The most productive people are masters of efficiency — tuning their calendars, arranging their tasks, and otherwise making the most of their time.
To aid your quest for efficiency, here are 25 of the most useful web productivity resources we've found.
They'll save you a lot of time in the long run:
Buffer — You share things all day on the internet, but you don't want to share them right away. Enter Buffer, a simple, robust utility for scheduling your social media.
Clear Focus — This timer uses the Pomodoro Technique to prevent you from wasting time on distractions. It helps you focus on what really matters, by alternating work sessions with small breaks. You'll be able to concentrate more easily and get things done. Just tap once and get working.
Coffitivity — Researchers have found that people work better with white noise in the background. This site replicates the sound of a coffee shop to achieve the perfect combination of calm and commotion. It'll help you get your creative juices flowing so you won't feel stuck. Other websites that provide great background noise for focusing are Rainymood and Focus At Will.
Do Nothing For 2 Minutes — Although it seems counterintuitive, this website is the perfect way to refocus your mind after a hard meeting or stressful call, in just under 120 seconds.
Doodle — Trying to schedule a meeting? You never need to endure tedious email threads about everyone's available times again. Instead, use Doodle to identify a few potential windows of time for the meeting, and ask everyone else to identify when works for them within those times. It'll be much easier to find the time slot that works for everyone.
Evernote — This simple yet sophisticated note-taking app is legendary for productivity. It organizes your notes in an elegant way, allows you to search for text within an image, captures everything from PDF to web pages, and even has a Webclipper so you can save anything you see online with a single click.
Feedly — This useful site organizes the content of your favorite news websites or blogs into one place, so you can easily read and share what matters to you. For an alternative, try the Digg Reader.
FocusWriter — This tool provides a simple, distraction-free writing environment for anyone who needs to get things done. You get a nice, full-screen blank canvas to focus on your next writing project. It also includes timers, alarms, goal setting, themes, typewriter sound effects, statistics, and spell checking.
Google Docs — Don't sleep on Google Docs. After acquiring the mobile word-processing startup Quickoffice, Google Docs has become a robust platform for editing documents between your computer, your tablet, and your smartphone.
Grammarly Spell Checker and Grammar Checker — Few things are more embarrassing than realizing that you've made grammar mistakes or spelling errors in work that's being read by other people. This Chrome extension adds a layer of security, checking over your prose before you hit "send" or "publish."
Hootsuite — If you need to manage multiple social media accounts, this is the site for you. Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that helps you reduce the amount of time you spend on Twitter and Facebook by scheduling posts for the upcoming weeks. Get your social media work out of the way in one block of time, instead of checking in throughout the day.
iDoneThis — At the end of every workday, iDoneThis sends its users a simple email — what did you accomplish today? Answering this question has profound effects: not only do you get an ever-growing log of what you've done, but you're able to see your progress over time, which is crucial for workplace well-being.
IFTTT — Create productivity chains with this simple app. It uses the idea of "If this, then that" so you can make recipes of Triggers and Actions to prompt you to stay productive. For example, you can make a recipe to unmute your phone when you get home, mute your ringer at bedtime, or text your wife when you leave work.
Lift — Do you want to run every day? Drink more water? Spend 15 minutes reading before bed? Lift helps you develop better habits by keeping track of your daily progress and sending you push notifications to remind you to stay on track. Another great site for building good habits is HabitForge, a program that will send you a daily reminder of your goals.
Pocket — Use pocket to help you store information, links, and images so you can search through them later. It's also great for bookmarking things to read for later. Another great resource to save articles is Instapaper, which also allows you to highlight important information.
Productivity Owl — This Google Chrome extension will force you to be more productive. An owl follows you to every website you visit and swoops across the page when you're not being productive.
RescueTime — This app tracks your activity in applications and on web pages, and then slices that data up for you. The result: a better understanding of how you're actually spending your time.
Selfcontrol — This incredibly useful app temporarily blocks you from any distractions or addicting sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Youtube. It's only for Mac users, but don't worry — Cold Turkey has the same functions, specifically made for Windows users.
Slack — Slack is a fun, elegant way to coordinate with your team. Enabling group conversations, private discussions, and direct messaging, Slack takes old-school chat rooms to the next level.
Skimfeed — If you want to know what's happening in the tech world in a glance, use Skimfeed, a news aggregator that gathers headlines from top publishers in a readily readable format, preventing the need to wander through your bookmarks and social feeds.
Sunrise — Sunrise is the calendar app that you've been dreaming of. It pulls together calendars that were previously separate, hidden in Google Calendar, Facebook, and a million other places.
Unroll Me — When you sign up, you'll find a list of all your subscription emails. Unsubscribe instantly from whatever you don't want. For the subscriptions you want to keep, Unroll Me will "roll" them into one message so you can see them at a glance instead of reading through dozens of emails. More great resources for email productivity are Mailbox and Sanebox.
Wakerupper — This site provides you simple telephone reminders, so you can set a wake-up call at a specific time, remind yourself of important events, remember to take your medication on time, escape from a boring date or meeting, or simply set follow-ups for tasks you meant to do. A similar iPhone app is Due, which repeatedly alerts you about your tasks until you complete them.
Workflowy — With this organizational tool, you'll be able to free your mind of clutter and make your life much, much easier. It'll help you organize your personal to-dos, collaborate on team projects, take notes, write research papers, keep a journal, plan a huge event, and much more.
Wunderlist — This is the easiest way to manage and share your to-do lists. It is applicable for everything from trip planning to shopping lists to even running your own business. Other great resources to help you with task management are Any.do, Remember The Milk, and Todoist.
This is an update of an article originally written by Maggie Zhang.
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