5 Essential productivity tools.

Modern day life is so chaotic! Throw in running a business into the mix and we need all the help we can get! Luckily there are so many apps and tools out there to help us.

Here are 5 tools that I use every day which undoubtedly help to increase my productivity during the working day....

1. Dropbox

There are many cloud-based storage and file sharing options out there, but Dropbox is how I manage to work remotely with my clients. I couldn't be without it. It is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. There are a variety of different plans on offer, all which comply with the new GDPR regulations. I use Dropbox to share files with my clients, we share files that we edit together or pass on files that we would like the other person to view.

2. Lastpass

Online security has always been paramount, but even more so since the introduction of GDPR last month. It can be a struggle to remember all the passwords for your personal accounts let alone any sites you access on behalf of your clients. Lastpass remembers everything for you. Rather than having to manually type your passwords for websites, LastPass does it for you; it even allows you easily log into multiple accounts. All of your login details are saved in a vault, secured with a master password. With an encrypted vault and two-factor authentication, your data remains completely secure. You can share passwords securely with your teams, clients and suppliers so they can log in to your accounts without seeing the password itself – meaning that you can revoke access at any time.

3. Pocket

Pocket, previously known as Read It Later, is a fab app for saving articles, videos and more from the Internet. With Pocket, anything that takes your interest goes to one place with just one click, so you can view it anytime, on any device. You don’t even need an Internet connection as you can view offline. This is such a useful app to use in conjunction with content planning. If you see something that takes your interest you can save it for another time when you can look at it properly. It works directly from your browser or phone and as with most other tools, it has a free and a paid version.

4. Canva

Canva is a free graphic-design tool website that helps you to create design logos, graphic content for websites, blogs, social media and emails, and print materials. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. If you don't have the money to invest in a graphic designer, then this is the next best option. Having great visuals increases engagement and the likelihood of people and sharing your content. I use Canva to create Instagram posts, Facebook posts and poster style graphics. It so easy to use too! Again, there are both free versions and paid plans you can use.

5. Toggl

As a Virtual Assistant, my clients pay for my time. Therefore it is essential that I am able to record the time I have worked for them correctly. Toggl makes this so easy - start the timer at the beginning of the task and stop at the end, it's that easy! If you step away from your computer for a short while it prompts you when you get back with its idle detection - its then your choice to keep the time or not. You can organise your time by clients, projects or tasks making it so easy to see what you've worked and for who when it comes to invoicing. Toggl works wherever you are so you can track time from your phone or computer, just download their phone or desktop app. There is a completely free version or paid versions if you want extra features. It's not just for individuals either, you can have teams of up to 5 people on the free version.

There we have it, my 5 favourite productivity tools. There are many many more tools out there but these are the ones I couldn't live without!

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