Trying to buckle down and be more productive? Check out these 5 productivity tools guaranteed to help you capture your creative energies.

As a freelancer, one of the most important resources you have is your time. Figuring out how to manage your time (not to mention how to actually be productive) is critical to your success.

Here are some of our favorite productivity tools that can help you make the best use of your time. You can also check out our class from Trello on Productivity and Time Management.

1) Keep Focus: Freedom

Did you know that research shows that it takes 23-minutes on average for the brain to regain a ‘focused state’ after jumping to respond to some kind of notification? We’ve all been there…the constant buzz, beep, ping flash of screens on our multiple devices and browser tabs distracting us from the task at hand. While it’s true our digital devices give us amazing access, they also have the power to divert you from your goals. We think we’re better when multi-tasking, but it’s actually making us dumber, lowering your IQ by as much as 10 points.

In comes Freedom, a tool which aims to make technology less distracting. Freedom allows you to block notifications from apps and websites. When you’re not constantly distracted by these apps you’re more free to focus, develop better habits, be more productive, and actually get creative work done. Once it’s set up, you have a ton of control over which apps you block and on what devices.

You can download it here, enter the coupon code “SKILLSHARE” for 40% off any Freedom plan, then fire up a Skillshare class and see how much more you can get out of a class when you’re zoned in!

2) Manage Tasks & Projects: ToDoist

As a freelancer with multiple clients and projects, it can be daunting to manage all of your priorities. ToDoist is a task manager that helps millions of people get things done. It allows you to manage tasks across multiple devices and platforms (mobile device, desktop, browser and  inbox), break down big projects into smaller sets, collaborate with other people and all within a really slick and clean design. All of this amounts to a tool that really helps you organize your life and projects, big and small, allowing you to focus on the things that really matter.

3) Take Notes: Evernote

In addition to actually managing the day to day of all of your projects, capturing and storing all of your notes, research and inspiration can be an overwhelming task. Evernote looks to help solve that problem. They’re a long time favorite as a note taking tool and that’s not by accident– they continue to be one of the best. Evernote lets you take notes with a lot of flexibility, dropping in text, images, tags and even Google Drive links. Your notes sync across all your devices and their search feature is robust, allowing you to easily find what you’re looking for.

4) Manage Your Inbox: SaneBox

We all get way too many emails. Sifting through, prioritizing and responding can be a job on it’s own. SaneBox is an email management tool which uses algorithms based off your past behavior (ie: what did you open, who do you respond to) to prioritize the emails that come in, filtering unimportant emails out of your inbox so you can focus on what matters. It does this all within your current email program (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.) so there’s no need to learn a new interface and it works across all your devices.

5) Clear Your Head: Headspace

We’ve covered a number of tools here to organize your life and work, but what about something to help your greatest tool of them all perform its best….your brain. It’s becoming more and more clear that technology and our pace of life makes our brains frazzled. Being able to hit the reset button is critically important to our overall health and mental well-being — not to mention your productivity as a worker. Studies have shown meditation can actually help us stress less, relax more, and focus clearly. It hits our brain’s reset button, paving the way for a clear the mind to be our best thinking self. Headspace is a great app to guide you through some very simple meditation. It only takes 10 minutes a day, and in addition to being very relaxing, the mindfulness it helps achieve can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, focus, creativity and even relationships.

Jump in and give it a shot, we recommend trying in the morning when your brain is already clear, and midday for a reprieve from your inbox and tasks


Want more Productivity tips? Check out this Productivity track for some classes to help you harness your creativity.Enroll in Productivity Classes

Written by:

Scott Sullivan