"I'm Struggling To Get Things Done..." - My Top 8 Productivity Tools

In this post I'm covering my top productivity tools, which I think is going to be super helpful for you, especially if you've been struggling a little bit lately with your productivity coming into the end of the year and hoping to maybe make the most of the next couple of months before 2020 rolls in. Which just sounds absolutely crazy, I can't believe we're already at 2020 but we are! These tools are actually something that I shared with my Wealthy Wellpreneurs group over the last week. We were talking a lot about productivity and I shared my top eight tools that I really rely on. I basically just whipped out my phone and looked at the apps that I'm always using to just help me to be more efficient and more effective in the work that I do. I thought why not share it with all of you as well?!

I know that it was helpful for them and will be helpful for you as well. You might already be using some of these in your every day, but I really just wanted to share what my top tools are and if there's maybe one in that list that you haven't thought about, then hopefully that can help to amp up your productivity and turn you into a productivity powerhouse. So let's jump into my eight productivity tools for today. And these are ones that I have used for quite awhile and some of them have really only been in probably the last six months, but they have made such a huge impact to my productivity. In around March this year, I did a huge overhaul of how I was structuring a lot of things in my schedule and in my businesses.

As you know, if you're a longtime listener, I have more businesses than just one Wellbeing Weekly. I'm sort of trying to juggle that and make sure that I'm spreading my time in a way that works for my businesses, but also works for me and ensures that I have time for myself or my self-care for things that I enjoy doing as well. And that is the aim of this podcast is being able to have a business that doesn't sacrifice your wellbeing, your relationships, or your life goals.
1. Calendar - It's my number one go-to. And that is just the native calendar app in the iPhone. You can go to your calendar app on your iPhone and you'll be able to see like your day view and then you can also turn your iPhone to the side and it will become a week view.And you can also look at months. But I just use day and week basically. I put absolutely everything into my calendar app. I put my whole to do list. I basically segment my to-do list out as calendar chunks and I allocate time blocks for each task. I have walk the dog every day. I have my yoga classes for the week, I have driving time. So if I have an event or I have a made up with a friend or something like that, I've even allocated time for driving. I'm pretty, OCD with it only because I am so intentional with my time. I want to really be mapping it out in a way that works for me and I want to know where all of my time is going during an average week. And so this is what I use for my calendar. Essentially I brain dump everything in there so that it doesn't have to stay on my mind. My mind and my brain can be open for, you know, just general thinking and creativity and it's not bogged down by trying to remember all of the things that I have to get done. So I open this app like 50 times a day. I go to sleep looking at it and like working out what I need to prioritize for the week, what I need to be focusing on for the next day, getting clear on my intention for the following day, all of that stuff. And yeah, this is where all of my basic, I guess my life is within this calendar. If I left the house without that phone, I wouldn't know what to do with myself probably. I have even updated and got a new phone, which is not an iPhone and I still carry the two phones around at this stage because I have so much in that iPhone calendar app and the new phone that I have, the calendar apps just not as good. Like I have color coding for everything and the new phone just doesn't have that, which has kind of meant that I'm now carrying two phones around. But that's okay because I love my calendar app on my iPhone so much that I'm willing to do that.

2. Google Calendar - I use this for a different reason. I use Google calendar for Wellbeing Weekly, for more of a business promotional perspective. So I actually use it to plan out all of my launch phases, all of the promotional periods within my business so that I can say the big monthly map up on the screen and I can see exactly what things I need to be doing for that month or what I need to be considering in the lead up to a promotional period. I'll have things like pre launches and launches for the year. I'll have any like flash sales or bonus weekends or anything like that that I'm thinking about running. And then I'll just have my everyday general tasks, marketing and content strategy so it'll be things like my podcast episodes and it will be things like any particular social media posts that I want to share or any ideas that sort of come to me around content I can put into that calendar as more of a promotional content calendar. Google calendar is free. You can set that up yourself. You can actually have different calendars within Google calendar. So you might set up one calendar just as your promotional launch or your promotional side of your business. And then you might have your own personal calendar within Google calendar as well. You can definitely do that, but I have just used the iPhone calendar for so long that that's where I keep like my personal day to day stuff.

