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5 Tools to Increase Productivity and Get More Done

5 Tools to Increase Productivity and Get More Done

A few years ago I was talking to a buddy about making the most of my time throghout the day. During the conversation he recommended that I read a book by David Allen called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (highly recommended).

At the time I was quite productive and had gotten pretty good at focusing on the important tasks. This book took things to another level.  As usual I took things to the extreme.  I eventually found that hyper-focusing on productivity and  organization could eventually have the opposite effect so I did have to scale things back a bit.

Today I’ve found a happy medium and figured I share a few tools that can help you shave some unnecessary time out of your day and help you become more productive in the process.  Over the years I’ve found focus and productivity to be two common traits that separate the average agent from a top producer.

Agents have a lot going on throughout the day. From chasing new business to marketing to client calls and claims. You are not going to have a lot of down time. With this in mind, you should always be looking for a better way to increase productivity.

The more things you “get done” the better you will feel when the workday finally comes to an end.

Here are five tools that can help you get more done while increasing your daily productivity:

1. Evernote

With the help of Evernote, you can remember everything. It is a cross platform tool that can basically bookmark everything in your life. You don’t have to look any further than the Evernote homepage to understand what this tool can do for you. “Capture anything. Access anywhere. Find things fast.”

In short, Evernote makes it easy to remember everything that happened during the day – both in your personal and business life in a simple, intuitive and easy to search format.

2. LastPass

I’m not exactly sure how I got by before LastPass. Like most insurance agents, you probably deal with passwords time and time again. You need a password to log into every system that you use, as well as your email accounts and much more. You have probably moved from a memory based system to a cheat sheet or excel spreadsheet. Far from secure or reliable.

With LastPass, you never again have to worry about losing a password and spending an extended period of time recovering it. Instead, this tool allows you to log into all your sites with one click of the mouse from any browser.

3. Google Calendar

What do you have going on today? Are you meeting with customers? Are you meeting with prospects? Do you have to make a few cold calls?

Keeping track of your busy schedule can be challenging. Subsequently, you may overlook important tasks on a regular basis.

As usual Google knocked it out of the park with their Calendar product. You can organize your schedule while sharing events with others (such as your front office staff) and everything syncs from your desktop to your Apple or Andriod smart phone or tablet. Once implemented, you can be rest assured that you will never miss another important event.

4. Dropbox

Tired of cluttering your computer with files? Do you find it difficult to locate the files you need without wasting anytime?  Need files on your work PC at home or on your phone?

When you use Dropbox, you can store all of your files – from spreadsheets to presentations – in the cloud. Not only can you sync your computer with your Dropbox account, but you can access your files from anywhere in the world – as long as you have internet access.  You have the ability to share files with others and it can be used to backup important files.  I’ve been using the a free 2 GB account for a few years now and still have room to spare.

5. iDoneThis

Do you find yourself asking the following question: did I complete that task yet? Better yet: did my coworker get that task done today? As an agent, you will have so much going on that it can be easy to forget what you have already done.

iDoneThis takes out all the guesswork. Not only can you track completed tasks, but it also acts as a tool for managing your team.

At this point, you should understand the importance of using productivity tools as a means of getting more done, staying organized, and better communicating with others.

The bottom line is simple: the more you get done the more time you will free up in your schedule. And the more free time you have the more you can get done. In the end, there is no stopping you from becoming a more productive insurance agent.

These are just a few of the tools that make me more productive on a daily basis.  Please drop a line in the comments and share some tools and services that help you get more things done.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Victoria September 13, 2012, 6:21 pm

    LOVE EVERNOTE! I can’t live without it. We don’t use Dropbox but we do use a rival called box.net which is fantastic.

    • Mike September 13, 2012, 6:26 pm

      I’ve heard good things about box.net as well Victoria.

    • Balaji October 8, 2012, 12:53 pm

      Really appreciate your intihgss into these very useful products. I started using Dropbox after you recommended it and also use it on my Android phone. This weekend I too a picture on my phone of a design on a whiteboard and was about to email it to myself so I can download it to my laptop. I was about to send via email when I noticed that Dropbox was now one of the options to share files with, directly from the camera. I selected the Dropbox and within 3 seconds the files were on my laptop. So much less hassle than emailing or connecting my phone and mounting an external drive then downloading. I love the cloud and how all this integration is making our lives much simpler. Write one and view everywhere.

  • Siji October 8, 2012, 2:20 am

    Last year I was really gtiteng overwhelmed with too much work. I spent a significant amount of time in February exploring task management and project management tools and software. Since I work alone, I realized I need something to help manage tasks more than projects. I finally went with a Mac application called OmniFocus, which is based on the gtiteng things done’ method of task management. Although there are a few features missing that would make my life easier, overall it’s been a great tool for helping me keep track of dozens of projects and stay focused on priorities.