To many people “Twitter Productivity” sounds like an oxymoron, but actually Twitter is a secret weapon in many people’s productivity arsenal. Twitter is powerful, compact, and reliable, works across multiple platforms, and most especially, works across multiple devices. These days, productivity is largely about tool integration, and Twitter is perfectly suited to integrate your other tools. Here are twenty killer apps for productivity on Twitter:
All productivity regimens begin and ends with some version of a to-do list, and Twitter has many options in that realm. As always, there is a trade-off between simplicity of use and sophistication. Here are three great apps, listed in ascending order of complexity:
This is the very bare-bones version. If you get things done by jotting lists on the back of envelopes, and you aren’t looking for bells and whistles, this is the choice for you.
- Remember The Milk
With a slightly more elaborate interface, RTM is a basic to-do list app with a long track record across platforms. RTM is a good option if you think in terms of fairly straightforward, hierarchical checkbox lists.
Toodledo is the workhorse app for to-do lists. It supports a range of scheduling and prioritization options, and intelligently determines the most crucial tasks for you to focus on. And it interfaces smoothly with Twitter, so you can update your list (or stay on top of it) from anywhere.
Getting Twitter on your side in the productivity battle means having a Twitter Client that works with you intuitively, and doesn’t take up your attention and energy when you don’t want it to. Some smart options:
A free, very simple Twitter client for the Mac, Itsy can be a boost to productivity simply because it is so basic that it isn’t a distraction.
A $10 app with a free demo version, Hibari is a Twitter client that incorporates noise-filtering features that one might expect to find on a web forum: keyword blocking, muting, and tools to highlight the messages that you’re most likely to enjoy. Less noise means more signals, which means more time on-task.
Hands down the most solid, useful, organized way to look at multiple feeds. Tweetdeck was a third-party app that has been acquired by Twitter, and is available for free. It allows filtering and some scheduling (though see below for more of that) and works across multiple accounts simultaneously.
- Destroy Twitter
Destroy Twitter is not actually a client, but it’s relevant. While this sounds like the app to end all twitter apps, in fact it solves a simple, aggravating problem. Destroy Twitter allows you to run twitter in a background mode, so that you can easily shift between tweets and the rest of your work.
In the information age, staying on top of information (in all its forms) is the key to getting things done, and drowning in information is all too easy. Twitter can be your ally here, because Twitter is always there when the next scrap of paper is coming at you.
If you’re like most of us, a good chunk of your web browsing time is spent in checking to see if someone has updated their bio. And usually, of course, they haven’t, so that time is wasted. BioIsChanged alerts you when the people (bands, etc.) you’re following change their bio, so you can get busy doing other things.
Think of this as a search engine for Twitter. And then think about that. Think of how much time we’ve all spent scrolling through endless lists of tweets trying to find something we remember from a few weeks ago. Yeah, you never have to do that again.
Evernote is a cloud-based app for taking quick notes or graphic notes (think business cards, receipts, text on the whiteboard, etc.) and organizing them for later retrieval. Now that it integrates with Twitter, it’s one step smoother. Remember that paperless office we used to hear about? Apps like this are closing in on it.
Aimed at contractors and those working on business accounts, Xpenser is a Twitter-integrated app that quickly tracks mileage and hours, stores receipts, and calculates overall expenses. It’s a productivity tool in the sense that it saves enormous amounts of time. But it is also a straight-up income tool: there’s nothing easier than losing track of a lunch receipt or a ticket stub, and getting hit in the pocketbook weeks or months later for the difference. Xpenser all but prevents that from happening.
MANAGING YOUR TWEETS
Organizing your outgoing tweets is especially a problem for businesses and marketers, but in reality, everyone can benefit from the same organizational tools.
- Buffer and SocialOomph
These are two different apps that serve a similar function. Both Buffer and SocialOomph come in free versions as well as paid versions with extended features. They allow you to automatically post tweets over time, along the lines of Tumblr’s queue and similar features. This is a perfect answer to people (and companies) who want to maintain a Twitter presence throughout the day, and yet don’t want to interrupt what they’re doing constantly to go post the next message.
Once you set it up–which doesn’t take long–Twitterfeed allows your blog posts to automatically cross-post to Twitter and Facebook. While there are a variety of apps like this, this one is quite solid. If you’re blogging without using some version of this, you’re wasting time in buckets.
Hootsuite is that rare bird: a free business app that actually works. It is designed to streamline marketing across multiple social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIN and Foursquare, as well as Twitter. In that capacity, it functions a lot like a client, and you can use it that way rather than as a marketing tool.
Cotweet is a simple app for small businesses or non-profit organizations that have multiple users accessing a single account.
This comes in a free version as well as more advanced paid versions. ManageFlitter, which is aimed at businesses, analyzes twitter feeds to determine optimum timing and market penetration for tweets. It’s hard to exaggerate how useful this app can be, since the perfectly crafted tweet that no one ever reads is exactly worthless.
Aimed at small businesses, Twitalyzer tracks and analyzes traffic and performance metrics for your account.
There is a wide range of productivity apps that work based on negative reinforcements. Some of these are clever ideas, but a little too sadistic for most people to actually use. One of the tamest (and most useful) members of the family is Okite, a twitter-synchronized alarm clock app. It’s a standard alarm clock, except that it will post something mildly embarrassing to your twitter feed whenever you hit snooze.
When someone you don’t know starts following you, it’s natural to wonder who they are. It can also be a time sink, since Twitter doesn’t provide much of that information automatically. The Twimailer app provides a much larger dossier of information, which is emailed to you automatically, so you don’t waste time scurrying around the internet tracking someone down.