Top 10 productivity tools and tips

In the days before the internet, productivity was a slow process requiring manual input and long-form mathematics. The internet has changed all that and is getting better all the time. So, what are the top 10 productivity boosters for 2018?

1. Invest in a keyboard

Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time looking at screens, using keyboards to enter data. So, investing in a decent keyboard makes a lot of sense. Mechanical keyboards are having a bit of a renaissance but if you type a lot, there’s no better device to do it on.

2. Check your accounting software

Most businesses have adopted business accounting software programs, but what are the best ones out there? PC Magazine compares the 10 best accounting software programs for 2018, with picks including Intuit, Wave and AccountEdge Pro. But have a look at the others too.

3. Get a wireless headset

We all know that if you use the phone a lot, you need a headset. Wireless headsets are convenient to use and prevent the dreaded ‘head yank’ when you get up from your desk without unplugging. Forbes tested 30 headsets and picked the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC as the overall winner – but as always, it’s worth testing a couple of options to see which device will suit your business best.

4. Track your time

Productivity means using your time wisely. Lifehack recommends 15 time-management apps and tools that should make it easy to track your time without wasting it. Their top pick is Rescue Time, which sends weekly reports that reveal what’s really stealing your time.

5. Boost your sole-proprietor business

Entrepreneur lists 10 productivity tools for sole proprietors, one of which is Due, a tool that allows you to process payments online. The author believes Due is easier to use than many other digital wallets, but as a sole proprietor you still have customers to think about. There are other listed tools that can help you communicate with customers and speed up productivity.

6. Guard against burnout

If you’re too productive, you run the risk of burnout. That’s why Entrepreneur endorses Focus Booster. Focus Booster works on the Pomodoro Technique, which suggests taking a five-minute break after 25 minutes of work. The idea is to clear the mind during the break, increase focus and improve productivity.

7. Stop procrastinating

Last year, Time compiled a list of five tricks to boost your productivity. One of the gadgets mentioned is a StayFocusd app available on Chrome. This app will allow you to set time limits on various websites. 10 minutes is the default, but if you tend to linger on Google Hangouts or other time-wasting programs, the extension will make any website unavailable after 10 minutes.

8. Organise your work – and your team

Coordinating projects – for yourself and your team – is critical. Choosing the right app, with the right features, will go a long way towards boosting your productivity. From mobile apps to full-blown team and project management software, it’s an investment that will pay for itself in no time.

9. Manage your files

Cloud storage and file sharing is the bedrock of any business. From Dropbox to Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, there are plenty of options for storage and collaboration, with backup, security, document recovery and mobile apps to boot.

10. The best of 2017

CRN’s list of the 10 coolest apps of 2017 is well worth a look. From scanning and printing to file management and monitors, there’s something here for everyone.