When starting to take control of our time and learning to manage it properly it is easy to become overwhelmed with the number of tools available. There seem to be a hundred and one different planners or organizers all with a different flair for how to make you more productive or improve your time management.
These top 3 time management tools are our favorite and hopefully they’ll be yours too!
The focus is on keeping the tools simple and effective whether you’re just starting to build your time management skills or you are a seasoned pro.
Simple and effective was our goal!
1. Planners, Agendas or Day Organizers
There are a ton of variations on each of these but here is what you need for time management purposes:
- An option with a daily section
- An option with a weekly section
- Lots of writing space
- Pens or a pencil.
That’s right it is that easy. If you’ve been overwhelmed with all of the planner options available keep in mind that if you start simple you can customize it to your needs.
If you don’t trust a preset system, try bullet journaling! A book full of blank pages could be a recipe for anxiety for some but for others the ability to control their own system it’s a freeing experience.
Apps, computers, and tablets, oh my! The power of proper time management is nearly always in your pocket or even better, your hand. However using the tools properly and knowing which work and which don’t is a pain.
Time Slot Pro
If you are a self-made person and run your own scheduling for appointments check out Time Slot Pro. This app is loaded with features that make it easy for your clients to book appointments and even make payments! This could save you valuable time that you would usually spend on the phone and over a calendar.
Now, if you find yourself losing tons of productive time slots due to the many distractions of the world, try Focus Booster. You can download this onto your computer, run it in a browser or on your phone. But, it creates time blocks and records how you’ve spent your time. Then you can go back and identify those distractions that took hold!
Finally, our brains do a lot through the day. There are too many things to remember in a day and things like shopping or to-do lists get dropped to the bottom. Give Remember the Milk a try. It’s an easy app that allows you to build lists as you remember things, and then it alerts you later when you most need to remember!
3. Mind mapping
Often people get sucked into meetings, or even one-on-one discussions about a project or goal and everyone walks away with a different understanding of what was decided. Mind-mapping works a little differently than the standard form of delegation.
Again, there are a ton of apps out there for this but plain old pen and paper work well too. Instead of focusing on to-do items for each person work out the root problems.
Teachers find this helpful when they’re explaining new concepts in the classroom. Coaches use it to explain new techniques or plays to their team. This concept has begun to merge into the world of time management as it is used for more than just teaching.
With a mind map, you can explain to your students, team players, team members, or employees exactly how the task they’re assigned serves a function that benefits the whole team. Communication is one of the repeat offenders in time management even though it’s something humans are pretty good at.
The Tools You Need
You don’t need super fancy software that requires a subscription on top of hundreds of dollars to purchase. The tools you need for excellent time management are already available to you!
- Set out a daily, weekly, and monthly plan that works for you.
- Use the technology available to best manage time-consuming or easily forgotten tasks.
- Select methods of communication that deliver a clear and concise message the first time.