The Four Basic Time Management Tools You Need

People often ask, “Where do I start with time management?”

One of the best places to begin is by making sure you have the proper productivity tools.

After all, the right tools make any task easier.

Essential Time Management Tools

Whether it is a home improvement project or a work deliverable, you always want to start with the right tools.

The same is true for time management.

For time management beginners or those wishing to improve their productivity skills, one of the first things you should do is assess the tools you are using.

“It’s difficult to manage your time if you don’t have the right tools.”

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Time management really boils down to four key areas: tasks, time, people, and information. To that end, there are four essential tools that everyone must have at their fingertips.

The 4 Essential Time Management Tools You Need:

  1. Todo List – The backbone of any productivity system is a good todo list. If you have only one time management tool, this is the one you need. You todo list is your best friend and should be with you at all times.
  2. Calendar – It is difficult to manage your time if you don’t know how and where you are spending it. A good calendar is essential to tracking, planning, and scheduling your time. Not just meetings, but the time for your tasks and projects, as well.
  3. Address Book – In our uber-connected social world, many people underestimate the power of a good address book. LinkedIn or Instagram aren’t going to help you in a pinch when you need to connect with that important contact. Capture any and all address info you come across. Treat cell phone numbers and email addresses as gold.
  4. Notebook – The most frequently missing tool in people’s time management system is a good notebook. Sure, you may have a pad of paper, or a bunch of Post-Its on your desk. However, you need one place that you keep all of your notes. And one place to go looking when you need to retrieve a piece of information.

The Right Tools for Productivity

Most people who aren’t proficient at managing their time are missing at least one of these tools. Make sure you have each of the 4 basic time management tools.

It doesn’t matter whether your tools are paper or app based, as long as you have them, and use them. (In fact, I recommend you choose one that you will use.)

Do you have all of the 4 essential tools in your time management toolkit?

Question: Which productivity tools are you missing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

7 thoughts on “The Four Basic Time Management Tools You Need

  1. What a minimalist yet effective way to manage time. However, it gets tough when you work online. You lose track of time and sometimes spend a large chunk of time doing things that are not really useful. In such circumstances, a web based Time Tracking software like StaffTimerApp comes in handy.

    It gives extensive reports about billable and non billable hours.

  2. I totally agree with your statement – everyone needs tools to get better in time managing. Calendars, address books and notebooks are essential, but I’m glad you pointed the attention on to-do lists as well. I think people ignore the power of work visualization and it’s a big mistake. Right now I’m testing a Kanban method and I must say I’m surprised with the results – time management is not as difficult as I used to think. You can use pieces of papers to keep your work organized but I’d recommend an actual app, especially if you work remotely and/or travel a lot. The app I like the most is Kanban Tool ( It’s so easy to use and shows me exactly which tasks still need to be done and which ones are finished.

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