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5 productivity tools you can’t live without

Samantha Menzies
Senior editor – Finance
5 productivity tools you can’t live without.

Each year the list of productivity tools which promise to streamline our business, improve workflow or just simply to the same job better and faster, grows larger and larger.

Whether you’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur or employee who wants to get the most out of their day in the shortest amount of time possible, Yahoo Finance has put together a list of 5 top productivity tools you shouldn’t live without.

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1. TRELLO: The ultimate to-do list

Project management can be a nightmare if your team or company is scattered in different offices or locations.

And a booming trend for rapid business growth has led to a flurry of new and efficient management tools, and one of the best ones out there is Trello.

Trello is simply a digital to-do list for teams.

It’s highly customisable and allows you to create numerous different types of lists from tasks to pictures – aside from being able to place items under ‘categories’, you can also tag them as ‘doing’ or ‘done’ to make it easier to keep track of project progress.

New Investor, and managing partner of Giant Leap Fund, Will Richardson is a huge fan of productivity tools.

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“Trello allows you to work out what projects you’re working on, who within your team has the responsibility for certain tasks and items within those projects,” he said.

“It makes you feel more effective – who doesn’t want that?”

2. SPARK: The email manager

Email is probably one of the oldest online messaging systems you still use, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

Most people read and send emails in their browser, but Spark, a new email app for Macs, adds a bunch of new features into its desktop client.

Spark helps cut down on the amount of time users spend managing email with a ‘smart inbox’, swipe gestures in its message list and ‘quick replies’ for one-click responses in a flash.

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Not only does Spark save you time by understanding which of your emails are the most important and popping them to the top of the list – the inbox automatically sorts emails into personal, newsletter and notification boxes for easy processing, putting real emails from real people as top priority – it also allows email sharing through a URL so you and your team members can privately discuss emails in threads below the original note, without creating a super-long email thread.

3. SLACK: The team messenger

And if you’re looking for another productivity tool to make your inbox more manageable – enter Slack.

It’s a team messaging tool which lets you have real-time conversations across teams, in ‘channels’ (topic-focused chat rooms) and also direct message.

You can tag users in threads, save or share messages and even pin important comments to the top of feeds.

In fact, Will Richardson’s company uses slack to communicate between different offices in Melbourne and Sydney everyday.

“Slack is great when you’re working as a team and you’re not all in the same location.”

4. TIMELY: Your personal time manager

It can be hard to stay focused in a busy workplace surrounded by people making calls, email alerts popping up on your screen, or even the temptation to send a couple of sneaky texts to your friends.

But while small distractions can seem pretty harmless, frequent interruptions can wreak havoc on your productivity.

Instead foolproof automatic time tracking tool, Timely, helps you keep track of your day.

How?

It records everything you work on using a ‘magical’ (and secure) memory tracker, tracks your recorded work and groups it together and suggests time entries automatically.

You then check whether Timely got it right and rename any suggested entry titles, adjust grouped activities, reassign tags and confirm your changes. Over time it then improves and is able to more effectively and accurately manage your time for you.

5. CALENDLY: Your calendar manager

Do you find yourself wasting time going back-and-forth trying to set up a time for a meeting or a coffee?

With time-organising app Calendly you can simply input your availability and it’ll do the hard work for you. Share your Calendly links via email or embed it on your website and then have the recipient choose a time and date that suits them and it’ll automatically add to your calendar.

Calendly is also timezone intelligent, detecting invitees time zones and automatically making adjustments.

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