What Productivity Software do you use to stay focused and organized?

by brisco
57 replies
Hey Warriors,

I would like to know what productivity software you use in order to stay focused and organized with your internet marketing business?

Thanks.
#focused #organized #productivity #software #stay
  • Profile picture of the author Ken100
    The Action Machine is pretty effective - but nothing's more effective than an accountability partner in my experience.

    Most successful people in the Mind/Warrior section on this forum seem to agree on this.

    Not just on here, it's generally accepted that an accountability partner of some sort is one of the best cures for an internet marketer's productivity (or lack of).

    Ideally, it should be someone who's more successful than you so they lift you up, keep you motivated as well as stay on, stick to, and complete your tasks.

    Alternatively, you can always get the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferriss and work only 4 hours per week

    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    A kitchen timer and a piece of paper/pen.

    It's all you need and a lot better than using something on your computer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ken100
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      A kitchen timer and a piece of paper/pen.

      It's all you need and a lot better than using something on your computer.
      May work for you but I think you should stay out of the "self help" niche

      In all seriousness... I think your "motivation" comes from creating quality products that actually work (I'm one of your customers).

      Ken
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by Ken100 View Post

        May work for you but I think you should stay out of the "self help" niche
        Focus is all about removing distractions and having a plan.

        Sit down the night before and right down the most important things you want to get done the next day. Don't wake up and then decide as it will only ruin your focus right away. You should have your goals written down the day before so you know exactly what you are doing the next day and you can wake up and get stuck into them right away. Most people will find the first few hours of the day their most productive. This is when you want to do your most important tasks. Don't open emails, social networks, none of that stuff until later in the day. Get the tasks from your list completed first and do all of that stuff later. You will get more done in those first few hours than most people do in a week.

        The best way for writing down these goals is a pen and paper. It's something physical that sits right next to you and will never be out of sight like something on your computer would. Go through each task one by one and draw a line through them as they get done.

        Don't overcomplicate this stuff. The more you do the more focus you take away from getting the actual tasks completed.
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    • Profile picture of the author zerofill
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      A kitchen timer and a piece of paper/pen.

      It's all you need and a lot better than using something on your computer.
      Every time that thing went "DING"... I would be wanting to eat something.

      But... I honestly haven't found a piece of software that would keep distractions away, keep me organized, and keep my chaotic brain from constantly making me dizzy.

      ( I get distracted and sidetracked by people constantly)
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        I played the "productivity tool" game for years. My final solution? Very similar to WillR's, only I skip the timer. And I use 3"x5" recipe cards that fit in my shirt pocket.

        I do have a more extensive Master Plan committed to paper which helps guide what goes on the cards. But the stiff little cards serve as a reminder that I still have stuff to do that day, and they don't hold enough to be overwhelming.

        "Productivity software" is just the latest generation of tools that tend to become projects in their own right. I remember getting one of those complicated planner books that people used to love whipping out to show how organized they were. I even attended a full-day seminar (paid) on how to get the most value from the damn thing. :rolleyes:
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        • Profile picture of the author MP80
          I agree with Will (and others) about using pen and paper.

          Also agree about avoiding web-based software.

          I don't use a timer though, because it stresses me out, lol.

          As for pc software... One program that has made a world of difference for me is Freemind. I always start with pen and paper but, once I have a basic plan, I use Freemind to break it down further. It definitely helps me to avoid information-overload, and stay completely focused.

          Apart from that, I have a diary, calendar and whiteboard, which get used daily (what can I say.. I like to be organized! )
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    • Profile picture of the author USA
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      A kitchen timer and a piece of paper/pen.

      It's all you need and a lot better than using something on your computer.
      My sentiments exactly.

      However, I do use a very simple app on my iPhone called Toggl (toggl.com).

      It's very simple, and straight to the point. Enter the name of your current task and whether it is billable and it just tracks and records it for you (including start and end times). Later (at the end of the day, week, month, etc.), you can check your statistics to analyze how, where, when, and on what you spent your time.

      It's a very simple app that allows me to see the big picture of where my time goes and how productive I've been verses how much I've made.

      As for the pen and paper. I keep a notepad where I layout my days' tasks in the order of their priority. Then as I work through my day I go down the list and check the tasks off as I complete them.

      At the end of the day, I evaluate my days' accomplishments (based on my task list), and realistically create 'tomorrows' task list.

