7 Must-Try Time Management Tools
Many of us struggle with managing life’s most valuable and unreplenishable asset: time. The variances in our lives create conflict when it comes to how we can make everything on our to-do list happen before it’s time to go to bed. Maybe it’s a heavy workload or tending to the needs of a child while simultaneously trying to nurture a romantic relationship that’s got you pressed for time. Either way, you should know you are not alone. In fact, through recognition of this constant battle between prioritization and finite hours in the day, several resources are at our fingertips to help mitigate the risk of incomplete projects and unfulfilled goals.
Below are 7 time management tools that can help alleviate the stress of managing the 24 hours in a day:
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique (developed by Francesco Cirillo) incorporates the use of a timer in order to break work down into single-focus blocks of time — typically 25 minutes. The fleeting breaktime that follows each 25 minutes session is known as a ‘pomodoro’. The technique offers enough breaks to help keep the mind fresh for the next task. It has been widely popularized by dozens of apps and websites providing timers and instructions. This approach to time management is closely related to the concepts of ‘timeboxing’ and iterative and incremental development often used in software design.
Basecamp is a project management tool that encourages collaboration throughout the different parts of a project. Its function splits work into separate projects, with each project containing everything related to the job. This includes all the people involved, every discussion, every document, file, task, important date, and whatever else is needed.
Zapier helps connect the apps and services you use every day to create a workflow that is both automated and efficient. Through the integration of web apps you use most frequently, it can share data and create a ‘zap’ to pass info from one to the other. Zapier integrates with over 1,500 apps including Slack, Google Sheets, and Google Docs. This is a great solution for those working on projects that require the application of information from various sources.
Toggl is a time-tracking application that goes beyond the basics. With its collection of quick and easy-to-use features such as ‘one-click timers’ and tracking reminders to get things done quickly, it is an ideal solution for those looking to accomplish more urgent goals. In addition, it possesses a host of more advanced features including email tracking reminders with scheduled alerts as well as a team dashboard. This is an excellent resource for professionals in the workforce navigating team projects and delegated tasks.
Similar to Toggl, Asana is a project management tool with a focus on the management of tasks throughout a collaborative project. With a visual component, you can create project plans in order to see how each step will map out over time. In addition to this feature, you can use automation tools to simplify workflow and reduction in the potential for errors. This is a great resource to know where work stands and can help keep everyone aligned with their goals. Asana is a great resource to allow a team to pinpoint risks, eliminate roadblocks, and apply advantageous pivots when plans change.
Todoist is a web-based, cross-platform task management tool that works for creatives, developers, students, small businesses, and freelancers. Todoist allows you to organize tasks into clear and concise sections. It then provides you with an instant overview of your most important tasks. It is essentially a virtual to-do list, only with far less rudimentary and significantly more convenient. With the convenience of its access, your task list can follow and hold you accountable wherever you go.
Bullet Journal is best described as a methodology — a productivity system as it describes itself. It is designed to help with pen and paper task management and planning. Though it does hold a simplistic nature, there is an accompanying app that helps users organize paper-based notebooks and journals. Bullet journaling is essentially a way of capturing information via bulleted lists. Bullets are short-form sentences paired with symbols that visually categorize your entries into: Tasks, Events, or Notes. The application and website breakdown the uses of each symbol so as to represent a very specific category of subject. The website even offers a 5-minute tutorial to help you get started!