Top FREE Productivity tools I use in my business

July 9, 2010

On of the things many entrepreneurs struggle with is time management. This is VERY true for me. My natural inclination is to just chill out, hang out with friends and family, and just have a blast. The problem there is that for some strange reason, I haven't found a way to make money by hanging out with those people that I love. Because of that, I'm always on the lookout for different ways to effectively manage my time, and my business in a way that's easy, accessible and secure.

So what I'm gonna do here is share with you some of the tools that I use to keep myself on track and to keep my business running. These tools are all FREE and if you find some value in them, I would encourage you to jump on the bandwagon and at least try them out. You really have nothing to loose.

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk is a website/program that I've been using for the last year and it's probably the most valuable of the 5 tools that I'm going to mention. We all know that it's a great idea to have a to do list. In fact, I've been trying to do a new to do list on a daily basis. It helps to give you focus and helps you accomplish the tasks without being scatterbrained as I tend to be without a list.

However, Remember The Milk is not just some regular to do list. It's one that you can access anywhere. I can add items to my to do list via the website, my iphone, email, twitter, and a number of different sources. Not only that . . . when I add it on one, it's automatically added on all. When I go to work, I can get on my computer and see my to-do list, or if I'm in the car on the way to a meeting (or to hang out with a friend), I can open up my Remember The Milk App on my iphone (however, there is a charge for the Pro service to use with the iphone app).

When I log into my Gmail account, guess what's write there in my email sidebar – You guessed it, my Remember The Milk task list reminding me of what needs to be done. It's just a real neat integrated way of managing your to do list that makes it easily accessible from almost anywhere.

Evernote

This is one that I recently started using and I LOVE IT. Evernote is an application for taking notes. However, similar to Remember The Milk, it's one that syncs with a number of different devices. I have the Evernote on my Macbook pro and it's where I put all of my notes. When I take notes on my Macbook Pro, it automatically syncs with every other device that I have Evernote installed.

Just as an example, I'm taking summer classes at the moment. I go to my classes and take extensive notes. If I'm walking down the sidewalk and I'm trying to remember something I did in class, I pull out my iphone and the notes that I took are right there in the palm of my hand. Whenever I come up with ideas to do in my business, I write them in my Evernote app and I know that I can access them regardless of where I am, and yes, it also works on PCs.

Google Reader

With everything that's going on in Internet Marketing, sometimes it's just hard (almost impossible it seems) to keep up. Fortunately, there's the world-dominating company called Google that has an RSS reader that makes it much easier to keep up to date with what's going on by subscribing to multiple RSS feeds. Now, if you don't know what an RSS feed is, it's basically a feed that allows you to pull posts, news etc, from blogs that you follow (an other sources).

Say, for example, that you enjoy reading my blog. Well, if you look to the top right you will see this icon:

Well, you've probably noticed that Icon in a number of other places around the web. You can always click on that icon and then add it into Google Reader and keep updated on all the blogs you like to follow (hint, hint) all in one place. It can't get much more convenient than that. Such a time-saver!

Google Docs

Yes, I'm still with Google here, but I can't help it. They have some great FREE stuff. Google docs is an AWESOME tool, especially when it comes to collaborating with others. Whenever I work with people and there's info I need to share with them in the form of documents/spreadsheets, I do it via Google docs. I have spreadsheets that I use to monitor what's going on in my business and sometimes I need to share those spreadsheets, I use Google docs‘ handy dandy sharing feature. People that work with me can then update those spreadsheets and I see those changes immediately (and vice versa).

Also, whenever I need to give someone written instructions, I type it out in Google docs (or on my computer and upload it to google docs) and once again, I use that sexy sharing feature and we're good to go.

So there you have it. Those are the tools that I use in my business. They are all FREE to use and very convenient. RememberTheMilk and Evernote have a paid upgrade option, but the Free version is more than enough for the average user. I use the paid upgrade option of RememberTheMilk, but that's because I LOVE IT, lol. I hope they are some value to you.

What do you think about this post? Are there other tools that you use that have helped you? Do you have suggestions? Leave it all in the comments below.

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8 Comments

  • Glad it helps Larry. Yep, much more convenient than doing it all by hand 🙂

  • larryburr says:

    Thank you, Leslie. These will come in handy. I now do my daily ist by hand and this should save me some time.

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  • Tessa says:

    Yes, I will use Google docs for my business, which is really handy. Thanks for sharing other tools here 🙂

    And I would also like to suggest free planning tool called PlanningForce Express Planner here http://www.planningforce-express.com/

    Hope it would be helpful.

  • Lucy1929 says:

    Helpful blog. I’m interested because I’ve just learnt how effective these productivity tools really are. Have you heard about Dooster.org. I’m not sure if it’s free but my boss has got us using it and anything that helps his mood swings suits me and things are good since we’ve started using Dooster.

  • Grace Jameson says:

    Great article! RTM is the best application service provider for web-based task and time-management.

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