3. Trello - Trello is a free software. It's an account you can have on your computer or you can also download the app as well to your phone. And it's essentially like a project management planning tool. It's similar to things like Asana, if you've heard of that before. And I really only got onto Trello earlier this year. I had heard about it and I probably didn't really have much of a need for it because a lot of my planning and things like that wasn't as extravagant I guess as it is now. And I have more recently this year being really into Trello. I've been using it as a workflow system. All of my systems, maps and launch processes and my Wealthy Wellpreneurs program are all mapped out in Trello. The really good thing with traveler is it's a very visual tool. The way that it works is you can create a board and you'll have different topics that will be listed at the top of the board along horizontally. And then you can add little notes under each topic. It kind of starts looking like a vertical strips of information, if that makes sense. It's kind of hard for me to explain verbally, but it is a very visual tools so you can actually see all of the things that you've mapped out and you can drag and drop things. You can put due dates. It's just so powerful when you really use it to its full potential, you can share it with people. So I actually have a board for my virtual assistant where I've set up the workflow that I would like her to work through and I have all of the details of the tasks that I would like support with and then I've shared that with her and she just simply goes in once it's updated and she works on those tasks, ticks them off and then moved them into the folder that says completed. It's really easy. It's a really great way to collaborate with people. Even if you have other team members or maybe a business partner or any like project management, you can share your board and work on it at the same time together. It's also really great for mapping out any programs, any courses, any launch promotions, anything like that. Because again, you can kind of say it all out. You can tick it off. It's very lovely how it's all presented and I just absolutely love it and it's actually very similar to if anyone knows of Amy Porterfield talking about the post-it note method. When she talks about planning out a course, she would say put like the modules on a post-it note across the top of your wall and then under each module put post it notes with each lesson or like all the ideas that you've thought about and you can post-it note them under the module that would fit you know best. And this is kind of the post-it note version digitized and that's why I love it cause you can drag and job, you can make whenever you want. It's all there saved. You can go in and out as you please and you don't have to use a whole bunch of post it notes all over your wall. Definitely get onto Trello. I absolutely love it and it's like my go-to recommendation for productivity because you can really see what you're doing, you can tick it off, you can move it to different columns once it's finished and the beauty of it is when you're ready to outsource, maybe when you're ready to hire a team member or a virtual assistant or get some support, you can simply share those workflows because you've already set them up.
4. Calendly - This is an online appointment software so people are able to go into your online calendar and essentially book an appointment with you without having to do all of the back and forth emails without having to call you up and ask when you're available. You know all of that stuff that comes with making an appointment. This is really great for increasing productivity, especially if you are someone making your own appointments with clients or customers or even if you do have reception, it's actually going to save them time because then they're going to be stuck on the phone or emails going back and forth trying to work out the perfect time. So all you do in Calendly is set up a calendar and an appointment option. So for you, this might be a client appointment, it could be a podcast appointment, anything that you know you're offering as a service and you can then send your calendar link to people and it will take them straight to the options that are available and they can book it in and confirm it or with their email and it will then come through and notify you that you have a new appointment. I use Calendly for all of the appointments in my business or all of my client sessions are book through Calendly. Any consults that I do with potential clients are through Calendly, any podcast guests that I have can book a time with me through Calendly so that it suits them. Even things like research calls maybe where I've spoken to people just for research purposes, I've just created a Calendly link with a 15 minute free call and they can go in and book it when it suits them and it just saves that back and forth. It's super simple, it's very intuitive and it just makes the whole process of appointment booking easier, especially with clients or potential clients because the last thing you want to do is have this bottleneck when it comes to booking a time to speak to you and they end up just thinking it's too hard and they don't bother. You really want to make this process as simple as possible. I even know in my own personal life, I've had times, you know, I'm thinking about my hairdresser even. I went in to book a hairdressing appointment for this week and I had to go to their website, find their phone number, call them up, ask them what times were then work out in my head. Am I free on that day or am I free on that day? Then I couldn't get in for an extra week and it just felt really clunky to me and I just thought, I wish I could just go to your website and book it myself and pick a time in like five minutes that suits me. So a lot of service professionals are integrating online booking systems within their websites and if you are a sole provider of your service, I would definitely recommend thinking about this. It saves you time, it saves your client's time and it just makes the whole process more streamline.

5. Planoly - This is a social media tool where you can essentially plan out your social media content specifically for Instagram, but I think it now covers Facebook and Pinterest has just been introduced as well. There are a lot of features within this one software and really it lets you upload photos and write out the captions that you would like to include for that photo and you can save it. You can also look at scheduling it for specific times. This is great if you don't have a lot of time for social media, you can maybe allocate an hour on a Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening and map out your content for the whole week, save it, and then it is done for the week and it's scheduled too. You know that you're going to be posting a photo each day, but you don't have to actually sit there every day and work out “what am I going to post, what am I going to say?” It's already done. You've already batched it all up, which is a great use of your time for productivity and it's all good to go. The way that I also use this as well is sometimes transferring captions from my computer to my phone. I'll have things that I've written in a Facebook group or on a blog post or something like that and it's not easily accessible for me on my phone to put that into a caption. What I'll do is go into Planoly on my computer and I'll like copy and paste that information and work it into a caption in Planoly and save it. Then when I go to Planoly on my phone app, I can just copy and paste that straight into Instagram and it just makes it a little bit easier because I've been able to kind of structure it in the way that I would like, I guess it's easier for me sometimes on my computer screen because it's obviously a lot larger and I can kind of just conceptualize what I'm trying to say versus having to write it all through Instagram. I know that a lot of social media managers use this and work with like a range of clients managing their social media accounts and they do rely on Planoly for this. So have a look at that if you're interested. I think it's a really great tool.

