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January 01, 2021
Productivity

The Best Time Management Tools of 2021

time management

By Ty Collins

Your time is precious. Time management tools can be irreplaceable resources that improve your ability to stay productive and get things done.

Procrastination, distractions or just having too much on your plate can all kill your productivity. With the right time management tools, however, you’ll be able to find balance in your workflow, stay on top of deadlines and free up much needed time for your hobbies and personal time.

Calendly

You’d be surprised by how much time gets wasted going back and forth trying to schedule appointments. Calendly is here to help. 

The tool helps you sidestep the typical prelude to meetings and find times that work for all parties involved. Simply set your available times, send out a link and wait for the folks you need to meet with to select times that are convenient for them. 

In addition to streamlining the whole “setting up a meeting” dance, Calendly is a solution that scales as your teams or projects grow. The tool works across time zones and integrates with your favorite calendar apps, so you can always stay on top of work you’ve got scheduled.

Calendly is an efficient solution that can save you enormous chunks of time and let you focus on staying productive with your core responsibilities. Here's more on how to create an online booking system.

Timely

Imagine being able to track the amount of time you spend on every project you touch throughout the day. That’s what Timely promises.

Timely is a time-tracking tool designed by Norwegian developer Memory. Instead of having you manually set timers or take notes on which hours you spend on which projects, Timely automatically records the time you spend on your various work apps and provides an overview of how you spend every minute of the day.

Timely organizes your time usage information visually, so you can easily see how you use large blocks of time, identify what’s eating up your hours and improve your time management. The tool also provides an AI mechanism to help with more niche tasks, such as converting your hours spent into timesheets that you can use to bill clients.

Todoist

When it comes to task management, Todoist is one of the most popular cloud-based options for Android and iOS devices. At its core, the app is about giving you control over tracking your to-dos. 

Todoist is designed to be sleek and straightforward. It provides features for organizing tasks by type, setting up reminders and collaborating with teammates. The features are easy to learn and you can jump right into making the most of your time shortly after downloading the app. 

The app’s designers also recognize the importance of time management for remote workers and tailor features with the nomadic worker firmly in mind.

Toggl

Let’s say you want to manage time for an entire team and plan your workflow to maximize efficiency. Toggl offers a time tracking service designed to boost productivity and profitability — one that works whether you’re online, offline or working through mobile applications. 

In addition to multi-device support, Toggl makes it easy to visualize time data and generates reports you can use to analyze what your team is up to. Its features are straightforward and scale easily; whether you’re running a small team with less than five members or a larger team with over fifty, you can customize Toggl’s tracking measures to fit your group’s needs.

Focus Booster

There are more Pomodoro timer apps on the market than you can shake a stick at, but one of the best you’ll find is Focus Booster. The app provides all the basic Pomodoro features you can think of. It also provides some neat extras such as the option to trigger automatic breaks after a certain number of work sessions and reminders that tell you where you are within a particular work session.

Focus Booster’s most impressive feature is that it can help you visualize exactly where your time goes. Time entries and labels let you organize work sessions in any way you like so you can view your progress. The ability to add session notes also lets you keep a detailed log of everything you accomplish while you work. Over time, you’ll be able to pick up on and analyze trends in your working behavior to maximize your productivity.

Loop

What’s the biggest thing standing between you and productivity? For many people, the answer is poor habits — not getting enough sleep, not eating the right foods, not exercising, not staying mindful and so on. Loop is a habit tracking app designed to help you undo poor habits and build healthier routines and behaviors.

The tool asks you to specify which habits you’d like to track. You check in every day after completing tasks. Over time, the app will notice which habits you stay consistent with and assign habit scores that correlate with how frequently and regularly you do what you set out to do. 

Best of all, Loop is free, open-source and works offline without tracking your personal info.

Noisli

Sometimes, what we really need is a bit of background noise to keep us in the zone. Noisli has you covered with a web/mobile app that lets you mix and match ambient sounds into a perfect productivity-inducing harmony. If you don’t feel like manually selecting which high-quality sounds to work to, you can always randomize your sound environment or find playlists to keep things fresh.

Noisli is more than just a way to fine-tune your focus with sound, though. The app offers additional productivity tools such as a timer and a text editor. Its features will keep you on-task and shield you from time-wasting distractions. 

Focus@Will

Noisli isn’t the only app that uses sound to enhance productivity. Focus@Will offers a selection of music, backed by science, that’s designed to help you focus. 

The tool has a library that contains thousands of hours of music and sounds produced by expert sound designers and neuroscientists. Each track has been tested — experts have measured their effects on the brain — to ensure efficacy.

Focus@Will also provides a built-in productivity tracker to help you gauge how much you get done while you listen to sounds from the app. According to Focus@Will Labs, most users see a 200-400 percent increase in focus time while using the app. Based on the data, you should get quite the productivity boost from those carefully crafted sounds.

Freedom

The internet is one of the greatest time wasters. Freedom seeks to aid you in overcoming this monumental distraction. 

With just a bit of setup, the app will restrict your access to websites that drain your time — social media, online shopping, streaming platforms and so on — for as long as you need it to. With no more distractions, you’ll be able to reclaim your time and get your work done.

Freedom can do more than just restrict your access to specific websites. You can set the tool up to shutter your access to different apps on your device or even the entire internet, should you need that much of a break. You can also schedule block periods in advance to boost your productivity and create regular work hours for yourself. The tool lets you sync your lockout preferences so you don’t try to cheat your way around the app by using a different device.

Mind Node

If you’ve never tried mind mapping before, Mind Node is the perfect place to start. 

The tool provides one of the best ways to brainstorm. With Mind Node, you can take a single idea and track it as it sprouts off into a hundred more. You can also capture every single thought that comes up while you’re on the go.

The app provides various features for your convenience, such as linking thoughts with tags, organizing ideas with outlines and more. Focus mode allows you to zero in on a specific part of your mind map and get to work without being distracted by the overall picture. Themes let you customize how your mind map looks, and the quick entry option lets you jot down ideas as soon as they hit you instead of having to fumble around within the app.

Trello

Without the right tool, working to coordinate a team leads to many wasted hours. Trello exists to help you regain that time with peerless collaborative tools. 

Trello’s array of boards, lists and cards help you and your team visualize every task that needs to get done, assign or delegate responsibilities and get to business in a way that’s fun, efficient and accessible.

Trello is designed to be easy to add to your workflow. It integrates with a host of productivity apps you probably already use, such as Evernote, Slack, Dropbox and more. No matter how large your team is or how lofty your goals, Trello can help you get on the same page and conquer any task that needs to be done.

Ty head shot

Ty Collins

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