12 tools to save up to 12 hours every week

8 min read

Looking for a productivity boost? Well, here are the best tools to help you to get more done in less time.

What we accomplish is limited by the time in which we have to work on our tasks. In this guide we will show you that by using the right tools it will be like having an extra day in the week.

Everyone can make time savings

How many extra hours do you need to do what you want every week? One hour? Two hours? What about if you had an extra day to use as you please. Wouldn't life be so much better? It may sound impossible but it's not. We've done it and now we're going to show you how you can too.

Time is our most precious resource. While it's true that we can't buy more time, by reducing the time spent on our daily tasks we can do so much more.

Here are 12 time management tips that helped us free up 10-12 hours every week.


1 – Discover Wasteful Habits and Kill Them

You sit down at your Mac to get work done. Three hours pass and your work has barely been touched. What happened? Most likely, you’ve been using your time all wrong, focusing on things that aren’t worth the fuss.

To make each second count, you should first spot bottlenecks in your work. Try tracking time you spend on specific websites, apps, documents – anything that belongs in your work routine. Timing can automate the tracking process so that you don’t have to guess or handle tons of alarms. Once you’re done with tracking, check reports and graphs over a period of time and finally understand where your problem areas are.

The time you spend on a task depends on how you approach it. Although the productivity formula is a myth, everyone can find a way to work more productively. Customize Mac’s input devices to reduce your clicks – apps like BetterTouchTool make it a breeze.

pencil paper

2 – Keep Tools You Need on Hand

The faster you find things, the faster you do things. Here’s the scenario you can try to keep important staff at your fingertips:

  1. Create notes that are easy to synchronize across different devices with NotePlan.
  2. Use Unclutter to keep track of everything you copy to your clipboard so that there’s no need to dig around, looking for a page you’ve just seen, but can’t find anymore.
  3. To go even further with storage and file sharing, transfer the files and apps you use frequently to one spot on your Mac. Dropzone is a good tool for building your custom grid of actions.


3 – Outline Your Tasks to Solve Them Faster

If you want to make time savings then task management is essential. It will help you to organize and prioritize what you need to do. Unfortunately, some tools are so complicated that you end up spending more time organizing your tasks than actually working on them. Go for apps that stay out of your way so that you can focus on getting down tasks and thoughts as they come to you.

2Do is a good example of how DIY task management could play into your hands. Underneath the minimal design is a lot of power – you can create simple tasks, projects, and checklists that work for you, not the other way around.

When you nees a task outliner, allowing you to quickly and conveniently note down simple tasks like you would in a notepad, try TaskPaper. Underneath the minimal design is a lot of power, including tag functionality and a reliable search syntax. But these features stay out of the way so that you can focus on getting down tasks and thoughts as they come to you.


4 – Manage Big Projects With Little Effort

If you think you can tackle complicated projects with a pen and paper, you're in for a rude awakening. Be it a test prep task, a semi-professional project, or a team assignment, there should be a powerful and elegant way to manage projects.

Judge for yourself: How much time do you need to create a project plan, considering 20+ people will be working on it? Milestones. Tasks. Team discussions. Inviting people to join. Next thing you know, the day is gone.

With Merlin Project Express you don't need to go anywhere else because everything you need is in one package – from importing people to structuring tasks to attaching files. Two hours max. With two coffee breaks.

Today it's rare to find an app that creates a visual timeline to help focus creativity, structure writing, and manage tasks. Normally you write in one app, outline in another, and then jump to a serious project manager to organize everything else. Aeon Timeline was created with writers in mind but its project management functions appeal to anyone looking for a powerful and elegant way to manage big projects. 


5 – Calculate Problems, Get Rid of Problems

Have you ever picked up a calculator and realized that you don't know how to make the calculation you need? Suddenly you're pulling out old high school math textbooks and googling to try and understand how to talk to the calculator in its language.

Sounds like someone should help you out here. Numi is the perfect calculation time saver. It works with calendars, currencies, temperature, volume, time zones, and the list goes on. The best thing is that you can make calculations from how you actually think of the problem. You don't have to think like a calculator, simply type into the elegant interface, "$15 in Euro – 8% discount" and it will give you the answer you seek.


6 – Supercharge Your Clipboard

The copy-paste function is as much a part of our lives as the drink-coffee function. We don't even have to think about it anymore. 

Copying and pasting is not perfect though. If you have some text, an image, and a web link that you want to copy to another source you need to copy, go to new source and paste. Then you have to start the process again. Also, if you copied something an hour ago but copied something after it, the first data is gone and you have to hunt it down again.

