So a few weeks back during #TechTuesday, I was having a massive issue with time management. I am a big proponent of automating my life so that I conserve as much time as possible, but this was beyond basic automation. My schedule had gotten so crazy that I shut down. I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t want to do anything because I felt like I could never catch up. I took to Black Enterprise’s Instagram live during #TechTuesday and tons of suggestions came in. Thank you for all of your participation. These are some of the tools that I found to be helpful for productivity with both their pros and cons included.Â
Coach.me – I’ve known about this app for some time now, but had never tested it out. I actually thought they only dealt with modules so I wasn’t that interested, as I was at the point of needing a physical person to chat with. Well as programming would have it, they actually did have real coaches. I chose Kendra, to which I paid, $19 per week to help me get my life back in order. She gave me scheduling documents through Google Sheets to help organize my day-to-day, which was extremely helpful.
Sesh – In addition, I downloaded another app. Sesh is a new company that, from what I could tell, recently pivoted from another concept. Their coach was awesome and far more engaged than Kendra but you could feel the startup customer service when engaging with them. They didn’t tell me what my payment was until they’d actually charged me. We then went back and forth on why that was a bad business practice. That rubbed me the wrong way and even though I liked their coach better, I canceled my subscription. Â
I must have downloaded about 10 scheduling apps but ultimately, I landed on Calendly.
Calendly – This platform has incredible UI/UX design and it integrates with most calendars but there was a massive problem. I am a mac user and Black Enterprise uses Outlook, which is typically known for performing on PCs. There was no option to sync my Exchange calendar without buying Microsoft 365, which I did for about five minutes before they told me I had to contact my organization and have them add MX and TXT records. Nope. I didn’t want to do all that, so there went the Microsoft 365 subscription.
My workaround? Using iCal. I found that you can sync all of your calendars on your iPhone and Calendly will look at iCal to see if you have any conflicts. So far, so good. Side note: For the extra features it cost $10 a month or you can pay $8 annually but, for the extra sanity, it was well worth it.Â
So, there’s that. Now, let’s take it back old school. One of the things that you all mentioned over and over in the comments section of IG Live was traditional to-do-lists that you write down with a good old-fashioned pen and paper. Well, I purchased a planner from Target and that’s actually been working. Crossing things off does something fulfilling to my brain. I did download Remember the Milk, a to-do list app by way of Kendra’s suggestions but, I haven’t used it much yet.
What are you all using to stay productive? Leave your workflows in the comments section below.
Sequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.