A helpful list of time saving apps and tips to give you more time for what you’d rather be doing
With three kids under school age and a business to run, I’m always looking for time saving tips. Unfortunately, most of the tips I come across are frankly pretty useless.
‘Get up an hour early every day – you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you are.’
(I find I’m actually less than productive when my eyeballs are falling out of my head)
Whether you’re crazy busy with a side-hustle, or trying to split yourself between work partners, kids and fur babies, these USEFUL time saving tips and apps may help you to reduce the frazzle and find more time for fun.
Time saving business apps
1/ 17 Hats to get your small business life organised
Do you ever feel like you’re wearing every hat you ever owned?
17 Hats helps you to organise all the loose ends of your business so that you can spend more time wearing the hats that you are really passionate about.
You can upload existing contacts, create projects and timelines, raise estimates and invoices, track new leads and create useful to-do lists.
It’s $17 per month on an annual plan, which is pretty reasonable and you can try it out for free without having to add your credit card details.
2/ Co-schedule to get your marketing plan and content under control
Co-schedule allows you to sync all your favourite tools and social platforms into one place.
You can include WordPress, Google Analytics, Evernote, Google docs and most popular social accounts including Insta, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Out of all of the social management tools I’ve tried, the set up on this one was the easiest and I love that I could integrate my blog. You’ll need to install a WordPress plugin to integrate, but that doesn’t take long.
It also integrates Co-schedule’s super cool Headline Analyzer which helps you to optimise your headlines to drive more traffic and social shares (you don’t need to have a co-schedule account to use this tool – give it a whirl next time you’re creating a blog post).
You can work out the best times to schedule your posts for optimum engagement as well as filling gaps in your posting schedule with older content that is ripe for re-sharing.
It’s $US30 a month for solopreneurs, but you can try for free to see if it’s something you’d like to invest in.
3/ Pocket to bookmark all those juicy articles you want to save for some day when you have some spare time
If you’re information hungry like I am, you’re probably subscribed to dozens of blogs and emailers that you can’t wait to read… you open them in your web browser, get interrupted and life goes on. That piece of content you really wanted to read gets lost forever in a sea of opened tabs.
With Pocket you can quickly save those pages to read later (even from Feedly and Flipboard) and that’s great… but it’s the premium features ($US50 a year) that I really love. Using premium you can add tags to categorise your content and use keywords to search for articles and for information within content.
4/ Perch to track reviews of your business and social feeds of your competitors
Perch is a great little app specifically made for local service businesses such as restaurants, retailers, beauty salons and retail shops.
It not only allows you to keep track of Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yelp reviews, Twitter, and Foursquare activity, but you can monitor the social feeds of local competitors all in one handy app. Cost? Nada… it’s free for the time being.
5/ Self Control to stop you from getting side-tracked online when you should be working!
We’re all guilty of it… you hit a mental roadblock or get to a tough part of your workflow and suddenly you’re engrossed in a mindless Facebook thread or eyeballs deep in the latest gossip on some trashy ‘news’ website.
Shtahp!! This is why you are reading my list on how to save time.
Install the Self Control app and you can blacklist those sites while you’re meant to be working.
6/ Last Pass to keep all of those pesky passwords handy and safely out of harm’s reach
OMG, lost and forgotten passwords have seriously eaten up hours of my life. I used to save my passwords in Google sheets, but then I discovered Last Pass.
You can even simplify your online shopping by saving credit card and shipping details.
7/ If This Than That (IFTTT) for the really savvy among us who are keen to save time through automation
I’m not particularly technical, but I’m pretty damn excited with what I’ve heard about If This Than That (IFTTT).
IFTTT creates Applets that allow you to automate stuff that you can’t do currently such as:
- Tweet your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter
- Save new email attachments from Gmail to Google Drive
- Automatically change your Twitter profile photo when you update your Facebook profile
- Back up photos you’re tagged in on Facebook to a iOS photo album
- Track your daily FitBit activity in a Google spreadsheet
and the one I like the best:
Tell Google assistant to call your phone so you can find the damn thing and save time hunting it down!
There are dozens of handy Applets just waiting to shave minutes off your day in IFTTT.
Have you tried it yet? What’s saving you time?
8/ YouCanBook.me app saves time on client bookings
This free app lets customers go straight into your calendar and add a booking at a time when you’re actually free. No more back and forth emails to waste your time. It’s perfect for service providers such as freelance writers or personal trainers.
Time saving business tips
9/ Avoid multi-tasking
Did you know that multi tasking is actually inefficient? By trying to focus on multiple things, we end up doing both things less effectively.
Oh no… I have twins. Does that mean my whole existence is now inefficent?
Not quite. I’m not talking about making toast while talking, or feeding Twin A while changing Twin B’s nappy with your toes. These are what’s called ‘rote’ tasks and they don’t involve much brain power.
The problem occurs when you’re trying to accomplish two tasks that actually require thinking and consideration because your brain finds it difficult to process these separate streams of information.
