This is a guest post by Paige Donahue – a blogger and editor from Pennsylvania. She is an introvert who loves traveling the world. Gifted with a rich imagination and a talent for the written word, she enjoys penning stories and sharing her adventures. You can connect with her via Twitter and Google+.
All writers have experienced that panicky feeling of being stuck in a rut, unable to move forward and nowhere to turn back. But most of the times, only the right productivity tools separate them from doing their best and most creative work.
The inability to produce work can strike at the most inopportune times, and for no apparent reason. No matter how hard you try, the words simply will not come. If you have the worse luck, it will happen in the face of an approaching deadline (which could actually be the reason why!).
You don’t even have to be a professional writer to experience this. Writing is inescapable — school papers, work memos, client presentations , post for your blogs, and so on. In this age of digital distraction, it’s going to be a tough battle to get work done unless you use the help of the productivity tools out there.
To help you get out of the rut, here are 5 great ones, with which you can achieve more in less time:
The Productivity Tools You Need to Work Better
It may sound a bit, er, anti-social, but this online app is actually a great way to boost productivity. It blocks distracting sites such as social networks like Twitter and Facebook that wastes hours on procrastination.
Anti-Social helps keep your eye on the ball by keeping your attention from wandering. It is easy to customize the sites to block and time your work hours. Once you make your settings and activate the app, it is hard to turn it off and give in to temptation. It works perfectly well with Windows and Mac.
Some people think it expensive to pay $15 to download an app that only does the one thing. The thing is, it does it very well, so it is money well spent. If you try it and don’t think it is worth it, you can always use the 60-day money back guarantee.
This time management tool uses the Pomodoro technique to improve productivity using the Getting Things Done (GTD) method.
It is really quite simple. It involves four cycles of 25-minute work, and 5-minute break, except the fourth cycle break is slightly longer at 15 to 20 minutes. The basic idea is that working in short bursts keeps the mind fresh and running like well-oiled machinery.
The app also allows you to plan your tasks, track your productivity, and generate reports even with the completely free version. If you need to back up your data and sync with your Android device, you can get their paid service for $1.99 a month.
The app will soon have a version for multiple users, where you can sign up to 12 people for $49.99 a month, ideal for keeping track of your workers’ productivity. As a freelancer, however, the free version should give you a great workout.
Many experts recommend going someplace else when you are having problems with getting your writing done.
Many writers find coffee shops a good place to get some work done. However, there may be many reasons why you might not be able to get to your favorite coffee shop. You could be too busy or too broke, house sitting for a friend, or waiting for an important phone call.
Whatever the reason you can’t get to your favorite coffee shop, you can still experience the ambiance that for some reason helps a lot in inspiring creativity and therefore allowing you to work better with Coffitivity.
This app can liven up your workspace with the mellow buzz of a coffee shop with free access to “Morning Murmur,” “Lunchtime Lounge,” and “University Undertones.” You don’t even have to register!
If you want a bit of foreign feel, you can shell out $9 to access “Paris Paradise,” “Brazil Bistro,” or “Texas Teahouse” for a year. It may not be something that will work for everyone, but it can’t hurt to try the free audio files at least. If it helps you get into the zone, go for it. It’s one of the top productivity tools in that field.
Writers can get prickly when someone criticizes their work, but it is important to let someone give it a once over to make sure everything is honky-dory.
If you try to proofread or edit your work yourself, you are not likely to catch everything you should. Writers develop a blind spot when they look over their own work. You tend to scan rather than go over it line by line. You can get a friend to do it, of course, but you can’t be sure that he or she has the skills to do a good job.
Having professional writers from BestEssays look through your work is still the best option. They can proofread it for spelling errors and grammar gaffes, and edit it for flow and choice of words. They will give you comments on how to polish the work, which you can use in the future. You can save you a lot of time and effort. The proofreading service starts at $5.99 a page and professional editing starts at $15.99 a page.
When you’re stuck for a good topic, Buzzsumo is a good resource to give you some ideas.
This service helps you narrow your focus by giving you statistics on the popularity of variations on a general topic. It is always a good to write about something that readers like. For example, when you type in the topic “writing “ in the search bar, the app shows “Make Money From Home or While Traveling” got more than 367,000 shares on Twitter while “20 Embarrassing Phrases Even Smart People Misuse” garnered more than 126,000 shares on Facebook. It focuses only on social network sites, but it can still give you a good idea of what topics are currently trending.
Some people scoff at the idea of writer’s block, but there is no denying that it happens. It doesn’t last for very long in most cases, and writers all have their own ways of coping.
However, when deadlines are looming, these five productivity tools can help you get those creative juices flowing again. At least one of them should work for you, whatever your writing style.
Even if you don’t have writer’s block, you can still use them to get more work done. At any rate, you will not lose anything to try. Instead, you will gain a lot if these productivity tools work for you. So give them a shot.