We all know time is money, no matter if you use it for business or personally but this doesn’t prevent us from wasting it in the most inefficient ways. Even if you consider yourself pretty organized, you can bet your life you are not managing your time and tasks in the best possible way.
Of course, if you don’t want to change, nothing will help you, but if you are becoming aware of the problem and are looking for ways to solve it, time management tools can be of big help. There are many varieties of time management tools – from simple To Do applications to complete packages that track every minute of your time.
Some of these tools are free, while others are paid but if you are serious about managing your time, the price of the paid ones is not a problem. Here are 10 tools that can really help you use your time in a more efficient manner.
RescueTime is one of the most complete time management tools you can find. It allows you to precisely track your activities and see where your time goes. It’s a great choice if you spend most of your time on the computer/mobile because RescueTime tracks everything you do – how much time you spent on a task, how much time you were browsing a website, etc. It’s so precise, you might feel like RescueTime is your boss!
In addition to activity tracking, you can use RescueTime to set alerts, set limits for time you spend on distracting sites, see charts and graphs of the time each of your activities took, etc. RescueTime comes with a free and paid ($9 a month) versions.
Another complete time management package you might want to check is Chrometa. It’s somehow similar to Rescue Time but instead of a free version, it comes with a free trial only. Chrometa is available for PC, Mac, and smartphones and it automatically tracks the time you spend for various activities – business calls, coding, browsing for fun, etc.
This is an application you can use for business, too – you can use it as a basis for billing and since Chrometa has support for teams, you can use it for everybody in your company.
If you are looking for a time management tool for business purposes and the first two applications are not what you want, you might want to give Klok a try. Klok has a free version, which as you can expect is kind of limited in features and a paid one that costs $19.99. There is also a team connector you can purchase for $99.99.
In terms of features, Klok is similar to the other two – it tracks every minute of your time in front of the computer or on the phone. What’s different about it is that it can be integrated in Basecamp and other team work and invoicing software, such as FreshBooks, Harvest, Paymo, and Asana.
4. Google Calendar
After the three comprehensive time management applications, let’s go on with some simpler ones because actually very often you don’t need all the features a full-blown time tracking and management system has to offer. There are numerous simpler time management tools and one of the post popular is Google Calendar.
Google Calendar is very simple and straightforward – it’s just an online version of a piece of paper with dates and times where you fill in your appointments. You can enter your appointments, save them in your Google profile and they are accessible from everywhere, including your mobile.
5. Remember the Milk
What could an app with this cute name be about? If you didn’t know it had anything to do with time management you would hardly guess but even if you know, you might not be able to figure it out quickly. Remember the Milk sounds like a good name for a reminder app but it’s also cute for a To-Do manager as well.
Unlike most of the other apps up to here, Remember the Milk doesn’t do a gazillion of jobs. It does only one – helps you manage the tasks you have to do. What’s special about the app is that it’s available for numerous platforms, such as Android, iPhone, Blackberry, email, Evernote, Twitter, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.
As for price, there is a free version with a lot of functionality but if this is not enough to meet your needs, you can upgrade to Pro for $25 a year.
Toodledo is one more To-Do lists tool worth trying. It’s free and it has a lot of features beyond a simple To-Do manager. You can also use it to store your ideas, notes, and outlines, even your life goals and see how you perform over time.
You can use Toodledo standalone or deploy it on your team’s devices. The lists you create are easy to share with friends, family, co-workers and who not. You can also use the Tracker to track the time you spend on a task but if tracking is your primary concern, there are better tools for the purpose.
If time tracking and invoicing are the main reasons you are interested in time management tools, then you should check Ronin. You can use it to track actual time spent on a task or for preliminary estimates you send to the client to approve before you start work.
Ronin is most useful for teams or for individuals who are freelancers/creative professionals. Ronin has 3 paid plans and one free, so no matter what you want to use it for, they have a plan for you.
Toogl is yet another time tracking tool. It boasts with its simplicity – you just add a new task and it tracks it. The problem is that it’s not automated – this is a huge difference for any absent-minded individual who can easily forget to click for a start/end of a task.
Toggl has nice reporting features and is available on multiple platforms – Web, desktop, mobile, as well as for teams.
The name of this tool is probably the dream of a lot of people out there! MyLifeOrganized might not make your entire life as organized as you would like it to be but it can certainly help you find how you are wasting your time.
This application is a task management tool – it has To-Do functionality (i.e. lists) you can turn into task hierarchy. You can enter the tasks manually or you can send them via email.
One of the cool features of MyLifeOrganized, though certainly not unique to it, are the so-called Location Based reminders. These allow you to group your tasks based on the location where you will perform them. For instance, if you have 10 tasks to perform in the office, 5 at home and 2 at the mall, all these are grouped and when you get to the let’s say the office, you see all these 10 tasks, then at home you see the 5 that are to be done there, etc.
MyLifeOrganized is available for Windows, iOS, and Android. The mobile versions have a free and a paid version with a 45-day free trial, while the Windows version doesn’t offer a free account.
Nozbe is very similar to MyLifeOrganized. Again, it’s a task management application. In addition to To-Do lists, it also has a calendar, reminders, syncing capabilities, integration with popular software, such as Evernote, Dropbox, Google Calendar, etc.
Nozbe has location-based tasks and teamwork features, too. You can comment on tasks with text, images, videos, etc., as well as receive email updates on the progress of your team members. Nozbe is available for Mac, Windows, Web, iPhone, iPad, and Android. As you can expect, it offers free and paid accounts.
These time management tools vary in terms of complexity and price. Some are small, free, and suitable for a single task only, while others are full-blown time management packages.
If you are a business, time management tools can drastically improve your workflow and maximize your profit. If you are an individual, time management applications might not do miracles for you but if you start using them, at least one excuse for wasting your time is gone.
In either case, you lose nothing if you try them but if they manage to help you waste less time, the benefits could be substantial.