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Top Productivity Tools and Tips Designed to Help You Accomplish More in Less Time Than You Thought Possible

19 février, 2019 - 08:59

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We’re always trying to do things faster and better and accomplish more in less time. That’s good, but it’s easy to become obsessed with trying to figure out how to go about boosting our productivity.

If we’re not careful, our obsession can become stressful and counterproductive. The digital age has given us many excellent tools to work with. But it has brought with it more tasks to do and less time to do them in.

Fortunately, we have project management, time-tracking, prototyping, and workflow streamlining productivity tools. They give us more time to attend to the tasks we love and were hired to do. Or, the tasks that require knowledge skills, intensive focus, and careful thought.

We’ve carried out some in-depth research activities. This is in order to present what we believe to be the top productivity apps going into 2019. These go with the 5 top productivity tips designed to make you more efficient.

That said, let’s dive right in.

 

1. Mason

Mason is a different type of design tool. It enables you to skip steps you thought to be important if not mandatory, it allows you to take other steps immediately that you typically had to wait before taking, and it makes digital product maintenance far easier and less time consuming than you might have thought possible.

In short, instead of calling Mason different in its approach, it’s not much of a stretch to call it radically different.

This productivity tool’s frontend feature building and editing capability and visual interface allows you to create precise software features for websites, apps, and almost any other type of digital product. Once you complete your design in the visual builder, it’s ready to be handed right over to production or product maintenance, and with pixel-perfect accuracy.

Teams can build front-end experiences with lightning speed, they can avoid the overhead costs associated with prototyping, QA inspections, and the documentation often required by developers, and they can often skip the development phase as well since Mason handles the HTML/CSS coding.

Radically different? We think so.

 

2. Proto.io

Mobile and web app designers, developers, and product managers alike have found that this prototyping tool meets their every need, whether it involves wireframing and mockups, high-fidelity prototyping for user testing, or rapid prototyping design techniques.

Proto.io is a handy, time and labor-saving productivity tool you can use from the conceptual stages of web and mobile app design all the way to final approval and design signoff.

The Dashboard helps you maintain a full overview of your projects and users involved with your account, promoting collaboration among team members. Proto.io’s Editor does most of the work involved in constructing a prototype, while the Player lets you see what you’ve accomplished on your browsers and assists in user testing.

The latest version of Proto.io features an easier to use and more intuitive UI, new transitions and interaction design patterns, and improved user testing integration.

 

3. monday.com

monday.com is a team management tool you can employ to centralize your workplace processes no matter whether your team consists of a pair of freelancers or thousands of teams and individuals who need to collaborate and share information.

monday.com provides greater transparency more than other productivity tools of its type. In doing so, it empowers team members by providing them with the same information their team leaders and managers receive. More than 50,000 teams around the globe currently use monday.com, and based on reviews, many of them no doubt wonder how they ever got by without it.

A secret to monday.com’s success, is that to effectively change the way teams work, team members have to love the team management tools their using, and that appears to be the case here.

 

4. ActiveCollab

The new ActiveCollab is bigger and better than the popular old version in nearly every visual and technical category, and it features a variety of new customization options.

It has been heavily redesigned, and its star feature, task dependencies with automatic rescheduling, automatically manages dependencies between tasks. When one task is updated, dependent tasks are appropriately updated at the same time. ActiveCollab is modern, powerful, and a pleasure to use.

 

5. Nutcache

Nutcache is a team-oriented tool designed to help Agile project teams manage their workflows more efficiently and effectively. It’s ideal for project managers, design teams of any size, and also for clients in that it allows them to monitor a project’s progress. Nutcache’s advanced task management, time & expense tracking, and billing make it much easier to manage a project from start to finish, on time and within budget.

 

6. Lucidchart.com

A visual spread is a good way to present complex flows or ideas; it helps people more easily understand what is being presented. Visualization is what Lucidchart does best. This productivity tool’s custom shape library allows you to create virtually every type of diagram you can imagine. Lucidchart provides an especially useful means of presenting complex information flows to technical and lay audiences alike.

 

Make These Top 5 Productivity Tips Habits & You’ll Achieve More and Experience Greater Peace of Mind

1. Keep a written record

Write down every task that should be on your to-do list, and every commitment. Trying to remember everything takes away time and energy. You could be putting these to better use. Plus, you’ll never have to go and stand in the corner because you forgot something important.

2. Do the dreaded tasks first

We tend to put off what we dread doing, and in doing so we sometimes move priority tasks toward the bottom of the list. Make the task you dread the next one you do. You’ll end up feeling good about it.

3. Take Breaks

Put the Pomodoro (“Tomato”) technique to work. Take a 5-10 minute break every 40 minutes or so; whatever works for you. No matter how deep you’re into a task. If you work too long without a break, the law of diminishing returns sets in and your effectivity suffers.

4. Make exercise a habit

Whether you work up a good sweat, take a walk, or stretch and exercise to keep muscles in trim. Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health. Get some exercise every day.

5. Get out of the habit of saying yes to every request

If you say yes to everyone in hopes of being liked, you can end up letting others control your life. Not good. It can kill your enthusiasm and productivity.

 

Conclusion

Here is a choice of 6 of the best productivity tools on the market and 5 common-sense productivity tips. They should give you an opportunity to make some positive changes. Especially, in the way you approach your work and your day to day tasks.

You’ll also save time and money by not having to scan through the literature for helpful hints. Or, try one productivity tool after another until you find something that works.

Go for it!

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Top 10 WordPress plugins in 2019. Which is your favorite?

13 février, 2019 - 08:03

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WordPress plugins provide an ideal way to add and extend functionality to WordPress. There are thousands of free and premium plugins available from the WordPress directory. The website niche your website represents determines the plugins you want to use. There are some that every website or blog designer will need to have.

