Let’s face it, everyone can manage their time a little bit better.
We’re all guilty of opening Facebook or YouTube when there’s something more important we could be doing.
But there are many time management tools can help you avoid that procrastination.
If you’re like 99% of the population, time management and the work-life balance isn’t your strongest skill. You fall from task to task and feel like you survive, rather than thrive.
Perhaps you’re now even asking yourself ‘What is time management?’
And that’s perfectly ok.
Traditionally, many people turn to to-do lists. While not innovative, it’s certainly a great place to start.
In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best time management tools and tips to show you how to manage your time better.
Some of the tools are modern takes on the traditional to-do list, some are much more in-depth and advanced.
You don’t need pricey time management software to keep your day on track – of course, everything nowadays is on mobile, too!
By the end of this article, you will know:
- How to improve time management
- How to use time management at work and at home
- The best examples of time management tools for college students, moms and anyone.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, college student, busy entrepreneur or just cramming for a Udemy course, the following time management tools and techniques are for you.
Before you sink your teeth into these time management tools, make sure you’re familiar with some simple time management techniques that you can implement:
4 simple time management tips.
There’s no doubt that some of the personal time management tools in this article will help you be more creative and achieve more in your day.
But before relying wholly on modern technology, it’s important to make sure that you’re in the right headspace to get the most your of your time.
Trial and error
There is no one right tool for everyone. One tool that a majority of people may swear by just mightn’t suit you.
It’s all about trial and error.
Most of the tools in this list are free. If there are paid versions, they usually come with a lengthy free trial to make sure you know as much as you can about it before you commit to the purchase.
Try, learn, and see the best way for you to operate.
Start your day with the hardest part.
One of the keys to being productive throughout your day is to prioritise what’s important.
If you spend your day doing all the little easy jobs and ignore the biggest tasks, well then you’re not really progressing.
Start the day by taking a big bite out of the biggest tasks there is for you to do.
Some of the tools in this article help you avoid distractions. It’s sad that these products need to exist, but knowing how easy it is to get distracted with YouTube or Reddit, these tools are a must.
Your human, and that’s not a problem. Your brain needs to rest, stop and refreshen itself throughout the day. Taking regular breaks may seem to be counterproductive, but it’s essential to keep your productivity up.
Many people have had their ‘ah ha’ moment when they’re not thinking about the problem. Take a break and give yourself the opportunity to have your ah-ha moment.
The best time management tools online.
Now that you know the ideal way to lay out your day, let’s take a look at the best tools to help you manage your time.
Habitica is a habit-building daily planner app that treats your life as a character in a Role-Playing Game. Create a character and earn points, skills and items each time you complete a daily habit. One of my personal favourite online time management tools
As a daily checklist app, each time you complete a task, you see your character become stronger and your enemies become weaker.
One day you’re a level 3 Warrior fighting the sock monster, the next day you’re a level 8 Paladin riding your Royal Griffin into battle skeletons in your closet.
It works because gamification is a great way to ‘hack’ our brain. When we have fun and see progress as a result of that fun, it’s addictive. More fun = more progress.
An online seller can use Habitica to form a daily routine. For example, making sure that first thing in the morning, all overnight orders are processed. This is a useful time management tool for employees, moms and even for college students.
You can use Habitica online as well as on their iOS and Android app.
Remember the days when you woke up to 2 or 3 emails and felt important?
Yeah, not anymore. 90% of emails that we receive are unwanted. Plus, it’s super time consuming to unsubscribe from all of them.
And that’s exactly where Unroll.me helps.
Unroll.me helps you unsubscribe to all the newsletter that you are subscribed to. After signing up, you’re presented with a list of companies that you receive emails from. Click a button to unsubscribe from any that you don’t want to be on.
Unroll.me also offers an extra service – rather than multiple daily emails, Unroll.me will collate all regular emails into one single email – making it easier for you to digest your inbox whenever you have time for it.
This is a great tool for anyone with a flooded inbox. If you spend more time deleting emails than reading them, this one’s for you. Simply put, Unroll.me is a free time management tool that takes back the time you waste on emails.
Unroll.me is free for life.
Google Keep is the one free tool that everyone already has, as it’s included with all Gmail accounts.
Keep is Google’s own little notepad and is capable of collecting lists, images, automatically transcribing voice recordings and much more.
Keep collects different notes in various ways and displays them in any way you want.
It works because it’s so darn convenient. For example, set up Keep to remind you of your shopping list when you leave the office.
