Sep 102012
Two Productivity Tools - Do It Tomorrow and Alarms App

My Productivity Challenge!

Every day, I face a productivity challenge – I have more to do than I can do in the number of hours that I am willing to devote to work. I have tried numerous strategies to solve this problem and many, many tools. I finally have settled on a productivity solution that works for me.

What I love about this system – there really is no past. I am always able to succeed  RIGHT NOW. I am focused on only two days , TODAY and not-today, with the major emphasis being on TODAY!

The two productivity tools I use to stay focused all day are “Do It Tomorrow app” and “Alarms app”. Do It Tomorrow is a web-based tool and Alarms app is for the Mac. I don’t know of a windows-based tool that does the same thing but hopefully a reader might and can suggest one. I am merely sharing what works for me!

Two Productivity Tools Video

Because it is kind of hard to explain how it works – I have created a YouTube video showing you how I use these two productivity tools to create my daily workflow. If you are kind enough to watch it, please give it a thumbs up or a comment if it was useful :)

AGAIN – the reason I love this current productivity setup that I have is that it PUSHES ME FORWARD. Do It Tomorrow pushes me forward daily – and alarms pushes me forward throughout each day. THERE IS NO PAST. There is only NOW and nearly now. This works for me psychologically. It is like there is no failure, there is only this moment to be productive and successful.

For those who don’t want to watch the nearly seven minute video, I will try to do a quick synopsis of how I use these two productivity tools.

Two Productivity Tools Synopsis

First thing I do when I sit down to work is open “Do It Tomorrow”. Everything that wasn’t accomplished yesterday automatically shows up on today’s list. In fact, everything I have to do shows up on today’s list. I scan the list, pick the top ones I need to do today, and push everything else off until tomorrow. (I can easily add it back to today if I choose to.)

Then, I take the tasks that I have committed to accomplish today and I schedule them in my alarms app to create an outline of the workflow of my day.

As I work throughout my day, I cross things off of my Do It Tomorrow list if they are finished. I have alarms set thoughout the day to help me shift from one task to another. If I need more time, I simply shift my alarm time. If I am not ready to switch tasks, I can shift my alarm time easily. If I need to reschedule a task to complete it, I quickly add another alarm to go off later.

It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Both of these productivity tools are so simple to use and yet so elegant in design. I think that is one of the reasons they work for me so well.

What Productivity Tools Do You Use?

Productivity Tools

Tell me your productivity tools!

Please sound off in the comments! Let me know if you watched the video! Let me know if you found this post helpful at all!

Please let me know what productivity tools you use to stay focused all day!

photo credit for photo I captioned “Tell Me Your Productivity Tools”: David Reber’s Hammer Photography via photo pin cc

  29 Responses to “Two Productivity Tools To Stay Focused All Day”

  1. I was not aware of either of these. Thanks for showing us the video. It was helpful to see how you use them.

  2. I’d better start having my own Productivity Tools also. This sound really good especially for business owners and those busy people.
    This could make us more productive and organized with our work.

  3. Thanks for the video and showing how these organizational tools work. I look forward to trying them!

  4. I’ll have to look into these tools even though my days tend to not be very scheduled.

  5. Great Resources and reminders…

  6. 2 great products to help keep me on track. Thanks for sharing.

  7. These two tools look great. I use a white board to keep track of what I’m working on. It’s a low-tech way to do it, but it works for me. My projects are all in black and I write notes like “Today!” in red next to the most urgent ones. It wouldn’t really work if I were trying to keep track of 20 projects at once, but for five or six, it’s manageable. Actually, I could probably use a second white board for “do later” projects and keep the “do today” projects on the main board. I like being able to look up and see what I’m supposed to be doing in a single glance. It helps keep me focused.

    • A white board is a great idea. If I were to use a white board, I would probably set up a kanban system to use on it. If you haven’t heard of Kanban, you might wish to check it out.

  8. Sometimes when I’m busy and find something interesting which I wan to checkout later or do, I just repin it on Pinterest, so that I can continue my research or whatever I’m doing and later go to pinterest and be reminded of what I want to checkout or do.

    Except that, I don’t use any apps or any speciallity tools to keep track of what I have to do. I want to change that now.

  9. These materials really are motivating and can keep you going for more! Thanks for sharing your secrets for productivity to us!

  10. Wow!! Great video! Its been a while since I’ve stopped by, but I’m always glad when I do. I’m going to give your tools and shot. Thanks for putting this together. You are great on video!

  11. My productivity tool is pretty simple…my alarm! Instead of a to-do list I just set alarms that remind me to get things done

  12. Great tips on productivity tools., you can get more done with these tools. I’m in the Silk Business card , Brochures printing business
    and these tips can be great help. Thanks.

  13. Love the ideas! My problem is getting off track….especially when doing research…I go from researching “How To Write the Best Blog Post Ever” to “How To Write a Great Kids Book” to “Great Kids Books I should Buy For My Adorable Nephew” to finding myself on Amazon making a purchase. I found myself doing this time and time again, so I starting writing down time limits. For example, I give myself 40 minutes of research and outline time, then I make myself start writing. I also write into Microsoft Word, with a dictionary next to me and my internet shut off, so that I can’t convince myself to do “more research”. I found that not doing so much research, and just starting in on the project was really helpful for my productivity.
    I kind of hid behind research, so that I could put off the project.
    Thanks for the tips!

  14. Actually, I don’t need an app to make me more organized. Rather, I used two different tools; one is a simple pocket spiral notebook which I write down everything I want to accomplish and the second is a modification of your philosophy that there are only two days to do things; today and NOT-today. Everything I can do today I make a 100% effort to finish and what I can’t do today I put off until tomorrow… or the next day at the latest.

  15. Love your tool ideas. I used to use a post-it notes and then graduated to a spiral notebook. Now I use a list on my smartphone that I update as I do them and as I think of something that needs to be done. I list them in order of priority and by client. Some are personal tasks and others are for my Coral Gables Real Estate business. I’m rarely in the office at a desk, so I needed something that would go where I go.

  16. Thanks for introducing your tools to increase our focus and productivity. I think aside from writing down notes in your notepad or using smartphone apps, writing down your plan in a notebook is still effective in so many ways.

  17. Thanks for the Do Tomorrow tip. Didn’t knew about that one and certainly will give it a go. Been using quite a few productivity apps over time. For some reason I keep sticking with good ‘ol Outlook calendar and tasks. I know, I know…. Outlook… but creating tasks from send emails (and incl. those emails in the tasks) works pretty well for me. Another thing I’m using is Focus Booster a great little tool based on the Pomodoro Technique. Google it and check it out if you want. Anyway, thanks again. Gonna play with now. ;-)

  18. Impressed by your tips..
    i think is very cool ..Awesome!!!
    Keep Posting

  19. My most powerful productivity tool right now is the off button on my TV remote. I’ve found that I’m most productive between 6am and 11am, but this is even more true if I leave the news off during this time.

    Sounds obvious – keep the TV turned off, but it wasn’t until I actually did it that I realised how much it interrupted my workflow.

  20. Thank you for reminding me about Do it Tomorrow. I would be lost without IQTell particularly with processing my emails and getting me inbox to zero each day. Evernote for capturing everything; is my research library. Box for all my presentations and shareable documents; then Dropbox for all those files historically I would have stored locally on my C Drive.

    Have been playing with Todoist but kind of duplicates IQTell. But good for lists. Then for ‘blue sky’ stuff I am using Wunderlist.

  21. Wow this is absolutely great post! thanks for the video it’s really help me to set things up

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