This is a post I plan to occasionally update and repost to the front of the blog as I find new tools to use and I think may interest you. I’ve included several updates below.
I guess you could say I’m sort of a nerd when it comes to productivity tools. I’m always looking out for the latest tools to help me become more productive in blogging, my career or personal life. I thought I would share a few of my favorite free productivity tools that I’ve been using lately to become more organized and efficient in my work. I hope you find these as helpful as I have!
Xmarks - Xmarks is a free bookmarking tool that keeps your bookmarks synchronized across computers. The plugin is easily installed and works with all the major browsers. You can add a bookmark and it synchronizes to your xMarks online account every time you open or close your browser. I never realized how unproductive I was looking up all my favorite sites until I finally started saving them using Xmarks. Xmarks also has an iPhone and iPad app available if you want to pay a $12 per year for a premium account.
KeePass - I started using KeePass several years ago. It’s a great desktop application that keeps track of all your account passwords. The best part about it is that you never have to remember another password. You save them all into KeePass with your username and website url and grab them when needed. I save my KeePass file to DropBox which allows me to have access to it from every computer KeePass is installed. You can also install the MiniKeePass app on your iPhone and use it with DropBox to access your file.
Dropbox – I’m a late adopter to cloud storage but have been finding more ways to take advantage of Dropbox in the last year. I haven’t paid for Dropbox storage yet and I’ve managed to save most of my personal files to the cloud minus videos and pictures. They provide a free version up to 2 GB of storage.
50 100 GB is just $9.99 per month and I think that might be difficult to use for most people.
Evernote – I’ve been using Evernote for about a year now and absolutely love it for saving notes, to – do’s and web clippings. It provides great capabilities to tag your notes and search for them based on keywords or tags. It even searches for words in your images. It also provides the ability to record your notes in audio file format which is handy when on the go or in the car. You can get some advanced features for just $5 per month.
Bamboo Paper - Bamboo Paper is a writing app I use on my iPad with the Bamboo stylus. This is the best app I’ve found if you’re interested in using a stylus to take notes or jot down ideas on your iPad and go completely paperless. What’s even better is you can send your written pages to Evernote for tagging and storage. You can then use Evernote’s built in search feature to find your notes. The app is extremely user friendly and has great ink colors with different ink sizes. The app costs $1.99 and the pen is around $35 the last time I priced it.
Productivity Tool Updates – June 2013
I’m no longer using Xmarks to keep my bookmarks in sync across browsers. I’m now using Google Chrome as my browser on all computers, including my iPhone and iPad. While Google Chrome offers the ability to keep your bookmarks in sync across your computers and mobile devices, I’m using Pinboard as a central storage for all my bookmarks.
Pinboard - Pinboard is a simple and easy to use social bookmarking tool that makes it easy to save links to articles and all your favorite websites. I use a bookmarklet on my Google Chrome toolbar that lets me save my bookmarks and ad tags to keep them organized. I also send bookmarks to Pinboard via email. There is other functionality I haven’t used yet, which includes auto saving tweets and RSS feeds for your bookmarks. It currently costs a one-time $10 fee and it’s easy to import your bookmarks from all the major browsers.
Remember the Milk – Remember the Milk has become my favorite tool and I use it daily on all my computers and devices. It’s the best task management software I’ve been able to find. It allows me to organize all areas of my life in tasks lists and further organize tasks with tags, priorities, due dates and much, much more. The iPad and iPhone apps are easy to use and sync write up with the cloud based software. It does come with a price, but I think it’s worth the money. The price is currently set at $25 per year.
Instapaper - Instapaper has become huge for my social media and article reading workflow. In short, I scan my feeds and save articles to Instapaper to read and share later. Instapaper provides articles in plain text to make them easier to read. You can save articles to folders, archive them and share directly to Facebook, Twitter and more. You can also send articles you like directly to Pinboard!
I hope you find these productivity tools helpful. I know there are plenty more out there, but I’ve found these to be especially helpful tools as they cover a lot of ground for me in terms of keeping my life organized. Perhaps you have a few productivity tools you like. If so, please let me know about them in the comments.