{Disarmed} 31 tools and gadgets to help you improve your productivity for the new course

31 tools and gadgets to help you improve your productivity for the new course

Although the year begins in January, for many people the real change occurs in September, with the return from vacation: another year, new projects on the horizon and even life changes. If this September you have proposed to start at full speed and raise your productivity to the maximum, in this organization buying guide we offer you a lot of tools (physical and digital) to achieve it.

Agendas and planners

Before choosing an agenda or planner for this new course, keep the following aspects in mind:

  • Organization for days, weeks or months? There are those who prefer to write down everything and need a daily organization, others manage to see everything with the dynamics from Monday to Sunday, there are also those who bet on the global vision of the month. What works best for you?

  • With or without date . Of course, there are those who do not need that temporal orientation and prefer to work by projects, make lists or simply a blank sheet to flow to free will. Those who carry out the routine of writing their tasks every day appreciate this order, but if you prefer to square your agenda yourself, those without dates are a good idea, because you organize them to your liking without wasting blank pages. Special attention to bullet journals , a hybrid between the classic agenda and any notebook with a basic structure with great followers.

  • An agenda for months or years? We anticipated it at the beginning: there are those who take each calendar year as a cycle, but other people begin in September and extend in time. It can be until June like the academic year, but also have a duration of more than twelve months.

  • Formats and sizes . Depending on which will be the natural place of your agenda / planner and the amount and distribution of content that it will have, you will find horizontal and vertical models and with the classic sizes used for paper. The most common, for offering a balance between portability and space, is the A5, that is, half of a Din-A4.

  • The minimalism of an almost blank page or a display of color : from the classic and sober traditional agendas without distractions with a monochrome cover to the agendas of the Blonde Neighbor with stickers to remind you that you love yourself, there is a wide range of options with tabs, calendars, lists and tables. Color and these tools are a great help to organize yourself and find what you are looking for . And hey, if it is difficult for you to get into the habit of using the agenda, the extra of knowing what motivating phrase you are going to find is an incentive.

  • Bet on a quality paper : if the agenda / planner does its job, you are going to open it and manipulate it many times over time and possibly make a few smudges, better if the paper has a certain thickness.

  • Hard or soft cover? Matter of taste: there are those who prefer something more moldable and light and other people who, due to our messy lifestyle, prefer some packaging so that it does not look like a truck has passed over them.

  • How it is folded : there are essentially two formats, the rings that we find in notebooks and the sealing / stitching of books. The former support better openings, closings and doubles, but the latter are more compact. There are even file type rings, which allows you to alter the order of the sheets.

  • Blank, with lines, squares or dots . Or what is the same, total freedom, a minimum guide not to make crooked lines of God , the classic and squared (worth the redundancy) structures with squares and dots, a balance between order and flow.

  • Some extras that never hurt: a rubber to close it, pockets on the covers to store cards, a bookmark ruler, stickers ...

Quo Vadis Agenda

Quo

This Quo Vadis diary ( 10.81 euros ) stands out for its good design and pocket format with from September to September it dedicates one page per day. With different types of stippling to suit your tastes, Clairefontaine paper with perforated corners that can be torn off for easy location and even stickers. Of course, a freak wink with his Space Invaders cover, which is why we are in xiaomist.com.

Quo Vadis - School diary, Sep. 2021 to June 2022, 1 Day per page 12x17cm SPACE INVADERS Space

Quo Vadis - School diary, Sep. 2021 to June 2022, 1 Day per page 12x17cm SPACE INVADERS Space

Today on Amazon for € 10.38

Erik Travel Notebook

Notes

Although the one chosen for the photo is the blue version with 'The Little Prince' as the protagonist, you will see that there is 'Harry Potter' or 'Assasin's Creed' among other reasons for the cover for this travel notebook from the firm Erik ( 11 , 99 euros ).

High-quality pocket design with a vintage touch that is made up of two notebooks, one lined and the other with thick paper dots that you can replace. With an elastic to carry it well closed and several pockets and slots for loose sheets and cards.

Grupo Erik CTBV002 - Travel notebook, Leather notebook The Little Prince, 12x19.6x1.7 cm

Grupo Erik CTBV002 - Travel notebook, Leather notebook The Little Prince, 12x19.6x1.7 cm

Today on Amazon for € 10.19

Lemone's Dotted Journal

Lemo

Very much in the style of Moleskine in terms of sobriety and minimalism, this journal by Lemone ( 12.99 euros ) uses thick dotted paper with a hard cover, ideal for writing with pen or gel, for example. A5 size, with bookmark, flap and elastic band.

