Top 10 FREE Productivity Tools for Busy Entrepreneurs

Growing up I was probably the most disorganised girl ever. No kidding. My room was a place only I could find stuff in and productivity was ummmm…..pretty much non-existent.

Honest. But then, something changed. Seriously. And being productive with my time was something I became hugely passionate about.

Naturally productivity tools became my best friends and when other girls would geek out about the latest band or makeup colour, I’d be swooning over a planner. Yes, I was fun to hang out with.

As an entrepreneur building a business and managing a home, raising a family and having a life, productivity tools are what keep me organised, sane and well, productive;)

Read on to find out what are the top 10 tools I use every.single.day to stay on track, complete projects, and shut down work at 6 PM in the evening.

1. Trello

This is my project management baby. I use it to keep track of what’s going on with different client projects, stuff Mayank and I need to work on, coordinate with clients about the status of their projects and it reduces email back-and-forth amazingly well.

Plus, it’s fun to use as well. You can color code items, add cute stickers if you want to and well, just stay organized easily.

2. Gmail

All my email organized in neat, color-coded folders, rules set up to send certain emails automatically into designated folders, fun “rules” like Send and Archive, being able to add events to my calendar right from my email, yes Gmail pretty much rocks my world when it comes to email.

It’s fast, fuss-free and packs a punch when it comes to email.

3. Evernote

Evernote is like a brain dump-holding place for me. As I trawl the web, Evernote is what helps me “clip” articles that inspire, stuff I like as well as jot down things I need to do, add, remind myself of.

I have the Evernote clipper installed and it’s made saving things SO much easier.

However, when you first dip your toe into Evernote, it can be overwhelming. So, I recommend my friend Natasha’s awesome Evernote guide to show you exactly how us, busy business owners can use this free tool.

4. Google Calendar

SUCH a sanity saver, Google calendar is where I plug in deadlines, reminders, meetings and more. I have multiple calendars too that are managed with ease.

If you need a personal calendar and business calendar this is your tool.

If you need calendars for different clients, this is your tool.

If you need a calendar that reminds you several times, this is your tool.

If you need a calendar that sends meeting invitations to people and has them RSVP, this is your tool.

It’s a must-have. Period.

Productivity is not just about

5. Dropbox

Simply speaking, Dropbox is a must for anyone who doesn’t want to slow down their laptop by saving a humungous amount of stuff on it.

Not just that, if you’re a photographer, designer, a community manager like me, a blogger or even, a product-based business owner with a team to manage, Dropbox is awesome because it allows you to save, share and send large files with ease.

Sure, you can do it with Google Drive too, but I’ve personally found Drive glitchy at times.

6. Timer

Hah! This is an old-fashioned “ productivity tool” that’s really powering up my productivity lately. I use it to set my “work time” and “play time”. I work in 60 or 90 minute batches followed by 10 minutes of “play”

If you find yourself getting distracted by email notifications, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest feed, you’ll love this. Don’t ask me how I know!

During my work time, I just work. In fact, I may have sorta turned it into a game of “race the timer” and like to knock off a complete task properly in the 60 or 90 minute slot.

It’s worked wonders with helping to be focused and not multi-task that actually reduced my productivity and the quality of my work!

And yes, it’s free because it’s in your smartphone already or if you’re an avid baker, like me, in your kitchen!

7. Buffer

Oh, how I love this tool. I’ve been using it and recommending it like crazy to everyone. It’s a fresh and non-glitchy way to schedule your social media updates to go out regularly and at the best possible times, easily.

Plus, the New Scheduler they’ve rolled out, allows you to share the same update at different time intervals. Works great when you have a product launch, a special or even, an article that you’d like to share multiple times.

8. Kindle

Kindle. A productivity tool?

Yep.

It makes learning for me super easy and accessible. I download books on subjects I want to learn about and then, can read without having to remember to actually carry the book.

If I forget my Paperwhite {thank YOU Mayank for that!!}, I have the FREE Kindle app on my iPad Mini and my smartphone, so I always have my reading material with me.

I can make notes with my Paperwhite, highlight text {with both the app and the Paperwhite} and basically, just learn on the go productively.

9. My Planner

Another old-fashioned tool. While I’m a big fan of tech tools, nothing and really, nothing beats a regular paper-and-pen planner for me.

It’s great if, like me, you like to make monthly goals, weekly to-dos and then, daily lists, and then check things off as you go.

I’m currently using the Moleskine Daily Planner with the bullet journal method that I’ve lately started to love. I also HIGHLY recommend Leonie Dawson’s Biz+Life Workbooks and Karen Gunton’s BizPlantastic planners that have greatly impacted my productivity!!

10. A Goal

Finally, and this is tres importante… you need a goal to keep you productive. A clear, well-defined, time-lined goal that you can work towards.

It can be the top 3 items on your daily to-do list, it can be your life goals, it can be the massive project you want to launch at the end of the year.

Reviewing your goals is key to staying productive.

You have something to work towards, to stay focused, to remain motivated.

That feeling of being able to knock off something from your goals is yep, pretty awesome.

Productivity is not so much about doing much more. It’s about doing things smartly and these tools, every single one of them, helps you do that.