Reading Time: 2 minutes

In order to be productive, you need the right components. And there are more high-tech tools than ever before. Choosing among them can be dizzying, but there are really only a few things you need to remember.

Productivity Toolsproductivity tools

One, your productivity tools have to be ones you will actually use. You have to know how they work, and you should like to use them. Two, you don’t have to pick one master solution. You can use several tools as long as they play well together. Finally — and here’s where I want to focus today — you can pick any tool or combination of tools you like, but for the best results, the following productivity apps must be a part of your system.


Confused about what goes on your calendar vs. your to-do list? Things with a strong relationship to time — like birthdays and meetings — go on your calendar.  Get to know your calendar’s productivity-enhancing features, such as reminders and alerts,color-coding, and the ability to share your schedule with others.


Things with a weak relationship to time go on your task list.  They may or may not have a due date, but they are still important to complete.  Your task list tells you how to spend your time in between your calendar appointments. Prioritize your task list by due date, instead of by “A B C” or “High Medium Low.”  If you’re using an electronic task list, taking time to learn its capabilities — such as the ways it can sort your tasks — makes your life easier and makes you more likely to stick with it.


It’s helpful if the other components of your productivity system interact with your email client, so that you can quickly do things like create a task or calendar appointment from an email, or easily add someone to your contacts.


Notes are for reference. They can include ideas, instructions, lists, even project details — anything that doesn’t require action right now.  Things that do require action belong on your task list. Your method for collecting notes should make them easily accessible when you need them, whether you’re referring to them at work or while running errands.


Don’t neglect this part of your productivity system. Make sure info from your task list or calendar (for example, the phone number for a new prospect you contacted this week) gets saved in your contacts tool so you can use it in the future. But, don’t clutter your personal address manager with people you don’t really know. Leave those in your marketing database or your CRM. Before investing in a CRM, make sure you really need one.

To get the best results, you need a set of productivity tools that matches the complexity of your life, but you also need a good workflow management process for using those tools effectively.  The ideas here can get you started.  To learn more about the Empowered Productivity SystemTM for yourself or your team, call me at 424-226-2872 or email questions maura at regainyourtime dot com.  You can also click the buttons above to connect on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks for reading!