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The best tools to be 'on top of your game'

In this week's post, I’ll share six productivity tools that I personally use and recommend.

These online tools will benefit anyone who wants to be super productive in their fundraising and professional responsibilities.

Please note that all of these tools have competitors, some of which are very strong companies.

But these specific tools are the ones that have worked best over the long term for me and the great people I coach.

As with any new tool, there is a learning curve that involves an investment of time. But don't worry, your time investment will pay itself back very quickly over time.

1. Smartsheet https://www.smartsheet.com/

  • Do you need to systemize your work and your fundraising? 
  • Are you looking for a way to help you deal with all your work and personal to do's?
  • Could you benefit from a tool that will allow you to manage your projects? And people? 

Then Smartsheet may be for you.

It’s hard to describe what a complete tool Smartsheet can be to you in your work or personal life. But if there is one, this is it:

If you run much of your todo list out of your inbox, or other types of ad hoc lists, then maybe it’s time to upgrade to a tool that can help you get more done, more effectively.

- Or if you need a way of systemizing your fundraising.

- Or tracking and goal setting your kiruv activities or your student development.

- Or absolutely anything that is productivity- or management-related, then this will be a great upgrade from using spreadsheets, docs and inboxes.

Everything I do is run from Smartsheet. And every client I work with, I onboard with Smartsheet as the platform to supercharge their fundraising effectiveness.

Even though I’m a diehard fan of smartsheet.com, I recognize there are other great systems out there that can help you manage your work life. Asana.com is a great alternative.

Time Investment to get started with Smartsheet is 2+ hours

2. Time Tracking by Toggl https://www.toggl.com/

  • Do you know how you use you day?
  • Do you have the clarity to structure your work life and responsibilities?
  • Should you be outsourcing more of your tasks?

To dramatically improve the prioritization of your time and your productivity, a good place to start is to understand how you're using your time.

This is a great tool to help uncover your hidden time drains or poor prioritization.It's free and works on all your devices.

Toggl tracks the time you spend on everything. It will give you clarity on where your time is going. And it will help you adjust where you put your efforts or how you can structure your efforts.

Time Investment to get started - 20 minutes

3. Email Tracking with Streak from Chrome

We’ve all sent a really important email and got no response.

Or send a simple request that goes unanswered and we drop the ball on a task that needs our attention.

No response puts at standstill the clarity to know what to do next with an opportunity or request.

One way we can avoid this problem is to clarify - was my email even opened?

With Streak, you can see if it was opened, when, on what device and where they were when they opened it!

You can even have the email reappear in your inbox if it was not opened or replied to.

Streak is a simple and free solution to one of the things that slow us down most frequently in our productivity.

Time Investment to get started - 20 minutes

4. Email Snippets with Streak from Chrome

Do you send out almost identical emails to your team, or the people you deal with in response to request they may have?

Are you repeating similar sentences again and again. Or do you need to insert the same urls into the emails you write?

Snippets could be for you.

Save yourself time and avoid rewriting emails by inserting saved sentences, paragraphs or whole email responses via shortcuts using Streak snippets.

Time Investment to get started - 20 minutes

5. Online Scheduling Tool - YouCanBook.me

Scheduling meetings not only drains time, but it adds an ongoing distraction when scheduling a meeting may take 5 or 6 interactions just to close on an agreeable time.

This tool will speed up the way you make meetings. And cut out all the back and forth involved in scheduling, while giving you control of your calendar and day.

Time Investment to get started 1+ Hour

6. Book Summaries https://readitfor.me/

The world's most successful business leaders read business and personal development books.

As a Jewish leader, an attitude of learning and growing in your position is essential to keep 'on top of your game'. Whether in management, fundraising, hiring, leadership, building relationships and more.

There are so many great books out there. But how much time do you really have to read them?

Readitforme is a subscription that delivers the ‘Best of a Book’ in 12 Minutes.

They have hundreds of the best personal development books available.

Listening to (or reading) their book summaries even just one a week, you'll gain valuable new ideas and ways of upping your game/work life.

It could be the game changer you've been looking for.

Time Investment to get started - 10 minutes

With all these tools I recommend adding one tool at a time to your 'productivity tool box'. Make that tool work for you. And then once it becomes a part of the way you work, add another one.

If you have any great productivity tools that are making a difference to you, then share them with me.

B'Hatzlacha raba

Avraham

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