Many people have spent years working harder in order to get ahead, but that often means spending long hours at the office, working through lunch, and even going in on the weekends. Instead of working harder, how about you learn how to work smarter? By learning better ways of doing tasks, you can continue to get ahead, be productive, and still enjoy lunch and your evenings. There are a lot of different areas of your work day that, if tweaked just a bit, can be more productive and efficient. Here are some tips and tools for working smarter.
Track Your Time
Wondering where your day went? If you use a tool such as Toggl, you’ll be able to see exactly what you did all day and for how long you did it. This free tool can be installed on your PC or on your Android or Apple smartphone, so you can track your time no matter where you are. Fill in what task you’re working on and hit start. You can pause the timer if you need to take a short break and end your session when you’re finished with the task.
The information is added to your cloud, and you can later have the app provide you with a detailed report so you can look over your time. Toggl even logs time when you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network and uploads it to the cloud the next time you connect.This is also a great tool if you’re charging a client for hours worked on a task. You can provide them with a bill that clearly shows every minute worked on their project.
Mange Your Team
Tired of tasks falling through the cracks? With a tool like ProofHub, that won’t happen. You can organize your entire project, assign tasks to each person on your team, create online discussions, and more. Your team members can even use ProofHub’s built-in time tracking tool to track the hours worked on each project. You can go in and generate reports that are updated to the minute to get an idea of where each project stands and what still needs to be done. It’s the perfect tool for managing teams that aren’t in the same location.
Learn New Things
You should never stop learning, but it can be hard to find the time to read books, watch documentaries, or take classes while working and raising a family. The Blinkist app makes it a little easier to learn by presenting you with a short summary of a new book. This way, you at least have an idea of what the novel is about.
The app will also provide you with the audio book version of a number of books, too, so you can listen to the full text on your commute. Blinkist doesn’t have every book, of course, but they do have a nice selection. These books have been carefully selected to provide you with key insights from entrepreneurs, business owners, and other successful individuals.
Share Your Files and Screen
Need to share what’s on your computer screen with others? There’s no need to take screenshots when you have a tool such as UberConference. This tool makes screen sharing during conferences and meetings incredibly easy. It only takes a few clicks to show other attendees what you’re seeing. UberConference also lets you share documents with others no matter where they are. With access through both desktop/laptop computers and devices such as smartphones and tablets, everyone can attend meetings from wherever they are.
Jot Down Your Thoughts
Have a great idea while you’re at lunch, standing in line at the post office, or grocery shopping? If you’re afraid of forgetting these great ideas or things you need to do, you may always carry around a little notebook and pen. With Evernote, though, you don’t have to do that. Instead, you can make quick notes, create to-do lists, and even snap and save photos. You can even save parts of a webpage in Evernote, add notes to them, and share them later. Everything can be organized into different notebooks, so you can keep all of your notes for each project separate.
Evernote files can also be shared with others, so you can make sure your entire team has all of your notes and resources for a project.
Learn How to Be More Efficient
Have you always wondered if you could do things more efficiently or if you’ve reached the point where you’re simply too tired to work? Google’s Timeful app will help you see when you do your best work, how you can do things more efficiently, and more. This app is a smart to-do list and calendar that analyzes your schedule and work behaviors to determine when you’re being the most productive. It also helps determine places where you could work more efficiently, such as doing certain tasks together because they require some of the same resources. Even better, this app is free, so you can try it out to see if it actually does help you work smarter.
Do you find yourself procrastinating whenever you have to write something? Whether it’s your next novel or a report, you might notice that you spend more time on the internet than you do writing. The fun Write or Die tool will help you be productive by letting you know when you haven’t reached your goal and suggesting an appropriate punishment. It’s all in good fun, of course, but it can help you hit your word goals.
Manage Your Email
If your email inbox is threatening to collapse under its own virtual weight, you may need something such as Boomerang to help you get a handle on all those unread messages. Boomerang is an email productivity tool that helps you manage your inbox, schedule emails, and more. You can create reminders for certain messages so you don’t forget tasks, too. It’s a great tool if you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of emails in your inbox.