16 Essential Tools to Help Streamline Your Workload This Summer
When it comes to managing an ever-growing to-do list, many people struggle to get everything done. Whether you're a business owner, a solopreneur, or an individual contributor, sometimes it can seem like you have a constant stream of tasks that demand your attention - and before you know it, the day's over and you've only managed to accomplish half of the tasks you needed to complete.
Fortunately, whether it's beating procrastination, communicating more effectively with your team, or keeping on top of your brand's social media presence, there's a range of tools available that can help you to streamline your workload.
In this post, we'll look at 16 of the best tools to help you better manage your workload this summer, helping you beat stress and give yourself more free time in the process.
Wunderlist is an easy-to-use task management tool to help you manage your plans, projects, and other tasks.
Using Wunderlist, you can create to-do lists and use folders to group related lists. You can set due dates and add reminders to those lists too, so there should be no worries about remembering important tasks.
Notes and reminders can be also added through the Wunderlist app, and you can even share lists with colleagues and communicate with your team.
One of the most beneficial and unique aspects of Wunderlist is its use of smart lists. It automatically generates lists based on the day or week on the due dates you've allocated to tasks elsewhere.
While Wunderlist is not as simple or as finessed as the Todoist platform (see below), its feature-rich functionality makes it one of the best tools available. It also integrates seamlessly with other tools, such as Trello (again, see below).
Finally, Wunderlist offers free accounts, as well as a premium option from $4.99 per month. In terms of the features you get, Wunderlist arguably offers the most generous free plan.
If you want to organize your day like a pro, MyLifeOrganized is a top option. It's an incredibly flexible to-do list tool that will, quite simply, help you get stuff done.
With this tool (which also acts as a task management app and personal organizer), you can create detailed to-do lists, but what makes MyLifeOrganized so unique, however, is that it enables you to create hierarchical task lists. This means you can break down tasks into subtasks, and structure your to-dos in terms of importance. It means you can easily break down big projects into small actions and streamline your workload.
With location reminders, the ability to sync the app to the cloud, project tracking capabilities, calendar view, and many other useful features, it's a very well-rounded tool.
MyLifeOrganized offers free accounts for iOS and Android devices, as well as premium accounts from just over a buck per month. The Windows version of the tool is available from $29.95.
Any.do is one of the most popular task management apps available with more than 11 million users globally. And there's good reason for its popularity.
With the tool (which can also be used as a Chrome browser add-on) you can create and sync all of your tasks, projects, and other to-dos across multiple devices - and share them with others as well.
What makes Any.do stand out from other to-do list apps is that it enables you to prioritize tasks through its 'Moments' feature. Essentially, Moments is a daily planner - each morning, the app will notify you to open Moments. Once you do, you'll get a list of incomplete tasks, which you can organize and prioritize by date with one tap.
With the ability to add attachments, communicate with others, and receive notifications, Any.do is a well-rounded app. Worth considering though - where Any.do falls short compared to other offerings is a lack of integration with other apps and tools.
If you want to streamline projects, to-dos, and recurring tasks, try out Any.do. You can use the tool's standard features for free, but premium accounts cost either $26.99 per year or $2.99 per month.
Todoist is a task management and to-do list app that's compatible with iOS and Android devices, as well as Chrome, Outlook, and many more.
It's a simple app which offers a versatile selection of truly useful features. You can create to-do lists for assignments, projects, and other tasks you may need to get accomplished. This can reduce some of the stress of a heavy workload and keep you on track with projects.
You can color code tasks based on their level of importance, and reschedule tasks as well.
The app automatically syncs across all of your devices, meaning you won't lose track of your to-do lists.
The best aspect of Todoist is how simple it is - out of all of the tools available, it has one of the simplest, least-clunky user interfaces we've seen.
With apps and extensions for a number of platforms, the ability to share unlimited tasks with anyone, and real time collaboration capabilities, Todoist is a great tool for streamlining a heavy workload.
Todoist offers free accounts, with premium accounts starting at $28.99 per year.
While monitoring brand mentions offers a great deal of value, it's also pretty time-consuming - especially when you've already got a hefty workload.
That's where Awario comes in. This brand monitoring tool enables you to monitor online mentions automatically.
By entering the keywords you want to monitor, you'll be notified each and every time someone mentions your brand. The tool offers real-time data, and enables you to respond to brand mentions from within the app itself.
Best of all, Awario doesn't just track brand mentions on social media; it tracks them on every website out there - whether that's blogs, forums, or any other site.
Finally, you can also prioritize your responses based on the commenter's level of influence, using the tool's useful Reach Metric feature.
Awario offers a free 14 day trial, and premium accounts start at $19 per month.
Promoting your brand on social media is essential nowadays, but uploading posts to social media sites can be a time-consuming and cumbersome task. Enter Hootsuite.
Hootsuite's benefits lie in enabling you to create and schedule social media posts on multiple platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. You simply sync your Hootsuite account with your social media profiles, and start scheduling posts.
Hootsuite also enables tracking of brand mentions - although not as extensively as you can with Awario - and data sharing with team members. It ensures that your social media profiles remain active, even when you're off tackling other projects.
Hootsuite offers free accounts, and premium accounts start at $9.99 per month.
Buffer is a content publishing platform that enables you to publish and schedule content to social media platforms. It automatically schedules the posts you upload, before publishing them to social networks at times chosen by you.
