*I am not being paid to review these products. These are all products that I have tried on my own and recommend.
I recently wrote a piece on the ideas for Christmas gifts, so I decided to look at productivity tools this time. I’m usually a paper and pen person, but every now and then, I stumble across items that really change the way that I work. Aside from my full-time job, my side business, managing a family full-time, plus community responsibilities, I need all the help I can get. If you’re anything like me, your legal pad and favorite pen has been your lifesaver for decades. Of course, there’s the occasional Outlook or Google Calendar, but nothing beats that paper and pen that you carry around with you. Well luckily for me, I’m surrounded by a techie husband, techie co-workers, and management system guru friends; therefore, I’ve had plenty of help merging my paper and pen style to my digital world. So, here are some products that might work for you if you need to manage a busy, yet productive life.
Franklin Covey: I was introduced to Franklin Covey 20 years ago and it’s still the calendar system that I frequently use. What I like most is being able to design the type of monthly/weekly calendar that I really need, write notes from a meeting, and plan ahead.
Clever Fox Planner: My husband and I are educators with two young children, and when I read that this planner was best for educators, I had to check it out. From organizing the largest to smallest project, plus stickers (I love stickers), this planner is great for writing notes, planning appointments, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t, tracking habits, and planning for the next day or week.
Monday.com is a task managing system to help keep you on track. I used this when I started my business and it has really helped me. What’s best is that you can add your team, family, or anyone who you need to manage projects and stay up-to-date. Once you complete a task, it’s crossed off or eliminated and the next task moves forward. I love that I can look at my phone (everything’s on my phone) and know exactly what to focus on next.
Calendly is an online calendar where you can schedule your events, and others can make appointments with you. If you don’t have an assistant, this tool serves as an online personal assistant for you. Just make sure you block out the hours you do not want to work, otherwise, you may find yourself with a 1am appointment!
Noisli: For the one who needs background noise, but gets distracted by a television or music, Noisli is a wonderful app to use. Not only does it have a selection of background noises to help you focus and work, but you can also time how long you work. For me, I can really get going on a task when I know how long it will take to complete. Need to review a proposal? Set your Noisli app for X minutes, put on the background noise of your choice, and get to work. If it takes you longer, readjust your timer for next time.
Remember the Milk is another app that helps you keep track of tasks. There’s a personal list and a work list. What’s great about this app is that it connects to your preferred email and you can invite others to view your lists. This feature is great for group projects.
For my journalists, Self Journal by BestSelf is not so much an appointment calendar, but a motivational and goal setting journal. If you use an online calendar, but need help setting goals, prioritizing them, and staying focused, this is a great product to use.
Regardless of the tool that you choose, have a system that works for you and test out some new ones. Have any good tools you’ve used lately? I’d love to hear about them!
Keep leading and stay safe,