Over the years, I‘ve come to rely on a few key productivity tools for project management, note-taking, invoicing and time tracking. Why am I sharing these tools with you now? I‘ve recently had to reorganize my work processes to make my office fully portable and I thought you might find these tools useful.
Whether you work from home or remotely, these 6 tools will help you to manage your work more efficiently, while saving time. And that‘s enjoyable!
1. Project management: Trello
I use Trello to manage work projects, much like some people use a whiteboard. While I‘ve tried a handful of other project management apps, I‘ve chosen Trello because of its simplicity and adaptability.
With Trello, it‘s possible to organize a board in a way that makes sense to you and that suits the type of work you do. In my case, I organized a board by the day of the week to manage translation projects, and another board by project name for longer projects (such as business development). Being able to create several boards makes it easier to manage the resources associated with each task or project.
Trello is discrete.
- My whiteboard is not portable and had become a distraction because it reminded me of work even during my leisure hours.
- I like the fact that Trello disappears when I close it and can be set up to send reminders.
Find out more about Trello.
2. Digital note taking: Evernote
Evernote is great for storing digital articles and resources for future reference; it‘s also where I jot down ideas. It‘s basically an external storehouse for my ongoing and future projects in translation, art and life.
For example, I‘ve written style guidelines for localization projects and when I work with a collaborator, I can quickly email these guidelines from Evernote. It‘s also where I organize ideas for travel and for writing projects.
Find out more about Evernote.
3. Analog note taking: Notebook
Being able to write, doodle and draw helps me to process ideas and to further develop them. It‘s usually where I record the initial spark for a project.
I gather in one notebook journal entries, field notes, lists and drawings that relate to both my personal and professional life. Other tools are useful to enrich the process, but pen and paper are still creators of magic for me.
Right now, I use a 3.5 by 5.5-inch Moleskine notebook and fine Uni pin permanent marker and I sometimes add watercolors.
4. Invoicing: Quickbooks
I‘ve been using Quickbooks for almost 10 years. I initially used it as computer software, but I‘ve just recently switched to the online version. Main features include:
- Offers multiples currencies, which is essential if you have international clients
- Helps keep track of business expenses
- Automatically records when invoices are sent
- Reminds me when an invoice is due or overdue
- Easily creates reports to give you an overall or detailed picture of your business
It providees an essential service and has simplified producing a tax reports.
Find out more about Quickbooks.
5. Translation management: Memsource Cloud
Memsource is a user friendly translation platform that allows me to collaborate in real-time. It simplifies the method of organizing projects, delegating, translation and editing by centralizing and streamlining the process.
I started using it when I was looking for a way to collaborate with talented translators and editors who did not own translation software. It has since become one of my favorite collaboration tools.
Find out more about Memsource Cloud.
6. Time management: a timer
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
Have you noticed this too? If I have a lot of time before me, even a small project can become much longer, that‘s Parkinson‘s law. I use a simple digital timer on my computer to help me to remain focused and invoice accurately.
If I see I‘ve been working for a while without stretching, the timer also serves as a reminder that it is time to get moving.
There you have it, the basic toolkit that helps me pursue the work I enjoy.
Do you have a favorite productivity app?