Sometimes, staying productive and getting work done can be hard. You get distracted, you lose interest or, in many cases, you get hat 2 p.m.-slump where your brain just won’t work anywhere. If you’re like me, you’re also operating off-site, which can often make collaborating and working with the rest of the team even more trying.
But no matter how hard we try, we all get unproductive at times. Thankfully, for our benefit and our clients, we’ve found some pretty amazing tools that help keep us on track, focused, and working together cohesively – no matter what time it is or where we’re located.
Do you ever have a hard time staying productive at your office?
Want to learn to work better with your teammates and improve collaboration? Here are some of our favorite productivity and collaboration tools we use to get the job done:
This our most-used tool, and the one we use to track each and every project we manage. All of our clients are loaded in, our task lists, our milestones and all our ideas and expectations. We use it to post files, update clients and colleagues with status reports and, of course, work together to complete line items for our clients and customers. It has a built-in tool that will automatically email anyone on the project when a task, file or message is uploaded, which makes it great for working together in real-time and in different locations.
A personal favorite of mine, Todoist is like a giant honey-do list. You load in all your daily tasks, chores and projects, you set deadlines, and you keep track of them throughout the day. If you have recurring tasks (like say, a blog post due every Friday), you can even set a schedule for those items, so they appear automatically in your daily feed. I love Todoist because it replaces my age-old habit of putting sticky notes all over my computer and desk, and it leaves me feeling more organized and on track.
Slack is a great messaging app that allows our team to communicate in real-time. Using our phones, we simply open the app, choose a channel or colleague, and type a message. It gets delivered immediately, and the recipient is notified on their end. This makes working remotely extremely easy, and it’s perfect for when people are away on vacation, grabbing lunch or just running late. We’re able to ask questions on the fly and ensure we’re getting the info we need to get our jobs done.
When you have as many clients as we do, you start to build up a pretty lengthy database of passwords. Instead of trying to recall all those from memory, writing them down or storing them in a vulnerable Word doc, LastPass gives us a way to keep all those passwords in one centralized, secure place. It’s extremely helpful, and it saves us tons of time and headache.
Ommwriter is my savior. When I’m getting distracted by Facebook, The Washington Post or any other windows open on my computer, I open up Ommwriter for a clean, clear and open space to write in. Ommwriter offers up a totally blank slate, consuming your screen and cutting out all other windows and documents. It also allows you to choose from a number of relaxing backgrounds and audio tracks to really get yourself into writing mode.
Invision is a cool app we use when presenting design ideas for our clients. It allows them to scroll through our designs and looks for each individual page, and they even have the ability to add comments and concerns where they see fit. It makes the design process much simpler, easier and more streamlined overall.
Have you tried any of these tools for yourself? Are there any additional tools you’d add to the list? If so, I’d love to hear about them, so head to the comments and share!