clock and calendar displayed on a table
From Pomodoro timers to email schedulers, there are several tools available that can help you save time and streamline your workday. — Getty Images/Tatomm

As a small business owner, you probably don’t have an abundance of extra time, which means you want to use the time you do have wisely. These five productivity tools can help you and your employees stay on track during the work week.

[Read more: 10 Apps That Will Boost Your Productivity]

Toggl

Do you really know how much time you’re spending on various tasks within your business? If not, then you’ll definitely want to check out the time-tracking app Toggl.

Toggl is a free time-tracking software for teams of up to five people. Once you create your account and download the app, you’re ready to start tracking your time. Every time you begin a new task, you’ll start the Toggl timer.

Toggl will create reports that break down exactly how you’re spending your time during the work week. The project dashboard can help identify time wasters throughout your day, as well as your billable rates.

If you forget to track your time, the app will send you a friendly reminder. And Toggl integrates with over 100 other apps, including Basecamp, Gmail and Slack.

Focus Booster

Focus Booster is a Pomodoro timer, and it can help you stay more productive and on task. With a Pomodoro timer, you’ll focus on getting your work done in short bursts of about 25 minutes, with frequent breaks in between.

All of your time-tracking sessions are recorded, so at the end of your day or week you can review how you spent your time. You can also use the Focus Booster dashboard to evaluate your rhythms throughout your day and identify areas where you can improve.

The Focus Booster app can be used for all areas of your life. It can track your work goals and personal goals, so you can see how much time you’re devoting to each.

Boomerang

Many business owners find that they’re wasting an inordinate amount of time on email. It’s easy to get sucked into lengthy, back-and-forth email conversations that don’t really accomplish anything for your business.

If you’re dealing with this problem, then Boomerang for Gmail can help. Boomerang allows you to write emails and schedule them to be delivered at a later time. You can also set reminders to follow up on important emails within a certain period of time.

Although many business owners like ending their day at inbox zero, you don’t want to forget about important messages. Boomerang can temporarily archive your emails, and then bring them back at a later time when you’re ready to respond.

Boomerang can help you ensure that you respond to emails in a timely manner, without turning email management into a huge time suck.

With a Pomodoro timer, you’ll focus on getting your work done in short bursts of about 25 minutes, with frequent breaks in between.

Timely

Timely is an app that combines your schedule with time tracking, and it’s free for one user and up to five projects. You’ll start by linking the app to your calendar and your calendar items will automatically be uploaded to your Timely events. This is one of the biggest advantages Timely has over other time trackers: Rather than just tracking your time, it gives you a bird’s eye view of your entire week.

You can plan out your projects and tasks for the upcoming week, and easily move things around if your schedule shifts. And Timely automatically tracks how much time you’re spending on each task.

Plus, the app shows you the difference between the time you allotted for a particular task versus how long it actually took. Timely is a great option for anyone who wants a more comprehensive time-tracking tool.

1-3-5 List

1-3-5 List is a simplified to-do list that helps you focus on your most important priorities. Every day, you’ll write down one big task, three medium tasks and five small tasks that you want to accomplish.

You can also create your own lists and share them with other people. The 1-3-5 List works across all of your devices, and you don’t even need to download an app.

The basic plan is free, or you can pay $25 annually for the premium plan. This makes it an easy and affordable way to accomplish your personal and business goals.

[Read more: 7 Smart Apps for Every Small Business Owner]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published May 20, 2020