This piece originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.
We’re getting closer to the end of the year. It’s been a very exciting year for me achieving most of the goals that I’ve set so far. And of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of some tools that have provided great shortcuts.
The tools shared in this post fall under three categories:
- Tools that helped me apply a simple productivity system.
- Tools that saved me time by paying less money.
- Tools that had an impact on my business growth.
Are you ready? Let’s tackle these:
Tools for my productivity system.
There is a system that I’ve been following for more than a year now that has had a great impact on my business. It’s composed of three simple steps:
- Plan the right way.
- Start the day right.
- Take action with focus.
You could check my previous post here to learn more about it, How This 20-Year-Old Built His Business While Studying Dentistry. And if you plan to implement it, check out this checklist.
For more on productivity tips, watch this Fortune video:
Here are the tools:
- Google Docs: A great tool I use to do all the planning for the tasks I want to accomplish.
- Wunderlist: Helps me create to-do lists on the go and great for doing tomorrow’s to-do list.
- Accomplish: It helps me easily create my schedule for the day. This is my best calendar app that suits all my needs.
- Clear focus: Taking action with focus hasn’t been easier with the help of this great tool.
- 7 Min Workout app: Not only does this app have the normal seven minute exercise, but also it have many different variants with different durations
- Headspace: A gem tool that changed my focus throughout the day.
- Freedom Journal: One of the best journals. I like their app which reminds me to write in the journal in the morning and at the evening.
Tools that saved me time.
Usually, these are resources where I pay a few dollars to save me time or resources where I could save a few minutes by grouping tasks together.
- Upwork (formerly known as Odesk): This is not a tool but it is a great way to get low-value tasks done leaving me time to focus on higher value tasks.
- 99designs: I’m sure you know how time-consuming design work can be. When redesigning my logo, I spent a ton of time trying to communicate my vision to designers only to receive concepts I wasn’t happy with, which ate into other projects. Using 99designs, I was able to save a lot of time because of the great amount of designs I get. I pick the one I like, ask for reiterations till I like it and then pay.
- Thrive content builder: Having a great design that attracts the attention of new readers is very hard. I used to outsource this job, but with this tool, I don’t need to.
- Auto Text Expander chrome expansion: Great tool to share common sentences without typing them out completely.
- Buffer extension: Publish on all my social networks without entering them one by one.
- Pocket: Save important posts that come your way to read them on the weekends.
Tools that helped my business grow.
There are a few tools which help you increase your business growth without much work on your end. These are the tools that helped me do just that this year:
- Thrive Leads: This tools helped collect more emails from my website without spending time messing with the code.
- SumoMe: It provides you with a great set of tools. I like to use the share, content analytics and heatmap tools. Did I mention it’s free? I’m doing just fine with the free version.
- Active Campaign: Creating automation with ease to convert new subscribers and customers has never been easier. Forget infusionsoft with its complexity and the hefty price you pay initially and monthly. You pay a fraction of that with Active Campaign.
- Optimizepress: Started using it lately after all the buzz I heard. It deserves every penny of the $97 I paid for it.
- Buzzsumo: Great tool to help me identify popular topics and posts in my “industry +” who are sharing it.
More from Entrepreneur:
• 7 Tools to Increase Productivity and Efficiency
• 6 Powerful Productivity Tools That Can Supercharge Every Solopreneur’s Workflow
• 3 Productivity Tools to Rev Up Your Business Processes
There are many tools out there but these are the ones that had the most impact on my business and my life so far in 2016.