Procrastination, distraction, and multitasking. They all interfere with your productivity. We’ve compiled a list of seven essential productivity tools for content entrepreneurs that will help you feel a sense of accomplishment throughout your day.
Each is designed for a particular purpose. Whether you want to block distractions, track your hours, schedule a break, or stay focused, there is a solution for you below.
We all know that time is precious. And yet, we are guilty of wasting our time on unproductive activities and losing our focus when it’s most needed.
The truth is that focus comes through intense practice. The Tomato Timer uses the Pomodoro technique, and it’s one of our favorite tools for encouraging focus. Pomodoro is a time management system created by Francesco Cirillo for a more productive way to work.
This timer lets you divide your work into smaller intervals of dynamic activity. Begin by setting yourself a task. Pomodoro uses preset time blocks of 25 minutes, although you can set custom times.
The screen has a countdown timer that offers the options to start, stop and reset your timer. When you hit start, the clock ticks down. Once the clock hits zero, you get an audible notification that time is up.
The “Pomodoro short break” helps you recharge your batteries by taking a five-minute interval after each session. It’s advisable to schedule a longer 10-minute break after every four Pomodoros.
If you’re competitive, you’ll enjoy challenging yourself to beat the clock. You’ll also be amazed at how much you’ve achieved in those 25 minutes.
- Powerful and easy to use
- Intuitive interface
- Set Pomodoro breaks to keep you motivated
- No cumulative time tracking
For some, the only way to improve productivity is by blocking the websites and apps that sap your focus and energy. Manually blocking each app and website is cumbersome. The solution to eliminating all those distractions is Cold Turkey.
Cold Turkey is a powerful productivity tool for content entrepreneurs that lets you restrict access to every time-wasting website or app that you’re tempted to view.
Whether you want to restrict your access to Facebook or YouTube or simply cut yourself off from the world, this app offers several management options. Cold Turkey lets you control how much time you spend on certain sites or how many times you visit them each day.
While it’s easy to use, the app has several advanced features to help you reclaim your time. It’s possible to prevent apps from displaying notifications, use keyboard shortcuts, and even pause the app temporarily.
- Free for basic
- Advanced $39/lifetime
- Settings are stored locally on your computer for privacy
- Pay once, no subscription
- Visual overview of all your current tasks
- Every setting can be customized to meet your personal needs
- Statistics show where your time goes
- Free version has limited features
- Mobile devices are not supported
It becomes harder to stay motivated if you have difficulty managing your time. When you find yourself facing similar challenges, StayFocusd will help you out.
It’s another simple productivity tool that lets you block time-wasting websites and set time limits for how long you spend on them each day. Beware: Once your time is used up, those sites are inaccessible for the rest of the day.
Social media is a major time suck. StayFocusd encourages you to gain control by providing a timer that limits your social media interaction. For example, you might give yourself an hour to check your Facebook or Instagram account. This keeps you motivated to use that time efficiently.
For those occasions when you want to cut yourself off completely, just set the timer to “indefinitely.” Another useful feature of StayFocusd is that it lets you disable certain websites for a predefined period, like during your dinner hour or at particular times of the night.
- Easy to navigate and comes with several useful features
- Works on multiple platforms
- Keeps track of time spent on websites and helps you manage your day accordingly
- Limited to chrome browser and Google Chrome OS
- It doesn’t block desktop apps and games
TopTracker is a separate product by Toptal, an all-in-one project management tool for content entrepreneurs.
It helps you stay on top of your projects with an extensive set of features to track your time and activities, monitor projects, and manage invoices and payments. Using this app is convenient because you can sync your time entries across all your devices.
TopTracker has several nifty reporting features. The app lets you create Gantt charts to show your activity or task progress in a single view. If you prefer a CSV file, you can download your data and sort it any way you please.
If you use the invoicing option, the system also helps you to track your payments. In addition to all these features, the app offers extensive project management capabilities, from client onboarding to billing and resource planning.
Finally, it’s possible to add notes on your clients so that you remember their preferences and payment schedules.
- Elegant and user-friendly interface
- Works on the web and Android and iOS devices
- Track time from different devices
- Calendar to manage multiple projects
- Generates invoices with ease
- Only hourly rates are supported
- No native application for desktop or mobile devices
When it’s time to stop all the noise online, Freedom is there to lend a hand. This easy-to-use tool can keep you focused on your immediate tasks and allow you to complete your work without digital interference.
Freedom lets you add and configure your own distraction blocker or block selected web pages from their pre-populated list of commonly visited sites. When you need a focus boost, a click of a button blocks the entire internet.
There’s an additional benefit if you’re a content entrepreneur who enjoys keeping a regular routine. Freedom “sessions” give you the ability to set up daily or weekly time schedules for content creation and recurring tasks. Just set it and forget it.
If you’re missing the sounds of your office or local cafe, Freedom also comes complete with ambient noise options.
Freedom is a must-have tool for building good habits, harnessing your productive time, and regaining balance in your relationship with tech.
- Plans start at $2.42/month
- Forever plan $129
- Simple and easy to use
- Blocks distracting websites and apps
- Lets you set up scheduled focus blocks for recurring tasks
- Features an intuitive user interface
- None that we noticed
By now, you’ve recognized that time tracking is crucial to managing your output. But, it’s a chore because there’s no fun in manually tracking your time and recording it in a spreadsheet.
Thankfully, Toggl lets you track your time from anywhere with their intuitive tracking interface. Once you’ve signed up, you can immediately begin tracking your time by logging in to the app.
The custom keyboard shortcuts or double-tap functions automatically create new time entries. The app lets you set timers for different tasks so that you don’t forget what you’re working on.
It’s also possible to track and filter your tasks using tags like “client,” “project,” or “status.”
The “billable hours” feature helps you track the time spent on client projects. And, when it comes to managing your profits vs. costs, you can quickly generate detailed reports that let you analyze your time and stay on top of your business.
- Advanced options start at $9/month
- Easy to use and incorporates a Pomodoro timer
- Efficient tool to track time across all devices
- Comes with a mobile app
- Intuitive reports and detailed task management features
- Detects when you are idle
- None worth mentioning
Content entrepreneurs need to be accessible, but not all the time.
That’s why your online calendar is of prime importance. When you use your calendar as a multi-purpose tool for appointments, scheduling calls, and time blocking, it needs to stay updated.
That’s where TidyCal comes in. You can eliminate the hassle of running separate Google calendars by integrating them with TidyCal.
It’s a great alternative to subscription tools like Calendly. A low one-time fee gives you all the benefits offered by other paid calendars, including multiple free and paid booking pages for your prospects and clients.
After creating an account, it’s easy to block the times you’re unavailable and add regular events and holidays. There’s no need to worry about time differences or scheduling conflicts because everyone sees your availability in their time zone. Plus, TidyCal sends a confirmation email to both you and the person who booked.
TidyCal gives you some basic customization options to match your brand or business’s general look and feel.
- All-in-one tool that lets you integrate and manage your calendars
- Share your availability with clients in their time zone
- Easy to use for both novice and experienced users
- Customize to your brand
- Currently only integrates with Google calendars
Add to your toolbox
We’re sure that these seven productivity tools for content entrepreneurs will help you develop better habits and regain control of your time.
Even better, most of these tools are free, so it’s easy to try a few different options to see what suits you best.
They are all designed to increase your productivity levels and to encourage an improved focus for producing your best work. Who doesn’t want that?