Top 10 Web-based Apps to Increase ProductivityKathleen Celmins
There’s so much to do, and only so much time to do it, right?
We’re all busy people. We work, we go home, we try to socialize sometimes, and keep our sanity.
I’ve looked into it — there’s no way to have more hours in the day. We get what we get, so we need to maximize our productivity. If we stopped procrastinating, then we’d be more likely to get a lot done throughout the day!
So, let’s talk about the top web-based apps to increase productivity. Any app that saves time will increase productivity, right? Here are the ten best that I’ve used. I’d love to hear your feedback, though — I could always use a new suggestion!
Top 10 Web-based Apps to Increase Productivity 1 of 11
1. Asana – the Best To-Do List 2 of 11
Asana is great for group to-do lists. You can assign tasks, you can mark things complete, you can ask for follow-up, and it will email you when you have a task that's nearly due. This works for meal planning, grocery shopping, prioritizing work tasks, and collaborating with friends. It's great.
Image via Asana
2. Stay Focused – Chrome Extension 3 of 11
Are you someone who, when faced with a difficult task, logs into Facebook "just for a minute" to distract yourself? Oh, good, so I'm not alone! Stay Focused is a Chrome extension that tracks your time on websites. It's easy to set up, too, so if you're like me, you'd block Facebook. The app will give you a five-minute warning, and after you've hit your quota (ten minutes for the whole day!) you'll see a blank screen that says, "Hey! Shouldn't you be working?"
Image via Stay Focused
3. Unroll.me – Reduces Inbox Clutter 4 of 11
I didn't even realize how many emails I get every day until I heard about Unroll.me. The app scans your inbox, tells you how many email lists you're on, then lets you decide. Do you want to one-click unsubscribe, or roll it up? When you decide to roll it up, it will send you a daily digest of the emails you like. It opens up online, then you can scroll through it, and delete just the one email when you're done.
Image via Unroll.me
4. The Email Game 5 of 11
Is your inbox unruly? Do you have more than 20 emails sitting there? Play the email game! This app gives you 30 seconds to blow through your emails -- it will even add a line to the bottom of your emails saying, "sorry for the brevity, playing the email game!"
I like to play this every once in a while, when my inbox starts to creep past one page. This helps build a habit of responding to emails, though, because you see how easy it is to clean out your inbox!
Image via The Email Game
5. Yesware – Chrome Extension 6 of 11
Yesware is a Chrome extension that lets you save emails as templates. If your job is customer-facing, you're often responding to the same several questions over and over again. Get the wording right, just once, then save it, repeat it, and send templated emails that look really personal. This app is geared toward salespeople, so there are different stages (though I think you can change those categories). It'll help you play the email game!
Image: my Yesware extension in my inbox
6. Boomerang – Chrome Extension 7 of 11
Boomerang is another great tool for following up. If you're trying to keep your inbox clear, but you need to follow up with someone in a few weeks, you can simply boomerang it. Boomerang allows you to send emails later. For example, I recently needed a coworker to follow up with someone next Tuesday. We work in a fast-paced environment, so we were stumped as to how she'd remember to follow up. So, I sent an email yesterday asking her to follow up, but it won't be sent until Tuesday. Brilliant! This also lets you click a button so that you can follow up with someone if you haven't heard from them yet.
Image via Boomerang
7. Progress Bar Timer – Chrome Extension 8 of 11
If you're a visual person, you can set progress bars to see how you're doing. This works for me, depending on the task.
8. Week Plan – Chrome Extension 9 of 11
Week plan combines your to-do lists with your calendar so you end up seeing exactly when you'll get things done. I like this, because it's a great way to see if you really can do all the things you think you can do in a week (and usually, you can't) and you can adjust and set more reasonable goals going forward.
Image via Week Plan
9. Google Calendar 10 of 11
It doesn't get much simpler than this. As you can see in this picture, I'm a pro-user of Google Calendar. I knew things were serious when I shared (and gave editing rights!) to my fiance on this thing. It organizes my work day, my blog posts, my social calendar, everything.
Google calendar integrates with my phone, too, so if I put the address of the place I'm going, Google will buzz me at the right time based on my location and the traffic.
10. Dropbox 11 of 11
If you're not using Dropbox yet, you're missing out on always being able to access your documents no matter where you go or what computer you use. I love it because I can always get to the things that matter, and I'm a lot less concerned about my computers when they start to act up. There's a downloadable part that makes it look like just another folder on your computer, but there's also a website you can always access should you need a cute picture of your dog, for example.
Image via Dropbox