Dotted Journal / Dotted Notebook - Lemome A5 Hardcover Notebook - Premium Heavy Paper - Dividers Gifts Page, Black

Dotted Journal / Dotted Notebook - Lemome A5 Hardcover Notebook - Premium Heavy Paper - Dividers Gifts Page, Black

Today on Amazon for € 12.99

Rhodia Goalbook

Rhodia

The Rhodia Goalbook ( 15 euros ) is a notebook to keep in mind what your goals are and the steps to achieve them .

With an A4 format ideal to leave on your desk, stitched binding and covers that emulate the foot, this tool has calendars to keep your deadlines at hand , different temporary organizations and sections with stripes and points to take annotations. With rubber to close it, bookmark and inside pocket

Rhodia 117750C - Goalbook, purple

Rhodia 117750C - Goalbook, purple

Today on Amazon for € 15.23

LIGHTHOUSE TURM1917

Leu

The LEUCHTTURM1917 ( 18.50 euros ) are quite popular among those who use agendas and organizers for their quality and sober design .

In this case it is a dotted notebook (you can also choose between squares, stripes or blank) with semi-hard covers, bookmarks, rubber and 249 numbered pages. With an A5 size, it is ideal to carry in your bag or backpack .

Notizbuch Medium A5 dotted schwarz

Notizbuch Medium A5 dotted schwarz

Today on Amazon for € 15.73

Moleskine

Mass

The popularity of Moleskine ( 23 euros ) is such that it almost reaches metonymy, although the Milanese firm has much more than agendas. In fact, its wide catalog of options for organization and formats is one of its strengths , hand in hand with its sobriety and the quality of its products.

For this selection we have chosen an 18-month weekly agenda for 2021 - 2022 (from July 2021) where you can write down your tasks and appointments with a functional design where you can group appointments on the left and notes on the right .

With elastic closure, soft cover, bookmark and a notice in case of loss. You have it in three sizes and various colors

Moleskine - 18 Month Weekly Agenda, 2021/2022 Weekly Agenda, Semana Vista Agenda with Soft Cover and Elastic Closure, Large Size 13 x 21 cm, Color Black, 208 Pages

Moleskine - 18 Month Weekly Agenda, 2021/2022 Weekly Agenda, Semana Vista Agenda with Soft Cover and Elastic Closure, Large Size 13 x 21 cm, Color Black, 208 Pages

Today on Amazon for € 23.90 Retail price in El Corte Inglés € 23.90

Stalogy

Stalogy

Stalogy notebooks ( 27 euros ) stand out for their original design to combine ease of use and a very clean appearance with functionality .

Bet on minimalism and flexibility in terms of content and organization , which allows you to choose the time periods and dates, which you will find at the top of the page.

Compact, resistant and with quality paper, they are available in various sizes, in this case we have chosen the very compact A6 that you can take with you everywhere .

Stalogy S4-G Squared Notebooks: 4.1 in. x 5.8 in. (Black) / A6 365 days notebook

Stalogy S4-G Squared Notebooks: 4.1 in. x 5.8 in. (Black) / A6 365 days notebook

Today on Amazon for € 27.00

Clever fox planner

Cle

If you are one of those people with a thousand projects on the table and the need to have them under control , the Clever Fox planner ( 72 euros ) is a great candidate. With pages dedicated to listing your goals, lists, schedules and day-to-day agenda with organization from 6am to 9pm.

With so much information accumulated, its colorful stickers will come in handy . It is quite chubby, with an inside pocket and space to store your pen.

Clever Fox Daily Planner - Best Agenda and Calendar to Encourage Productivity and Happiness, and Achieve Your 2019 Goals - Personal Organizer - A5, No Dates - Black

Clever Fox Daily Planner - Best Agenda and Calendar to Encourage Productivity and Happiness, and Achieve Your 2019 Goals - Personal Organizer - A5, No Dates - Black

Today on Amazon for € 72.25

Filofax Agenda

filofax

A very comfortable design to move and the most elegant of this Filofax diary ( 82 euros ), which dedicates two pages for each day of the week for those who write everything down .

