22nd March 2018 Claire Hawes

Getting jobs done: My 5 favourite productivity tools

So much to do. So little time. Thank goodness for the productivity tools that keep me on track and help me get more done in a day. Here are my top 5.

I run my copywriting business from home. I’ve also got two young children and a dog to add to my hectic daily schedule. So I rely on a good Internet connection and time-saving productivity tools to help me get my essential tasks done.

From project management through to timekeeping and security, I’ve got apps for that.  Here’s a list of five of my favourite productivity tools:

When I need to manage my day and multiple projects

Productivity app Trello

I’ve a variety of different clients. So I need to keep track of what I’m working on and where projects sit in my copywriting business process.

Trello is an excellent visual app that helps me do this. On it, I’ve set up a job management board. Here I can easily drag and drop projects and get a bird’s eye view of their progress.

Better still, Trello assigns email addresses to each project. This means when I receive important emails, I can email them to my project cards. So instead of having to trawl through my inbox folders, I can quickly find reference materials.

One more thing I love about Trello is my ability to assign dates to projects. A calendar view shows me what I need to do each day and helps me manage my time.

When the clock is ticking, and I need to meet a deadline

Productivity app: Pomodoro technique

Do you ever end a day thinking I’ve got nothing to show for my efforts?

Or if you have a deadline to meet, do you panic about the time needed to get jobs done?

At such times, Pomodoro is my saviour. Pomodoro lets me split my day into manageable 25-minute time slots. It also forces me to take a five-minute break between tasks.

Pomodoro may be a simple timer, but it’s astonishing how much its quiet tick, tick, tick focuses your mind.

You’ll also be surprised by how energising a simple five-minute turn around a room between tasks is.

In fact, I’m using Pomodoro now. With it, I know I’ll finish the first draft of this post before lunchtime.

When you think: ‘I’ve read that somewhere; where did I file it?’

Productivity app: Evernote

Every day I read useful information on topics I don’t need to know about now but know they’ll be helpful in the future.

Information can be anything from useful technology hacks. through to copywriting inspiration and best slime recipes. (You need to be a parent of a ‘tween’ to understand the vital importance of the latter one!)

Evernote lets me clip web pages, PDFs and images, and store them in an organised manner.  Storage and retrieval of reference information are quick and easy, as I can sync Evernote across my devices.

When I can’t remember my passwords

Productivity app: pwSafe

You know it’s not a good idea to use the name of your first pet as the password for all your online services. What’s more, you know secure passwords need to be impenetrable.

But with every service you use requiring a password, how on earth do you remember them?

Here’s where a password manager app can help. I use PWSafe. One master password gives me access to a super-secure vault. Here I can group and categorise my passwords for easy retrieval.

When I need to put on my professional face

Productivity tool: Canva

While I would always recommend hiring a graphic designer to take your brand values and build your visual identity, in today’s digital world, you often need to create visuals.

Canva lets me create professional and engaging content quickly. Better still, I don’t need design skills to do this. In particular, I use Canva for my daily social media posts and blog banners.

In fact, you can use Canva to create virtually any marketing communication you produce.

And finally

I’m always interested in hearing about time-saving and cost-effective productivity tools. So do let me know what productivity tools you use to save you time and keep you on track in your business.

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content BoutiqueAbout Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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