If you’re like me, a slight technological inconvenience can throw off your productivity or even your whole workday. That’s why I’m a sucker for any technology hacks I can find; any tool that can save me from a computer shutdown or give me a few seconds back of my work time feels valuable and helps offload stress.
If one of your new year’s resolutions or career goals this year is to boost your productivity, here are hacks that can help make that happen — without you having to spend more than a minute or so setting them up.
1. Consolidate your tabs.
If you’re guilty of always having too many tabs — and then yelling at your computer for heating up from overwork — using a tab consolidation tool can help you work faster without losing everything you wanted to work on. The Chrome extension One Tab allows you to quickly free up space by grouping all your tabs together in the same window. You can then reopen them altogether or one by one as you need them.
2. Start schedule sending.
Scheduling sending graces the late night and early morning workers alike. If you need to wait to send something until working hours, scheduling sending saves you the trouble of setting a reminder and waiting until the appropriate time to click send on the email or message. It also works well for those working flexible hours or who want to wrap up something earlier or later than expected. With scheduling, you can finish your task on your time and deliver the message on everyone else’s time.
Scheduling can also improve your email deliverability, which is an important metric for optimizing email campaigns. One way to improve your email deliverability is by using a platform like Phonexa, which helps your business have total control over your emails.
3. Use an email pre-filler.
At first, Gmail writing in “I hope this finds you well” to the beginning of my emails scared me — and taught me a lot about how I use certain clichés in emails. Now, it’s a lifesaver that makes sending emails that much quicker and easier. If I can click one key instead of writing “please let me know if you have any questions,” I’ll take it. Those few seconds definitely add up.
4. Or, go the extra length to make email templates.
If you’re someone who sends similar kinds of emails often, email templates may just become your new superhero. For example, on Gmail you can write your frequently-used email, save it as a template, then quickly pop that template in the next time you need it — and edit if you need to change around some details.
5. Integrate your calendar and primary work messaging service.
For example, Slack lets you integrate with Google Calendar and gives you regular reminders about when your meetings are. This not only saves the hassle of constantly pulling up your calendar, but also includes any relevant Zoom links in your reminders — which lets you easily access the meeting without leaving the app.
6. Get smart with your bookmarks.
Bookmarks may be the oldest trick in the book, but using them wisely is sometimes a difficult skill to manage. How you bookmark depends on your workflow; do you like working through documents by recency, urgency or by your schedule? Organize your bookmarks based on your project management style and use folders, names, colors and any other identifiers to make them stand out when you’re looking for what you need.
7. Attach the relevant documents to recurring meetings.
If you’re like me, this is that nagging little task that annoys me before every meeting and yet, I never make time for the one minute that would make my life easier. But trust me, just do it: add the slides or the agenda you always refer to in that meeting to the meeting calendar. That way, you’ll be able to get everything you need in your calendar when you go to join that week.
Productivity hacks might not overthrow habits that slow down your workday or magically leave you feeling inspired and efficient. Yet these hacks hopefully can make each workday that much easier — because hey, 30 seconds back are 30 seconds you get to do something you really need or want to do.