Technology makes us more productive, right? Well, in some ways yes. Technology can make us more productive and able to work faster, particularly when used wisely, but it can also be a productivity killer – all those notifications dragging you away from the task you were doing. Even work-related interruptions can limit your ability to get a job done quickly and effectively.

And these aren’t the only productivity killers. As a freelancer, you are no doubt used to juggling several different projects and clients at the same time, but it can be a logistical nightmare, particularly in terms of keeping tabs on what’s happening where and what needs to happen next.

But, just as technology can cause these problems, so it can also help address them. So here’s our magnificent 7 productivity tools to help you stay on top of your work and focused in 2019…

1 StayFocusd

This is a Google Chrome extension that enables you to block certain sites from your browser, thereby removing temptation from view. You select which sites need to be blocked and during which hours, and then you can get on with your work without the tempting browser-hopping.

2 Slack

This is a highly popular communication and collaboration tool being used by a lot of organisations. Many are now using it instead of email because it’s great for team communication. What it offers freelancers is a direct, quick communication line with clients. You can manage the privacy settings because it has open and private chat channels. You can organise message boards according to what you need, whether it’s by teams, tasks, locations, projects…It’s very flexible. You can also integrate notifications with other apps and programmes, which is another very handy feature.

3 Toptracker

This app was designed specifically around the needs of freelancers, although others can use it too. Created by Toptal, a network of freelance developers and designers, it enables freelancers to track their work. It can be used by individuals and by teams to track productivity and identify areas where improvement is needed. And it’s free.

4 Active Collab

A project management tool that includes task management, team collaboration, time tracking and invoicing. This tool makes it much simpler and smoother to coordinate activities with clients and teams.

5 Sociidot

Dubbed ‘the life coach that fits in your pocket’, this tool has been designed to help you accomplish your goals. The idea is that it helps you to visualize your goals and then to stay focused on them.

6 Wunderlist

This pretty much does what it says on the tin: it enables you to keep track of all your lists, both professional and personal. It puts on your to-do lists in one place, where you can sub-divide them and add notes to your tasks. It also syncs with phone and computer calendars.

7 Bonsai

This is a tool that deals with the financial and contractual side of freelancing. It covers all stages of work, starting with proposals and contracts, through to invoicing. Tracking and chasing payment can be a major headache for freelancers – this app aims to make it simpler, quicker and more reliable, for both sides.

Do you have a tool that you can’t work without? Let us know – hello@jam-pan.com – and we’ll add it to the list so we can all be more productive throughout 2019.