7 Tools to Help You Boost Productivity

February 22, 2021

By: Lauren Murrah

"Whether it’s a creative slump, career plateau, or you just want some spice in your life, take a look at the tools included here."

7 Tools to Help You Boost Productivity

By: Lauren Murrah

When it comes to pursuing our personal and professional passions, we understand the importance of curiosity, exploration, and getting fired up to tackle your to-do list. We built Bublup with these values in mind, creating a UI to boost productivity. In a perfect world, we’d wake up bursting with energy, ready to take on the day. But unless you’re Chris Traeger from Parks & Recreations, you might need something to shake up your routine and boost productivity. Whether it’s a creative slump, career plateau, or you just want some spice in your life, take a look at the tools included here. Before you know it, people could be looking to you for their own #inspo!

1. Check Out Lynda

Learn something new! One of the easiest ways to get a new lust for life is to dive into a new hobby or skill. As a digital marketer, there are endless videos I’ve watched on PR, social media, copywriting, and the like. But I really enjoyed dipping my toes into subjects outside my norm on Lynda. Shortly after joining, I found myself captivated by graphic design and music production tutorials that opened up new worlds of interest for me. I just love getting engrossed in something I’m foreign to.

No matter what line of work you’re in, consider venturing into a completely different space. Sometimes we get so wound up in our job that we get tunnel vision. By taking a few steps back and getting your hands dirty elsewhere, you very well may find a breakthrough where you least expect it, making it a great way to boost productivity. Lynda is an excellent tool for those looking for super in-depth walkthroughs on various topics. One helpful feature of Lynda is its downloadable worksheets. You can follow along with the tutorials, but truly test the information you retained using these worksheets. From design and photography to web development and DJing, there’s something for everyone.

Pro Tip: If you have a library card, you can get a Lynda membership for free!

2. Watch These TED Talks

Who doesn’t love a good TED Talk? Deemed “Ideas worth spreading,” these videos are hosted by technology, science, creativity, and education experts around the world, covering fascinating topics. Just one of these presentations can leave you feeling inspired for days. If there’s one channel that knows how to boost productivity, it’s TED. Some are even goosebump-inducing, giving us the motivation to be better and explore the unknown and unexplored in our own lives. They’re almost like pep talks.

The benefit of watching a TED talk doesn’t stop at the insight you gain from it. I would argue that witnessing someone passionately convey their ideas is an even more valuable product of watching these talks. Seeing others oozing with enthusiasm and brilliance can ignite the same drive from within yourself. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at the top 10 most popular videos that you’ll be sure to enjoy.

3. Sign Up For A Music Subscription

I know, I know…the latest Arianna Grande album is still worth listening to every day, but give something else a try too. Just like learning something new, giving your ears something fresh to listen to can help tweak your routine and inspire new ideas within yourself. Besides giving your brain something different to chew on, you might learn more about yourself. Never listened to Dance Hall music? There could be a whole sea of music you’re passionate about, but you’ll never know if you don’t expand your horizons. You may even learn listening to music while working helps you boost productivity!

If you’d like to explore new sounds and see what creativity it sparks within you, consider purchasing a music streaming subscription. Between Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal, there are a few options out there.

Pro Tip: To sweeten the deal, students usually can get a subscription at a discount.

4. Break a Sweat at Home

With most of us working from home, it’s essential we dedicate some time to moving our bodies and getting a workout in. A clear head after breaking a sweat is a surefire way to be more productive and focused on your projects. The problem? Many gyms are closed, and tons of us are looking for creative ways to exercise at home.

Classpass launched digital classes, from yoga to strength training, that can all be done from the comfort of home. They offer a few free videos you can give a try before you buy. If it’s something you like, you can subscribe to their curated workout videos from top-rated studios around the world. These classes can help give your remote-work life some structure, reduce your stress levels, and give you the boost you need to tackle the day.

5. Create An Online Mood Board

Sometimes boring blue folders just don’t have…“it.”

In the process of remodeling her house, one of our employees, Amy Watson, started out with a folder on her desktop. She saved photos of rooms she wanted to channel, links to art pieces & paint colors she was considering, and some notes she took while brainstorming. The problem was, folders on her computer and typical cloud storage drive just weren’t inspiring. There was no way to get a good look and feel for what she was working on, making it harder to flesh out ideas or hone in on brilliant ones. Even other sites that are supposed to be used for inspiration and planning don’t let you include your own files. They just can’t be personalized the way you’d like.

That’s why Bublup was the perfect home for her digital mood board. It’s an app where you can save links, videos, photos, files, notes, and just about anything else that gives you life in one place. Everything you save in Bublup can be represented with a picture, which gave Amy a bird’s eye view of her folder and made the remodeling process more engaging and efficient.

Something a mood board can show you that your critical thinking might be blind to is overarching themes. Since the app is visual, you’ll get a better sense of what kinds of things you gravitate towards.

Digital mood boards are especially helpful when you need to share your vision with your team or your clients. Professional food photographer Rachel Korenik uses Bublup to share her inspiration and ideas with her clients to ensure they’re on the same creative page. You can learn more about her process in her blog post How to Create a Professional Mood Board.

6. Create A Mood Board IRL

I know, I just said to make a digital mood board. But a physical one has its own unique benefits as well. So break out some construction paper and map out the people, places, and things that give you life. It may sound silly, but creating a physical manifestation of the things the inspire you can be nothing short of powerful, no matter where you need it.

Brand designer Michelle Wintersteen hit a creative roadblock building a site for one of her clients. She then compiled preliminary logo sketches, an assortment of colors from the brand’s palette, and photos that she wanted to incorporate into the site.

She put them all together on a board, took a step back, and examined what she saw. Michelle could see how the pieces connected in a way that wasn’t as encapsulating as before. By keeping this board near her desk, she was able to stay rooted in the brand’s vision and get inspired when she was feeling stuck. As she began working on the site, she could revisit the mood board anytime she needed to spark some new insight within herself. Michelle swears by online mood boards as well and especially loves Bublup for its ability to save files alongside links.

7. Get An Audiobook Subscription

Whether you’re driving, out for a walk, or grocery shopping, audiobooks are an efficient way to squeeze inspiration into your life. Transporting to another place or time through an audiobook is a simple way to get out of your own head and get immersed in someone else’s story. Listening to another’s struggles and successes is often an easy way to be informed about our own.

A piece of advice – try out a book on something you usually wouldn’t listen to. If you gravitate toward self-help books, try a historical novel. If you traditionally read science fiction, give an autobiography a try. Again, push yourself out of your comfort zone & routine. It’s one of the most effective ways to inspire a new way of thinking.

Pro Tip: Got Amazon Prime? That means you get Audible audiobooks for free!

So there you have it! Try incorporating these various tools into your day and see how you can boost productivity, and your creativity & productivity are amplified. Sometimes all you need is a little inspiration for your life to take on a whole different shape.

About the author

Lauren Murrah is a creative based in the Hudson Valley. When she’s not working with the Bublup team, you can find her hiking, making music, or singing songs to her dogs.