7 Pieces of Tech That Will Make You More Productive
This piece originally appeared on our sister site, The Freelancer, and has been modified slightly.
There are plenty of distractions we succumb to every day—everything from coffee trips to Twitter feeds. And let’s not even talk about the biggest time suck of all, cat videos.
Even for those of us who are diligent about staying on task, a little increase in productivity can mean the difference between affording a vacation and barely getting by. The equation is simple: The more productive you are, the more money you’ll make, the more successful you’ll be. Below, we review eight tech solutions that can help you accomplish more throughout the day.
Social media has been a game-changer for creatives, helping us find jobs, support colleagues, and contact editors and clients. But it’s also a double-edged sword when it comes to productivity. There’s a fine line between staying active and wasting time reading BuzzFeed articles “in the name of research.” For those who want to maximize their efficiency on the social network, Hootsuite can simplify the process. You can manage up to 35 social profiles in one handy dashboard. Schedule future posts, track how followers are engaging with your accounts, and monitor your analytics all in one spot.
Not every writer has the luxury of being able to type away on a beach. Writing can be stressful, and stress can hinder your productivity. That’s where Ommwriter comes in, an app-meets-word-processor-meets-meditation practice that lets you customize screen color, music, and keystroke sounds to create a tranquil writing environment.
When you’re juggling multiple projects, it can be difficult to focus on one task for a long period of time. Interruptions and breaks can help you recharge your batteries for a few minutes, but they can thwart productivity if you take too many breathers.
The people who created the free 30/30 app must have had us creative types in mind. It’s relatively simple—you set activities for certain amounts of time and your phone alerts you when it’s time to take a break and for how long. But sometimes that sort of straightforward time management scheduling is all you need to stay on task.
Setting up meetings and fielding emails can take a toll on your schedule—and take you away from important creative work—so if you have the means, hire a virtual assistant to free up some time. Zirtual specializes in assisting entrepreneurs and will match you with someone who works remotely to complete administrative tasks, make travel plans, and handle preliminary research.
For most people, scanning is on its way to being obsolete. But for those some jobs, scanning documents is still part of the routine. Unfortunately, most scanners out there are slow, bulky, or part of the printer. Doxie, on the other hand, is a lightweight and portable scanner that has a removable lid for those tough-to-scan items. According to the website, you can even scan while sitting on the couch. For anyone who fills out multiple W-9s every year, that’s progress.
In coffee shops and bookstores, it’s not that uncommon anymore to see people working on tablets. These people have their portable keyboards, which are useful but a bit clunky. But there are more convenient alternatives out there, like this foldable Bluetooth keyboard. Flyshark, which received funds through a Kickstarter campaign last year, has created the iLepo360, a keyboard that folds into a pocket-sized square. Now you can stay productive and type wherever you are—the DMV, the doctor’s office, the subway—and then put the keyboard into your jeans when you’re done.
Backing up a computer can be a daunting process. You pray that everything makes it over to your flash drive, which will inevitably get misplaced in a few months. Instead of putting all of your trust into a tiny gadget, you should also back up your files in the cloud. Carbonite will automatically back up your files and it doesn’t have any storage limits, which means more time and peace of mind for you. You can try it for free and then pay to continue for about $5 per month after that.
For those of us who feel like we need 25 hours in every day, hopefully these tech solutions can help you become more productive. If you use any apps that help you work more efficiently, tweet us @Contently with suggestions.Image by Gpoint Studio