As an online seller, Keep is best kept at your side at all times. Have a fleeting idea you need to get down? Put it into Keep. Keep is also one of the best examples of time management apps for students
It’s available on web, iOS and comes built-in to Android devices.
BONUS TIME MANAGEMENT TIP: Upload a picture and use Keep’s Transcribe feature to turn the text in that image into written editable text.
Time management at work is a lot harder than managing your own time.
Asana is a web and mobile application designed track team collaborations and is one of the best examples of a project time management tool for small teams.
At Shoplo, we use Asana on a daily basis, as you can see in the example below:
Asana is one of our favourite online time management tools as it’s simple to use. Individuals can track tasks that have been assigned to them, as well as the progress of the entire team’s various projects. Anyone that ‘follows’ a task is updated when it progresses.
Asana works well because it visually lets you see the progress of your tasks at hand.
This is fantastic for anyone that has to keep track of various tasks and switch between jobs at different points during the day.
Asana is free, but advanced features for a 5 member team start at around $30 a month.
Cold Turkey is an online blocker that prevents you doing anything distracting when you’ve got a job to do. Good time management techniques mean minimizing distractions.
Cold Turkey is a little more advanced than a lot of other blockers out there. Not only do you select the sites you’d like blocked, but you can also set times and schedules for the websites to be blocked.
It also tracks the time you spend on certain websites, showing you where your time is spent. This feature is a real eye-opener!
Cold Turkey helps you manage your time better by blocking distractions. The advanced features of Cold Turkey focus on not only removing distractions but also increasing productivity.
Anyone that’s regularly snowed under with paperwork or constantly distracted with hey look a squirrel – this app is for you.
Need to finish that Udemy course by the end of the week? Cold Turkey will help you do that.
What gives Cold Turkey the edge over most other distraction software is that its downloadable software, it’s not based online.
Therefore it sees e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g you do!
It’s also one of the better time management apps for college students as it can show you in which websites and programs you spend your time.
Cold Turkey is available for free, or a one-time payment of $25CAD to unlock all features.
Noisli is a tool that creates noise – but all the right kinds of noise. Noisli is (in my opinion) one of the best free time management tools out there.
Noisli takes sounds that are known to be relaxing and lets you adjust them to your liking. Creating your own atmosphere, enabling you to escape from wherever you are, to wherever you’d like to be.
We all know how relaxing the sounds of nature can be. For example, wind, water, the crack of a fire. Noisli brings those sounds into your ears in the middle of your workday.
If you’re stuck in the concrete jungle, throw on some headphones and escape on a train in the middle of a storm.
This is a great tool for anyone – college students, busy moms, office workers that want to get out of the office. Whether you’re working or in need of some relaxing time, Noisli can take you where you want to be.
Noisli is free. Yup, one of the best free time management tools.
Keeping track of your time is one of the most important time management strategies. Harvest helps you do just that.
It’s an online time tracking tool that also offers invoicing, expense tracking and time-based reports.
Harvest is another tool that we use here at Shoplo, as you can see in the example below.
We’re always trying to improve our time management skills so we use Harvest to keep track of how long certain projects take. This helps us manage our time better so we don’t under or over commit to certain projects.
Click a button, Harvest starts counting. Click that button again, once you’ve finished a task and Harvest stops counting. Each period of time can be allocated to a project, task or client.
Harvest works well as it doesn’t lie. What you may think takes 15 minutes, actually takes 90. Time tracking like this makes it easier to see your strong and weak points.
Harvest is a great time management calendar to use in an unorthodox way to improve your life. For example, speed up the time it takes you to do a repetitive task.
You spend 3 hours a week writing social media posts for your brand.
Use Harvest to track your time and each week, try and make that period of time, less and less.
Harvest is one of the better time management tools for college students to keep track of where your study time is spent. Too much or not enough time spent on this subject?
Harvest is available on the web and with browser extensions. It can also be used on both iOS and Android. Harvest has a free for life plan but limits you to 2 projects. Paid plans start at $12USD per month.
Every found your train of thought is often a little…crazy? One moment you have an idea or a thought and then you’ve raced through to some bizarre conclusion? That’s not a bad thing, but Mind42 helps you visualise your thought pattern and other ideas in general.
In the below example, you can see the ‘thought map’ for the question ‘What is Marketing?’
Mind42 is a tool that allows you form a structured diagram to visually organise data.
Data that are organised in a visually way makes it much easier to digest and understand. People are visual creatures, we learn firstly by looking. If organizing your life and your brain is important to you, Mind42 can help.
Want to rearrange your website? This is a perfect tool for doing just that.