      Toggl helps me to see (in hindsight), how productive and profitable I was.
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  • Profile picture of the author henryw1981
    Im sure their are plenty of products on google that should help you. I would do a product search and see what you find. Also check the reviews on products you may be interested in.
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  • Profile picture of the author undernew
    Trello is awesome
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  • Profile picture of the author okashii
    Notepad... you know the one that comes with windows lol.

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    • Profile picture of the author ralchevd
      Originally Posted by okashii View Post

      Notepad... you know the one that comes with windows lol.
      There is no way I can find Notepad as an inspiring tool.

      Trello and Daylite.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Three ring binder with college lined paper. It's gotta be college lined. More info...
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    • Profile picture of the author TurnRush
      Excel.

      /./././
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  • Profile picture of the author Sushiman1111
    I swear, every time I read something that WillR wrote I think that we were separated at birth or something. I was going to put exactly the same thing, except I use a stopwatch/count-down timer instead of a kitchen timer.

    "Don't overcomplicate this stuff." Precisely. You don't need some huge software suite to make things happen and get things done. (And you shouldn't blame the lack of such a suite for a lack of productivity.)

    Sometimes low-tech is the way to go. I often counsel people about diet and fitness, and tell them that getting a calorie-counter book and writing down what they eat is better than using a web-based application like Fitday. Most of them use Fitday anyway...and most of them fail with their diets. Using a pencil and paper is no guarantee of success, but something happens when you physically write something out. It sticks in your brain better. And the percentage of people who succeed with their diets doing it the old fashioned way is about four times that of the people who don't.

    A pencil and paper comes with no learning curve, is cheap, and works in your native language. Why would you ever need anything else?
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  • Profile picture of the author Scrambler
    I sometimes use outlook. However a paper planner and a pencil always works best for me. No need to worry about crashes, internet connections, or pesky upgrades. I am a big fan of Franklin Covey products, however they are going to cost you some money and they will upsell you.

    For the cost of printing your own pages go to diyplanner.com and make yourself a free planner. If my employer did not pick up the cost of my productivity items thats what I would do.
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  • I personally use mind maps to structure my projects. It helps me making sure everything's covered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Diice
    Self discipline.
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  • Profile picture of the author rajeevsh
    I keep it very simple. I'm virtually using my browser every single hour, so I use an empty, editable tab. There's this snippet of code you can paste in a new browser tab (works for me in Chrome, don't know about other browsers) that will make that tab editable. I just jot down everything there. Quick, easy, and very productive. Here's that link, if anyone is interested.

    I also keep a pen and paper with me wherever I go so that I can jot down notes if and when I need. I've tried doing that with an iPad, an iPad Mini and a phone and nothing is as good as paper. Maybe that will change in the future. :-)

    As far as productivity software goes, I've tried a lot. Initially, what seems like a good fit might seem a little too bloated sometime down the road, or you need something that's not there, or it just doesn't fit your workflow as well as you would like. I created a simple to-do list app for myself some time ago but that didn't work out too well either.
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  • Profile picture of the author Malcolm Thomas
    I prefer to write down my specific goals that I want to accomplish the day before and then the very next day I set a timer and do them. I believe the key to having better focus is having much more very specific goals that you want to accomplish.
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    • Profile picture of the author robestrong
      I use FocusMe if it's getting to a big issue, but normally I just use the Clear todo list on my phone and run through it the entire day. Works pretty well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author NatesMarketing
    I got a dry erase board above my screen.

    I have tasks I need to accomplish on it. Long term tasks are broken into short term tasks. Short term tasks, I sit and knock out. I have OCD once I begin a task. That's all I focus on and it sucks when it takes longer than a day to accomplish - because then I dream about the task.
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  • Profile picture of the author raffman999
    MS Excel, notepad, and the timer on my phone.
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  • Profile picture of the author KevL
    Absolutely none!! Maybe that's my problem ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    I think playing around with software would just waste more of my time. I make a to do list for the week every Sunday evening, then review it at the end of each day to see if anything needs added due to circumstances.
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  • Profile picture of the author ymest
    I use a good old timer but it doesn't always work! Organization isn't so much of a problem, it's more to do with the " sitting and doing" although I find it easier when the clock is TICKING AWAY! I look at it like a "boss"!! Lol

    Yoan
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  • Profile picture of the author ymest
    I also use Google Analytics! It helps keep focused...when I see a significant drop in the number of visitors, I can usually tell WHY....:)
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    paper and pen in combination with The Pomodoro Technique

    I also use the notes app on my Iphone to collect ideas, actions, projects throughout the day

    and I use Microsoft Word for all my action lists and projects lists

    I use to have the "shiny, new toy" syndome that is a part of the Productivity niche.