All you need to do is upload your posts, and Buffer will schedule them at optimum times for you, without the need to enter a time or a date.
Buffer offers free individual accounts, and premium accounts start at $10 a month.
Asana is a project management tool offering a wide range of features that make it easy for teams to track their work.
Incredibly easy to use, Asana features a simple, yet effective user interface. With the tool, you can create tasks and set to-dos, which you can organize into projects. You can then assign duties to your team from within the app.
You can also add reminders, offer updates, and monitor tasks, so that your whole team stays on track with their work. You can even identify tasks by team member and by project.
With real-time collaboration capabilities, and the ability to converse with your team, Asana is a useful tool for anyone managing or working on a team project.
The tool is free for teams of up to fifteen people, and thereafter, premium accounts cost $8.33 a month per member.
Basecamp acts as a space where your whole team can work together. You can create projects, organize tasks, allocate assignments, and set deadlines.
Each time you create a new project, the tool automatically invites your selected team members. The app sorts users into different organizations and groups, making it easier to see who's working on what task.
Collaborating on projects is much easier with this app, and enables users to comment on projects and start discussion threads with multiple users. With Basecamp, you can also collaboratively edit text documents, attach documents and images to projects, and schedule meetings.
Basecamp is not quite as feature-rich as Asana, but the functionality Basecamp does offer works well, and using it is incredibly simple - even for the least technology-savvy team member.
The first project you create in Basecamp is free, and after that, premium accounts start at $29 per month.
Trello is a simple yet flexible project management tool which utilizes a card-based board system.
You can use these boards individually, or collaborate on it with your team. After you invite people to join your board, you can assign cards to team members and set due dates, and files can be attached to each card by dragging and dropping them onto the card in question.
Trello is free to use, with a further premium option available, starting at $8.33 per month.
Checking emails and sifting through your inbox can take up quite a large portion of your day, and when you already have a busy work schedule, it's a task you could do without.
That's why SaneBox is such a useful tool. Offering smart filtering capabilities, this tool learns which emails are important to you, and which ones simply aren't worth your time.
It automatically filters out emails that aren't significant, letting you focus on only the most important correspondence. This saves you time checking through emails that you don't really need to see.
SaneBox offers a free trial, and premium accounts start at $7 per month.
If you need to communicate with team members in different locations and time zones, consider TeamViewer.
It offers remote access, and enables you to host online group meetings quickly and easily. You can also transfer files through the platform.
There's no installation required to use TeamViewer, and it's accessible across all browsers and devices, making it possible for you to work with colleagues as if you were all in the same room - minus the travel time.
TeamViewer is free for personal use, and business accounts start at around $20 per month.
If you want to make meetings easier and less time-consuming, check out Join.me. It's a videoconferencing tool that offers screen sharing, online meetings, and team collaboration capabilities, and enables you to set up meetings instantly.
You can get a free account at Join.me, which gives you simple screen sharing options, ten meeting participants, five video feeds, and internet calling.
Premium packages offer further functionality, and start at $20 per month.
14. Google Docs
Google Docs is a simple, yet effective tool for streamlining your workload. It gives you access to word processing software with functionality similar to software such as Microsoft Word.
That's not all, however. You can also share those documents with anyone - whether they have a Google Docs account or not - and multiple users can edit them documents too.
Aside from text documents, Google Docs also gives you access to spreadsheets, databases, presentations, and much more.
With the ability to integrate with Gmail and create comment threads between multiple users, Google Docs makes communication and collaboration easier.
Best of all, Google Docs is completely free to use - all you need is a Google account.
Take notes to a new level with Evernote, the productivity app that keeps your projects, ideas, and inspiration accessible across all digital devices.
With Evernote, you can put all of your important notes in one place, rather than having to sift through files or handwritten notes to find what you need.
Notes can be grouped together, and can be created in a variety of different formats, including text, photos, audio, and video. You can even clip notes from articles you read online.
With Evernote, you can sync your content across all devices - meaning your notes will always be handy. Similar to Google Docs, Evernote enables you to share and discuss your content with others in real-time.
A basic account on Evernote is free, and premium accounts start at $2.99 per month.
Dropbox is a super simple file syncing, sharing, and storing app. It can be a really efficient tool for managing your workload.
Rather than trying to send multiple files to different people through email - which, let's face it, is a pretty boring and arduous task - simply drag-and-drop the files into your Dropbox account, and you've got everything you need in one place. Sharing them couldn't be easier either - simply provide a share link to your chosen recipient.
Dropbox is a particularly useful tool for sharing large files, such as videos and high-resolution images, that can be too large to send via email.
Dropbox is free to use, with premium accounts costing $9.99 per month.
In an age where we're all so connected through technology, the distractions we encounter and the demands placed on us are, arguably, greater than ever. Often, simply getting everything done can be a challenge.
Fortunately, technology can offer solutions to this issue - if you use the right tools, you can better manage your workload. Let's recap the 16 tools featured:
- Get Things Done: Wunderlist, MyLifeOrganized, Any.do, Todoist.
- Manage Your Brand's Online Presence: Awario, Hootsuite, Buffer.
- Keep your Projects on Track: Asana, Basecamp, Trello.
- Communicate like a Pro: SaneBox, TeamViewer, Join.me.
- Share and Manage Documents: Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox.
How will these tools enable you to streamline your workflow? Share your insights in the comments section below
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