Trying to plan out a new series of blogs? Organising the data in this way is perfect for that.
Mind42 is free for life.
If you’re anything like me, you have 3 different kinds of passwords you use. But some have capitals, some have numbers, some have one number. Then, when you can’t remember it, you need to go to the trouble of resetting your password – but wait, which email address did you use?
Keeping track is just impossible. LastPass makes password management simple and is far superior to browser-based options.
Below, you can see my personal vault, where all my passwords are stored. (The blurred areas are emails, not passwords!)
LastPass is simple. It keeps all your passwords together in one place. One ‘master password’ gives you access to your vault. Usernames and passwords are automatically inserted into login pages when you land on them. You can also share login details with others.
It works because it saves you the multiple mild inconveniences that arise when you forget your passwords. It makes working online much easier. One of the more simple time management tips is to not waste time on mediocre things – kinda like chasing forgotten passwords.
Anyone can take advantage of LastPass. No more remembering passwords for eBay or Amazon, for example.
LastPass is available for free for life, and upgraded accounts with more features start at $2 per month.
As a kid, did you have a Nintendog, or perhaps a Tamagotchi? Remember the responsibility you felt as you nurtured, cared for and grew this digital creature?
With Forest, you have that same responsibility, but with a tree – and the more you concentrate, the more it grows!
In the below screenshot, you can see the Forest browser extension growing my tree as I work.
Add distracting websites like Facebook or YouTube to your ‘banned’ list and each time you visit them, your tree dies (along with your sense of accomplishment).
Forest keeps you focused by using a sense of achievement. The Tamagotchi Effect takes over and you really want to see your little forest grow and prosper. As you try to visit your banned websites, you’re asked ‘Do you really want to kill your forest?’. Then comes the guilt!
This app is great for an online seller or college student when they need to stay focused. Got a blog to write or other paperwork to fill out? Open your Forest extension (or mobile app) and get that Forest growing!
Forest is available for free, but to sync your forests between web and mobile, you need to pay the $2.50 and upgrade to the premium version.
Bonus: The Forest app gives back to the community by planting trees. The more trees you grow, the more ‘coins’ you earn and the more trees that a partner company plants in real life.
Focuswriter is a simple tool that removes all distractions as you write. Below is a stunning example of it:
What does it do? It’s a program that takes up your entire screen, leaving you with only the ability to write. No toolbars, no notes, just you, your brain and the sheet in front of you.
The beauty of Focuswriter is in its simplicity. Included in the download are some stunning, high-resolution images. These images keep the brain inspired and you focused on the task of writing.
This is a valuable asset for anyone that does a lot of writing. It’s a great way to enhance the creativity of your blogs, emails, or social media posts.
Focuswriter is free, tips upon download are welcome.
Have you ever spent a lot of time and effort trying to solve a problem to end up not solving it? Yet when you’re distracted, you think of the solution.
30/30 also makes working more enjoyable. The idea of having so much work to do and so little time to do it in is usually why none of that work gets done.
30/30 breaks that time up into chunks of any size allowing you to focus and take a break.
The time constraint forces you to focus. You know you don’t have much time, so you don’t waste it doing something else. You take breaks more often. These breaks act like a reward; you start to look forward to them.
The 30/30 is one of the more effective time management tools only for mobile devices. The app can be used by ecommerce sellers the same way that everyone uses it – for problem-solving.empl
Trying to find a new way to promote or develop a product? Spend some time thinking about it, then some more time not thinking about it.
Trying to find a way to answer a question in your Udemy exam? Take a break away from it.
30/30 is available on iOS and Android and is free for life.
135list makes it easier to achieve things throughout your day. 1 big task, 3 medium tasks and 5 small tasks.
135 list is a browser-based tool that’s also available on mobile. Each day, enter the tasks you need to do and then begin chipping away at them.
All too often, a tradition ‘to do’ list fails. It’s too long, too complicated and you yourself can figure out what’s most important. 135 is a simple way to organise your day. By breaking it down into different numbers of various sized ‘chunks’, you visualise and process your day.
This method is a fantastic way for anyone to tackle their day. 135 is one of the best organisation apps for good time management and has become my go-to daily planner app of choice.
135 list is free for life, but various levels of customisation start
Video calling is truly a modern wonder. At the click of a button, you can see, hear, and speak to nearly anyone in the world. But the main player in the game, Skype, is big, old, clunky and slow.
For the professional, Zoom.us changes all that.
As you can see in the following example, Zoom.us is full of features.
