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12 must-try time management tools

Time management tools are critical to making sure that all those important projects get out the door on time. But, while taking control of your time will bring obvious work benefits, it will also ensure that you are not eating into your own personal time any more than you need to.

Good time management tips are only part of the process. You will also need to adopt the right tools and techniques to help achieve your goals. (For more handy tools, see our graphic design tools or web design tools.)

Here we have put together a list for you to investigate and help improve your productivity, take control of deadlines and ultimately relieve stress and improve your mental wellbeing. 

01. Toggl

Time management - Toggl

(Image credit: toggl.com)

Toggl is a time-tracking application that goes beyond the basics. It has a collection of quick and easy-to-use features such as one-click timers and tracking reminders to get things done quickly. Plus, it boasts a host of more advanced features including email tracking reminders with scheduled alerts and a team dashboard.

02. Zapier 

Time management - Zapier

(Image credit: zapier.com)

Zapier helps connect the apps and services you use every day to create an automated, and more efficient workflow. Link your web apps so they can share data and create a 'Zap' to pass info between your apps. Zapier integrates with over 1,500 apps including Slack, Google Sheets and Google Docs.

03. IFTTT

Time management - IFTTT

(Image credit: ifttt.com)

Not everything on the internet plays nice, so IFTTT – a tool for harmonising work between apps and devices – is on a mission to build a more connected world. Choose from over 600 apps and embed them into your mobile app, website or email for a more productive workflow. 

04. Trello

Time management - Trello

(Image credit: trello.com)

Trello is a project management tool that is like a virtual pinboard where you can pin notes and lists of items for everyone to see, edit and collaborate on. It's ideal for teams, especially those that work across various locations. 

05. Basecamp

Time management - Basecamp

(Image credit: basecamp.com)

Basecamp is a project management tool that helps collaboration throughout the different parts of a project. It splits work into separate projects, with each project containing everything related to the job. This includes all the people involved, every discussion, every document, file, task, important date and whatever else you need.

06. Asana

Time management - Asana

(Image credit: asana.com)

Asana is project management tool with a focus on the management of tasks throughout a collaborative project. Create visual project plans to see how every step maps out over time and use automation tools to simplify workflows and reduce errors. 

07. Bullet journal

Time management - Bullet Journal

(Image credit: bulletjournal.com)

Bullet Journal is best described as a methodology (or productivity system as it describes itself) that is designed to help with pen and paper task management and planning. There is an accompanying app that helps users organise paper-based notebooks and journals. 

08. Todoist 

Time management - Todoist

(Image credit: todoist.com)

Todoist is a web-based, cross-platform task management tool that works for creatives, developers, students, small businesses and freelancers. Organise tasks into clear and concise sections, ensuring that you get an instant overview of important tasks.

09. Omnifocus

Time management - OmniFocus

(Image credit: omnigroup.com)

OmniFocus is a feature-rich but complex one-time-fee, macOS-only task management tool. Create actions (containing multiple tasks) quickly using Siri, group actions by project, add tags (such as location, people, priority), introduce notifications as reminders for important tasks and sync with all devices to ensure everyone has the latest information. 

10. Things

Time management - Things

(Image credit: culturedcode.com)

Things is a macOS-only personal task management tool. It offers a functional and intuitive interface where users can add calendar events, to-do notes for all parts of the day, introduce headings to create categories and milestones to organise events and tasks, add reminders and much more. 

11. Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique (developed by Francesco Cirillo) uses a timer to work in single-focus blocks of time, typically 25 minutes. There is a short break after each 25 minutes, these are known as a 'pomodoro'. The technique offers enough breaks to help keep the mind fresh for the next task.

12. Flowtime technique

The Flowtime technique is a modification of the Pomodoro technique. The creator has done away with the  strict timers but kept breaks and time tracking, and added in a little flow. Check out the 'The Flowtime Technique Cheat Sheet' to get a quick grasp of the technique. 

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in net issue 324, the world's best-selling web design magazine. Buy issue 324 or subscribe to net.

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