With rings so you can open and close it a lot of times and hold it like the first day (or even swap sheets for more flexibility), it is hidden under an elegant leather sleeve with clasp that has different compartments for storing cards. With elastic band

Filofax - A5 Personal Organizer, Cream

Filofax - A5 Personal Organizer, Cream

Today on Amazon for € 82.81

Weekly planner PACKLIST

If you prefer something simpler and more visual that you can leave open on your table or hanging on the wall, you can also bet on this type of planner that moves between a calendar and an agenda.

Plani

This one from PACKLIST ( 11.99 euros ) is available for both weeks and months, it is A4 size and has space not only for each day, but also to write down tasks and what you consider most important. With 50 sheets

PACKLIST Weekly Planner. Weekly Organizer A4, Desktop Planning - Weekly Weekly Planner, Original Gift My Most Organized Week. Design Weekly Agendas, Planners and Calendars

PACKLIST Weekly Planner. Weekly Organizer A4, Desktop Planning - Weekly Weekly Planner, Original Gift My Most Organized Week. Design Weekly Agendas, Planners and Calendars

Today on Amazon for € 11.99

Mr Wonderful weekly planner

Mr

Another casual, colorful and very easy-to-see option is this Mr Wonderful planner ( 14.95 euros ), which has a spiral binding and hard cover to be able to use intensively minimizing its deterioration (or as Mr Wonderful would say 'al bad weather, good face '). As in the previous case, with space for notes, the most important and objectives.

Mr Wonderful Weekly Planner - Dreams Come True Start Here, Multicolor

Mr Wonderful Weekly Planner - Dreams Come True Start Here, Multicolor

Today on Amazon for € 14.95

Bonus: gadgets for productivity methodologies

Cork

Basic but effective, a wall cork allows us to leave visible notes and even memorize important things. This one from Eurovensa ( 14.50 euros ) is available in various sizes and has the classic design of a lifetime.

Tikea

If you prefer something more "chic" you can always opt for these attractive felt hexagons from TICKEA ( 23 euros ) that you can distribute as you want and that come with pins so you can nail what you need. The back is self-adhesive. Six units, available in various colors.

The Pomodoro technique is a classic in productivity. The idea is to try to organize our mind to concentrate and work hard for a period of time (usually 25 minutes) and then have a short break for the next period.

Board

Another classic in the organization of ideas for work and study spaces is the magnetic white board ( 28 euros ) like this one, which is not only a good tool to capture ideas, share them and have them in view in your workspace, but also it also serves as the foundation for visual productivity methodologies with a strong ability to optimize time on simple or highly complex projects.

Original from Japan, Kanban is a very visual methodology Kanban methodology is a visual method that consists of organizing the tasks dividing them into small subtasks that we will complete until we achieve the final objective

Scrum also leads to the subdivision of a project in subtasks or phases, showing the whole in panels (physical or virtual) and is especially interesting for collaborative and flexible projects.

Cards

These 15 LEAN magnetic cards ( 21 euros ) are designed for the organization of projects visually such as Scrum and Kanban. They are reusable as long as you use a whiteboard marker (they include one) and are available in eight colors

Scrum

To take it thoroughly, this kit of magnetic labels with 137 reusable and very resistant elements from PATBoard ( 238 euros )

tttt

Another common productivity technique is Pomodoro. Below you will see that there are applications for this purpose, but you can also do it in a more traditional and visual way: with this TimeCube Plus cube ( 21.99 euros ).

Turn the cube to start the countdown, pause it and stop it. It has light or buzzer warnings.

Datexx TimeCube Plus Digital Timer with Optical Alarm, 4 Flashing LED Lights, Pause Function for Time Management, Learning, Sports, Meeting, White - 5, 15, 30, 60 Minutes

Datexx TimeCube Plus Digital Timer with Optical Alarm, 4 Flashing LED Lights, Pause Function for Time Management, Learning, Sports, Meeting, White - 5, 15, 30, 60 Minutes

Today on Amazon for € 21.99

Business productivity apps

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  • Asana : an ideal tool to keep track of the workflow and its subtasks through cards and projects and have it visually grouped. Intuitive design, many options, and the ability to have conversations and attach files. Multiplatform, free although with a premium and business version

  • Trello : similar to the previous one, it allows dividing the phases of a project by grouping them into columns, inviting people, attaching files and having conversations. Multiplatform, free although with premium and company versions

  • Bitrix24 brings together teamwork tools such as messaging (it is understood with WhatsApp), video calls, planning, document manipulation, storage and CRM in the cloud, which facilitates collaboration. It is free (version for 12 users and with 5GB of storage), although depending on the number of users or the functions you need, the prices range from 5 to 120 dollars per month.

