Monday, September 26, 2011

Five productivity websites you should not be without

Given the demands on all of our schedules of late, there is more of a demand than ever on all of our time and schedule.  Productivity is the word of the day, and we all have to be more productive than ever.

In an electronic age, this means using our online time more efficiently.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of great websites that can make your work-life much easier.  Here's a quick look at five websites I know I couldn't live without:

1)  Toodledo:  This is your To Do list on steroids.  Toodledo allows you to input your To Do list and track it be category, date, priority, connections to Goals, etc.  In other words, if you are insanely organized, check out Toodledo.  It is free at its most basic level, but you can pay for an upgrade.

2)  Evernote:  Evernote allows you to upload notes on any topic, then access them via your computer or mobile device.  You can tag the notes, making for easy sorting.  You can even record audio and upload pictures.  This can be great for meeting agendas/notes - personally, thanks to Evernote and Toodledo, I don't enter a meeting with a pad and paper anymore.  Evernote is free at its most basic level, but you can pay for an upgrade.

3)  Hootsuite:  Hootsuite is a great tool for monitoring and managing Social Media accounts.  You can run multiple accounts on multiple platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr), keep an eye on all of your newsfeeds and schedule updates to run at a set time (that scheduling aspect can be crucial!).  Hootsuite is free to use at its most basic level (which is probably all that most people need) but you can upgrade for $6/month.

4)  Google Reader:  If you read multiple blogs a day, Google Reader is awesome.  It allows you to blog in all of the blogs you read into one centralized place.  As blogs update with new posts, you can just go to reader and read the posts, which are marked as read automatically.  Thus, instead of needing to go to ten different websites to read ten different blogs, you can visit just one.  Better yet: Reader is completely free.

5)  Pandora:  Okay, this isn't a productivity website, I know, I know.  That being said, I know I can't work without music.  Pandora allows you to input specific songs or artists that you like.  It will then play those songs or songs by the artists you've selected - but will also play similar music that it thinks you will like (you can't always give songs a thumbs up or down, helping Pandora work better for you).  The service is free, but has limited usage and ads, or you can pay ($36 per year) for ad-free and unlimited use.  And don't think that Pandora has a corner on this market - there are plenty of other services that work similarly, like and Spotify.

Those are my five, but what about you?  What websites do you use to enhance your productivity?  Let us know in the comments!

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