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At one time, day planners were the backbone of the busy executive’s schedule. Everything was passed through the daily planner, which was carried with the executive everywhere.
Today’s day planner is only as far away as the executive’s cell phone. Yet, productivity tools are only as good as the person who uses them. But you don’t have to have a fancy smartphone to find tools that can make you more productive at work. While a couple of the below apps are more helpful if you can use them on a mobile device, some are as old-fashioned as the items office workers used in the pre-smartphone era.
5 Useful Tools for Staying Productive at Work
This handy app puts everything in one place—your files, your notes, even pictures you see in magazines. Think of it as a handy place to store your thoughts. It also works well if you collaborate with others on projects.
Chances are you use Outlook to manage your e-mail. If so, you have a very effective productivity tool already installed on your computer. Input your meetings on your calendar and set reminders to go off with sufficient notice to get you there in time. Use Outlook’s reminders to keep you on track with your daily tasks.
Lists can easily become unmanageable, but ReQall puts all your lists in one place. The best part of ReQall is its voice recognition feature. Tell ReQall what you want it to remember or add to one of your lists and it’ll be there. All you have to say is “buy milk” and ReQall puts milk on your grocery list. It’s like your own personal assistant.
Nothing beats a white board and markers. Have one prominently displayed in your workspace and use it to keep yourself on track. Whether you list your major projects and their statuses or draw diagrams of your current workflow, you’ll find that a white board holds you accountable.
If you find yourself constantly checking e-mails during the day or getting up when you need to stay seated and work on a project, consider using a traditional kitchen egg timer to keep yourself on track. Promise yourself you’ll stay at your desk, focused on the task, until the egg timer goes off. You’ll find you get much more done as the egg timer helps make you more disciplined.
Whether you use new technology or traditional ideas, the key is to find what works for you. By being more productive, you’ll have greater success in your career and find you accomplish more and feel less stressed.
Stock photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Stephanie Faris writes for Criminal Justice Degree Schools, a career site for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the criminal justice field from paralegal to blood spatter analyst.