6. Dropbox - The next one's a little bit similar in how I use it and that is Dropbox. Many of you have probably heard of Dropbox, but I wanted to include it because the way that I use it for productivity is I have it set up on my computer and I have it as an app on my phone and I primarily use it for transferring information from my phone to my computer rather than having to plug in USBs or plug in my phone cord or you know, all of that kind of stuff. It literally takes like 2 seconds to, you know, send a photo from my phone to my computer and is super simple. That’s the main reason I use Dropbox. If I'm editing graphics in Photoshop on my computer and the photo that I've taken is on my phone, I just quickly drop it into Dropbox and then it's on my computer in about two seconds. Super easy. The other way I use Dropbox as well is when I have very large files, so maybe things like client recordings of their session or something like that. I actually use Dropbox as well as a file like add file transfer. You can create a link to the file in Dropbox and you can send your clients or your customers that link and they'll be able to click that and then go in and access there. Whether it's like a proposal or a recording or you know, any kind of large file like that, there'll be able to access that and download it for themselves. It's also helpful in that respect. If you do have any files or things like that that you're sharing with people, any like high res photos or videos or recordings or anything like that. I find it really helpful too.

7.Upwork - is a freelance or software where essentially you can go on and post a job that you need to be completed and freelancers will then essentially apply for that role and explain a little bit about why they think they'd be a great fit for that job. And you are then able to pick and hire a freelancer to complete that work for you. And it has grown significantly over the years and there's pretty much everything you would want to find on there in terms of freelancers. If you had things like logo creation or you needed some help with your web design or you needed someone to do some editing or some graphic designs or anything like that, you can post a job about that and you'll be able to find people that will be able to support you with it. I've used Upwork for a lot of things. I've used it to find editors for my podcast episodes. My virtual assistant was through Upwork. I've used it for web design issues. I've used it for coding and speeding up my website. I have used it for lots and lots of things. It's really a low cost effective way to hire people to do the jobs that maybe you're not so good at yourself or if you just don't have the time to do them yourself, you can get support without having to hire a whole team member.

8. Spotify - is an app on your phone, you can get a desktop version as well. But it is essentially a music software where you can play music, you can create your own playlists to listen to throughout your day. It's kind of like the new iTunes basically and you can go in and stream the music that you want. I use Spotify to specifically get me into productive states and flow states. I'm very reliant on music. I find music really helps me to shift my mood and my energy. And so I use Spotify as a tool for productivity. I have a playlist that covers things like classical music or music that you don't know the words to basically. And it just plays in the background and switches off all of the distractions around you. All of the noise that might be happening, whether you're at home or maybe you're in a cafe or maybe you're at like a coworking space or an office. It really helps me to just switch off completely and you can just search focused music and it will bring up playlists that other people have created as well. And you can just save them to your account. I also have a playlist all about, I call it power up and it's all like upbeat, empowering songs like pop songs and stuff like that, Beyonce, Pink, all that kind of stuff just to get me in a really positive vibe. If I'm feeling a bit sluggish in the morning or I'm just maybe not feeling a task and feeling like I'm kind of in a negative headspace, I'll just go and play that playlist straight away and I'm all automatically like bopping around ready to go and get the task done. Maybe consider if there are any ways that you can kind of use music to help you with productivity and flow and maybe look at creating some playlist. It's free to create playlists on the base level and you just shuffle through them and yeah, hopefully it will allow you to feel like it is energizing you or it's getting you into that real flow state.It's cutting out distractions and noise around you. It's cutting out the likelihood of interruptions. So my partner knows where my headphones are in, I'm in work mode. Do not start talking to me about the latest TV show or the latest Facebook ad or dog video that you saw. I just want to focus and that's kind of my way of indicating that I don't want to be interrupted. I mean I think we're starting to see that more as a society. If people have their headphones in, you generally know that they're not really interested in chatting, so you might be able to use that as well as an indication that I'm switched on. I'm in work mode and I'm in focus flow mode, so don't disturb the pace. So those are my eight tools that I use for productivity pretty much on a daily basis.

Hopefully they might be able to help you even if there's just one that maybe you haven't heard of before that you might be able to start playing around with and introduce into your schedule. It might make all the difference to your productivity and the amount of work that you are able to get done. So let me know if you have any productivity tools that you rely on that you swear by. You can find me over on Instagram at wellbeing weekly where you can share in the comments and you can send me a direct message and let me know. And I would also love if you would share this episode with anyone that you think needs a little productivity boost and some support with their business. As I've said before, so many women's or many men are struggling sometimes behind the scenes of their business and not in a position to be able to talk about it, not feeling like they're able to seek support or reach out to others.If you can share the love and help someone to find this podcast and get some support with how they're managing their business and their life and you know, be more productive, be able to focus more on themselves and their own wellbeing and how their business fits into their life in a sustainable and manageable way, then that could mean all the difference to somebody else. Share the love. You can share a screenshot on your Instagram and tag me @wellbeingweekly. You can share the link to the podcast as well in messages or wherever you want to share them and you might make a difference to somebody else's day.

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