These 5 apps will help you better manage your time and task lists to stay focused and increase your productivity at the office. Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur or an associate, these handy tools will help make you focus on the job-related goals that are most important to you and your role:
1. Mailbox (iOS and Android, Beta for Desktop. Free.) Spending too much time filtering through your email inbox(es)? There’s an app to make that easier now! With Mailbox, you can streamline your email accounts from Google Apps, Gmail and iCloud and combine them into one inbox. Organize emails with a quick swipe and read email threads in a chat-like view. For those emails you don’t want to deal with until later (but that actually suck time from your productivity), Mailbox lets you hide them and reschedule the emails to appear in your inbox at a later time or date, when you are ready to address them. Don’t let your email run your life. With Mailbox, you can stay focused on what you need to be doing now.
2. My Minutes (iOS, $3) If you have many things to accomplish throughout the day but find yourself often spending more time than you intended on certain tasks (like checking email), My Minutes can help you remain focused. Or maybe you have those items that always fall to the bottom of your to-do list that you never seem to have time for (like working out or honing your Photoshop skills). My Minutes can help you make time for these wish-list items. By setting a limit of “no more than” or “up to” how much time you spend on certain tasks, My Minutes will help you keep yourself on track to achieve your daily goals. Unfortunately, My Minutes is currently only available for iPhone and iPad.
3. Rescue Time (Desktop, iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Free; premium version available for $9 month) Do you start the day feeling optimistic about the projects you plan to complete only to get to the end of the day and have no idea what happened to the time? Rescue Time may be your answer. This app runs securely in the background of your desktop or mobile device to track where you spend the majority of your time. It generates reports based on which applications and websites you visit most often, then breaks down your daily activity so you can adjust and work to refocus or reprioritize. By setting alerts to notify you when you’ve spent too much time in one place (like checking email) or blocking you from accessing distracting websites while you work (like Facebook), Rescue Time can help you remain focused on the task at hand and save Facebooking for later.
4. FreshBooks (Desktop, iOS, Android. Free up to 25 clients.) If you are looking for an easier way to track time spent on projects, especially those projects that you bill to clients, take a look at FreshBooks. Billed as the accounting software for non-accountants, this program makes it easier to manage the financial aspect of your business. Because the program syncs with desktop and mobile platforms, it is easy to capture time spent on a project in real time to ensure accurate reporting. FreshBooks can be shared across teams and populate each team member’s time spent on a project calendar for a snapshot view. With FreshBooks, you can see at a glance where your time and your team’s time is being spent (and ensure you are accurately paid for this time, too!).
5. Remember the Milk (Desktop, iOS, Android and Blackberry. Free; Pro account available for $25 per year.) There are many options for to-do lists and task management. For those who just want a simple, straightforward list, Remember the Milk is a great option. With the option to organize lists by priority, due date, time involved or customized to your individual organization style. Save favorite tasks and notes to Smart Lists for easy access in the future. Receive reminder alerts via email, text or instant message. Because it interfaces with Google, Gmail, Outlook, Evernote, and even Twitter, your tasks and to-dos can remain in one place. Say goodbye to separate lists and ubiquitous sticky notes. The only downside to Remember the Milk is its sync schedule; the free account version only syncs between desktop and mobile devices once every 24 hours.
Any quick Google or App Store search will yield dozens of productivity and time-management apps. Ultimately, you have to choose the option that best fits your needs. These are just a few suggestions to improve your time management and help focus more on the work that needs to be achieved each day. Achieving even small daily goals is the best way for your business to reach and maintain success.