Best Time Management Tools
Time is the most valuable and non-renewable asset. Unlike other resources that come and go, such as health, success and friendships – time is the one that cannot be recovered. In business, lost time often means lost money. So if you want to optimize it as much as possible, your time should be managed consciously.
Thanks to technology, we have time management tools and apps to help us boost our productivity. Time scheduling, tracking, task lists, notes, password organizers or synchronization tools – all these tools will teach you how to work smarter, not harder.
Keep reading this blog post to see how much time you can save.
Table of Contents:
What is time management?
Time management quite literally describes the process of how we manage our time. The way we plan, prioritize, and execute our daily, weekly, or larger scope tasks and projects reveals a lot about our time management skills.
It takes a little time to set yourself up for being productive but once you put a little effort into it, the rewards are worth it. Some benefits of effective time planning include:
- Reduced stress
- Better mood – not feeling overwhelmed
- Increased productivity
- Less time spent for work
- More space for truly important tasks and goals
The topic of time management has always been relevant. Nowadays in the light of the pandemic, as a great deal of companies switched to working from home, it has become more relevant than ever. Individuals and companies are looking for ways and techniques to become more productive and more organized. We will focus on one of the main time management concepts – the 4 Ds.
The 4 Ds of time management
The 4 Ds principle is a great framework for time management. You can separate your tasks into a few categories and differ them from important to those that can wait. Put simply, the 4 Ds of time management read like this - Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete.
- DO – use this section for tasks and projects with an approaching deadline. These are the ones that need to be completed immediately or as soon as possible.
- DEFER – if a task does not have a deadline and can be done later – delay it. This can include anything from coworker’s requests, new emails or meetings not related to your priority projects. In other words, these are tasks that cause noise and prevent you from focusing on what is important.
- DELEGATE – use this for tasks and projects that do not require your specific knowledge. If there is someone who can do it just as good as you can, give those tasks to them. Focus on tasks that only you can perform. This way, everyone will benefit as tasks will get done, rather than being delayed.
- DELETE – we all have experienced those boring, useless meetings that feel like a waste of time. This part is exactly for this sort of tasks. Irrelevant meetings, unimportant emails, tasks that will not move the needle – delete them all and move on with more important tasks.
Most popular techniques of time management
Time management techniques are the ways that people find effective for improving our focus, productivity and working style. To name a few:
- To do lists – to not forget your tasks
- Task prioritization – to make sure the most important tasks get done first
- Pomodoro technique – a time limit technique for better focus
- Time tracking – to track and evaluate where most of your time goes
- Scheduling – to designate time blocks for each task, so you can plan your workload better
These techniques are only a few most common ones. The time management app industry revolves around them and most apps cover one of these techniques. In the next section, we will present 6 most popular apps that we have tested and found helpful in our daily lives.
Best time management and time saving tools
Asana - project management tool
A simple, yet powerful tool for teams that covers the to-do task list technique. It works as a project management, collaboration, and a file storage platform – all in one.
Using Asana, you can avoid all the back-and-forth emails with your team. All you need to do is just add a task, assign a person, and set the deadline. Once the task is done, simply mark it as finished and move to the next one. It is that simple!
- Shared projects – the whole team can stay up to date without hundreds of emails
- Tasks and subtasks to break projects down to their smallest parts
- Dependencies – set tasks that are blocking you from starting your own tasks as dependencies
- Rules – to automate the manual process of assigning, sorting, and scheduling tasks
Asana is a free tool, however, if you are a bigger team, you will need a Premium Membership which starts at $10,99/month.
Forest - focus booster
A gamified app that helps you to improve your focus by growing your own forest. The app saves you from distractions and encourages to not take your phone until the focus time is over. In fact, it is based on the Pomodoro technique for time management.
Simply set your focus time, plant a tree, and start working. The tree will keep growing as the time progresses. If you close the app halfway, your tree will die. No one wants to kill their plants, right?
- Focused time – set your timer depending on how long it takes you to finish the task
- Tags – label your focus sessions with tags to track which tasks take the most time
- Simple interface - intuitive and easy to use application
- Group focus rooms – create focus rooms for your team. If one of the team leaves the room, everyone’s trees die
The app costs $1.99 and offers in app purchases for extended functionality.
Toggl - tracking time
This time planning platform is as straightforward as it seems. Toggl allows you to plan, create, and share tasks and projects with your team. The additional time-tracking plugin will integrate with almost any project management system, making the tracking of your time almost seamless.
- Drag & drop schedule planning
- Unlimited projects and subprojects to make tracking as precise as possible
- Offline time-tracking
- Tracking reminders
Pricing starts from $9/month per user.
Dropbox - file sharing
An online tool for large file storage and sharing. Whenever you encounter the “file is too big” error on your email, Dropbox is the way to go. It sends and stores any type of format files easily and effortlessly. Just add files, click upload and pick whether you want a download link or to send it right into someone’s email account.
- Encryption security – share confidential files safely
- Data backup – you can keep vast amounts of data and never worry about losing it
- Access – Dropbox stores files on remote servers, which ensures access to your files from anywhere, anytime
- File requests – a new option that allows users to request files and show up directly in the request folder
Dropbox is a free tool with paid plans available for more advanced users starting from $9.99.
Keeper - password organizer
Having easy and repetitive passwords over multiple platforms is neither smart, nor safe. Some platforms do not even allow easy passwords, but adding several numbers and symbols to your passwords can make it difficult to remember.
Keeper is a great solution to store all your passwords in one place, encrypted and safe from data breaches. Create one strong password for your Keeper account and you will not need to remember any of your passwords ever again.
- Password vault – eliminate the pain of having to remember all your passwords
- Encryption security – 256-bit AES encryption keys
- 2FA login for extra security
- Integration with G Suite, Azure, and other platforms
Pricing starts from $3.75 per month, per user.
SyncGene - synchronization tool
Save time by using this online tool that synchronizes your Calendars, Contacts, Tasks and Folders. SyncGene is especially effective for those who use multiple email addresses, platforms, or devices (work and personal, or simply different emails for different clients).
It offers a seamless merge of several platforms such as Google, iCloud, and Microsoft 365. This small step helps you avoid double booking your meetings, missing contacts on any of your devices and will save you from a lot of frustration.
- Synchronize calendars, tasks and contacts
- Automatic or manual sync – you can migrate your data once or keep Contacts, Calendar and Tasks up to date continuously
- One-way or two-way synchronization
- Deduplication and merging
For full functionality, pricing starts at $9.95 per month, per user.
That’s it – if you made it this far, consider taking your daily work to the next level.
If you don’t have one already, create a SyncGene account and start increasing your productivity today. SyncGene will help you save time and hours of work, no matter what your task for the day is. That's not just a promise, that's our personal guarantee!