For some reason, as creative entrepreneurs, when we look at where we spend our money, we rarely spend it on things that increase general productivity. Need a new tool to make jewelry or printer for your art prints, yep, that is a good investment. Need to buy some software just to keep your days straight? Nah, this post-it note system I've got going on is working okay for me and is free. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Because tangible tools help us sell more and we don't always see how something productivity focused will do the same. If you made some investments in keeping you more productive, could you get an hour or two (or 10) back into your week to create more product, or market your business? Probably. It's hard to run a business, where you have to be all the things, maker, marketer, web designer, accountant, and when your day isn't organized it is easy to get distracted by things that seemingly only take 10 minutes, until you realize an hour has past and you need to get back on task.
We use a variety of online tools, some free and some paid to keep us as productive as possible. For starters we use Todoist to keep a collaborative to do list going. It allows you to prioritize and set due dates for tasks. Everything down to paying bills and picking up the dog from the groomers is on there-along with the realistic amount of time it will take to complete.
Another online service we use is Asana, which allows us to plan larger projects that will take time and several elements to complete. This (for us) includes our production calendar, with dates and what we need to make, key deadlines we need to hit, and what supplies need to be ordered when. It is also helpful for some social media planning, even though that is not really what the tool is designed for. It's pretty low cost and makes a huge difference. Another benefit to using these online apps is that since we are in two different locations it allows us to collaborate (and is way more effective than searching a loooong string of Facebook messages trying to find that due date).
What apps or tools do you use to stay productive and on task throughout the day?