Procrastination has been the death of many a great business idea. Looking to get to that state of flow faster? Here are 10 top apps to help you get a head start.
1) Trello – for organising your daily tasks
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then started on the first one” – Mark Twain
Twain would have surely been a fan of Trello. It’s a super popular mobile & desktop app for managing your day to day tasks. You can set large goals with deadline’s, then break them down into small projects and even smaller day to day tasks; assigning a deadline and owner to each one. It’s perfect to manage one task at a time as a solopreneur, or assign tasks & set deadlines to a startup team.
2) Pomodoro Timer – for completing one task at a time, in bitesize chunks
You can follow the Pomodoro technique to track where you’re spending your minutes and how long it takes to complete a task. The steps would go something like…
- Choose a task.
- Set a timer to 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the timer goes off.
- Record the time spent on the task with an “x”.
- Take a short break, say…5 minutes.
- Repeat the above process four times.
- After every four tasks completions ( or “pomodoros”), take a longer break – anywhere between 15–20 minutes.
This means: no checking whatsapp; mucking around on Tinder; exercising that thumb on the Facebook / Instagram / Twitter scroll of death, checking the fridge, making another cup of tea as an excuse to justify your fourth chocolate HobNob. Yep, we know ALL your tricks!
3) Canva – the design tool for the non-designer
This is an essential tool if want premium branding but are not are design pro or ready to hire a designer. You can whip up all your social media images, logos, presentations & proposals on canva so they are branded consistently.
4) Slack – for managing and projects teams
If you’re managing virtual team members in different locations; multiple projects with multiple tasks; different task owners with different deadlines; it would be pretty cool not to go absolutely mental.
Slack can help limit the chaos by providing fluid communication with your team and easy sharing of resources, documents, links etc…
5) Couch to 10k – for getting the blood pumping & creative juices flowing
You might not associate running with productivity, but intentional physical movement each day pumps you up, improves your confidence, increases your capacity, inspires creativity & builds momentum.
Before you say it, yes, you do have time. Bringing daily exercise into your routine is a great way to stay disciplined and shape that entrepreneurial mindset. The couch to 10k app sets a solid goal to work towards, pushing you outside your comfort zone and building stamina. If you’re not a runner, football, yoga, swimming, dancing in your front room works just as well.
6) MyfitnessPal – for fuelling you for success
Never has the maxim ‘you are what you eat’ been more true. It is scientifically proven that what we eat affects our emotions, mood, behaviour and subsequent actions. MyfitnessPal allows you to track what your daily diet. This isn’t about losing weight or dieting. It has everything to do with being mindful about what you’re putting into your body.
You can set nutrition goals (set macros goals with an online calculator) to can track how much protein, carbohydrates and sugars you’re getting. This will help avoid those spikes and slumps in energy, focus & mood that make you want to have a nap in the afternoon.
7) Freshbooks – for all your financial management needs
There’s possibly no sadder place to be, than sitting in front of an excel spreadsheet, surrounded by screwed up receipts the day before your tax return is due. Save yourself time and heartache by keeping track as you go. The Freshbooks mobile app allows you to record your expenses on the move, track time spent on tasks if you charge out your time by the hour, create invoices and generate reports in a flash.
8) Kill Newsfeed – for reclaiming your life from the clutches of Facebook
The average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks every day, accounting for 28% of the total time spent on the internet. Some people can control their social media addictions, for others, it’s a huge drain on their productivity. If you’re one of the latter, try using this chrome extension which blocks your access to Facebook out of unscheduled hours.
9) Pocket – for collecting inspiration
Want a place to store all those amazing articles, images, inspirations for re-posts you discover across the web? “Put them all in your pocket” to review when you have more time. You can organise by theme hashtags.
To avoid the overspill of ideas in your ‘pocket’ be sure to review your content on a weekly basis; using or losing the ideas you’ve collected.
10) Hubspot Email Tracking – for following up over email in style.
Building connections is the lifeblood of any thriving startup entrepreneur. If you’re communicating with potential clients, customers or building prospective partnerships via email, following up on proposals can be a tightrope walk between being ‘proactive’ and plain old stalking.
The Hubspot sales email plugin allows you to schedule email sends. Even though you wrote the email at 02:46 you can schedule it to send at 09:06, like a sane person, effortlessly easing into their working day. What’s more, you can see when the recipient has opened it, enabling you to follow up by phone / email again at the same time. What a coincidence!
What tools do you use to make your day easier? Tell us in the comments.
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