July 26, 2018
There are tons of productivity apps and software out there that sell themselves as the life-changing tools you’re schedule is missing out on, but sometimes these tools feel like more hassle than help. To figure out the best hacks and apps for staying organised we went straight to the people and asked the wtv. team. These are the productivity and organisational strategies that keep the team and projects on track and on time. In a nutshell, we like apps and collaboration tools!
I use Google Calendar religiously, both to block my time and to track it. I like that I can easily rearrange projects when inevitable on the day things come up that weren’t in my original schedule. I pop everything into the calendar as a reminder and then spend a few minutes at the end of each day prioritizing and estimating time for the next day. Having a priority list prepared when I start work is essential for having a productive morning. For small things, both personal and professional, I use Clear app. You can rearrange items, set reminders and easily check things off, it’s a lifesaver! For longer-term projects that don’t yet have a place in my calendar, and for content planning, I use Trello so I can add notes and links and pick these projects up again when I have time.
Me and productivity products don’t always get on, I’m more of a good ‘ol fashioned pen to paper note taker, but Google Keep is a useful and simple to use notetaking tool. It’s awesome because I can easily share notes, whether it’s for work or the shopping list. I use Asana to manage all of the granular tasks on client projects. It’s perfect for assigning tasks and keeping projects on deadline.
Sketch significantly shortened my work process. It has many useful extensions and plugins that have improved how we collaborate, especially with communication between designers and developers. I love that all styles extend over the artboards in a single document, so it means I only need to make a single change and it applies to all the artboards. Such a time saver! Atlassian Jira is another of my favourite tools for managing projects and tasks when I’m working with developers. Being able to define workflows for any type of a task helps to keep them on track. It’s perfect for Agile development.
I find Evernote super useful for my own personal projects and general life admin. I use it as more of a dumping ground for the first initial ideas rather than creating individual tasks. It’s just a handy place to store info/logins/etc that you frequently need to access quickly. The best thing for me is the tagging function and ease of use. Then, I use Asana to flesh projects out and break down into specific tasks. I set myself a number of Asana tasks throughout the week and just work through them. The email reminder and notifications provide a gentle nudge to get on with them! And finally, I’m not sure my life would function without Google Calendar. I can view my partner’s company roster and as well as each other’s personal calendars so we both know when there’s free time to spend doing something fun together.
What I like most about Wunderlist is that its dead simple. Some task management apps have folders, tags, contexts, priority, locations, subtasks, etc and it’s too much for me. Wunderlist gives me the choice to create a bunch of groupings and under these a list of tasks on which I can add a due date, reminder or note. They’re also simple to rearrange. On the desktop app, I use the filters to track all my completed and upcoming tasks with due dates.
My other go-to app is Splitwise. I always have a full calendar and I love meeting up with friends but it gets complicated keeping track of who owes for what or whose turn it is to treat. Not to mention currencies, living on the border of France and Switzerland this is always an issue! Splitwise is the best for sharing and splitting costs. You can also use it for trips and to manage other shared finances. You can snap a pic of the bill, add a note and you’re done.
I work with team members all over the world, in different time zones and countries so Slack is an essential tool to keep us all on the same page. I like that it’s channel specific so it’s easy to keep projects focused and make sure the right person is always working on the right project. And it’s a one-stop-shop for messaging and making voice calls. Plus, all of the integrations with other tools like Jira or Google Drive are super handy.