Welcome to 2018! The holidays are now behind us and it’s time to get productive.
The average business person’s work life is a complicated one. It’s a flurry of meetings and emails and texts and documents to review. Due to the increased level of business communication over the last two decades, it feels that we are on call 24 hours a day and that everybody is communicating with everybody all of the time. That makes your time, both professional and personal, very precious.
We are here to help! The team at Bush Marketing has compiled a list of our favorite apps to make your work and personal life more productive and better lived. Let’s start the year off right, get organized, and free up some time!
For Team Communication – Slack
Slack has been a dream come true for the Bush Marketing team. Slack is a messaging app, that allows team members to communicate on a specific project through texting. So as opposed to sending countless emails for countless projects all muddled together in an inbox, Slack separates each project and allows you to communicate separately through these individual channels.
The app is available for Android, iPhone and desktop. It sends notifications when you have received a new message, and it allows you to tag specific team members so that only they receive your messages. The free version of slack is fairly robust, allowing for 5 gigabytes of storage and many integrations (limited to ten), including Google.
If your email inbox is constantly flooded with team emails, Slack may be the solution for you. Check it out!
For Staying on Top of Things – ToDoist
Now that we have our number of emails reduced, let’s get organized! One of the keys to being organized in business (and life in general) is the To Do List. A to-do list is something that is always in flux, with new entries being added and current items being executed.
Todoist is an amazing app that allows you to stay on top of everything you need to do. It is a very deep application, with features such as scheduling, integration with other apps, and as it is a cloud-based service, it will automatically sync with your mobile devices, so your to-do list will be with you at all times.
Like Slack, it is a freemium service, and has a very potent free version. That being said, the upgraded versions offer a deeper experience and more features. We at Bush Marketing have been perfectly satisfied with the free version, so try that out before you pay. We love it.
For Continued Education – Podcast Addict
A critical, and often overlooked, element of succeeding in business is constant learning and continuing education. Billionaire entrepreneurs the world over have made learning a significant part of their schedule. Here are some examples (source: Business Insider):
• Bill Gates reads 50 books a year.
• Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks.
• Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day, according to his brother.
• Mark Cuban reads for more than three hours every day.
• Arthur Blank, a cofounder of Home Depot, reads two hours a day.
As much as we love to read (we do, we swear), we also like to take our learning on the go. We find that one of the best ways to accomplish that is through listening to podcasts. Podcast Addict is our app of choice for aggregating and listening to podcasts. It has a simple and clean interface, and will allow you to compile both audio and video podcast. It also has an exceptional search engine capability that allow you to search through over 250,000 podcasts.
Here are some popular business podcasts to get you started:
For Preventing Distractions – StayFocusd
Stayfocusd is a browser extension that blocks websites that tend to distract you when you should be focused on work. You can set the extension to block the websites either by a set schedule (eg. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or according to a specific time limit (eg. 1 hour). Believe it or not, it’s a surprisingly effective way to stay focused. All of those distracting trips to Twitter and Facebook are eliminated. It’s a very basic browser extension that could change your level of productivity dramatically.
For “Later” Reading – Pocket
Another major distraction to productivity is getting sidetracked reading articles or blog posts. If a compelling article comes our way we certainly don’t want to forget about it, but we don’t want to stop working either. The solution to that is Pocket. Pocket is a service/app that saves online reading materials for you to check out later. Not only does it save the articles for you to read later, but it can scale them down and eliminate ads from the page which leads to a cleaner reading experience.
For Social Media Management – Hootsuite
HootSuite is a fantastic service that has been around for years now. It allows you to create a single social media post and then distribute it to multiple channels. So instead of posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, individually, HootSuite will send them all out in one post. It also has a fantastic scheduling feature so you can post a week‘s or even a month’s worth of social media posts in advance.
For Clarity and Serenity – Insight Timer
Arguably the most important tool for a productive life is a calm mind. Meditation allows you to quiet the activity in your head and reduce or eliminate anxiety. This allows for clarity and wisdom, which leads to a positive and productive work life.
Insight Timer is an application that helps you facilitate meditation. Rated as the top free meditation app on the Android and iOS stores, Insight Timer offers guided, silent and timed meditations. You can also track your progress to see how your meditation patterns are moving forward.
If you haven’t tried meditation open your mind and give it a shot. More and more savvy business people are trying it and finding it to be hugely beneficial to both their work and their personal life. We live in an extremely complex and stressful world, and this is a solution for many including some of us a Bush Marketing.
While hardly a comprehensive list of productivity apps ( there are literally thousands of them) these are some of the apps that we count on at Bush Marketing to be as productive and happy as possible. Good luck, and get out there and get productive!