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Dec 18, 2015

4 time management tools for teams and designers

The time management tools that I use every week to stay on track
If you’re like me (or the rest of the Webflow team), time is far and away your most valuable resource.

If you’re like me (or the rest of the Webflow team), time is far and away your most valuable resource. You never seem to have enough of it. Which makes any tool that can help you make the most of what little time you have incredibly valuable.

Sadly, there is no app for time manipulation. But there are plenty of tools that can help you manage the time you do have. Use them to their full potential, and you may realize you do have the time you need, it just needs to be managed correctly.

Here are the tools I use to keep me on track. I’d love to hear what tools you use too!

Scheduling apps

How much time do we spend in meetings each week? Or rather, how much time do we spend trying to organize a time for these meetings? Figuring out what times work for everyone is a complete nightmare. Luckily, there are tools that help with this.

Sunrise Meet

If you’re a fan of Sunrise like I am, then this one’s a no-brainer. Sunrise Meet lets you pick times that work for you, then send a unique link to other attendees so they can pick what works for them, too.

Sunrise Meet even integrates with your iOS device’s keyboard so you can create a Meet URL in other apps (like Gmail, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, etc).

If you’re trying to schedule a one-on-one, or just trying to nail down a time for drinks after work, Sunrise Meet is an exceptional option.

Calendly

Calendly is a lifesaver. I started using it about a year ago, when I spent most of my time consulting or taking on new projects. My calendar was almost always full, and I found myself spending more time searching through my calendar for availability than I wanted.

Calendly syncs seamlessly to your calendar(s) and shows your availability in a beautifully designed interface. Your other meeting attendees just pick a time, and you’re all set. Calendly automatically sends the invite (based on your pre-set preferences) to everyone.

Project management and billing

When you’re working with clients, it’s important to track the hours you spend on a project — even when you aren’t billing by the hour.

Why? Because it’s really easy to lose track of the hours you spend on projects when you aren’t billing for them. And when you lose track of time, you end up spending more time than you originally allocated during the planning process.

There are many tools to choose from in this area. In the past I’ve used tools like Payable, Toggl, and Harvest, but ultimately landed on Timely for my tool of choice. This isn’t to say the others aren’t good (because they all are), but Timely offers much of what the others offer in a nicely designed package.

Timely

I’m a sucker for well designed apps, and Timely is beautifully designed. The overall design is fantastic, and I found it really easy to visually plan out my weeks with colored blocks of time.

And Timely isn’t just great for proactively planning your weeks — you can also use their timer feature to track and/or adjust estimated times as you work on your projects.

Timely also lets you add additional client info, like project budget, billable hours, and hourly rates.

It’s definitely a premium tool. But its seamless integration across browsers and platforms makes it my most-used time management and tracking tool.

Time management

Again, you have tons of tools to choose from for time management, but I’m going to focus on one: Pomodoro Timer.

This incredibly simple tool is my go-to when I need to focus and get work done.

The technique is simple: Set the timer for a set period of time (usually 25 minutes) and work non-stop on a specific task until the timer goes off. No Facebook breaks or answering phone calls. Radio silence. Once your 25 minutes is up, you get a short 3–5 minute break. After 4 sessions, you get one longer 15–30 minute break.

It keeps you on-task, but also doesn’t let you forget to take a break here and there. Awesome.

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Mat Vogels

Mat is a web creator and evangelist at Webflow. Follow me at @matvogels.

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