Are you searching for productivity tools to keep you sane and help you manage the sometimes insanity of working from home or elsewhere?
Do you work from home, own your own business, or travel a lot for your job?
If so, you spend a lot of time on your phone – iphone, android, blackberry…whatever, you’re on it.
Even if you don’t fit into one of these categories, you’re probably still on your phone.
And while you’re trying to make changes in your life, be more mindful about the work you’re doing and when, sometimes finding tools to make your life easier is kind of all you need.
I'm sure you've even done your fair share of searching for productivity tools to use on your phone, but none have never quite stuck. That's why I wanted to share mobile apps that I actually use.
If you find yourself super stressed when you’re away form work, but ALSO dread spending one MORE second in your office, here’s your get out of jail free card.
The following tools will make sure you never miss a meeting, an email that needs your response, an invoice that needs to be paid, an opportunity for your life or biz, but will allow you to get OUT of your workspace whenever you want or need to.
All of the tools have a web application as well, so they are truly an extension of my laptop and office set up. I use all of them nearly as much in both locations. My set up is seamless now.
The 5 Mobile Productivity Tools I use DAILY
I can access my calendar, review important docs, check my email and know what’s going on all the time. This is a simple but revolutionary tool that I use so often, I feel like Google should pay me. Seriously! And now that I can switch between my email accounts, I’m sometimes in 2 different sets of apps!
Wrike is an amazing project management tool that I normally use inside the office.
Now, if I’m out of the office, I can check my iphone app and know what’s up for the day, if people finished the work I assigned and if any new tasks have popped up for me!
Wrike links up nicely with Google Apps, so I also get the “completed” task notification while I’m out. I can even respond via email to a task question and make sure the team stays on schedule. The worst thing would be me being a bottleneck when I’m supposed to be the person pushing the project forward.
Yammer is an internal company messaging application – there’s an app for mobile phones (available for IPhone, blackberry, android, windows).
We use this tool to stay in touch and update each other on anything that is timely or doesn’t require a ton of information.
Try it out with your own team or group members. Enlist a few rules to make sure that messages stay primarily focused on updates that the entire team should be aware of.
Reeder pulls in the RSS feeds of all websites I’ve subscribed to. Generally,
I don’t spend a ton of time out of the office on this one, but if I need to check on a blog because of something specific, it’s much easier for me to read the RSS feed than it is for me to go surf to the site on my phone.
An RSS feed just shows text and generally lists all blog posts – and lets you know if you’ve read them or not.
I don’t use this often, but there have been some pretty crucial moments I needed to review a pdf or transcript or blog post and I got to it right away in dropbox. Also, it’s a great to check to see when people complete an upload – so you know to check on it later when you’re back in the office.
Noteable mentions: Minibooks (freshbooks iphone app), Fresh Xpense, Paypal app, WordPress, and Analytics lite (google analytics!).
What are you waiting for? Turn off your computer. Grab your phone. Walk out the door.
If you’re looking for a way to get AWAY from your desk, look into 1 or all of these tools.
Each one was an important discovery, helping to redefine work for me and my co-workers. None of us stress now if we need to be out of the house or office.
Plus, I can actually get a lot of work outside the office! During our recent move, I was able to stay in touch with the team during the actual move day. This gave me a ton of freedom, obviously – because it’s nice to know that I’m not chained to my desk or my office. It gives me a choice. It puts the control back in my hands.
Warning For The Over-Achievers
You are connected now all the time to your work, which means that you have to control when your phone is turned off and actually turn it off. Just because the tools are there doesn’t mean that you have to use them 24/7.
Guidelines for NOT overdoing it with your Mobile Apps:
- Don’t check your email after work hours. And if you do, don’t answer those emails!
- Don’t send messages to your team on the weekends.
- Don’t answer calls or look at anything on your phone if you are on vacation.
- Don’t look at that phone while you’re out having fun with you family.
- Schedule time to work outside the office often.
- Do be on the look out for other mobile applications of software and other tools you use in the office. They might not announce it, so check their website to make sure you haven’t missed an app release.
- Do remember that you don’t need to be productive 24/7.
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Now, back to the task at hand…choose at least 1 of the productivity tools I mention in the article above and let me know how it works for you!
Dasha Golubeva says
Anne, thank you for covering Wrike in your overview! We’re happy to hear that Wrike helps you to stay productive out of office or on the go 🙂 By the way, if you also use a tablet PC, I thought this news might be interesting for you: now, Wrike’s Gantt chart is available in the web version for the latest tablets (iPad, Xoom).
Wrike is a core tool for our team. The entire team LOVES it. We even require other teams who work with us to use it too!
Thanks for the info on the on the tablet capabilities!
Darlynn @The Little Blog Dress says
Great Ideas and Apps! Thanks for the post!
Paul Cooley says
Great stuff Anne! I love your point to take time to work outside of the office. I have been doing that a lot more and really enjoying it… as well as being more productive! 🙂
Keep up the great work Anne!
Paul – glad you enjoyed it! I need to remind myself to get out of the office, but once I realize I have the tools I need and can go anywhere and be “working”, it relieves that pressure and grind of sitting in my office all day long!