10 Productivity Tools to Save More Time Online
As the online buzz increased dramatically with the rise of Social Networks, I found that it is also very easy to get distracted. With dozens of popups and new notifications, staying focused and working efficiently can sometimes be difficult.
So here are 10 innovative tools that help me greatly to get more done and focus on what is important.
MindMeister – Map out your mind
MindMeister is a great tool to draw your ideas in focused mindmaps. The App offers you a lot of different options to customize your maps, adding in pictures, charts and other multimedia elements. I also very much enjoy the fact that you continue drawing your maps from smartphones with their handy mobile Apps for iPhone and iPad.
Top Tip: If you are collaborating with others on a project you can use MindMeister to brainstorm ideas on one map.
Give it a go here: MindMeister
Coolendar – A calendar that turns into a to do list
A very innovative App that I have started to use recently is Coolendar. Instead of the usual calendar, this App takes a completely new approach. You don’t have to fiddle with time setting and finding the right timeslot. The App developed a simply syntax, that allows you to type an event and it will automatically be ordered with the right date and time. So for example simply type “16th June, 16pm I have a meeting with Joe” and that’s it.
Top Tip: Coolendar ties in very neatly with Gmail so you can set up a bot that notifies you for events via Google Talk.
Give it a go here: Coolendar
Rapportive – Get to know your email contacts better
Rapportive has been around for a little while and is super helpful in order to interact on a more in-depth level with your email contacts. If you install the App inside Gmail, you will receive detailed information about a person if you receive an email from them. This includes data about their Facebook, Twitter and other social network accounts.
Top tip: Recently the App added a functionality to reply to Tweets right inside the Gmail. So you can easily notify someone on different channels.
Give it a go here: Rapportive
Mockflow – Beautiful Wireframes in seconds
Although Mockflow is not the first software to allow you to build wireframes, the functionality of it is very powerful. You can design user interface mockups and website within a very short space of time. As a plus it also works offline. You are offered many different drawings and concepts to create your mockup, which makes putting a concrete idea across very easy.
Top Tip: In order to use your wireframed design more efficiently you can easily download your mockup as an html file.
Give it a go here: Mockflow
Bounce – Analyze websites in a fun and new way
Bounce offers you a fun and useful solution to optimize your websites. The tool takes a screenshot of any URL you put in. You can then go ahead and comment on various parts of the website and save these comments. I found that this helped me great deal to give and receive feedback on my design in a hassle-free and quick way.
Top Tip: The built in sharing functionality allows you to quickly share your screenshot on Facebook or Twitter.
Give it a go here: Bounce
Let’s Crate – Share files with one click
Filesharing with others has never been easier by using this App. Let’s Crate allows you to simply drag and drop a file into a box on their landing page. This generates a link and you can go and share it with anyone you want to give access to this file. Especially for sharing files with multiple people, this App has helped me many times in the past.
Top Tip: If you sign up, you can easily create different folders to order your various files, displayed on a beautiful interface.
Give it a go here: Let’s Crate
Skinnyo – Being healthy can be that simple
This is one of my favorite new discoveries. To me being productive and efficient online also means to be in good shape. The App allows you to easily track your weight changes over time. The heart of the App is that you can enter into competitions with others and make being healthy a fun challenge. Challenges can range from simply doing sports regularly, building up certain muscles or losing weight.
Top Tip: What I love is that you can also create and manage teams in order to stay on track with your challenge and stay motivated.
Give it a go here: Skinnyo
Screenr – Super simple screencasts
For long doing a screencast seemed to be a hassle. Since the arrival of Screenr this is no longer the case. The app allows you to make screencasts without downloading any software or fiddling with installs. All you do is hit the record button and start explaining your problem or solution to others. You can then conveniently publish it on a public site and share the link with others.
Top Tip: In order to capitalize on the full power of Screenr, I suggest you try answering that next client email with a nice screencast if appropriate, it makes for great customer service.
Give it a go here: Screenr
Buffer – Be awesome on Twitter
(Full disclosure: I work on Buffer) Buffer is a super simple App that allows anyone to become a go to destination for great content. Whilst you are reading articles on the web, you simply give it one click on the Buffer icon via one of the browser extensions (Chrome, Safari, Firefox). Instead of tweeting it right away, Buffer will post this tweet well spaced out over the day for you. So fill up your Buffer with lots of tweets in the morning and you will be tweeting throughout the whole day.
Top Tip: To make Buffering even easier you can even do it from inside Google Reader or on Twitter.com.
Give it a go here: Buffer
These are my top 10 Apps which help me to be more efficient online each day. I hope some of them are useful for you too. Have you found any favorites of the ones from above yet?