5 Free Productivity Boosters for Photographers

Productivity is awesome. It’s all about getting more done, and having more time to enjoy your life.

Since photographers spend a whole lot of time on their computers, that’s an awesome place to start boosting your productivity!

Today let’s look at a few free apps that will make your computer work faster, become more organized, and more focused!

1. Alfred (Mac)

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This is the first program I install on a new computer. And if I’m playing with a friend’s computer, I’ll ask if I can install it there too. It’s a must-have. You’ll quickly wonder how you existed without it.

What does it do? Simple. It lets you access any of your files and applications, with just a few simple keystrokes. You don’t have to take your hands off your keyboard, and start mousing around. Ridiculous amounts of saved time.

They have a paid “Powerpack” that lets you navigate your files, control iTunes, access your Address Book, and more. If you’re super into productivity, it’s a very affordable upgrade.

Bonus: It’s super pretty.

Get Alfred

1.5 Launchy (PC)

We are Mac users, so we don’t know a lot of PC specific apps. But, I knew that Alfred was so crazy powerful for Mac, there had to be something similar for our PC friends out there!

Meet Launchy. Same idea. A keystroke launcher. Simple, elegant, and free! And open-source!! Hip hip hooray!

Get Launchy

2. Dropbox

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Dropbox is like wizardry. It lets you sync your files online and across computers. Automagically.

How can you use it? Here are a few suggestions!

  • Sync your essential files (info sheets, pricelists, contracts, etc.) across your working computer and your laptop (or your partner’s computer)
  • Keep copies of your drivers license, passport and ID accessible when travelling. 
  • Fast offsite backup
  • Collaborate on documents with friends and colleagues (brainstorm marketing ideas together, share a booking calendar for referrals)
  • Share files with clients (no need for an FTP client, web space, etc.)
  • Access your important documents from your iPhone, anywhere. Start making your business mobile!

You get 2 GB totally free, and can upgrade to a Pro account if you want more space!

Get Dropbox

3. Xmarks

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You spend a lot of time as a photographer researching and learning. And these days the majority of that work is done on the internet.

Having a great system for your bookmarks helps you quickly access all that awesome information again. If you don’t keep things neat and tidy, you’ll loose great resources, or have to spend lots of precious time trying to find them again.

Get in the habit of being productive with your bookmarking, and you’ll learn more, and save more time.

Xmarks takes care of so much of that for you, so there’s really no excuse! It works across browsers and platforms so everyone can get in on the fun. And it keeps your bookmarks updated for all your computers.

It also lets you share bookmarks with your friends and colleagues so you can help others with all the great stuff you find!

Get Xmarks

4. Evernote

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Probably the most awesome thing of all time. If you aren’t using Evernote already, go get it this very moment.

See, Evernote let’s you “remember everything“. Big words, but it delivers.

It’s a notebook app that lets you record everything, from ideas, lists, websites, screenshots, photos, and even voice memos.

Then it syncs it across all your computers, devices, and you can access everything online as well. Searching and organizing is super easy so you can find anything in an instant.

Honestly, the uses for this are limitless. Here are a few photo specific ideas:

  • Keep a library of inspiration: photos, locations, poses, processing styles, compositions, colours, logos, branding, whatever you could dream of
  • Record all your ideas for shoots
  • Keep all of your notes for your business in one organized place (marketing ideas, location lists, blog posts, to-do lists, client information, gear inventory, etc.)
  • Store Post-Shoot Report Cards and Post-Meeting Report Cards
  • Store business cards of all your vendors

The more you use Evernote, the more organized and productive you’ll become. You’ll have access to all of your information at any moment, from any device.

If you really dig Evernote, you can upgrade to a Premium account so you can store more photos, access notebooks offline, and collaborate on your notes.

Get Evernote

5. Freedom

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And finally, perhaps the most powerful productivity booster of all.

Freedom is an app that simply locks you out of the internet for a set amount of time. Nothing cripples your productivity like interruption, and the internet is pretty much an interruption machine.

You can use it 5 times for free to try it out. Figure out just how much it helped you, and then see if it’s worth the $10. Chances are you’ll make far more than that with the extra work you get done, sans interruptions.

Get Freedom

Do you have any favourite productivity boosters that can help photographers? Share them in the comments now!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

Comments

14 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Just what I needed – thanks guys! : )

  2. Great info you guys, thank-you! Happy Monday :) :)

  3. Alfred definitely seems like one to check out! Evernote is awesome!! So easy to sync everything with the iphone app too…it was one of the best arguments for getting an iphone, I'd say
    Love your site, by the way!

  4. Thanks for all the kind words guys!!

  5. Brilliant, thank you! always looking for new ways to stay productive

  6. I am a video producer, but I learn so much for you!
    Thanks for your generosity!

  7. Alfred alone has sped up my productivity by leaps! No more searching for icons to launch apps or even switching to chrome/safari to do a google search. Great post, now I just have to start using Evernote more consistently!

  8. I use 3 of the 5 so far, and was looking into the other 2 last week. So thanks for the recommendations.

  9. Great list, but here is a few more tips.

    Dropbox is probably the best “all round”, but there is of course others. Box.com will also sync your files, but not as great as Dropbox if you ask me. If they still have the offer available they will give you 50 GB for free if you sign up. I have an account just because of that. Google Drive is an other alternative, gives you 5 GB and a complete office suite that allows you and your friends to collaborate in real-time on documents. If that is what you are looking for.

    Also, once you have Dropbox and is using a Android powered phone, have a look at DropSync (Pro). It will allow you the same functionality as the desktop and a little more. It allows you to sync any folder on your phone/tablet to any folder on Dropbox. You can also set it up to be one way or two way, i.e files added to Dropbox is downloaded to the phone but files from the phone is not uploaded to Dropbox. Or vice versa. This is great if you want to keep your phone clean. You set it to upload to Dropbox and then you can delete the files on the phone. And they are still kept on Dropbox and synced to your desktop.

    Think that’s my best tips to add to this list =)

    • BTW, if you use Evernote check out Evernote Hello. It’s a simple app that helps you remember faces. When you meet a new person, you snap a picture and write down his/hers info, You then sort things the same way you do in Evernote, using the event to store people you met there, adding tags and so on. That way when you meet again and you just can’t remember the name, you can have a quick peek in the app to get the name . Works quite okey if you are bad with names and meet a lot of people on events, meetings and such. And of course, syncs with Evernote =)

  10. Maryam Collins says:

    WOW!! What didn’t you guys put up for us?!! I was needing this desperately. Once again, thanks.

  11. Hello! Just wanted to say thanks for your wonderful information. Just downloaded alfred and will def be upgrading to pro version. Such a handy tool

    also had downloaded Evernot for a while but never got a chance to
    “dig in” soooooo excited to do so now.

    Also wanted to add another 2 awesome productivity apps.

    http://ifttt.com — super cool helpful, worth checking out. (helps with social media)

    and one you guys mention in a previous blog post.

    XMIND— SOOOOOOO AMAZING. My mind has freedom to wander and I feel like all my ideas i was hoarding around in my mind have a place to unload/map out/ and I can relax and move on. Plus I am a very visual person. So this helped tons.

    Thanks for you amazingess! Looking forward to more posts in the future.

  12. I just don’t know where you guys get your infinite creative ideas xD Brilliant, again. Thanks!!!

  13. Another option similar to the Freedom app, is called Self Control. It’s totally free & you can block any websites that might distract you for any amount of time. Nothing you do can let you back on until the timer runs out. Not even restarting your computer! It’s a beautiful thing.

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