Group meeting, webinars, screen sharing, recordings, Zoom does it all. And it does it all quickly and easily.
Skype is clunky. ‘Can you hear me? I can’t hear you. I can see you but I can’t hear you’.
Zoom avoids all that. The quality of both audio and video is reliable and consistent.
This is our go-to option for video calling over Skype, as it’s feature-rich, yet simple. We use it to host webinars, an environment where we want people to watch, not talk.
Perhaps you have team members that work from home. Or, maybe you’d like to have a chat with a retailer in another country. Zoom is a fantastic option for that.
Zoom is free for meetings, webinars and conferences, as well as 40 minutes of recordings. More features start at $14.99 per month.
There’s no doubt that music can certainly affect the mind and your mood. Trying to study while your neighbour is blasting Norwegian black metal may not help you reach your goal.
But there are certain kinds of music that can help certain kind of minds function at a higher level – and [email protected] helps you find that music and expose your brain to it.
Here’s a sample of the types of music offered by [email protected]:
[email protected] puts you through a simple personality to test to determine which music is best for you. This music helps you ‘focus, reduce distractions, maintain your productivity and retain information when working, studying, writing and reading’.
Only recently has science discovered that brain-shaping audio can prevent your mind from going to certain places – distraction and habituation.
After using this regularly for the last 2 weeks, I can confirm its effectiveness. [email protected] is also a great time management tool for ADHD adults. A specific kind of music for them helps them concentrate and focus their energy.
Everyone has moments where they need to focus and concentrate. However, regular use of [email protected] can certainly help your brand.
Whether it’s concentrating doing paperwork, or designing a new marketing campaign, [email protected] certainly can help you get your tasks done.
Udemy students that need to concentrate, moms that want to relax and everyone in between, [email protected] can help you.
[email protected] is free for 2 weeks and then pricing starts at $9.95 per month.
PushBullet connects all your devices, making them work as one. Simple as that. Here’s a list of some of the features:
Pushbullet connects your devices together – Desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet. SMS messages, push notifications and much much more can be synced. It’s also a fantastic way to send files and links from cellphone to computer, or vice versa.
It works by taking the pain out of using multiple devices. It’s much easier to type on a keyboard than it is on a mobile. With Pushbullet, you can reply to your text messages using your computer.
Chances are that if you’re a small business owner in the world of ecommerce, your business is spread out over multiple devices. Chat on the computer, texts on the phone, everything is everything.
Pushbullet takes the pain out of that.
It keeps everything consistent, making it so much easier for you to operate. By far, one of the best time management tools for small business or busy individual.
PushBullet is free, but paid options start at $3.33 per month for extra capabilities.
ToDoist is an ‘intuitive to-do list that does more than just structure your day’. It allows you to keep on top of what needs to be done and makes sure it does actually get done!
Here’s an example of my personal Todoist list:
ToDoist is daily checklist app that helps get everything out of your head and onto paper. Here, you can set due dates, prioritize it and then not think about it until it is due. This lets you focus on other important things.
It works well because it’s simple and efficient in the way it frees up space in your head. Not only do you not have to worry about what to do, you don’t have to worry about when to do it, either.
This daily planner app would be a great tool for the online seller, student or mom to keep track of his or her day-to-day tasks – not just at work, but also in their personal life.
I’ve found it to be a fantastic tool to keep track of day to day errands, rather than tracking big massive projects.
Todoist has a freemium version, and upgraded accounts with extra features start at $2.50 a month.
One of the most overlooked ways to write is by speaking. Speaking is much faster, and often easier than typing and with modern technology like Dragon Naturally Speaking, anyone can harness the power of their voice.
Simply put, Dragon is voice recognition software. Rather than spending time writing out email and blogs, Dragon lets you write it all via your voice.
This keeps your brain thinking about the entire idea of what you’re reading, rather than writing it out word for word and making sure it’s spelt correctly.
Dragon does a little more than just transmit what you say into the written word. It saves you time – and a lot of time at that. The time saved by dictating your emails or blog articles is time that’s better spent focusing on other areas of your brand.
Bloggers, marketers, any online seller that regularly writes blogs or spend a lot of time writing personalised emails, Dragon is a fantastic tool for you.
Dragon starts at $300 for the individual software.
So there you have it! 18 of our favourite time management tools, online schedules and ways to plan your day.
Whether you’re a student, stay-at-home mom or struggling writer, these apps can help you reduce distractions, stay focused and achieve more throughout your day.
What are some of your favourite time management tools? Have you got any tips on how to manage your time? Let us know in the comments!