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10 Free Tools to Increase Productivity
At ALL33, we’re on a mission to improve ergonomics, which is just as much about efficiency as it is comfort and safety.
We’ve rounded up 10 free online tools for individual productivity that can help you be more efficient while you work.
Toggl Track: A godsend for freelancers and independent contractors, Toggl’s free tracking tool lets you measure how much time you spend on each project. You can add as many clients and projects as you need, and even run reports which allow you to take a step back and see if you’re using your time wisely. Even if you don’t get paid by the hour, tracking your time can help you be more mindful of how long you spend on specific tasks, and being diligent about stopping the timer when you check Twitter will show you how often your distractions keep you from getting things done.
StayFocused: This Chrome extension takes distractions out of the equation altogether, restricting the amount of time you're allowed to spend on “time-wasting websites” like Facebook. You can choose which websites or pages to block and how long to block them for.
Hemingway App: If English wasn’t your strongest subject in school - or even if it was - the Hemingway app guides you on how to write “bold and clear” prose. Modeled after the king of succinct writing, the free version is as sparse as his sentences, but helpful in pointing out where to cut out fluff.
Pocket: If you tend to fall down internet rabbit holes, or end up with a thousand open tabs as you research, Pocket is for you. You can download the browser extension and to save articles to your Pocket, so you can have everything in your “to read” list in one place. It also syncs to all of your devices.
RainyMood: This one is for everyone out there who can’t concentrate with music on, but needs something to drown out auditory distractions. It’s super simple: continuous sounds of rain to help you study (and to sleep!) better.
Shift: Do you juggle countless accounts for work? Shift helps you easily toggle between all of your emails, apps, and tools without having to constantly log in and out.
Beeminder: Studies have shown that you’re more likely to follow through with a commitment when you tell people about it. Beeminder lets you put your money where your mouth is, by charging your credit card if you get off track. The software tracks your progress in any quantifiable goal (work hours, Duolingo points, even weight) with graphs allowing you to stay motivated.
Ilys: If you write anything for work, this will be your new favorite, and also most hated, tool. You input a number of words you want to write… and the software won’t let you see the document until you’ve hit your word count! It’s a genius way to keep your inner editor from letting you make progress. Like they say, perfection is the enemy of progress. It’s free for everyone through 2020 in order to help creativity flow in spite of Covid.
Strict Workflow: We’ve mentioned before we’re fans of the Pomodoro Technique, in which you work for 25 minute intervals and then take a short break. Instead of getting a handheld timer, you can use Strict Workflow Chrome plugin to automatically notify you when it’s time to take a break or get back to work. It also blocks sites during work periods. We recommend using your breaks to get up, stretch, or do exercises in your BackStrong C1!
IFTTT:Programmer-speak for “if this then that,” this software lets you automate time-draining taste. You’re limited only by your imagination (and maybe some trademarks). Some examples: If you post an image to Instagram, then post to Twitter too. Turn your lights off by tapping your phone. Turn the porch lights on when your pizza delivery is arriving. Best part? No coding required.
+ An extra that’s worth the investment: The BackStrong C1
If you’re uncomfortable or in pain at work, it doesn’t matter how many tools you have in your arsenal - being productive is simply impossible.
Being locked into place in a regular chair that strains your neck and shoulders and results in lower back pain is not only unsafe and uncomfortable, it’s inefficient. Our bodies were meant to move, which is why the only way to harness the health benefits of being active while you sit and work is to get a chair that moves with you.
The BackStrong C1 was meticulously designed by chiropractor Dr. Dennis Colonello and industrial designer Jim Grove with Sit in Motion Technology that allows your pelvis and back to move naturally, stimulating circulation, improving flexibility, and encouraging an increase of oxygenation and respiration. Learn more about how it enables you to trade in fidgeting for focus.