If there’s one thing every blogger and entrepreneur wants more of, it’s time.
For your blogging business to blossom, you always need to stay highly focused on the right things/activities.
The moment you’re able to give the core areas of your business the time they require, you will not only be happy and satisfied with your actions, but the business will also grow more than you ever thought possible.
However, the good thing is that with the right tools at your disposal, these critical activities and tasks can easily be handled promptly, so you’ll have more time to do those other activities that make you happy (playing with your family, for instance).
In this post, I’m going to talk to you about 5 productivity apps I’ve found to be vital for entrepreneurs to get the right things done at the right time. These are the same productivity apps that we use daily here at ShoutMeLoud, some of which I’ve used for many years now.
I highly recommend all of them.
But before we proceed, I’d like us to understand what “productivity” truly means. This will enable us to understand this post better.
So, what is productivity?
In an actual sense, productivity can be understood as the relationship that exists between input and output, where the idea of being productive is all about generating massive output with as little input as possible. In this sense, productivity literally means efficiency.
For example, as a writer, I can write more in one hour when I’m super focused than I can in 3 hours when I’m attending to other things at the same time.
In simple words, productivity is:
- Executing more work in less time.
However, in the real world, productivity is not just about efficiency; rather, it is your ability to be both efficient and super effective.
You don’t just need to work efficiently, you also need to work smartly.
That being said, let’s go ahead discuss the 5 best apps that will enhance your productivity as a blogger.
If you’re ready, I am, too…
Productivity Apps For Growing Bloggers & Entrepreneurs
Here at ShoutMeLoud, I have more than 3 people working with me on any given day.
Having a remote team has benefits, but it also has problems. I feel the biggest problems are communication and collaboration.
Three years ago, we switched from Skype to Slack for team communication, and since then, we’ve never looked back.
Slack is one of the best and most efficient team collaboration tools on the internet today. This cloud-based tool was designed by Stewart Butterfield (who’s also the guy behind the popular photo sharing site “Flickr”).
It’s basically a messaging app for both mobile and desktop that has a lot of collaboration solutions. It provides a complete platform for team collaboration and communication.
Launched in 2013 by a startup in San Francisco, the application is meant for teams and businesses who want to stay productive and get the right things done.
With Slack, you can communicate across multiple devices and platforms, not only with one-on-one interactions, but with groups and associates, too.
You can upload and share files and do voice/video calls. If you are a solopreneur/entrepreneur like me, you can invite freelancers or VAs to join you in your company’s Slack team (for free).
We’ve been on the free plan for the past one year and have had no problems so far.
I suggest you create an account for your company/blog, and invite your regular employees/authors/freelancers/virtual assistants to join in and start using Slack. Within a month, you will notice a major difference in team productivity.
“Holy crap…what’s the password again?”
This is something most people say at multiple points in their online lives.
The truth is, with a lot of things currently on your mind, it can be difficult to remember all of your various passwords. They’re usually some combination of various symbols, letters, and numbers (which is how strong passwords should be).
Moreover, reusing the same password is a terrible idea for online security.
What’s the solution?
Start using a password manager. This is one of the best decisions I have taken over the last year to improve my productivity.
Using a password manager helps in many ways:
- Prevents decision fatigue.
- Creates random strong passwords.
- Automatic password filling (some of them offer form-filling too).
- Protects from phishing sites.
There are many popular password manager out there, such as:
I use Dashlane as it’s modern and secure.
It’s a password manager and a form filler that saves you the stress of remembering your passwords. It costs only $39/year for the premium version, which I recommend as the “sync across all your devices” option is a must-have.
Use this link to try Dashlane Premium for free.
Install the Dashlane addon for your browser, download the app on your phone (Android/iOS), and you will notice the difference within a week.
I believe everyone should use a password manager. One thing that makes Dashlane better than its competitors is that it’s very easy to set up. Also, if you’re already using any other password manager, you can import your entire database into Dashlane pretty easily.
The import feature supports databases from Internet Explorer, 1Password, Chrome, Firefox, LastPass, KeePess RoboForm, PasswordWallet, and other custom CSV files, but the tool can be a bit choosy.
I cannot imagine a single day going by without taking notes.
Earlier on, I was making use of the notes app on my iPhone, but it’s not very friendly in terms of management.
I was skeptical when I heard of Evernote, but on one glorious day in 2014, I downloaded the app on my Mac and iPhone.
It turned out to be a really excellent decision.
Evernote not only makes note taking easy, it makes searching through notes easier, too.
And my desktop is no longer full of random text files like it was before.
Evernote is one of the most popular applications on the internet today. With its mobile and web application, you can create digital notebooks for anything, like slideshow presentations, managing your calendar, keeping track of your expenses, and planning your next trip.
