Three time-management tools reviewed

19 August 2013 -


Technology is playing a bigger part than ever in time management. Here are three tools that you may want to consider for your office

In our recent Professional Manager column about the growth of time-management technologies, Will Dean explained how they are migrating from the lifestyle space and becoming more deeply embedded in the management world. Here, Will casts his eye on three of the leading tools in the field and describes how they could help you juggle the seconds, minutes and hours in the workplace…

NEST, UK price TBC

PM rating: 5/5

A $249 digital thermostat might be a harder sell than a job lot of Nokia shares, but this could be one of the few expensive gadgets that pays for itself. Coming to the UK this year, the Nest thermostat, from Tony Fadell, one of the key names behind the iPod, combines computer learning – such as the ambient temperature you prefer and what times of day you are likely to be in – with feedback tactics to make you save energy

(green leaves encourage you to be economical and turn the temperature down). Don’t expect it to work for a large office, but it could easily save you money in heating a small workplace. It could change the way we use energy indoors forever.


Any.DO, free on iOS, Android and the web

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The most ancient pillar of personal feedback is the to-do list, a fixture of productivity since the early 20th century. Like almost everything else we use in the analogue world, software developers have rethought its fundamentals to make it ready for the digital age. Any.DO is an elegant to-do list app and website that syncs easily between your smartphone and your work PC. That’s simple enough, but its latest update, Any.DO Moment, feeds back a daily reminder to arrange and edit each item on your list, working out what is really possible to achieve and preventing giant lists of tasks building up.

RESCUETIME, free or £10 per month, depending on version

PM rating: 4/5

As well as its individual function, RescueTime can be bought for teams of workers for just under a tenner per user ($15). Both are quite similar, installing a client application on to your desktop that monitors everything you, or your staff, do online. Critics have worried about its Orwellian attributes, but most workers will realise that programs such as RescueTime are only seeing what their IT teams can already easily see.

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