When you work more of a traditional kind of job, whether it’s for an hourly wage or with a regular salary, you typically get paid exactly the same no matter how productive you might be. Sure, there may be some performance bonuses and you run the risk of losing your job if you don’t perform, but if you clock in those hours, you can expect to earn a paycheck. And there’s always a supervisor or a manager making sure you stay on task too.
But when you strike it out on your own as a dot com professional, running your own online business, there is no supervisor looking over your shoulder. There is no manager going over your quarterly review. The responsibility begins and ends with you and you may find it challenging to stay focused and motivated. To help you keep on track, there are a number of productivity web apps that are both fun and useful.
If you enjoyed playing classic role-playing games like the Final Fantasy series, then you could find a lot to like with HabitRPG. It’s designed to be an RPG for your real world tasks and activities. Each time you successfully complete a task, you earn currency that can be spend on upgrades, including better armor, a cooler sword, and even a pet wolf. If you leave tasks undone, you lose health.
Over time, if you stay productive and don’t let your important tasks fall to the wayside, you’ll see your on-screen avatar level up and you’ll continue to unlock better items and pets, including dragons. To make the most out of HabitRPG, embark on “quests” with your fellow users.
Based on the principles of Kanban boards, KanbanFlow is effectively a to-do list and task manager. The goal is to move everything from the far left column (to do) to the far right column (done), all while avoiding the bottlenecks along the way. This is because you can only put three tasks in the “in progress” column at any time, forcing you to focus on those tasks until they are completed or can be passed on to the next day.
It sounds like such a simple idea, but I find this kind of concept mapping has worked wonders on keeping my tasks and projects organized. There’s even a built-in timer if you want to combine the Kanban boards with the Pomodoro technique for optimal productivity.
If you really want to be successful as an Internet entrepreneur, then you’ll need to realize that simply being good just isn’t good enough. You need to be “super better” than everyone else at what you do and that’s where SuperBetter can serve as a fun and useful tool. It was designed by a gamification expert and rewards you when you work on the different aspects of you life.
Not unlike HabitRPG, you can embark on “quests” as you work toward your self-defined “epic win.” The video game inspiration continues with “allies” that can help you achieve your goals and “bad guys” who are the obstacles you identify in your way. The social aspect keeps you accountable.
Granted, Google Keep probably isn’t the most “fun” tool on this list. It could be one of the most useful, though. Working in a similar way as Evernote and other similar note-keeping utilities, Google Keep can synchronize across your devices, including Android phones and through the web-based interface.
You get a series of virtual color-coded sticky notes that can include images, lists, and other items that you want to track. Myself, I create a new to-do list each night for the following day, ticking off the items as I complete them before archiving the note away.
The problem with most to-do lists, including the ones that I create in Google Keep, is that they are typically discarded at the end of each defined period (day, week, etc.). It can be hard to get a sense of real progress toward your larger goal of achieving the dot com lifestyle and earning a sizable income online.
With Karma by Todoist, you do get a better sense of progress. That’s because you can set your daily or weekly goals and then earn “Karma” as you continually reach those goals. As you gather up more “Karma” for being productive and effective, you can upgrade your status through eight levels of “expertise.”
Do you have a favorite productivity tracking tool? What do you look for in tools like these?