- Focus on one thing at a time and decide on a pre-determined time limit or section to reach before you allow yourself to break.
- Make sure that your desk is de-cluttered and free of procrastination tempters such as magazines and electronic devices.
- Don’t let small interruptions like phone messages, social media or coffee cravings get in the way.
- Complete tasks relating to one theme or topic before moving on to another.
“Batching tasks and compartmentalising them makes you super efficient. While you are in a certain headspace or working on a particular area of your business, do all the tasks relating to that area at the same time.”
Michelle Broadbent, Bespoke Business Support
I’m still trying to perfect this art! I’ve been the queen of 100 open tabs for years…
10/ Stop thinking, start doing
Are you a ‘Wantapreneur’? Someone who’s constantly thinking about all the great businesses they’d like to start, but who never actually gets around to starting-up? There’s nothing wrong with dreaming about your goals and successes, but at some point you need to stop dreaming and start doing, because dreaming can waste a lot of time.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
This also applies to the small tasks at the bottom of our to-do list that we know are going to be unpleasant, so we keep putting them off.
Write down your ideas or major tasks as soon as they come to mind.
Create a mini action plan for each one:
- What is the end goal?
- What are the steps to achieving it?
- When is your deadline for completing each step?
- What is your reward at the end?
Try to create SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-specific).
The GoalsOnTrack app just might be the tool that you need to get things moving.
For business ideas, try to create a prototype or quick and dirty test version of your idea that you can run by a group of trusted friends. If you can get some feedback early in the picture, it might save you months of extra hard work on something that is already ready to go, or that just isn’t going to work at all.
Time saving lifestyle apps and services
Saving time in your business life is great, but it’s often the things we need to do around the house that really get in the way of our ‘fun’ time.
“The big area I need to carve out time for is exercise. In order to do that I need to save time in other areas of my life as I seem to have it all in a fine balance otherwise. I’m already the queen of outsourcing.” Michelle G – Senior Manager and mum
These apps and services may just help you get more time for you or for the things you really want to do.
11/ Find a nanny or babysitter at late notice with jugglestreet.com.au
Post your babysitting job and desired rate and get applications from an approved carer in your local area.
12/ Get those groceries you need – delivered in under 1 hour with Buddys.com.au
When you’re on a work deadline but you’ve run out of milk or really need a box of honeycomb chocolate Magnums at 10.30pm, you can call Buddy’s and they’ll deliver within 30 minutes from midday to midnight, 7 days (min order value $25).
13/ Get some booze delivered for the party tonight with Tipple.com.au
Oh swizzle – people are coming over for a diner party and you’ve just realised your drinks cupboard consists of a half finished bottle of cooking sherry and an unopened 6 pack of West Coast Coolers. Never fear, Tipple delivers drinks in under an hour.
“As someone who’s out most nights either for my job or my partner’s, I want my time at home to be fun and relaxed. I look for time saving options on domestic and household chores. ”
Jackie, Fur mumma and food writer at Does My Bomb Look Big in This?
14/ Find a dependable housekeeper to keep on top of the life-draining chores with Get Jarvis
Finding a cleaner is one thing, but getting someone who’s dependable and trustworthy seems to be near impossible. I know some people who seem to spend as much time trying to find a new cleaner as they save getting their cleaning done.
Get Jarvis promises to provide you with an experienced, fully screened and dependable house keeper. That’s a potentially life saving service.
15/ Find a pet sitter or dog walker quickly using Pawshake
Need some doggy day care or someone to take look after your fur babies while you’re away for work or holidays? Pawshake takes care of all your pet sitting needs, even at the last minute.
16/ Save time on your fitness by finding a personal trainer on Pummel.fit
Sometimes there’s no time to get to a gym – the Pummel app helps you to find a personal trainer in your area who will come to you.
17/ Save time getting dressed with the Evernote App
Ugh, that feeling (most mornings) when you look into a wardrobe that’s bursting at the seams and you seriously have NOTHING TO WEAR! You pull everything out of the cupboard and dash it onto the bed in disgust.
By the time you finally find something that makes you feel able to leave the house without the police being called, you’re running half an hour late. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Spend an hour on a weekend putting together a list featuring at least 5 outfit selections that you know don’t make you feel frustrated and frumpy.
- If you like to be super organised you can download the Evernote App, take a photo of each outfit and keep them inside a note.
- Move these 5 outfits to the most accessible space in your wardrobe so you don’t have to pull everything out to get to them.
Last but absolutely NOT least:
18/ Get your hair, nails, tan or massage done in the comfort of your own home via the Glamazon app
Do you write blog posts for your business website?
If so, you might just find my article ‘How to find (and plan) a year’s worth of awesome blog topics in just 1 hour rather helpful
Do you need help to plan your content so that it starts to work for your business, rather than sucking up all of your time?
Check out my content strategy services.
I’d love to hear about any tips or apps that have saved you time lately.