Today I want to talk about productivity. For those who don’t know my background, I decided to quit my job on a design studio on September 2013 and start my freelancing journey as Heartmade.es.
That’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever done on my entire life, but as mostly everything it has its pros and cons. And one of the biggest cons is that you need to learn to plan your time and be productive by yourself.
Sometimes isn’t easy to wake up early in the morning and start working. We tend to decorate our homes with cozy elements to feel comfortable on it, so the sofa, TV and fridge are temptations that we need to avoid when we work from home.
During the years I’ve developed my own productivity system. You can read about my morning ritual here, you may find out new interesting techniques. But today I want to focus on free tools and apps that we can use to stay focused and be more productive.
This is an amazing app that keeps track of all the work you do on your computer. With their information and diagrams you can easily notice where do you spend more time and if you are having a productive day or not. Try it for a week and see what happens. Do you find yourself spending many time on entertainment websites? Check my article about procrastination on the Maker Academy blog to learn how to stop procrastinating.
2) Tomato One
I like to use this app, but there are a lot online that you don’t even need to download and install on your computer. What I like about using a timer is that it helps me work with Pomodoros. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you may want to read this blog post where I explain what is the Pomodoro Technique and how to use it.
This is my favorite so far!
Do you find an interesting article online? Just save it in Evernote.
Do you have an idea for your next project? Create a note.
Do you need a place to write without distractions? Use Evernote.
Quick checklist? Guess where… Evernote.
You can create folders to organize your notes and articles, and even share it with other users to work together.
And what’s best is that you can synchronize it with all your devices, so if you are out in a dinner and have an idea; you just need to open your phone and write it down.
Oh! And I almost forget… It autosaves!! YAAAAY, never loose your work because you forget to Ctrl+S!
This is an update written in 2020:
For the past years I’ve tried several apps to save my notes. From Evernote (read last section) to phone notes, google calendar reminders, Bear, Pinterest, screenshots, Chrome bookmarks… until my newest discovery: Milanote.
The idea is similar to Evernote, but the design and the navigation is waaaaay better.
You have a pretty clean desktop display where you can organise by folders, columns or simply notes and add links, images and anything you need to make it super visual.
It even comes with a google chrome extension, which means you can freely navigate through any web and if something captures your attention you can quickly save it with one simple click.
I’ve been using it for the past weeks and I’m in love with it!
Believe me, it’s a game changer and it’s sooooo worth it.
It is an amazing way to split all your projects into small tasks. I love making lists, not only for the pleasure to check them every time I do something but also because I find it super useful to stay productive. I recommend creating lists for small tasks that may take you from 5 minutes to maximum 1 hour. Like this you can organize every day with realistic goals, picking as must items from the list as hours you plan to work.
These people have found the way to automatize almost everything for you. Check their website to understand what I mean, but just as example you will see that you can set up your account so that every time you post to Instagram it takes your image and post it to Twitter as a picture (not a link). Or it will pin your new WordPress post to a Pinterest board you decide. There are many things you can schedule with IFTTT and just delete them forever from your to do lists!
Do you know another app you want to share with us? Tell me about it here or tag me on Instagram as @byheartmade.