10 Productivity Tools That Entrepreneurs Can’t Live Without

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We’ve all got our own favorite productivity tools, tips, and tricks that help us organize our task lists, assign projects, and manage deliverables. Today, there are more project management and productivity apps and software programs geared toward business owners than ever.

Here, 10 entrepreneurs share the productivity tools they use to stay on top of everything.

1. Monday.com: Streamline communication channels

Aalap Shah, founder of 1o8, an e-comm-focused digital agency based in Chicago, loves Monday.com for project management. 

“My business has clients, vendors, independent contractors, and full-time folks all trying to communicate, and it has streamlined our Slack, email, and file management tools into one centralized (and colorful) dashboard that allows us to glance at a project and know where it’s at, ” he says. “I love the integrations it has—be it invoicing, other communications tools, Google Drive—along with the extensive training and documentation that it has for a novice to be able to take this tool and harness it to its fullest potential.”

Shah recommends diving into a few of the webinars or training videos on the site and reading a few case studies. “What’s cool about the tool is that it’s flexible for almost any business, and then within your business, you can set up boards for all sorts of different activities and tactics,” he says. “The best part (and tip I can offer) is getting into a daily habit of using it—I load up all the tasks right after a meeting, for example, so it stays fresh and gets assigned to the right team to execute against.”

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2. Focus To-Do: Break down tasks into bite-sized chunks

For managing time and tasks, Brandon Ackroyd, founder of UK-based Tiger Mobiles, prefers Focus To-Do.

“I primarily use it for the Pomodoro function,” he says. “The night before work, I make a to-do list of things that need to be accomplished. Then on the day, the app has a timer to break down work into intervals. I set it to 25 minutes in length and tick off tasks when they are complete. After every 25 minutes passes, I take a five-minute break. After four of these cycles, I take a 15-minute break.”

3. Trello: Color-coded organization

Chloe Brittain, owner of Opal Transcription Services in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, uses Trello, a Kanban-style app, to organize new projects—from a long-term to-do list to an editorial calendar to an SEO campaign. She also uses it for simple things like keeping track of articles she wants to read later.

“I prefer Trello to other organizational tools because it’s versatile but also simple,” she explains. “I can easily rearrange items on a board or card, color code things, add checklists and deadlines, etc., and even with all these layers of complexity, it’s easy to understand visually where I’m at and what still needs to get done.”

Brittain says if you need functionality beyond basic projects, you can use extensions (called Power-Ups) to help you customize the tool to your needs. “For instance, you could add custom fields to your cards or integrate your Trello boards with Dropbox,” she says.

4. Teamwork: Track milestones and due dates

Shane Griffiths, partner at Clarity Online, an SEO marketing agency in Seattle, loves using Teamwork to stay organized. 

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