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6 Productivity Tools You Should Try This YearI love productivity books, blogs, and podcasts, but I REALLY get excited about productivity tools that make my life easier. Here are six that I was crazy about in the past year that you may want to try too.

#1 Timeful

Scheduling is the number one way I get things done now. But because I always tend to overestimate what I can accomplish in a day, I LOVE Timeful. I can automatically determine what I can reasonably do and at the same time, get suggestions of when to do certain tasks or habits I’m working on.

A second benefit of Timeful is that I have a record of what I’ve actually done during the day as I have a Timeful calendar set up to sync with Google.

#2 Balanced

This is an app I recently discovered and it’s perfect for reminding me of things I want to do regularly. Unlike most other apps, it isn’t annoying. The UI is gorgeous and the app functions like a nice friend who gently suggests I do something I said I wanted to do.

#3 Random.org

I use this app every day for chore management. I’ll explain how in a future post. But the app saves me enormous time refereeing squabbles with my kids! I also use it when I’m feeling stuck and unwilling to follow my schedule. I’ll explain how in tomorrow’s post on productivity hacks.

#4 Focus@Will

Focus at Will is a website and app that produces music to help you focus and get more done. Unlike most music websites, Focus’s mission is to keep you from noticing the music at all. In fact, if you notice it, you’re supposed to skip to a different track.

Focus offers a free trial. During mine I determined that Ambient noise works best for me. While I was enjoying increased productivity, I wasn’t enjoying the music. So I tried listening to Pandora while I worked. MUCH better! I enjoyed the songs so much that I would stop and sing along and then I would research the artists and would be sure to take the time to give a thumbs up to songs I liked. Whoops.

I went back to Focus@Will and absolutely love that I can set a timer for a work period and can then report how focused I was. Unless I’m interrupted by someone, I find 100% focus. If I’m around the kids, I wear headphones. If not, I play it over my computer speakers. I would love to know if it works as well for work away from the computer. If you try it, let me know!

#5 Asus Transformer

I bought this tablet with a keyboard that looks like a netbook on Cyber Monday for a mere $260. I cannot express how crazy I am about it, particularly because it uses the full Windows operating system. One of my huge frustrations with the iPad as a writing tool is that isn’t possible. I am using it only for reading and writing. I had a large monitor and full-size keyboard that I wasn’t using, so I set up a desktop work station at home like this.

When I’m ready to write on the go, all I have to do is turn it off, unplug it, and pop it in my purse. One of the first things I downloaded was Scrivener which I also can’t recommend enough for writers.

#6 Tools4Wisdom Planner

A friend sent me a link to this at the end of the year and I was so excited about it, I had to order it. What I love about it is the huge emphasis on goals. Every month and every week, you are asked to specify your goals, why you want to achieve them, and the steps needed. There are also half-hour blocks all day for planning time. Sometimes I want to see what I’m doing on paper, rather than on my little iPhone screen. This is just the ticket!

The paper of this planner is like silk. It works perfectly with my Frixion pens.

What are your favorite productivity tools?

This post is part of a 5-day series on productivity favorites. You may enjoy the other 5 Day Hopscotch posts from iHomeschool Network bloggers. Check them out!

5 Days of iHomeschool Network goodness!

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