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Five Tools to Make Your Day More Productive

By: Guest | November 15, 2011 | 
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underwood Today’s guest post is written by Brankica Underwood

If there is one thing you cannot use as an excuse for being unproductive today, it is lack of time.

No, I am not going to magically make your day last 25 hours.

But I will tell you how to get the most out of your day.

With all the technical developments out there, you can make use of the time you would otherwise waste. So if you are blogging or doing any kind of writing, here are some tips on how to get more done.

What You Will Need

  1. One Apple product such as an iPad or iPhone.
  2. Dropbox account (with the free app).
  3. Evernote account (with the free app).
  4. Free SimpleMind+ app.
  5. Writings app because it syncs with Dropbox.

Get the Most Out Of These Tools

These are pretty much all the tools you need to keep up with your reading, writing, ideas, and productivity.

Writings app is a simple application you can use to write. You can create different folders (workspace) in which you will keep documents written for that project. So you can create folders like “My blog,” “Freelance project for John,” “My fiction book,” and then file different documents under each of those.

You can sync these documents to Dropbox straight from the app. So when you are at your computer and want to continue work, you can just open your Dropbox account and fetch all the stuff you wrote.

Use Evernote to save the posts you want to read later. You can also use Instapaper app for this, but it will cost you $4.99. You can save post ideas, industry news, and more.

Using SimpleMind+ can help you keep your thoughts in order. It is a mind map app and there are many ways to use it. If you read something interesting in Evernote, and get an idea for a post, put it in the mind map, then extend a few more branches in it with your thoughts and start drafting the post in Writings app. Sync it with Dropbox and you are ready to go; all of this and the one Apple product I mentioned above. 

Using These Tools

Here are just some of the ideas on how to use those few extra minutes you would otherwise waste: In the subway going to and from work; while you are parked in front of your kid’s school, waiting for him/her to finish class; while waiting those 10 minutes it takes to bake chocolate chip cookies; or sitting at the waiting room in your doctor’s office.

Add all the five and 10 minute time slots you waste every day and I am sure you will come up with at least an hour of time you can work on your writing projects or mind mapping ideas for your business.

I just hope you are not the type that needs peace and quiet and special environment to focus. In that case this won’t work and you are… on your own.

Brankica Underwood is a social media sharp shooter who helps small businesses, bloggers, and freelancers gain followers and sales and build better websites. Connect with her on Google+.

29 comments
ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

I have a question! I have a question! I have a question!

I have an iPad. His name is George. You might have met him. He sends lots of emails for me. I would really love to travel just with George and leave my laptop at home. I've figured out how to do everything but blog from it. So I am traveling with both.

Is there an app or something I'm missing that will allow me to create content, include hyperlinks, and use photos? Right now, it's nearly impossible to do it through the WordPress app or by using Safari.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Really great tools Brankica. I love Evernote but don't use it enough. Springpad is pretty good too. I don't currently do much work on my Droid but that might change. Especially next summer when I get a next gen one.

DanielMWood
DanielMWood

Hey Brankica,Thank you for sharing an interesting method.Apple products really make life easier, I have an iphone but an ipad is on my christmas wishlist.

TechWork_dk
TechWork_dk

Hi Brankica

It is not the first time you have recommended Evernote in a post. This time I have installed it on my smartphone. I like the idea about using all the waiting time we all have to do something useful instead of just sit around and wait. Most of us bring our smartphone with us everywhere all the time anyway. Why not make the most out of it :-)

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

Well, I HEART dropbox in a big big way. I can send docs on the fly from my phone easy peasy. It's super productive. Thankfully, I get early access to these guest posts. :) So I downloaded writings last week. But I have to fiddle with it a bit. I couldn't get it to sync with my Dropbox. grrr. I'll figure it out.

Thanks, Brankica! for sharing these tips!! love em!

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

Totally like Dropbox, and will add a shout out for Box.net too. Learning to use Evernote more and more. The more devices you use (laptop, desktop, phone, iPad) the better all this syncing really is. Next on my wish list, a good offline file manager. Box.net does let me save some things that way, but I'd love an easy way to move files around, save projects, start those posts if I'm away from my wifi and then easily sync again when reconnected. FWIW.

Brankica
Brankica

@ginidietrich

Solutions:

* hire someone to do it for you for the few days you are away from the lap top, LOL

* try Blogpress app

* enjoy the vacation they way God intended it to be - rest, fun, fun, rest :)

LOL... I have heard that there is nothing that will really replace blogging on iPad for now, but will do some research for you and hopefully find something!

Thanks for letting me guest post here!

Brankica
Brankica

@Shelley Pringle That is awesome :) I am always trying new apps on the iPad cause I just got it so I am sure I will move from one to another later and plan to check them all out :)

Isn't it amazing when you realize that you didn't need all that focus to actually write something! At least write down some ideas if not a whole post. Cause it would be either that or reading about Kim Kardashian's divorce... lol

Brankica
Brankica

@HowieG I think I tried Springpad, I love all the note taking apps pretty much, the reason I picked Writings is that it was easy to sync with Dropbox, which made it easy for me to just pick up with work on the computer later :)

Brankica
Brankica

@TechWork_dk Exactly, I started taking my iPad everywhere, I mean worst case scenario I really don't want to write anything, I can still read or play a game, rather than reading the magazine from 1994. while waiting at the doctor's LOL

Brankica
Brankica

@Lisa Gerber Thanks for letting me do it, Lisa :)I will check the settings on mine, if you don't figure it out, it worked immediately for me, but it may be that they updated the app or something, cause sometimes, when they update an app I use, it will just crash on me (not the writings, but I had it happen with a lot of others).

Brankica
Brankica

@3HatsComm I agree :) I just had a guest post on my blog, a friend of mine explained how he uses 3 different devices for productivity and I have to start doing that. Are you using mind maps by any chance? Cause a mind map with the possibility of adding images and files would be great, don't you think ;)

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

@Brankica Not using mind maps; really trying to add only those tools that maximize the productivity while minimizing the work. If it's gonna take more time/effort to learn/use a tool, it's not worth it. Even then, I discover new distractions in the App Store all the time. ;-)

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