December 30, 2014
Productivity tools are more in-demand than ever, as evidenced by the dramatic rise of IRC startup Slack in 2014. Working for a startup might mean you’ve got a lot of hats to wear and a lot of tasks to manage, and living in the digital age means that there are constant distractions available everywhere you turn. So how can productivity reign when all of these challenges abound? Take a look at this list of 5 ways to utilize tools and increase productivity in 2015.
The Taskworld app helps users keep track of all documents, comments, dates, and assignments in one place. It also allows users to see colleagues’ progression on a task-to-task basis and provides them with feedback on their performance with measurable metrics. Taskworld is not just your average to-do-list app. The application enables teams and organizations to collaborate by streamlining information flows and significantly enhancing execution capabilities. Taskworld simplifies the way teams work and improves how the world collaborates—one task at a time.
According to founder Fred Mouawad, Taskworld was built out of personal necessity as he tried to manage several companies at once and commit to the follow-ups that it required.
“We built the software internally and started using it within our group by end of 2006. It was a great success, and as a result we increased productivity across all our divisions. It wasn’t until 2012 that I decided to build a separate business based on the idea that had worked so well for our companies. The opportunity was further amplified with the advent of social, mobile, and cloud. It felt like the perfect time to move from strategic insight to action by building a similar service that would be open to the world. That’s how we started working on a prototype with a core group of our IT team.”
Taskworld aims to differentiate themselves in this crowded market by offering performance reports that enable teams to know how well they are doing.
2. Focus Lock
Focus Lock is an app that you install on your smartphone to prevent you from using certain apps that can distract you when you’ve got a deadline or a task that needs all of your attention. It helps users stay distraction-free from all the social networks and apps they are accustomed to by serving as a “digital adderall of the distracted and procrastinating masses”.
Say goodbye to procrastination and say hello to Focus Lock. Lock up your distractions. Pick your work times and break times. Select the apps you want blocked, and if you try to access them before your pre-set break time, you will find that Focus Lock has prevented its use.
While it’s true that Google Now, Google Maps, and Apple Maps provides you with best routes, reminders for appointments, and time-to-destination, they don’t have the ability to remember your set places you might visit on a regular basis. ETA by Eastwood is your GPS assistant for travel times and directions. It helps users access traffic driving times to your destinations on a single screen, making sure they arrive to meetings and appointments on time. It also gives walking directions, detailed route information and it helps users plan for a trip ahead by listing added stops and detours.
Designed for productivity seekers in urban areas, ETA works best when you add in your favorite locations. Then, you will always be able to see the amount of time it will take you to reach these destinations. You can opt for drive time or walking time, and immediately get an estimate without needing to open a separate maps app.
4. Rescue Time
Evaluating where you spend your time is the first step in identifying blocks to productivity. Rescue Time is a favorite among life hackers and happy startup founders alike. Use this for yourself or for your entire team: set alerts to let you know when you spent a certain amount of time on an activity, block distracting websites, and get continuous feedback to stay informed about your daily productivity.
There is no data entry involved with Rescue Time. If you’ve ever wondered why you didn’t get enough done in a single day despite feeling very busy, Rescue Time simply works in the background to evaluate your time spent in each app and helps you evaluate how useful each product is to your workday. If you want to increase your productivity, you need Rescue Time. Or, as one user said on Quora: “If you don’t want to change, it will just depress you.” Check out this video tour:
5. Install a Browser-Specific Blocker
Another way to create laser-focused productivity is to install a blocker on your preferred browser.
Stay Focusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.
Leech Block is a simple productivity tool designed for Firefox that also blocks time-wasting sites that can significantly reduce productivity. All you need to do is specify which sites to block and when to block them.
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