I spent some time this week trying to create some additional structure to processes I do regularly.

I’m realizing that I’m doing quite a bit of manual work. In the process of researching new tools and figuring out how to use them to automate some of my manual tasks, I realized I have quite a few things in my bag of productivity tricks already.

It struck me that sharing some of my favorite tools could give you a chance to see how I work, how I get lots done, and perhaps help you boost your productivity as well.

My favorite productivity tools

Buffer

Buffer account page

Buffer happens to be one of my favorites because it allows me to spend just a few minutes in the morning determining what to share, loading it up, and then letting Buffer to do the rest. Buffer takes your loaded tweets and then posts them randomly throughout the day. Buffer can also post to Facebook as well as Facebook Pages and LinkedIn.

I have completely automated this sharing practice yet. I generally read on my iPad then send things I want to share to my gmail with a tag. When gmail sees “Buffer” in the body, it tags the email, then moves it to its own folder. Then I still have to process that email the following morning by opening each and then adding to Buffer using the Chrome bookmarklet. This system works, but takes time.

Because the reading app I use doesn’t email actual links having IFTTT automate the process doesn’t work well. The same applies for using the Buffer email. I want it to share in a specific way so right now adding to Buffer is still a bit manual.

If you aren’t using Buffer you need to be. It will save you lots of time. Best of all it keeps track of the items you add to Buffer so you can see the stats on the items you are sharing. Good stuff!

TweetDeck

TweetDeck showing columns

I know a lot of folks use and recommend Hootsuite but I like TweetDeck for keeping track of my Twitter account. They are similar. When I first started using TweetDeck I did so because it had a desktop application, something Hootsuite didn’t offer but does now. Still why fix what isn’t broken?

TweetDeck is a great way for me to keep track of what I want on Twitter. I don’t have time to see everything in my main feed, I follow too many people. But I don’t want to miss the important stuff. So I have set up a private list with people I want to make sure I keep track of. The list changes with adds and deletes from time to time.

Having that column gives me a great deal of control. I can see the things I really want to see and retweet or respond from that column without having to skim through my entire feed.

I’ve also set up a column for @mentions so that I can keep track of who is retweeting my content and thank them. Of course this only works if they put my name in the tweet, still it helps me see what’s happening.

Using an app like TweetDeck or Hootsuite can really save time, you can set up columns for all kinds of conditions like hashtags you are interested in tracking. I don’t use all the features because it works for the things I need it to.

Part of being productive means using things in ways that make sense.

JumpCut

JumpCut window showing last clipped items

JumpCut is one of my favorite little apps. This is a Mac-only app that remembers your last 15 clipboard items. It works from the menu at the top of the screen. You simply click and it lists the last 15 things you cut or copied. You can then click on the item and it pastes for you. I use JumpCut all day long. It is a great little tool and a real timesaver.

Clear

Clear on the desktop

Clear is fantastic. It is an iOS to do list app that works on both iPhone and iPad. There is also a Clear desktop app for Mac. I use this to keep track of very simple errand lists. So I have one for Home Depot and Grocery, etc. Since I am in front of my desktop most of the day I can put items on the lists during the day quickly. When I run out to the grocery store I open the iPhone app and it automatically syncs with my desktop. While I’m out I can easily swipe each item I get and it will sync the desktop lists. The best part… it looks great! This saves me a lot of time.

I don’t use Clear for everything, but it works great for outside errands since those are times when I’m likely to forget what I was supposed to be getting. And… I hate running errands so I don’t want to forget something and then have to run back out.

There you have it! Four new ways to save time and get more done. Check out the sites for these various tools as this is not a complete review of their particular features.

Next time I’ll share some of the automating apps I’m using that will really start saving you time!

y

yolanda
Long-time business owner and entrepreneur, Yolanda brings a unique perspective to building and growing small businesses. Find out more here!
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Showing 4 comments
  • Christine Martell
    Reply

    Say more about Jumpcut…. not yet seeing how I would use it, or what I’d use it for. Can you give a couple examples?

  • yolanda
    Reply

    One way I use it is to share links. This post for instance. I’ll copy the link once and then use JumpCut to paste it to different locations throughout the day. If I happen to copy something else, it will still be in the list.

    Another way I’ve used it is for colors. I’ll copy the hex code for several colors while I’m working in WordPress, then I can just grab the code and change font colors quickly.

    If you copy and paste a lot and need to reuse what you’ve copied later in the day or even the next day, it’s nice to have a log.

    Hope that helps!

  • sally
    Reply

    I <3 Jumpcut, saved my bacon many many times.

    You clip something, the phone rings, you get distracted and forget you clipped a link, then move on to doing something else and clip other stuff…

    20 mins later you remember you really wanted that link you clipped for Bitly and a blog post, gah! Jumpcut is your friend in cases like this – there it is in the list for posterity. Use it every single day.

    I use the reminders app rather than Clear – it's free and mercifically not garishly attired 😉

    • yolanda
      Reply

      LOL I love the bright color of Clear, it helps to remind me. If something is too minimal it loses my attention quickly. But JumpCut, yeah saved me a few times too!

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