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Tech Tools to Upgrade Your Workflow

By February 29, 2016 October 27th, 2016 News & Viewpoints
It’s Monday morning and you’re in a stare down with another monster to-do list. For maximum work day output, it’s smart to have systems in place. Here are a few tools we use to propel ourselves into the zone.

Get Organized

You go to rewrite your to-do list (again) and think – there has to be a better way. If you have a visual mind and you’re looking for a seamless way to organize your tasks while tracking your time, look no farther than Trello and Toggl.

Trello is a powerful web-based list tool that gives you a bird’s eye view of your workload. Each of your project lists live on Trello cards and operate like searchable easy-to-edit sticky notes. Toggl is a web-based time tracking app. Both have mobile apps for on-the-go task and time tracking.

When you hook your Trello and Toggl accounts together, the time you spend on each task can be tracked and tagged by project directly from your Trello to do list. Toggl’s interface lets you pull summaries of the time you’ve spent on each project. It feels like we dreamed this up, but it’s real.

Stop Scrolling

You’re between tasks and catch yourself in a dopamine-fueled social media scroll. Great news: Chrome App developers on white horses are here to save you. Some apps are straightforward: Google Chrome’s “Site Blocker,” “StayFocusd” and “RescueTime” allow you to block specific websites.

Others, like Facebook Eradicator, are more creatively brutal. Facebook Eradicator is a Google Chrome plug in that replaces your Facebook feed with a condemning quote that forces you to reflect on what you’re doing at the present moment. An example of a quote generated by the plug in: “Idleness is only the refuge of weak minds, and the holiday of fools” – Philip Dormer Stanhope. Try slipping into social media’s heady spell and with Philip breathing down your neck. You’re right – it’s not happening.

Take a Break

You’ve been staring at the same problem and can’t seem to find a solution. It’s time to take a break! Regular breaks have been proven to help you stay on task and see problems differently.

The Pomodoro Technique, a time management method, helps you plow through your tasks while building in breaks by breaking down work into 25 minute intervals. These intervals are known as “Pomodoros.” You guessed it – there’s an app for that. “Strict Workflow” is an app loosely based on the Pomodoro technique. The app encourages bursts of focused work time followed by short breaks.

If you’re stuck on a problem and between Pomodoros, get your blood flowing again with a quick walk or stretch. Sometimes stepping away from your desk else is all it takes for a eureka moment.

Just Do It

Tech tools aside, Stratacomm chiefly subscribes to the classic and effective refrain: JUST DO IT. All this tip requires is your time-tested grit.

Nicole Burdiss is a senior account executive in Stratacomm’s Detroit office.