I've recently taken on a few new projects and have had to yank at my very rusty balancing skills to manage projects across many focuses (namely, inside and outside of multiple work-things). I've honed in on a few productivity tools that are helping keep me aligned: 

Toggl

So, one of my things is contract and part-time, but the needs come at me throughout the day (time-boxing is hard). Tracking time is a priority, both for billing purposes but also to make sure I'm managing my time well and focusing on knocking out the day-to-day needs, as well as spending time on some bigger projects. 

Toggl gives you 30 days free and it's magic ... I'm definitely going to continue into the paid period. It allows you to create buckets of project categories for logging time, and has super awesome Chrome extension so you can toggle that time (see what I did there?) from anywhere. The fast switching between projects, and click of a button to either start the timer or start the timer on a new project. I'd recommend it for anyone doing consulting work, developers tracking time to tickets, etc., because it makes it so easy to turn it on and off, and categorize your time buckets. 

Outlook mobile app

Okay so I generally cringe when it comes to Microsoft products (call me a snob, go for it), but the Outlook app is all the email and calendar magic anyone needs. My main thing? It makes it extremely easy to manage multiple email accounts (I now have 3 email accounts I have to monitor daily, as well as 3 calendars) and it houses the calendar function within the same app. I can toggle all three calendars easily and check for conflicts in one place. The funny part? All three of my accounts are Gmail hosted, but this app does what the Gmail app can't: manage calendars in the same place as email.

Extra fun:

  • It lets me pull/search from my contacts across all three places in one tab.
  • It has a file view to show me all the files shared in one spot, upcoming itineraries ... it's productivity heaven

Some apps are annoying combined, but the way Outlook lumps files, email, and calendar in one makes it seamless. I love it so much. Can you tell? 

Trello

This one's an old standby for me, but I feel the need to mention it. I always make sure I set my Trello up as a productivity flow (its intended use) rather than lists (I've seen folks mess it up this way), so I'm actually taking action and remembering what needs to be done on different tasks. I leave this for larger, 90 day type projects I'm working on and leave my daily tasks to pen and paper. This allows me to focus in on the big projects when I'm headed in that direction, and leave the little stuff to analog so my productivity isn't over-engineered.