Time management and keeping on top of tasks in the office isn’t always easy, and it’s often a pain juggling to-do lists and sticky notes, in addition to keeping up with your actual work. Luckily, there are many web tools available that aim to help you get organised. But with this popularity of web apps, even the simple task of finding the apps which will work best is a chore in itself. I’ve made a short list of web extensions that can help with the basics.
Now, I’m well aware there are more than three productivity apps and extensions available in the Chrome/Firefox/Android etc stores. There are thousands more that all have their merit and may, in fact, suit your needs better. Nevertheless, I have chosen the following due to their simplicity and popularity. They’re also free, so it’s worth trying them out anyway.
Making notes? Use Google Docs
Yes, this seems like the most obvious solution, but it is a deceptively brilliant tool for creating notes online. Unlike Evernote, which has a rather cluttered interface, Google Docs is very minimalist so you can focus purely on making notes. It doesn’t require any installation or additional accounts with third parties (aside from a Google account); you only need to open up your docs and you’re good to go. So long as you have an Internet connection, you can keep creating and editing your existing notes on the go. You can create folders, search within your documents and create offline documents for a specific computer or device. You can share your notes and set user permissions for collaboration and commenting. Ultimately, creating documents is its intrinsic purpose, and it does it well.
Why it benefits you: Instant, saves you time, frees the feeling of fuss and bother
When you find an article online that piques your interest but you don’t have time to read it, Pocket is what you need. Though this doesn’t contribute directly to work productivity, it certainly eliminates procrastination. And it also gets rid of the “I need to read it now before I forget!” feeling. Or if you do need to read these articles for work, you can do so later, freeing the feeling of having to finish everything immediately. You do have to create a log in, but this takes seconds. When you “pocket” an article (on web browsers this adds a tiny extension button), it automatically syncs to your devices so you can view them without an internet connection. You can view them online or through the app. The layout is very elegant and clean. Pocket has official apps for most web browsers, and also supports third party apps such as Alien Blue Reddit Client, Flipboard and the Onion (over 500).
Why it benefits you: Prevents procrastination and the impending sense of doom in leaving an article unread
Wunderlist is like a giant to-do list, for your to-do lists. It has a straightforward interface, and you can share and collaborate on your lists. It works and syncs across web browsers and mobile devices. You create lists, set notifications (email, push and desktop), set recurring tasks, check items off and feel satisfied. There isn’t a whole lot more to it than that, but isn’t that its beauty? Wunderlist Pro ($4.99/month or $49.99/year) lets you add comments and leave feedback for your teammates, attach files, and delegate tasks, but this may be overkill if you’re looking for simplicity, which is the point of this post.
Why it benefits you: Create multiple to-do lists and feel satisfied completing tasks
Bonus: Evernote has a series of great productivity tools, which I have looked at.
With any luck, these little apps can help make your working life less stressful. They are easy-to-use from the word “go”, and serve to reign in the added pressures of organisation. I haven’t mentioned anything relating to email because nearly everyone has established their preferred platform (whether it be Gmail or Outlook).