5 productivity tools to maximise your time

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Time. There’s just never enough of it, is there? Feeling out of sorts or unproductive can destroy your work day. Even if you have a productive morning, sometimes the after-lunch slump can zap any energy you have left. Luckily, we’ve rounded up some of the best tech around to help you stay focused and manage your time. Prep for success by blocking social media websites and using word processors that are dedicated to keeping you on task.

Calmly Writer
The best way to set yourself up to get things done is a distraction-free environment. Old reliable word processors like Microsoft Word have complicated menu bars and pop-ups with suggestions, which can derail your concentration, especially when grappling with word choice. Those things don’t matter when your goal is to get the words down and edit later.

Calmly Writer’s main purpose is to help you keep your eyes on the prize, with a menu bar that disappears into the top when you start typing. You can even use a mode that lets you focus only on your current paragraph, so you aren’t even distracted by what you’ve previously written. While it does have formatting tools, they are pared down to keep the interface simple and clean. It even has a “dark mode” if you prefer, with a fully black background and white text. It’s just you and your words. Simple.

RescueTime
If you can’t help but get into a debate that drags on for hours every time you log into Facebook or Twitter, it’s time to consider an application that blocks those websites during the day. RescueTime is the tool every person who is a bit too invested in their social media accounts needs.

This is a great tool not just for blocking websites, but to also find out where all of your time is going. RescueTime works in the background, so you can set the times each website is blocked without even noticing. It also keeps data on how much time you’re spending on each website, which keeps you informed on what you really should be blocking during work time. It can also tell you your most productive hours of the day, and even your best and worst days of the week.

Grammarly
Let’s face it, we can all use a helping hand to ensure we are following all of the grammar rules. If you haven’t got a grammar whiz around, Grammarly is there to help. It’s an AI tool that looks at how you can better structure your sentences, as well as checking your spelling, verb choice, tenses, and punctuation.

Grammarly even identifies the passive voice to help ensure you keep your writing interesting. If you work remotely like I do, it’s helpful to use a tool like this when someone may not necessarily be around to edit your work. It certainly isn’t a replacement, but it keeps things moving, so your writing moves faster than before.

Zenkit
If you’re struggling to make sense of everything you’ve got on your plate, a Kanban board is perfect for organising your tasks at every stage of completion. No matter what type of project you’re working on, you can make the boards work for you. Easily move your task from ‘idea’, to ‘doing’, to ‘done’. It’s a great tool to visualize the work you have and give yourself a pat on the back for all the work you’ve finished. Go you!

LastPass
How many hours have been lost trying to work out a password to an account? Ultimately being locked out, where you end up wasting even more time with a password reset? If you manage many accounts at once, (which I’m sure the majority of us do), LastPass is your best tool for managing your passwords. It utilises multifactor authentication, with access granted only with your master password, securing all of your login data in one place.

BY KATHERINE HUGHES, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMS.