If you work at a computer all day, you likely struggle with the call of distractions.
Rather than let the internet kill your productivity, make it work for you.
We’ve collected some of the best free online resources to save you time and streamline your work day.
This is an update of an article originally written by Maggie Zhang.
As a busy person, you don't want your inbox clogged with spam. When you sign up for Unroll.Me, you'll find a list of all your subscription emails. Unsubscribe instantly from whatever you don't want. For the subscriptions you want to keep, the software will 'roll' them into one message so you can see them at a glance every day instead of reading through dozens of emails.
Evernote is a cloud-backed workspace that you can use across all of your devices. It's customisable to your needs: Use it for your to-do lists, a place to easily access documents and images, and a research log. Business Insider's Nicholas Carlson even used it to write his book, 'Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo.'
IFTTT (If This Then That) coordinates activities among your apps without you having to. With IFTTT, you create 'recipes' that automate actions like tweeting out a photo every time you post it to Instagram or sending a greeting email when you add a new contact.
You probably come across articles or links during your workday that seem useful, but that you don't have time for at the moment. Use Pocket to save them to the cloud and check them out when you get a chance. And because they're already downloaded, you can catch up on your online reading even when you're underground on the subway.
Sometimes you just need someone to push you to develop a new habit or break a bad one. If you're looking to start sleeping better, develop a better workflow, or start exercising daily, you can use Coach.me's free instructions and message boards for hundreds of topics. And if you want to take it to the next level, you can pay $US15 for a coach who will check in with you every day to make sure you're sticking to your goals.
RescueTime tracks how much time you spend on certain websites, apps, and working. You can check your progress daily, and each week you'll get a report breaking down this data in charts. You'll also get a productivity score that you can work on improving.
A Kanban board is a simple way to visualise your work progress. It consists of columns that represent the stages of a project, with individual tasks listed on a note that is moved from one column to the next. Instead of using white boards filled with Post-It notes, try KanbanFlow's intuitive interface.
If you're someone who works best with some background noise but can't stand the hum of white noise generators and get distracted by music, you may want to give Coffitivity a shot. It replicates the sound of a coffee shop to achieve the sweet spot between calm and commotion.
Used to its full potential, instant messaging service Slack can help teams stay up-to-date with an inflow of tasks through group chats and a tool for sending files quickly and easily. Perhaps most importantly, it allows you to customise your notifications so that you're only jumping into it when you have to.
Slack offers a basic service for free and its full product through a subscription service for businesses.
Pomodoro is Italian for 'tomato,' and it refers to the tomato-shaped cooking timer Francesco Cirillo used as a college student. His popular technique consists of breaking work down into 25-minute bursts of intense work followed by a five-minute break. Moosti is an incredibly simple way to use the technique while you work.
TweetDeck helps to streamline your Twitter use. It allows you to see in real time a flow of tweets from the people and organisations you follow, along with your mentions and customised lists. You can also schedule tweets in advance, so that you don't have to interrupt your daily workflow.
Things can start to get difficult when you're trying to determine a meeting time that doesn't interfere with anyone's schedule. You can use Doodle to identify a few potential windows of time for the meeting, and ask everyone else to identify which times work for them, making it easier to find the time that works for everyone.
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