Also, at times, when I want to write while traveling, I use Evernote.
And whether it’s business or personal expenses, keeping track of receipts is very difficult for even the most organized person. But by creating one of Evernote’s digital notebooks, you can screenshot your receipt immediately after payment thereby making it much easier to locate expenses later.
Evernote is indeed a game changer when searching for those notes you jotted down during your monthly meeting or for scribbling down your next million dollar idea.
If you are happy with your existing note taking app, then you can skip Evernote. But if you don’t have a note taking app, you should try Evernote (and thank me later).
How do you plan your day/week/month?
Earlier I used to note things down in my personal journal, but there was no mechanism of tracking time and productivity.
Last year, when I was in the USA, I ordered two different types of journals:
- 5-Minute Journal
- Productivity Planner
The Productivity Planner was a random buy, but it turned out to be a really great, helpful, and valuable purchase.
The logic behind the Productivity Planner is simple:
- You decide what you want to achieve on a single day or in a given week. (Weeks are broken into days.)
- You allocate time to every task. You follow the Pomodoro technique to stay productive throughout the day and complete your tasks.
- At the end of the day, you review your day and rate your productivity.
I have mentioned the Productivity Planner a few times here at ShoutMeLoud, and it really is one of the best things you can buy to improve your productivity.
There are a few similar journals in the market, and you can try any of them. Since I’m using this one, I can personally vouch for it.
Alright, so I saved the best for the last…
Can you imagine an online entrepreneur without a social media presence?
Personally, I manage an active Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account, and a Google Plus account. And one thing I can tell you is that it’s no joke to monitor when people are talking about you, and it takes a lot of time and effort to reply to their comments and tweets.
I have used plenty of tools in the past, but after using AgoraPulse, my social media engagement has quadrupled, and it’s no longer a tedious task.
Getting started with AgoraPulse is easy. All you need to do is:
- Sign up for a trial account.
- Connect your social media channels.
- Use the web app or use the mobile app to manage your social inbox.
Here is a screenshot from their iPhone app:
You can also assign a few pages to other members of your team for them to manage.
I will soon do a detailed review of AgoraPulse. For now, here are some features that make this an amazing social media tool:
- Social media calendar
- Drag & drop content scheduling
- Automated moderation
- Competitor analysis
- Chrome app
- Mobile app
- Post queue (like Buffer, SocialPilot)
If you have social media profiles, you should start using this tool so you can start to see a real difference. They offer a 15-day free trial without any credit card requirement. This is good enough for you to see the power of AgoraPulse.
Do you have a good team, but don’t know how to handle them all at once? Or do you have a rapidly inefficient and piling up email inbox?
Asana is the solution to all of that.
This application magnificently combines the powers of project management with teamwork in one place. It makes working on a large project with several people easier, whether or not they are present face-to-face.
Another great feature is that the app itself has an inbox where all activities performed in the group, whether comments, completed tasks, or anything else, becomes concentrated. This eliminates the need to use e-mail for many trivial things.
Best of all, it’s free. But you can only host a team of fewer than 15 people.
Asana Premium costs $8.33 per month per user.
- Recommended alternative: Trello. BaseCamp, ActiveCollab
So we have a calendar app to manage our time, and we have a project management app to manage our team, but there is only one small problem: I have no way to manage my personal tasks.
A problem that often happens is that we control everything around us, but we forget about our own personal tasks. We forget about simple things like going to the supermarket, or calling our grandmother to organize a family reunion. These are things we should be able to handle, but we either forget or become too busy to address.
Here is where Todoist enters.
This application meets those needs in a simple, minimalist interface.
You can add specific dates with natural language. That is, you can say something like: “Buy flowers for my mother on Monday, August 2 at 7 pm”, and it will automatically put the date and time into the reminder.
They also have something called “Karma”, where you can see your progress with a score that builds up, which better motivates you to be more efficient!
Todoist is free, though some features, such as reminders and labels, are part of the Pro plan, which costs US$30 a year.
Still, the free version is great and can be used on all platforms. Then, if you feel the experience the app’s full potential, you can subscribe to the Pro version (believe me, this app will become part of your daily life).
There are still many other useful productivity apps on the internet. It all boils down to what you specifically need. The ones I’ve listed on this post are the ones I’m used to and I’m pretty sure you will also find them useful.
But if you need an app for a specific purpose that’s not listed here, a simple Google search with your primary objective followed by “app” will bring up a lot of information.
Being productive is the cornerstone of any great business person and/or entrepreneur. It is crucial to stay productive when building any kind of career.
These apps will surely help you out and make you a more powerful, engaged, and productive individual.
If there’s any other app that you use to keep yourself productive on a daily basis that I did not list here, let me know about it in the comments section. It might be useful to me and/or to someone else!
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