One of the most significant benefits to our ever-increasing access to technology is the ability to enhance our productivity exponentially. Think about it: the average student or employee now has access to better and more efficient tools and technology than multibillion dollar corporations had 15 years ago!
Whether you're learning a new language or working to improve your performance on the job there are tons of affordable applications that can help you get more done in less time. The end result of better productivity for students can translate into better jobs when they reach the workforce. For the employee, these tools can help you achieve higher wages and better job security.
Here are a few of our favorites productivity apps that you can start using today:
RescueTime is a powerful tool that gives you the ability to track and analyze how you spend your time when you sit down at your computer. It’s easy to install and runs in the background while you’re working and tracks how much time you spend using applications and spending time online. Once you've gathered a few days’ worth of information you take a close look at where you are spending too much time and take action to fix it.
The results can be quite eye-opening. For example, you might be shocked to discover how much time you are actually spending on social media or reading news sites every day. Even if it’s a ridiculously conservative 2 hours per work day, that adds up to 40 hours per month! Even if you slashed that number by 50%, imagine what you could get done with 20 more hours in a month. RescueTime has a simple free version as well as a paid premium version that allows you to block websites and track several additional data points like the time you spend away from the computer.
FocusBooster is an application that uses the Pomodoro technique in order to maximize your productivity when performing mentally demanding tasks. It's fairly simple to implement: you simply start the timer in the application for 25 minute increments and focus on the work at hand until the timer goes off. Then you take a short break for 5 to 10 minutes and allow your mind to relax and start the timer again after the break. Studies have shown that this method helps prevent mental fatigue, improve recall, and reduce errors when performing information related tasks. FocusBooster is one of the easiest Pomodoro technique-based applications to get up and running and is absolutely free.
For the information worker on the go there might not be a better application suite and than Google Drive. This is one of the most popular secure cloud-based storage applications available, allowing you to backup your photos, videos, and documents in a snap. You get a whopping 15 GB of space for free and as long as you have access to the Internet you can collaborate with other workers and update your documents anywhere in the world that you are. All it takes is a tablet, computer or smart phone and you’re off and running!
Access to Google Drive also allows you to use Google's office-based applications and export them in the appropriate format. So even if you don't have access to Microsoft Excel, you can create a spreadsheet in Google Drive and export it to XLS format and send it on to your boss or coworker.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Global Leadership Summit in London, 34% of business leaders claim that half of their company's full-time workforce will be working remotely by 2020. Clearly, applications like Google Drive will help drive productivity in a huge way for workers who will not be tied to a single workstation in the future.
Evernote is an outstanding application for productivity that allows you access to your notes across multiple devices. You can take snapshots of websites, clip important passages and create bookmarks on the go…and then access them from anywhere in the world. You can also create reminders and even hand write to-do lists and upload them to your Evernote account for later access.
The days of taking notes on a yellow legal pad and hauling it around with you are over. One of the biggest benefits to Evernote is the fact that you can organize your notes and ideas and search through them based on keyword tags. This is an essential time-saving app for students and workers alike. Evernote has both a robust free version and an even more advanced paid version at a very reasonable $10 per month.
This is a flash card style program that helps you improve memorization. Many students love to use Anki for language learning because it's fast and effective for repetition based memory techniques. Medical students, engineering students, and other populations that need to memorize a wide variety of formulas and concepts have all touted the benefits of Anki for years. You can create your own “decks” of cards to learn specific concepts or choose from a wide variety of shared ones that have already been created by other users. Anki is a free application that can help you boost productivity in a big way.
Productivity tools empower the student and employee of today in more ways than at any time in history. The applications listed above can help you learn languages faster, get more work done in less time, prevent mental fatigue and organize your information more efficiently. Imagine what you could do with just 20% more time in a day? What could you accomplish? If you start using applications like these then you will soon find out!