  • Quip - a kind of Venn diagram to collaboratively create and edit documents and spreadsheets for business purposes and see each other's input. Ideal for brainstorming . Multiplatform, free although the paid version includes unlimited storage, from $ 10 / user per month (30 for the first five users)

  • Microsoft 365 : the office automation software par excellence. It is not an organization tool as such, but its working condition in the cloud makes it very useful to unify, since it allows you to work anywhere and on any device There are several rates depending on whether you are a student, home use, SMEs or business. In 2022 it will raise its rates , but right now the Microsoft 365 Family costs 99 euros / year .

Personal organization and productivity apps and services

Lastpass
  • Lastpass : The technology is wonderful, but password management is a nightmare. That if you need different passwords, that the bank's needs uppercase and lowercase letters, that if it has to be more than eight characters ... manage them all with this multi-device tool that will also avoid making mistakes when you type it on the tiny virtual keyboard of your mobile . A password manager that stores and creates them on your devices. Free , but the premium version is more versatile and has advanced security features. There is also a business version. It was cross-platform, but now you will have to choose where you install it

  • Pocket is ideal for those Internet browsing sessions in which you are looking for and finding information that you think you will find again by googling again, getting desperate in the attempt. It is a kind of virtual "pocket" where you can save articles, videos and other content to see them again or send them to other users. Very easy to use and not only limited to the browser, but it also works with applications such as Twitter and many others. Multiplatform free , but the premium version (39 euros / year) has no ads and has advanced functions

  • Todoist helps you organize and prioritize tasks that you have to do so that you are clear about what is the fastest and must go first on your list. Despite being a very advanced and complete service, it is very intuitive and easy to use to even manage several projects. Multiplatform and with integration with many apps and services to introduce it into your workflow, free (up to 5 people and 80 active projects) although with a premium and business version from 3 euros per month

  • Apple Shortcuts : If you frequently perform a succession of tasks on your iPhone or iPad, then you may want to create an automation that streamlines the process in just one command. For example: "when I get home, put the phone in do not disturb mode". Free and only available on iOS devices.

  • SaneBox is a great tool to keep your email clean and tidy. This service works backend by organizing the emails that come to you analyzing details as if the sender is in your contact list, although you can teach him to debug his technique. From $ 7 a month

How xiaomist.com editors create and manage their passwords In xiaomist.com How xiaomist.com editors create and manage their passwords

Note-taking apps

Evernote
  • Evernote is the quintessential note-taking app. Save your important ideas in a wide variety of formats: manuscripts, audios, photos, PDFs ... the best thing about this service is that you can then trace the content until you find what you are looking for. For example, you could upload a photo with a "For Sale" sign and find it. Multiplatform and with the possibility of using it collaboratively, it is free although the paid version (from 6.99 euros / month) is more interesting by allowing that deep search, among other functions.

  • Microsoft OneNote : tool from the Microsoft suite to take notes and synchronize with other products in the house, especially interesting for the calendar or email. Very similar to Evernote in the background, on the surface it resembles a kind of board where you can "pin" what interests you: text, images ... be careful because if you are a student, you will take advantage of its mathematical functions. Multiplatform, integrated in Microsoft 365.

For me, the best application to take notes is: the opinion of the editors of xiaomist.com In xiaomist.com For me, the best application to take notes is: the opinion of the editors of xiaomist.com

Time management apps

Stay
  • Stayfocusd is a web extension that acts sharply by blocking websites that distract you while you try to work, something that you can also configure in time slots or on specific dates, or set limits. It's simple, free, easy to use, and it will prevent you from wasting time wandering the internet. Available for Chrome

  • Rescuetime : if you are one of those people who does not explain what he has done all morning and only makes it clear that he has only turned on the computer and has sent two emails, this app will be great for you. It works in the background tracking the time you spend on your mobile or computer - for example, on specific websites and applications - as well as allowing you to set goals and alerts. The free version allows you to look at the statistics for the last three months and is probably sufficient for most users.

  • Clockify is something like putting a clock in front of you to time how long it takes you to run your tasks. The dynamics is simple, but it helps to quantify processes and thus optimize our procedures. It integrates with other applications on this list, such as Trello, Asana or Todoist. Multiplatform and free .

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The news 31 tools and gadgets that help you improve your productivity for the new course was originally published in xiaomist.com by Eva Rodríguez de Luis .

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