    For example, I did use the Things app, Pocket Informant app, Week Calendar, etc

    But then I realize that these apps were not going to make me productive.

    Now I focus on building the basic skills of productivity, making those a habit and a part of who I am, which is more important than which "new toy" I have to play with.

    This is why a piece of paper and a pen or pencil can be just as or more effective than any other tool out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    I fail to see how software can help you stay focused and productive. That involves self discipline and motivation and software can't make you self disciplined and motivated. If you don't feel like it, what's to make you run the software?
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  • Profile picture of the author Fadiz
    I use to-do list apps, https://www.wunderlist.com is my favorite
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  • Profile picture of the author AppDeveloper
    I use Things on a Mac. It's been amazing for keeping track of things I need to get done. I can easily and quickly push an item into my Things list and reschedule it to show up X number of days later with a couple key presses.

    Not sure if you want to let a subscription service renew next month? Put an item in Things and reschedule it to show up in 21 days, after you've had a chance to evaluate it but before it renews.

    I put all kinds of need-to-remember items in my Things. It's been amazing as a reminder tool to keep me on task with things that would fall through the cracks otherwise.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
    I use pocket lists for iphone. It's super helpful on getting things done on time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anomalous
    I use Evernote a lot. I have it both on my PC and my phone. Its free, and its a great way to jot down ideas so you don't forget them. Its also great for keeping track of useful resources.

    Its not a full blown task manager by any means, but its where I maintain details of my "master plan", and organize all of my notes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
      Originally Posted by Anomalous View Post

      I use Evernote a lot. I have it both on my PC and my phone. Its free, and its a great way to jot down ideas so you don't forget them. Its also great for keeping track of useful resources.

      Its not a full blown task manager by any means, but its where I maintain details of my "master plan", and organize all of my notes.
      Evernote is great for notes but the one big thing it doesn't have are reminders. I usually use pocket lists to remind me of specific tasks I need to accomplish at exact times so I don't forget or procrastinate. I usually use evernote for detailed notes or ideas, but not reminders to stay productive.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lady M
    LASTPASS
    This apps works like magic, they store, organize, and secure your password from any account you use on the internet. I recommend it for anyone who use social network for the traffic. This apps also good for any forum mania who use forums as a media to promote their landing page. This is free to use, just install the apps, create an account, and it will replace the built-in password saver from all your site. It also protect your offline account in your computer such as user logic, wifi pass, etc.
    For more apps that help business: Google calender, and skype (always turn it on)
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    • Profile picture of the author Des Lau
      I agree nothing beats a notepad and pen. I found a big whiteboard is great too as you can track progress every time you enter the room and it's staring at you in the face.

      I've used basecamp before and that is great to use.

      These days I'm on an excel spreadsheet, just abit more organized and easy to calculate profits with.
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  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    Good ol' pen and paper for my personal activities. I make a quick list for the urgent things that MUST be completed that day and I focus on those alone until they are done. I don't spend a lot of time messing with software to be organized - it takes too much time.

    I do also have Basecamp and Manymoon accounts if others are involved in a project and its more for being sure that tasks are being completed by the entire team and the project is on track.
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    • Profile picture of the author TrafficTrader
      Originally Posted by intergen View Post

      Good ol' pen and paper for my personal activities. I make a quick list for the urgent things that MUST be completed that day and I focus on those alone until they are done. I don't spend a lot of time messing with software to be organized - it takes too much time.

      I do also have Basecamp and Manymoon accounts if others are involved in a project and its more for being sure that tasks are being completed by the entire team and the project is on track.
      I agree with the pen/paper at times too. There is something about galvanizing a thought in writing.
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      • Profile picture of the author sethdrebitko
        I'd second wunderlist simple enough that you won't get lost in tinkering with your productivity software. I'm also just starting to implement Getting Things Done ideas like the tickler file.
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyb23
    If you have an iPhone, here's a few of the apps that helped me zoned in and productive throughout the day...

    Calm.com - Every 1.5 hours, take a 5 minute break. Use this site to help you recharge.

