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Thomas Claburn
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10 Productivity Tools To Help You Win At Work

There is no shortage of productivity tools -- some great, some not so great -- to help you get the job done. Life's too short to use bad software. Here are 10 tools to make online life better.
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(Image: f.lux)

(Image: f.lux)

There's no right way to work. We can agree on goals like productivity, quality, and integrity, but we don't have to use the same tools to achieve those goals. Some people are committed to Microsoft Office. Others prefer Google Docs or OpenOffice or something else entirely. Windows fanatics, Mac zealots, and Linux diehards can agree to disagree as long as the work gets done. Use whatever works for your organization and for you. Hopefully, you're allowed some choice.

With that said, I have some recommendations for software that may brighten your day, or in the case of the first app in this collection, your screen.

That Warm Glow

f.lux is a free app for OS X that alters the color temperature of your computer screen to suit the time of day. Graphic designers, you can sit this one out, since messing with the way color gets displayed on screen is a bad idea. But for everyone else, your screen color temperature matters because nighttime exposure to the blue-tinted light of a computer display can affect your sleep. And lack of sleep can affect your health and your work.

If you can somehow manage to avoid staring in your computer screen in the evening, this may not be an issue. But many of us, probably to the dismay of family and pets, stare at our laptops in the evening for work or entertainment.

f.lux makes night time computing less disruptive to your sleep cycle by altering the color temperature of the screen to match the time. In the day, it keeps your computer screen at a daylight color temperature, 6500K. At sunset, it will reduce the color temperature down to 3400K, a shift away from blue toward a yellow tint. Later in the evening, it will drop the color temperature down further, to 1900K, getting rid of more blue. This makes the screen appear slightly orange. It's unexpectedly pleasant.

This may sound like physiological quackery, but there's some science behind it. f.lux can make a difference if your screen time has ever delayed your bedtime. (Also, it helps not to play Call of Duty or the like right before you head to bed.)

[See 11 iPhone Apps To Get Healthy, Wealthy, And Productive.]

But don't settle down just yet. Read on to learn about more indispensible apps. Then let us know what you think. Which ones did we miss? What is your go-to app for keeping productive?

Does your company offer the most rewarding place to work in IT? Do you know of an organization that stands out from the pack when it comes to how IT workers are treated? Make your voice heard. Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's People's Choice Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
5/21/2016 | 11:09:39 AM
Great article, thanks. I didn't know about Numerous, I will definitely try it out. As an entrepreneur, I'm always trying to manage my time in the best way possible. What I have found to be the ultimate productivity hack is to setup a personalized browser start page with all the links and RSS feeds I frequently use. I'm using https://start.me for this and it saves me a few hours per week easily.
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2016 | 8:51:57 AM
Paper is awesome.
Paper is a great app I discovered a few months back and I am a big fan of it. Its intuitive, its responsive, its fast, its awesome. I think its not released on Android yet.
User Rank: Ninja
2/2/2016 | 1:43:16 PM
Slack chat logs...
I love the idea of Slack, but what I don't like is having those "conversations" archived - while I may want to do that sometimes, often times I would perfer to say certain things off record or else I would just send a group email instead.  I couldn't really tell exactly where they were archived to, but my guess is a server/cloud somewhere...
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