Do you feel like you’re spread too thinly at work? Do you wish replying to emails would take seconds, not minutes? That you didn’t have to switch between a ton of different platforms, or lose time repeating basic tasks or communications?
In our hyper-connected “instant access” world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer pace and expectations placed on our work. Thankfully, a ton of apps can now automate repetitive tasks and structure your time, so you have more space to focus on your highest priority work.
From virtual assistants who coordinate your travel plans to apps that simply lock you out if you’ve spent too much time on Twitter, here are seven of the best time saving apps for busy professionals.
Most of us are unaware of the true time we lose to “innocent” procrastination – especially since a half hour spent skimming through Facebook often feels more like five minutes. The StayFocusd Chrome extension shines a shocking light on just how much time you actually spend doing nothing, but it also offers a surprisingly useful form of self-policing. You can use it to block access to certain sites during your working hours, or set time limits for social media usage, after which StayFocusd will block you from entering the site! Sometimes, we just need a firm hand.
If you’re a busy professional with a frenzied schedule, you’ve probably daydreamed about all the ways a personal assistant could make life easier. Unfortunately, having a real assistant isn’t an option for many of us, and that’s where Zirtual comes in. Effectively a virtual personal assistant, Zirtual can reply to emails for you, manage your travel plans, oversee your calendar and design schedules and programs – to name just a few of its time-saving skills. You never have to waste productive time on mundane admin again; concentrate on your real work and let Zirtual do the rest.
How much of your working day do you spend writing and replying to emails? Keeping up to date with your inbox is one of the most common ways people lose time: research suggests that on average, people check their email every six minutes when working! To save yourself time – and help you keep focused on the task in hand – check out Boomerang. It can temporarily block incoming emails to avoid distraction, with an option to allow emails from certain people. It’s essentially a handy email filter that lets you focus on real work safe in the knowledge that you won’t miss out on anything crucial.
This one’s massively helpful for busy people constantly making new connections. If you find yourself frequently searching for someone’s phone number or email address, or trying to recall whether you chatted to a potential employee on LinkedIn or Facebook, then Brewster can save you some serious time. It collates all your contacts from your various different platforms into one place and updates them automatically, so you never need to worry that your details are out-of-date. Skip the searching and get straight to the talking!
If you need to keep timesheets for work, you’ll already know how time consuming they can be. Luckily, you can outsource the whole shebang to Timely. Using AI, this smart app records and orders everything you’re working on automatically in the background, without you ever having to start or stop a timer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a client call while commuting or working offsite for the day – Timely’s universal app integration mean you can save every detail in real-time, for a complete and revealing record of your work day. Aside from solving timesheets, it’s pretty neat for showing you where you get distracted, interrupted and held back in your workflow. Ideal for nipping time drains in the bud!
These days, with so many different apps and tools being used, it’s easy to lose a good amount of time just flitting between them, logging in and out and repeating your actions across each platform. Multi-purpose Wrike does the job of several apps, streamlining your working methods and placing everything in one handy place. It’s excellent for project management, collaboration, planning and scheduling, but also reduces team communication, file sharing and document organization into a matter of clicks. Wrike’s easy integration with hundreds of other apps is just another plus.
Anyone who’s ever done social media for work knows how time consuming it can be, particularly if you’re dealing with multiple accounts. Buffer allows you to quickly and easily whizz between five different platforms (the premium version allows up to 10). It’s easy to schedule posts throughout the day, so you can effectively have your day’s social game done and dusted by your morning commute. You can have 10 posts pending at the same time, saving you the hassle of stopping work to push out a post. More time for quality uninterrupted work!