In addition to #ThrowbackThursday, we’re now implementing #TMITuesday! Stay tuned every week for thoughts, ideas, and tips from the Mojo-Makers.
This week, we’re bringing our best productivity hacks! Any professional knows the difficulty of staying on top of everything. These productivity tips help us keep things going without skipping a beat:
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
If you’re a Gmail user, you’re going to thank me big time for this hack. It’s a system I discovered and implemented about a year ago, and it has literally saved me hundreds of hours.
Here’s what it allows me to do:
- Organize my email by filters and folders, so important emails never get missed.
- Instantly assess each email’s importance and give it the right “tag” with a click of the mouse. My tags are To-do, Follow up, Read Later and Info.
- My emails are then automatically sorted by tag, creating a living to-do list right in my inbox.
The set-up can take some time, but it’s well worth it on the hours saved. Here’s the full description of how to hack your Gmail: http://www.taledo.com/blog/career-advice/gmail-hacked-how-to-optimise-your-email-inbox/
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
Patience is not one of my virtues. I don’t like reading machine manuals, listening to speeches, or waiting for public transportation. So if an app is going to take me more than 10 seconds to figure out how it works, I probably won’t use it. That’s why I use Wunderlist, as it is a pretty basic to-do list app, and I use it in the most basic sense. Most of my productivity hacks don’t have to do with technology.
I stay productive by taking several tiny breaks during work. These breaks can be as minimal as staring out the window — or at anything that is not your computer screen — for a few designated minutes. (This is why Andrea, our Project Coordinator who sits in front of me, will occasionally turn around to find me already staring in her direction.)
Other tips include:
- Taking a 5 minute stretch break
- Taking a 5 minute meditation break
- Listening to one song that you love to listen to, but can’t work to. (This can coordinate with looking out the window.)
- Journaling for 5 minutes.
- Doodling for 5 minutes.
- Going outside for 5 minutes. (Even if it is raining! Water doesn’t hurt.)
Doing any of these breaks after you complete tasks will feel like a tiny reward, and may help motivate you to keep crossing things off the to-do list.
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
My nerdiest productivity hack is writing simple HTML code using a text-only syntax called Markdown. I am so used to Markdown now that I specifically seek out apps that work with that formatting, like Bear for notetaking (it’s also way faster to load than Microsoft OneNote) and DayOne for journaling. Even Slack supports it! The apps make it easy to export the HTML and put it in WordPress or wherever else I need code, but it’s so instinctive that I find myself doing it all the time. It’s much easier to write a link like [this](http://www.google.com) than <a href=”http://www.google.com”>this</a>.
Besides that, I like to do reviews on a regular basis to keep myself on track. I do a weekly review on Sunday afternoons to make sure I know what’s coming up, and apply that to work stuff as well as things like exercise days, meal prepping, etc. The planner I use has review walk-throughs and goal-setting built-in.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
My productivity hack is something that is used daily by the entire team, we run the entire project management aspect of the business through it: Basecamp. I love it because I can oversee the progress of projects and keep everything organized in one place, for clients and internally. Basecamp is a project management tool that organizes communications, projects, and client work so everyone has one source for all aspects of a project.
Within a Basecamp project you can assign to-do’s, write documents (which track all revisions made with a revision history), create a discussion (this works just like sending an email) upload files, and discuss these things within the thread below it. One functionality that many of our client’s love is the ability to respond to things in Basecamp through email, that way nothing gets lost in someone’s inbox and everyone has access to the information that was discussed.
The due dates for to-do’s also help everyone stay on track with their assignments. You can view what you have due today, tomorrow, next week, and what is overdue. This automatically helps you prioritize your work and work more efficiently.
Another hack I use frequently is adding important tasks to my calendar, particularly on my phone. It seems simple, but blocking off time to complete a task helps me anticipate the work, plan my other tasks accordingly, and helps hold me accountable.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
One app that has helped me a lot in the past few months is Todoist. Todoist lets you create a list of to-do’s that are very easy to label, organize, and see at a glance. It’s designed to make it as quick as possible to add tasks to your list. I use it for social media activities that have to be done manually on a regular basis. The app sends you daily reminder emails of all of your tasks for the day, so you can see your list of to-do’s without opening the app.
The free version works really well for a single, basic list, but there are also Premium and Business versions as well—both very affordable. You can separate different lists by team, set reminders, and collaborate on tasks and projects. There are also many other widgets and integrations in the higher priced versions.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
If you use Microsoft Office at work then one tool that has saved me a lot of time is the formatting tool. The formatting tool looks like a paintbrush and whether you are using Word, Excel or PowerPoint it has the same function and that is to copy a formatting style.
The way the formatting tool works is, first you select the sentence or block of text that you want to copy the formatting style of. Then, you click the paintbrush icon and select the sentence or block of text that you want to copy the formatting style over to. I use this tool quite a bit on a daily basis, it saves a lot of time and it is easy to find on the tool bar. On the new versions of Office it is located in the upper left hand corner, underneath the cut and copy shortcuts.