. Unroll.Me turns your subscription-based emails into a daily digest (that's right—no more need to set up a separate email account just for email list subscriptions!). With Unroll.Me, you can unsubscribe/resubscribe in one click. And every time a new subscription shows up in your email inbox, Unroll.me will prompt you to handle it by keeping it in your inbox, unsubscribing from it, or adding it to your Rollup digest.
- Get Unroll.Me (free): https://unroll.me
5. Pocket Informant
Pocket Informant has two versions—free and premium—but the free version is powerful enough you may find you have all that you need! Pocket Informant basically pulls together the different schedule and task tools you use into one place (like Google calendar, Evernote, and Toodledo) so you can see your schedule and to-do list, plus notes, at a glance.