Productivity begins with a mouse: Web applications to assist in your time efficiency

1. Behance action method:


  • The Action Runner- this is a miracle. It has a reference line up top, where you put the name or location of the work you're doing -- a date spot -- and then action boxes going down the whole thing. Very simple and small; I take it with me everywhere.

  • The Action Cahier- Pretty much, it's like the Action Journal in a small mini book size. The right side has the action steps, like the runner, and the left side has dotted graph lines so you can sketch out websites or ideas.

2. Tweet Deck: This may seem like a weird thing to put in the productivity and GTD section, but I think it's essential, especially if you work in the internet/social/search industry like I do. If you must be interacting on Twitter everyday while at work (or working for yourself), Tweet Deck has columns you can use to:

  • Save time by keeping your important contacts separate from people you're just following.[image-2]

  • Stalk a search term. This is handy if you're doing analytical work with hash tag terms.

  • Schedule tweets (a new feature) so you don't have to be distracted from the tasks at hand to send something out.

  • Manage multiple accounts: Twitter, Facebook, FB fan pages, Google Buzz, etc.

3. Gmail Tasks: I'm a big Google-head so it's really no surprise that I would bring this up. Some of you may not know this exists, but you can enable a little box that looks like a G-chat pop-up that will keep a running list of your tasks for you. You can also:[image-3]

  • Add important email tasks directly into Tasks with the click of a button.

  • Integrate with Google Calendar. Check it off, move them around it's all simple.

  • Hierarchical tasks list. Now you can have multiple tasks under a project, so you can complete pieces one by one.

4. Growl: [image-4]I am also a Mac head so, once again, it's no surprise that I'm mentioning this. Growl is pretty much an alert system for your Mac. It can handle alerts from almost anywhere. It's a gentle shove reminder that you need to check something, do something, or pay attention to something. Make sure you fine tune it thought because it can get kind of annoying. The large benefit is that you don't have to keep being OCD about checking system processes, programs, etc.

So this was just a small list, because my article is getting pretty long. Remember, productivity starts with a mouse. Without the little things, nothing gets done.

Productivity beings with a mouse. I don't care how big of a business you are, how small of an entrepreneur you are, or how much freelance work you do; in favor of getting things done, I would say a mouse is at the top of the list. Many of you would argue that a computer is necessary (after all, you can't use a mouse without a computer) but to all you naysayers out there: stop pointing out the obvious.

Productivity is triggered by the littlest things. We've all become so accustomed to using trackpads on our laptops that we don't remember the value in using a real life (hopefully, wireless) mouse. My mouse battery died the other day and it was terrible. Admittedly, I was too lazy to go buy batteries, so the crisis that ensued could probably be blamed on me. Everything I tried to do, I grabbed my mouse. I tried opening Adobe Illustrator and working with my trackpad, and I seriously wanted to throw my laptop out the window.

Even scrolling is a pain in the butt. I spent probably a good half an hour just being crabby and spiteful; all because I didn't want to go buy batteries and I had no wireless mouse to use. This article may seem like it has no point (after all, I did just rant for two paragraphs about a mouse) but it does. GTD and productivity in a business can be broken just by changing one little thing, and you may not even notice it until it's gone. To keep track, I wanted to talk about some things I've found to boost productivity:

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