It takes nifty organisational skills and discipline, which – who’d have thought! – aren’t easy to muster when your boss isn’t around. We’ve narrowed down the best apps and tech tools to make your life easier and amp productivity. You’re welcome, now do get on.
First, plan your week with Trello, a free service that lets you visually set daily goals and manage work projects. Most management tools are confusing to use because of an overwhelming number of features – too much of a good thing – but Trello is streamlined and approachable. Think of it as a digital pinboard; divided into lists, and on each list, you add cards where you detail your tasks. You can share everything on your board with colleagues or clients, allowing them to collaborate and track the overall progress sans lengthy e-mails.
You’ll also need a digital time-keeper like RescueTime to help you stay on the ball. It’s designed for individuals who require personal time management, and unless you’re HR looking to monitor a team, this does the trick without the fuss. It tracks how much time you spend on activities online and at the end of the week, you’ll receive an email with a statement on your productivity based on pre-grouped, customisable categories. Two hours Net-A-Porter-ing? Guilty as charged.
Next, download Slack, which functions as a chatroom, grouped into public and private messages, with a custom domain. You can invite other users to join by sending out an email invitation, especially convenient when inviting a guest member, like an external consultant, to the company chat. The biggest edge Slack has over other communication tools? Its compatibility with over 800 app integrations, including widely-used cloud storage solutions like Google Drive or Dropbox.
It’s midnight and chances are, you’re still checking e-mails or winding down on Netflix. The blue light from your device is damaging to eye health and could disrupt sleep, so install F.lux, a software that adjusts the colour of your device’s display to the time of day and reduces eye strain at night. Sure, you could use built-in, warm-light filters on your laptop, but with F.lux, you have the option of choosing from various effects and pre-sets to give you the colour accuracy you prefer.
Finally, some extras: 1) A fitness tracker to remind you to move every hour because sitting all day can cause serious health concerns, and flatten your bottom – the horror! The Apple Watch – if you already use an iPhone – comes in tops for its built-in cellular connectivity and compatibility with thousands of apps; in addition to more obvious features like step and calories tracking. Not to mention its sleek design, and range of finishes and straps to choose from.
Otherwise, the Fitbit Versa 2 also delivers similar metrics, works on both Android and iOs; has longer battery life, native sleep tracking (it doesn’t need an app unlike the Apple Watch) and has a broader selection of supported, specialised workouts like kickboxing and Pilates.
For anyone who spends hours hunched over a laptop and suffers from tense neck muscles, the Neck Hammock is a cervical traction device that gently pulls the head away from the neck, helping to stretch the vertebrae and muscles along your spinal cord, providing instant relief from neck stiffness or backpain. No better way to end the day.