3 Tools for Getting Dev Done

Everybody wants to get more done.  We are all given the same 24 hours each day, so why not strive to be as efficient with that time as possible?  At Synersteel, getting more done not only helps us complete our games on time, but it allows us to deliver more polished games as well. 

I am always experimenting with new tools to be as efficient as possible.  I've found that the following 3 tools have greatly increased my personal productivity; I hope they can do the same for you.


 That's right, I have to remind myself to drink milk daily.

That's right, I have to remind myself to drink milk daily.

I went through countless todo-list apps before finally discovering Todoist.  Everything from a physical notebook to Evernote, the one stop shop for all your note-taking needs.  They all had flaws, though, whether they were not available all the time or too complex for my needs.

Enter todoist - with a mobile and browser app, it's available everywhere I need it.  Its user-friendly interface makes it simple to use.  It has tons of features if you are willing to delve further into it; my personal favorite is notification reminders.  No longer do I have to remember to check my todo list.  Now, I just add a task, set a reminder time (or location!), and forget about it.  My phone will do the rest.  Now if that's not logical and trusted, I don't know what is!


 71%? I've seen better.

71%? I've seen better.

RescueTime takes the guesswork out of exactly what you're doing with your time.  It tracks exactly what you're doing on your computer, and how long you're doing it for.  It's a great way to keep yourself accountable.  Think you only spent about 5 minutes on reddit just now?  Think again.  RescueTime won't lie to you, it will give you the cold hard facts.  And sometimes that's the inspiration we need to rethink our computing habits.


 49 minutes for a blog post? That must be a new record.

49 minutes for a blog post? That must be a new record.

Toggl is the newest app that I've been experimenting with, and so far it has had the largest impact.  It is a task-tracking app, like RescueTime, but it is entirely manual.  When you begin working on a new task, you enter what it is, what "project" it belongs to, and hit start.  A timer starts counting up, and that's it.  

Toggl is a simple concept, but very powerful.  I believe most of its usefulness comes from actively inserting each thing you do.  It's a level of accountability that goes deeper than RescueTime.  If you take a break from development to browse Twitter, you have to make a conscious decision to do so.  Without Toggl, I would find a lull in development and start scrolling through social media mindlessly.  Now, I have to make the decision to do something unproductive so I can track it in Toggl, so I'm far less likely to do it.

You get out of Toggl what you put into it, though.  So if you decide to only track the time during which you're being productive, you may not find it as useful as I do.  I even go as far as tracking my bathroom breaks, which to some may be a bit much.  But now I know I spent 2 hours and 44 minutes on bathroom breaks last week!  Crazy!  It might just be time to invest in a bedroom toilet.


That's it for this week's post.  Do you have a tool that helps you stay productive?  Let me know in the comments, I'd love to try it out!