As solo entrepreneurs, we wear many hats. Research & Development Director. Marketing Team. Accountant. Production Manager. Advertising. The list goes on and on. It’s so easy to get distracted and overwhelmed.
That’s where my favorite thing in the world comes in: apps.
Apps are various pieces of software to manage specific tasks or functions, many can be used out on the web or on your devices, like your smart phone or tablet. And what would be better than to share my favorites?!
5 Killer Productivity Apps I Can’t Live Without
These productivity apps have been essential to Modern Soapmaking, and I would hate to go without them! I’m a techie chick, so that’s probably no surprise. Maybe you can put them to work in your biz:
Buffer is a social media marketing dream. You can connect all of your social media accounts, schedule posts all in one place, and check to see how they do. Plus, it also suggests content that is relevant to your previous shares.
You can hook up other applications to work with Buffer, too! Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are supported. (No Pinterest or Instagram yet!)
The free account is enough to get a nice feel for the app with a handful of accounts and 10 scheduled posts. You’ll probably want to upgrade to the Awesome plan which allows you to schedule up to 200 posts, and costs $10 per month or $102 a year.
Buffer probably saves me about three hours a week, and over a year, that’s almost a week (6.5 days!) of saved time! Give it a shot, I know you’ll love it >>
I’m a list maker. I think that might be an understatement! I make lists for everything. And Wunderlist helps me stay on track.
You create multiple lists, with sub tasks and organize items however you see fit. Each item you create has a space for notes and file attachments, as well as due dates and reminders. You can even invite other people to your lists.
I use Wunderlist to brain dump once a week, organize a daily task list, keep tabs on deadlines, and keep my husband in the loop for things that need to be done around the house.
Unlike other to-do list apps, Wunderlist is pretty. And I just can’t get excited about ugly apps! Try it out for yourself, and see what I’m talking about >>
2015 Update: I now use ToDoist instead of Wunderlist.
First of all, this company + app just cracks me up. Nothing is cooler than an Error 404 page with a unicorn on it. That being said, IFTTT stands for “if this then that” and that pretty much sums up the app!
IFTTT can do all kinds of things via recipes, like:
- If I get a new Twitter follower, then add them to a list.
- If I favorite a tweet, then add it to Pocket.
- If I’m at home, then turn off my phone’s ringer.
- If it’s 8 am, then text me a weather report.
- If I take a picture on my phone, then upload it to Dropbox.
- If I dial 911, then text my husband.
- If I post a photo on Instagram, then post it on Twitter as a picture (not a link like Instagram does!)
- If I change my Facebook profile picture, then change my Twitter profile picture.
- If there is a birthday on my Google Calendar today, then text me a reminder.
Okay, seriously, I could go on forever. IFTTT can seemingly do anything. Why do all these little things yourself? Put IFTTT to work for you, head on over and get streamlined >>
2015 Update: I now use Zapier instead of IFTTT.
I’m in love with the Pomodoro technique for productivity, which dictates staying focused on a task for a set period of time and then taking a break.
The FocusBooster app is a desktop (or online) app that keeps track of the timer for you, providing an easy visual of your progress, and has a couple of options for setting an alarm when your set time frame is done.
By default, the pomodoro technique dictates 25 minutes on a task, and a 5 minute break, but you can change the timer to suit you with FocusBooster.
If you have a hard time staying on task, like I do, this will really help kick yourself in the pants and stay accountable to the task at hand. Work with time, not against it, with FocusBooster >>
I adore Prismatic for gathering up content that would be interesting to me, allowing me to cut down on the time I browse the web and hop around on social media.
Plus, anytime you see me share a link to an interesting article on Twitter, it probably came from Prismatic.
You choose what categories are of interest to you, and you can save stories for later to Pocket. (Gosh, that’s another app, isn’t it?!)
Oh, and while I was writing this post?
I was using a handful of apps at my fingertips. Like listening to a playlist from the Working/Studying category of Songza, snagging brainstorming notes from Evernote, scheduling social media posts with Buffer, scheduling the post on my editorial calendar with CoSchedule, and staying focused with FocusBooster. What can I say? I love my apps.
Do you have any favorite apps that help you manage your biz better or faster? Leave a note in the comments and let me know!
If you start enjoying one of these fab productivity apps, please share this post with your entrepreneurial friends!