These days, there’s no shortage of web resources to choose from. And although options are wonderful, they can also be the bane of our existence. Too many options have often been the primary cause for a total lack of productivity.
For example: let’s say you want to learn how to make a good martini. You google search: “how to make the perfect martini”. Boom. You get back enough how-to articles on martini-making to make your head spin. You click one of the results…. It’s not bad. But maybe there’s something better. You go back to your Google search results and click another one, opening another tab in your browser. This one’s okay. But not as good as the last. Then you go back and look for another article.
You repeat the same cycle again. And again.. and again. Until next thing you know — you’ve got so many open tabs on your browser window that you’ve forgotten what you were trying to do in the first place!
How’d you go from searching for the perfect martini recipe, to watching a Justin Bieber video on YouTube?
This, my friend, is the double-edge sword of the world wide web and the many resources that it offers us to make use of… and if we waste too much time using the wrong ones (i.e. Justin Bieber videos on YouTube), then we end up sabotaging our own productivity as a result.
So without further ado, I present to you the 19 best web resources to enhance productivity. Save the martinis for after you’re done reading this article.
This is the juggernaut of web resources to help with productivity. Personally, it’s my primary way of staying on track with my daily projects and tasks. Super charge this resource by integrating it with the Getting Things Done productivity methodology and you’ll be setting yourself up for success for a very long time.
Learning to speed read can be massively helpful when you’re trying to plow through piles of documents and books in search of a vital piece of information. Luckily, there’s an app for that, and it’s called Spreeder.
Wunderlist is the bucket-list-building app you’ve always wished for. Fast. Intuitive. Shareable. Whether you’re creating a “someday/maybe” list or pounding away at a project filled with tasks you need to accomplish, you just can’t go wrong with Wunderlist.
Researchers tell us that people work better when there’s white noise in the background. That’s where an app like Coffitivity comes in handy by generating the buzziness of a cafe’ in the background while you’re working.
5. Tomato Timer
Tomato Timer is based on the Pomodoro technique, which is an incredibly popular productivity method that requires you to incorporate specific periods of rest and renewal into your workday by breaking it up into 25-minute chunks of productive time. After the 25-minute chunk of time is up, you get a short break before repeating the same cycle over again.
The Tomato Timer will alert you when the 25 minutes is up so you can get up and take a quick moment to recharge your batteries before getting back to work again. The fact that you know you’ll be able to take a break when the timer goes off will help you beat procrastination once and for all.
Too busy to read that pile of books on the bedside table? Start using GetFlashNotes book summaries and you’ll be done reading them, all in under 20 minutes flat. The fact that you can read the best self-help and business books in mere minutes makes this a productivity resource that you should never leave home without.
And since their summaries come formatted for every device, you’ll never have to.
7. Do Nothing For 2 Minutes
If there’s one thing modern professionals don’t get enough of, it’s short periods of rest. You work hard. Bless yourself with 120 seconds of peace via this simple but powerful productivity resource. You’ll feel better for having done it.
Never go back and forth about when to schedule a meeting, and forget about wasting time email-polling your friends about whether they can make it to your birthday party on this or that date.
Instead, use Doodle to identify a few potential windows of time that work best for you, and ask everyone else to fill in what works for them within those windows. Doodle makes scheduling things easy.
Organize everything you love — from blogs, to news, to websites and more — all in one place that you can go back to whenever you want, via Feedly.
Listening to a podcast can be a vital productivity resource if you’re doing it with a purpose. Want to learn how to quit smoking or how to be more confident? Listen to a self-improvement podcast on iTunes.
Want the big ideas from that business book your co-worker told you about? Listen to a non-fiction literature podcast. Take advantage of podcasts. They’re free, fun, and can teach you tons of productivity hacks within a very short period of time.
A simple tool that provides a clean on-screen writing environment for the essentialist. FocusWriter comes complete with other small but useful resources to enhance productivity, like timers, alarms, spell checking and goal-setting functionality.
Automate all of your social media, rather than dividing your attention, when you could be productively getting things done instead. Let’s say you’ve just written a great blog post and you really want to capitalize on the power of social media to spread that blog post as far as possible. Rather than sharing and tweeting about it on all of your social media platforms all at once, you can use Hootsuite to pre-populate exactly when – and how often – you want your blog post to be spread around on each of your individual social media accounts.
If the best time to self-promote on Facebook is on Tuesday mornings between 8 and 9 am, then set up your messaging with Hootsuite to ensure it goes out on that specific day. Rinse and repeat for your other platforms.
The acronym stands for “If this, then that”, and it’s an app that allows you to create little chains of productivity using simple “recipes”. The “recipes” act as Triggers and Actions to prompt you to stay productive.
For example, you can make a recipe that automatically turns every email you start in your Gmail into a reminder in your iOS Reminders app. Pretty cool, eh?
Get push notifications to remind you to stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Prompt yourself to “drink more water” at various times throughout the day. Remind yourself to stick with your gym habit every morning.
Use Lift as you constant companion to help you harness the power of habit when you need it most.
15. Productivity Owl
Productivity Owl is a Google Chrome extension that keeps you on track by letting you know when you’re not being as productive as you should be. The productivity owl literally gets in your face, too. Every time you’re browsing pages that you know you shouldn’t be, the little Productivity Owl swoops down from the corner of your screen to let you know that it’s time to stop checking Facebook so you can finish up that presentation that’s due tomorrow.
What if you could block yourself from succumbing to the luring urge’s to constantly check your social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Well, now you can. SelfControl’s application lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers and pretty much anything else on the web.
Just preset a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you won’t be able to access those sites – even if you restart your computer or delete the application.
Every book you read is a deliberate investment in your personal development. But what if you’re not a big fan of reading or don’t have the time to? Don’t fret. You can listen to audiobooks instead.
With Audible, you can listen to books while you run, walk, or drive to work in the morning. Easy peasy.
See your favorite newsletter subscriptions “at-a-glance”, rather than in an endless stream of spam-like emails that never seem to end.
19. Sleepy Ti.me
Last but not least, we have the Sleepy Time app. Because there’s absolutely no productivity hack, trick, or tool that’ll ever replace your body’s need for sleep. Sleepy Time is a bedtime calculator that’s meant to help you maintain a steady snoozing schedule.
Clock in when you want to sleep, and let it calculate how many Z’s you need to catch for your body to perform at peak levels of productivity throughout the day.
Time to get productive
So there you have it – 19 of the best productivity web resources available today. But beware of awesome-app overload. These resources are only as powerful as you allow them to be.
So print this list out or save it somewhere you know you’ll come back to, so that you can try a couple at a time until you figure out your favorite from the bunch. Stay productive.