But what if you could keep track of a full history of your clipboard copying? Paste is a game-changer that actually makes it possible. The app seamlessly integrates with macOS, showing you a preview of your copies as cards. On the card you can see the category (like "text" or "image") as well as other information like the date and even size. You can even search your copy history to find weeks old copies in an instant. The individual time savings won't be a lot but over time it will add up and make you even more efficient.

options mac

7 – Take Control Of Your Mac

Your Mac can work faster if it knows exactly what to do. If you're no longer speaking to Siri and you're tired of Spotlight, Lacona could be the tool for you. The app is a powerful launcher for Mac that takes a natural language approach. You can use Lacona to string together actions, like opening a specific website in a particular browser and launching your email app at the same time.

Interested in a tool that can transform your Mac workflow and enhance your experience of using macOS by letting you add your own custom gestures? Imagine that you can launch apps, empty the trash, change brightness, swap Spaces and make windows snap to the sides of your screen with a gesture or a keyboard shortcut of your choice. Whatever Mac you've got and whether you use a trackpad or a mouse, BetterTouchTool allows you to completely customize your input devices. It makes you more productive by allowing you to work exactly the way you like it. 


8 – Convert Images to Text Automatically

When considering how to save time we should consider help from time saving apps. 

While there are many productivity apps out there, finding the right app can be a tiresome process. Searching through the App Store, checking reviews, comparing apps and even then it still feels like you're guessing. Setapp is a new service that creates a shortcut to Mac apps. Every app is handpicked to be of the highest quality in its category.

And that's not even the best part. Setapp uses an innovative subscription model. Remember before streaming came around how you used to buy DVDs? Well, Setapp is doing the same thing for software. A small subscription fee, which you can cancel at any time, gives you a world of premium apps right from your desktop.


9 – Plan Your Day for Productivity

No time saving tips can ignore task management. Focusing on one task at a time is a good strategy. But what works even better is breaking up tasks into intervals for the day. Be Focused for Mac is more than happy to lend a helping hand here. By creating easy to complete small chunks, it makes it much easier and quicker to get through work. On top of that, you can also use the app to create intervals for your non-work tasks like lunch and checking Facebook.


10 – Manage and Secure Website Logins

A good chunk of our working and personal lives is spent in online tools, websites, and social media accounts. Not a problem if you can remember all of your usernames and passwords, but a big time waster if you can’t. If you forget a password, you have to create a new one, which has to be strong enough and confirmed via email. Before you know it, 15 minutes have passed, and you’re still logged out. 

There are tools that can help you get rid of the problem, Secrets being a good example. You can use it to store all your passwords as well as credit cards, bank details, and other private information in one place. Basically, the only password you’ll ever need to remember is the one to login into Secrets. If you manage your passwords wisely, you win at least 10 minutes back to your day. By the way, did you know that 10-minute workouts help you lose 2 kg per week?


11 – Time-Saving Writing end Editing Tips

Do you ever get that feeling of deja vu, where you find yourself typing the same text over and over again when sending emails or replying to messages? Imagine how much time you could save if your commonly repeated phrases were pre-written for quick access.

Well, that’s easy. There’s actually a way to keep your most used lines of text in a simple database, using Rocket Typist. When you need them, you can select the right ones from a drop-down menu or, better still, have them appear automatically when you begin typing.

And if you’re writing something new and feel like it’s taking too much time to polish the text, try document cleanup. TextSoap checks your texts for extra characters, improper capitalization, and any minor errors that aren’t worth your time.


12 – Bring It All Together

Switching apps to do tasks wastes time every day. Tasks over here. Contacts over there. Files everywhere!

You can use separate task managers and project planning tools to handle your work. Or you can bring it all together, saving hours every week. Your meeting notes alongside an audio recording of the meeting, your itinerary right next to your plane tickets. With Pagico you can create as many projects as you need and any time you want you can pull up a flowchart to see everything together.


How much time can you save?

Some of the time saving apps above will save you time immediately. Others will save you time in the long run. But once these apps are part of your routine you should see almost a full day of work freed up every week.

You can use those hours to enjoy life. To get even more work done. Or maybe spend it browsing through Setapp to see what other awesome apps you can try. With over 130 quality apps in the Setapp library, and more being added all the time, there are so many amazing tools to discover.

Who knows, with all the extra time you'll have you may find that you just spend more time sleeping. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that.

For too long time has controlled us. It's time to take that control back.

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