10 Ways to Use Productivity Apps More Effectively

A red light blinks, a notification pops up or alert sounded .Whatever the case , you are distracted by your smartphone once again. Anyone who uses a smartphone will nod their head in agreement because they know the feeling.

Smartphones have become an indispensable part in our lives and they’re interrupting everything from meals to movies. And engaging with them is sometimes keeping us from enjoying the real things or focusing on important tasks. And you know what I’m talking about: procrastination, time wasted and endless distractions. Even getting a host of productivity tools installed in your smartphone doesn’t help. This frustrates you even more when you have  lot of stuff to get done.

Smartphones at the workplace are often the real cause of distraction. You think smartphones hamper your productivity, but using it along with some productivity apps in the right way can really change the game altogether.

Here are 10 ways that can drastically increase your productivity right away.

1. Be Diligent with Tasks.

Using email to assign or delegate task is a thing of the past. Now pretty much every productivity app includes some form of workflow or task management. This looks simple, but I cannot underestimate the capability, particularly when combined with feeds and notifications.Let the app serve as your taskmaster and an “external brain”. Relieve stress and ensure you and your collaborators finish work on time.

2. Keep Your Document Repository Up-to-Date.

Collaborative work-groups are usually formed around some form of document (such as a requirements doc) and tend to produce document such as a proposal. Of the bad habits I commonly see in  app implementations, the most common is failure to keep the document repository up-to-date. This is often complicated by the need to checkout, edit, then check-in your document artifacts; an often time-consuming process.

3. Leverage Notifications.

Notifications are in fact the most important part of the deal in your pursuit to get productive. These ensure that you are informed of the important event as and when they happen. Mobile device notifications are valuable in highly mobile workforce. There are other notification channels such as feeds (ATOM & RSS), email and instant messaging.

4. Avoid the Noise.

As useful as notifications can be , it’s easy to get carried away with them. So it is important to subscribe only to events you know are relevant to you.Use filters to reduce the noise. Jim had tuna for lunch vs David assigned a task to you. Which one is important? You have a choice. You decide.

5. Use Email Wisely: No Attachments

If you keep your Document Repository up to date you will eventually eliminate the nasty habit to attach documents to an email. There are problems associated with attachments to email such as poor revision control and wasteful use of email storage. Develop a habit to share the link to the relevant content.

6. Prioritize.

Just making a list is not the point,challenge yourself to create a realistic hierarchy for your projects. Prioritize your “to do” items and keep reviewing it every morning. This will help you remember the need to stick to the plan and focus on the things that are truly important.

7. Social Tags use it responsibly.

Social tagging is a blessing when it comes to simplifying the search operation. But beware of the tendency to be a “tag creep”. At best you can use a handful of tags instead of going overboard and associate every adjective you can possibly think of. Be very specific and unique with the selections.

8. Chat Room.

Chat rooms are often not considered a core requirement for productivity apps, but they can be of great value when used properly. Most instant messaging apps includes some form of group chat rooms. Create chat groups whose membership includes project team members to help ad-hoc communications and real-time discussions. You won’t miss “slow email” anymore.

9. Review Tasks every morning.

Review your to-do list, make adjustments and mentally map out your day every morning. It helps a lot when you visualize success , mentally running through your day. See where potential challenges may lie. Run through your calendar to assess if anything needs changing or rearranging with how your day is planned, and see if there’s anything that needs your focus or something that might need scheduling before a call or meeting.

10. Reduce and Simplify.

If you have fewer things to organize then organizing is easy.Just think about it. How many different ways do stuff come into your life? Are you dealing with 5-7 different places at work or home where paper comes in and gets placed? Oh wait did I mention emails?

The idea is to integrate these functions into your daily life and not have them thrown at you. It’s one thing to be a slave to technology. It’s another thing to completely re-imagine how things might get done with that exact same technology.

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.

Welcome To The Notesmartly Blog.

Welcome to the new Notesmartly Blog.

Finally it’s up.This blog  is dedicated to Notesmartly  users and people with similar interests such as productivity or someone with a desire to be  organized all the time.

We will be posting stuff that will cover product updates, news, helpful tips, and occasionally  thoughts on life in general.Our intent  is to give you the information you need to really enjoy using Notesmartly.

There’s a ton of exciting stuff to be shared here, so stay tuned.


-The Notesmartly Team