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