The premium plugins you pay for will generally come with greater support. They are much more likely to be compatible with other plugins.

The top tools and plugins like the ones we’ve listed here can take your website designs to the next level.  They can translate into more satisfied users, more conversions, and less work for you.

 

1. Amelia

If you own a business that relies heavily on a clientele that calls in for appointments and you want to streamline your booking process, give your business a boost, and realize an almost immediate ROI, Amelia appointment booking for WordPress is for you.

Amelia is designed for health and fitness clubs, gyms, beauty parlors, and spas and salons; or any other businesses where clients and customers call in to make bookings and appointments.

Managing a large number of bookings can be time-consuming and error-prone when done manually. With Amelia, reservations can be made 24/7 and made to fit your employee’s skills and schedules. Amelia takes care of cancellations and re-scheduling, sends out reminders of pending appointments, and customers are never placed on hold when making a booking.

This booking and appointment automation tool will save you a ton of time and is guaranteed to keep your clients and customers happy.

 

2. wpDataTables

While a given website design may not involve data tables or charts, if you’re a professional web designer, or even fairly new at the game, you’ll eventually have to have a table/chart-building capability in your toolbox.

And, if large amounts of complex data are involved and you need to create a table or chart that is responsive, interactive, easily editable, accurate, and a definite attention-getter, a DIY approach probably won’t cut it, nor will most table-building tools currently on the market.

This is where wpDataTables shines – 20,000 happy customers can’t be wrong! This premier WordPress plugin is by far the best of its type as it provides you with an all-in-one solution for managing and presenting large amounts of data. wpDataTables fully supports MySQL, MS SQL, SQL database, and all other common data types and formats.

Insofar as presenting your data is concerned, you can fully customize a table’s design. Besides, wpDataTables’ conditional formatting features enable you to color code and highlight essential information at the columns, row, and individual cell level.

 

3. NextGEN Gallery & NextGEN Pro

NextGEN Gallery has been the industry’s standard WordPress gallery plugin for 12 years running, which may account for its being on the receiving end of roughly 1.5 million downloads almost every year. This free NextGEN version has all the tools needed to create galleries that even the most demanding visual artists, imaging professionals, and photographers will want.

The premium NextGEN version, NextGEN Pro, is a definite step up as it features a variety of useful extensions, including eCommerce capabilities. An approach worth taking would be to start with NextGEN Gallery, upgrade to NextGEN Pro if needed, or take the middle ground by adding Pro extensions to NextGEN gallery, which you can do for a fee.

Whichever approach you take, you can count on being able to produce award winning galleries of virtually any size or style.

 

4. Rank Math SEO

The Rank Math SEO WordPress plugin has everything needed for On-page SEO, WooCommerce SEO, Local SEO, and much more. It is in fact a veritable Swiss Army knife of SEO design and analysis tools.

You’ll find Rank Math’s Content Analysis feature particularly handy in the way it will help you write SEO-friendly content. Rank Math SEO loads super-fast and you’ll find it easy to use.

 

5. MapSVG WordPress map plugin

You can introduce Google maps, image maps, customized interactive vector maps and more to beef up your websites and please your users with the MapSVG plugin. You can also create maps from PNG or JPEG files, and easily add markers and directory or other information to your maps with this WordPress tool. Since all countries are represented, there’s no limit as to your ability to showcase your newfound map-making skills.

 

 6. Logic Hop – Personalized Marketing for WordPress

Content personalization is generating lots of buzz and it’s easy to see why. Any tool that can increase conversions by 200% is one you should definitely be using. Enter Logic Hop which makes personalizing WordPress super easy with ready-made recipes and a wealth of features, such as automatically displaying content based on visitor behavior, geolocation, UTM codes, and much more. Start personalizing and increase conversions! And be sure to check out their affiliate program.

 

7. Blog2Social – Smart social media automation for WordPress

Blog2Social is a time-saving WordPress plugin that provides an all-in-one solution to meet your social media post and notice sharing requirements. Blog2Social makes it easy for you to schedule and share your posts on 16 social media networks individually, several at a time, or all at once.

A social media calendar is included to help you schedule posts and notices on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and as many as 12 more social media networks.

 

8. WordLift

Creating SEO-friendly content isn’t always the easiest of tasks. WordLift offers an approach to meeting your SEO objectives through the use of artificial intelligence. This WordPress plugin translates your pages and articles into machine-friendly content, measures its performance, and indicates where improvements in website content and navigation are in order.

WordLift is an excellent tool for improving a website’s SEO and UX characteristics.

 

9. Heroic FAQs

Most questions users ask have been asked before; which is why having an FAQ page is a must for many websites. Heroic FAQs makes life easier for business owners and their customers. With Heroic FAQs, you can create, order, and group FAQs along with their answers, and add images and videos to them with Heroic FAQs’ drag and drop feature. Your FAQ pages can be customized to match your brand website design.

 

10. Heroic Knowledge Base

Heroic Knowledge Base gives you another way to deal with having to respond to the same questions time and time again; by providing a self-service customer service database. This WordPress plugin makes it as easy to create a website knowledge base as it is to create a page or post.

Heroic Knowledge Base lets you add, revise, customize, order, and categorize articles by drag and drop, add images and files to articles, and collect feedback.

 

Conclusion

Any of these best in their class WordPress plugins can save you a ton of time. Whether it’s in designing a website or managing a business. Selecting one or more can raise website designs to the next level. It also can please clients and their customers alike.

Plugins are much more than their primary uses as software extensions. They extend the capabilities of website designers and users as well.

Happy shopping!

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans le développement web (CMS, PHP, Laravel, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML5, CSS3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn