Five free ways to boost your productivity

Here's some tips and tricks to ensure you make the most of your working day

Five free ways to boost your productivity

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We're spending an increasing amount of time in front of screens and connected devices but are we working as efficiently as we could be? Here's five free ways to increase your productivity and ensure the technology at your fingertips works harder for you. 

Evernote:

I'm fond of a list. It can help visualise the tasks of the day and prioritise, but many of us tend to scribble down on scraps of paper which are easily lost. Evernote is a cloud-based notebook. 

What does that mean I hear you ask?

Users can log into Evernote from a computer or download the application from anywhere in the world and access their content. Once signed in it's possible to make shopping lists, to-do lists and keep notes on anything and everything. This means if you start your shopping list at your desktop in work, you can then read it whilst in the supermarket from your phone. Incredibly handy. 

I use Evernote in work as it's easily searchable and reduces the amount of notebooks I have on the go. I have a different digital notebook for different areas and update each as I go. There's a premium version of Evernote available, but I have never needed to upgrade as the basic offering is excellent. 

MindMup:

MindMup is a great tool for expanding and mapping out ideas. If you've never tried a mind-map before, give it a go. I use it to plan out projects on a regular basis and it works a treat. Just look:

Coffitivity:

Next up is a strange one, but bare with me. Coffitivity is a site which plays the sounds of a busy coffee shop out of your computer while you work. Research, which is on the site, shows that a level of ambient noise "is conducive to creative cognition". I was a bit sceptical to begin with, but now I swear by it.

Tomato-Timer:

You may or may not have heard about the Pomodoro Technique. This is a time management method created by Francesco Crillo. The idea is that users work in 25 minute bursts rather than sitting aimlessly in front of a screen for hours. 

Notifications:

Finally, if you want to be truly productive, kill pop-up email notifications and any other desktop distractions. Outlook, by default, enables a pop-up notification every time a mail arrives and it is incredibly distracting. Take a moment to disable this function.