    Lift.do - Helps you develop daily habits (writing to my list everyday is a goal for me).

    Focus Time - If you work off the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes on, 5 minutes off), this iPhone app lets you track the amount of pomodors you do each day.

    Pocket.com - When you see a blog article or youtube video you want to check out during your work day, save it here and consume later during your off hours.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevin jackson
    Great suggestions in this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author malcsimm
    Hi Brisco

    I have used the Getting Things Done system on and off for the last five years or so. But it only really clicked into place for me when I started combining it with Evernote.

    Whether you want to go that far, I suppose it all depends on how many tasks and how many projects you want to keep track of.

    Personally, I keep thinking of projects which I don't want to start necessarily but I would like to keep a note of, and review regularly. So for me having a list of all my projects, divided into active and inactive projects, is very useful.

    Evernote allows me to do this.

    Similarly, last time I checked I had 160 tasks on my to-do lists. By using Evernote I separate these into more current and less current. The less current tasks are only reviewed once a week, and then only briefly. And the more current tasks get looked at every day.

    This really works well for me and I describe more about it here if you're interested.

    But this may be overkill if - as it seems with some of the people posting here - you only have a handful of tasks and projects to keep track of.

    For me, I love to use gadgets – as long as they fulfil a purpose. And as Evernote can be accessed easily on smart phone and tablet, and as any data you want to can be fired into Evernote really easily – photo, scan, web page, RSS reader, et cetera - this makes Evernote a must for me.

    I've been using this system for nine months now and it's working like a dream. So satisfying. It's only taken me around 35 years to get to this point LOL

    Better late than never.

    Malc
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    • Profile picture of the author TrafficTrader
      I used to use GTD and found that is was more focused on Capture and not on Execution.

      Success is 5% strategy, 95% execution. That is why I now use kanbanflow along with Evernote.

      I do like your thoughts on Evernote and agree with that.
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      • Profile picture of the author malcsimm
        Originally Posted by TrafficTrader View Post

        I used to use GTD and found that is was more focused on Capture and not on Execution.

        Success is 5% strategy, 95% execution. That is why I now use kanbanflow along with Evernote.

        I do like your thoughts on Evernote and agree with that.
        Hi TT - I found it tricky myself to implement GTD for years, but is not really true to say it is focused on capture to the exclusion of execution. For me, what GTD lacks - in the book - is a specific method of applying it right through the five phases of productivity David Allen describes: collection, processing, organising, reviewing, and doing. (So "doing" is there - honest )

        For me GTD clicked into place when I googled to see how people were applying GTD using Evernote and I came up with my own way of doing it which is described here.

        I checked out Kabanflow, btw, and it looks good for managing projects among small teams. I've noted that down (in Evernote, 'natch LOL) for when I start seriously outsourcing again. So thanks for that!

        Malc
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    i like the action machine, also post-it's software from 3m is great; trial at

    Post-it Digital Notes - CNET Download.com
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  • Profile picture of the author jamescanz
    Plain 'n simple

    Openoffice Spreadsheet and Google Calender

    (If you want to call them 'software')

    Regardless they get the job done and keep me on track
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  • Profile picture of the author TrafficTrader
    Originally Posted by brisco View Post

    Hey Warriors,

    I would like to know what productivity software you use in order to stay focused and organized with your internet marketing business?

    Thanks.
    kanbanflow +Evernote = Epic Productivity
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Whiteboards baby!

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  • Profile picture of the author jessiem
    Yeah! I always use whiteboards whenever I need to write down some important things to note but I use Time Doctor to track my time while I’m working on a project.

    By the way, Trello is also good. I’ve tried that too before.
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  • Profile picture of the author FunkyKing
    Hey,

    We use Zoho CRM for our contact management and also Google tasks. Great combination!

    Especially when using with Google apps so everything is integrated in one.
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    I use .txt document for simple to do lists. That's it. On the rare occasion I need to book an appointment, I use my phone's calendar.

    I start every day for the first 3 to 5 hours writing content. After that I do some promotion, tweaking and admin. I keep it pretty simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ghoster
    1. Scrivener

    2. Microsoft OneNote

    3. The Action Machine OR FocusBooster

    4. DropBox

    5. Freemind

    6. Google Calendar/Keep/Docs

    7. 37Signals Basecamp/Campfire
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    On the whole, you get what you pay for.

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