17 Tools To Help You Work Smarter (Without Really Trying)
Bookmark these apps, tools, and technologies to squeeze the most productivity out of your day.
If you’ve ever felt yourself in a constant trap of balancing your projects with busywork including scheduling meetings, sending emails, proofreading content, or designing graphics among other items, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are tools and apps that can help us work smarter and save us time.
Here’s a roundup of 17 tools (pssst: many of them are free) that you can start using today.
Airtable is an all-inclusive collaboration tool that allows the user to dictate how they want to organize their projects, clients, and files whether they prefer checkboxes, drop-downs or otherwise. The tool can also be used to help you manage your time, so you can be as productive as possible and ensure you hit your deadlines. Changes to files are shared in real time for enhanced accessibility and convenience across devices and stakeholders. Bonus: Airtable also syncs with Slack.
Get it at https://airtable.com/.
h/t Samantha Campbell, Content Manager, When I Work
Asana is a web and mobile application aimed at helping users and teams manage their projects effectively through the use of calendars, tasks, projects, dashboards, and conversation. Some of the ways these features can be put to use include building project templates, breaking larger projects into smaller deliverables, setting and staying on top of due dates, collaborating by sharing files from your computer and more.
Get it at https://asana.com/.
Boomerang is a Gmail extension that enables you to write emails according to your own schedule, but have them be sent at a later date or time. It can also be used to set up automatic follow up reminders within a specific time frame after a message has been sent. You can customize this notification to either inform you that the person has yet to reply, or provide further details if you feel you’ll need a reminder regarding the context of the original message to which you are following up. Boomerang can also help you consistently clean your inbox by giving you the option to take an email out of your inbox temporarily. They also just announced a new feature that allows you to set your inbox to “Pause” so you don’t have to see the emails pile in when you’re trying to enjoy your hard-earned vacation.
Get it at: http://www.boomeranggmail.com/.
h/t Fitz Maro, Senior Innovation Strategist, 360i
Calendly is a scheduling tool that helps you control and stay on track of your meetings effortlessly, saving you time and headaches. Simply designate the times you are available, share your Calendly link with those you wish to invite to the meeting and then wait for a notification that they have provided a time which will be incorporated into your calendar. Already use Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud Calendar? How about apps like Salesforce, GoToMeeting or Zapier? No problem. Calendly integrates with these other calendars and apps to help you avoid confusion.
Get it at https://calendly.com/.
Canva is an intuitive graphic design software that is made for designers and content managers of all experience levels. It comes fully equipped with a vast library of fonts, layouts, stock photos, icons, shapes and elements to help you create your next professional design quickly and without hassle.
Get it at https://www.canva.com/.
Freedcamp is a free collaboration and project management platform that takes the stress out of assigning and scheduling tasks and managing time whether for yourself or on behalf of a team. Some of Freedcamp’s more notable features include the ability to share task lists and break tasks into subtasks, create forum boards for conversations with others, store files, set deadlines and secure passwords and data.
Get it at https://freedcamp.com/.
Grammarly is an AI grammar assistant that functions as a spelling grammar check overlay to everywhere you type copy. It can check emails, documents, web forms and more. There are free and paid versions.
Get it at https://www.grammarly.com/.
Similar to Grammarly, Hemingway is an online editor fueled by artificial intelligence. Using natural language processing, the app identifies and helps tweaks content pasted into the Hemingway Editor by highlighting problem sentences and offering suggested changes. Each “error type” is color coded for easy differentiation. These include complex words or phrases, sentences that are too lengthy, too many adverbs and use of the passive voice. You can also write directly in the app if you choose to not go back and forth from the Editor to your doc.
Get it at http://www.hemingwayapp.com/.
h/t Rachel Schwartz, Client Success Manager, WalkMe
Hunter and Norbert are two sources for finding and verifying people’s email addresses. Hunter works by using the provided company domain name to search and pull together a list of email results from various sources across the web. Once you’ve chosen an email, Hunter can verify it before you actually attempt to send your message. If it is unable to find an exact email, you may be presented with a pattern to work from (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Norbert uses a similar approach to finding and verifying unknown email addresses.
Get them at:
h/t David Levin, Entrepreneur & Marketer
Mixmax is a Chrome extension for Gmail that serves as a one-stop shop for all your external communication needs within a single email. Core features include the ability to track email details including opens, clicks, and downloads; incorporate web previews of various websites; employ one-click templates for better and faster writing; and use of mail merge to manage bulk emails and embed polls and surveys into your messages. You can also schedule meetings and events with Mixmax, as well as write messages to be sent at a later time.
Get it at https://mixmax.com/.
h/t David Levin
Momentum is a Google Chrome extension that helps you set and meet your daily goals. Specifically, as you open each new browser tab, you’ll get a reminder of the day’s major focus points and priorities. Momentum also helps you stay positive and inspired as you take on the day by providing a daily photo and quote so you can feel your best while you crush the week.
Get it at https://momentumdash.com/.
h/t Renee Coulombe, Social Media Specialist, Concur (Image via Zapier)
Pocket is a “save-for-later service,” that allows you to bookmark any article or webpage that you come across and want to come back to at a later time. Once you’ve selected an article or content piece you’d like to save for later, the content becomes visible on your Pocket List across any of your devices such as your phone, tablet or computer.
Get it at https://getpocket.com/.
h/t Justin Lamb, Project Manager & Producer, Soho House
Rocket Lawyer is a cloud-based platform that provides affordable legal services to users including self-employed individuals and small business owners. Whether you need a document reviewed by a lawyer, require attorney representation, or a question arises that needs to be answered in real time, Rocket Lawyer can guide you in the right direction. Rocket Lawyer is accessible whether you’re on your phone, tablet or computer.
Get it at https://www.rocketlawyer.com/.
Pro-tip: Need a service agreement for a freelance project? Check out this free template from the Freelancers Union.
h/t Chelsea Fuller, COO/CMO, Campowerment
Trello is a task and project management tool targeting visual thinkers. It allows you to create boards and lists as well as assign and manage tasks for yourself or others who are on your team through a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. For a more seamless workflow, add comments, checklists, and attachments to any assignment.
Get it at https://trello.com/.
h/t Micah Whitfield, Director of Business Development, Magna IV
Yesware is a tool that tracks all of your emails in Gmail, providing notifications when someone opens your email, whether they accessed any links or attachments you provided, how long they spent with the content of any attached files and how and where the email was accessed, including which type of device they were using. You can even schedule messages for a specific time and date, automate follow-ups and more. Great for sales teams, Yesware also allows you to build templates so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel in your outreach and prospecting efforts.
Get it at http://www.yesware.com/.
h/t Sabba Nazhand, Sales Director, Suzy
Zoom is a cloud-based video and audio conferencing platform. It provides both meeting and webinar software to combine video conferencing, online meetings and mobile collaboration into one platform so you can present, schedule and stay connected to all your meetings wherever you go.
Get it at https://zoom.us/.
h/t Chelsea Fuller
Which tools would you add to our list? Drop us a line in the comments below.
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