Staying focused and productive is important when you’re trying to make progress with your business. This requirement is even more intense when you are a small business owner doing it on your own. You will constantly keep getting stuck between multiple tasks like answering calls, updating inventory, replying emails, promoting your products, and handling accounts. It becomes very hard to keep yourself aligned with your goals when you have all these things to do. This is why you need automation, a way to make your business do most of these things by itself. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of —free productivity tools that will help you get through this.

1. StayFocusd

If you find that you’re wasting too much time on, you can use 

StayFocusd is a Google Chrome extension to completely block your access to social media platforms, news sites, or other distractions online while you are working.

It works by making you decide how much time you are prepared to spend on specific types of websites. If you want to restrict your Twitter access to 10 minutes per day, then you can customize that. StayFocusd will block you from entering Twitter for as long as you tell it to.

With its nuclear option, you block access to all but the websites you need to use. This way, you can stay focused on a specific task.

2. Microsoft To Do

You can call me an expert at testing task management software because of what I had to go through looking for a platform that can best manage my tasks over the years. Nothing seemed to work until I discovered Microsoft To Do. If you need an app to keep track of all of your to-dos, Microsoft To Do is a great option. It allows you to group your tasks by date and hide them while you are working on today’s tasks. This way you can focus on only the tasks that matter at the moment.

source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-to-do-blog/your-most-requested-feature-is-here-list-groups/ba-p/800168

The value of Microsoft To Do is its simplicity and convenience. Add a task describing what you need to do, then check it off when it’s complete. It works well on PC and all popular mobile operating systems as well.

3. Gmail

Although Gmail is an email tool liked and used by everyone, it could become a great productivity tool for you as a business person. It allows you to create a saved selection of predefined responses (Canned Responses) that you can add to any email you are sending in just a few clicks. 

source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2019/04/14/road-warrior-the-gmail-hacks-you-need-on-your-next-business-trip/#1c35230010c4

Gmail allows integration with many add-ons to create tasks in project management apps like Trello, create todos in Google Tasks, add emails to Evernote, and more without leaving your email. Gmail makes it easy to take action on emails as soon as they arrive almost always automatically.

4. Google Docs

Having problems remembering where you stored some important documents? Google Docs solves this problem by offering you a home for all your notes and documents.

It lets you take notes through text or voice on any device and automatically save them to your google drive account. Google Docs is a Word processor with superpowers. You can even export Google Docs files for use in Microsoft word. Even though it is accessed through your web browser, Google makes your documents available offline through the browser so your internet connection does not come between you and your documents.

5. LastPass

It is a bad idea for anyone to use the same password across multiple websites, but it is especially terrible for business owners who need to make sure that hackers do not gain access to your sensitive business and personal information.

But creating new and unique passwords and having to remember them all is not an easy task. LastPass helps you generate strong, unique passwords for every site you need to log in to and It saves those generated passwords in your LastPass account so you never have to remember your password. It works well, with all popular web browsers and mobile operating systems.

Be careful with productivity apps however

While having the right productivity tools can help you stay focused on your goals, having too many apps can have the opposite effect. So before you consider productivity tools, make sure it’s solving the biggest problems that affect your productivity.

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