For the past two weeks or so, I haven’t been managing to ‘do it all’. Being busy with work, socialising and other areas, I wasn’t putting time aside for content creation which put me into a slump. And that sucks because creating cool stuff is so much fun! Yet I’d talked myself into thinking it was a drag. It was time I focussed on productivity and efficiency . So from browser extensions and desktop apps to services in between, these 5 tools have helped me get back into flow again.
Whatsapp for Desktop
This one is pretty major! My friend Liza from Shift.Ctrl (also the web genius who helped me build this blog) was typing Whatsapp messages on her desktop one day while we were working together. My mind was blown! It makes life so much easier when you can communicate quickly on the platform without having to change devices. A lot of my work contacts aren’t at their desks or able to check their emails all the time, so Whatsapp Desktop really helps. It’s also wonderful for my habit of picking my phone for work reasons and then realising that I’ve been double tapping on Instagram for thirty minutes. This helps me stay less distracted and more focused, but without missing messages from those who are on-the-go or out of the office.
Noisli is a beautifully designed, simple to use background noise generator. Ever find yourself needing to block out annoying sounds or struggling to think in silence? Noisli might be for you, the website comes with a huge variety of sounds that you can combine and adjust to suit your tastes. There are sounds for productivity or relaxation or just random background noises. I dig the really pretty colour changing background that loops. You can save your favourites and access them easily using the browser extension too. Some of my frequently played sounds are the Train, Wind and the Summer Night. My favourite is a duo of Thunderstorm and Rain- I think it’s nostalgia of Joburg thundershowers. Whether I’m working from home, using a client’s hotdesk or shared workspace, sometimes I’ve got to put my headphones on and block everything out.
I’m pretty to new the online project management service and I’m already a fan. It’s free, packed with features like projects, tasks and to-do lists with sub-lists that you can easily assign to members and progress graphs. The intuitive user interface makes it simple to understand. Once you’ve signed up you can add up to 15 members (after that it’s time to upgrade and pay) and then everyone can see what’s left to do on projects. You can upload files and calendars within projects so that everything is consolidated. It’s really handy if used by everyone on long-term, group projects or productions. There’s no reason to miss out a note in a long e-mail if it’s in online to-do list too!
FollowUp is a tracker for Gmail that works with a web extension. For overflowing inboxes and colleagues or clients who need a lot of follow up emails, this one is a winner. It gives you the ability to schedule future emails, put emails on snooze so that they go to the top of your inbox at a later date, or set up a reminder to follow up on particular emails. It also tells you when someone has opened an email, to avoid the jumping the gun and bombarding them when they haven’t looked at their inbox just yet. You can bookmark web pages for later reading too! There’s a 14-day free trial with all features and after that, users who stick to the free package get limited monthly reminders and unlimited email reminders. While FollwUp is aimed at sales teams and business people, but I think there so many people who could benefit from it.
Got any desktops apps you’d recommend? Share the love and let me know if there are any I should try out!