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Take Your Time Back: Top Productivity Hacks From The She-Suite Community


We all seem to have that one tool or practice that we turn to when we have an important task at hand. It’s that trusty gadget, or time saving tip that almost guarantees to help you get the job done, and move towards your goal.

The She-Suite Team and community members have compiled a list of our own favorite, tried-and-true productivity tools and tips. Whether you’re firing up the stove to make a big pot of soup, or searching for the motivation to write a letter, the below list should have you covered.

Amy, Director of Operations & Client Success:

While it seems like pens are the writing utensil of choice these days, I still really love my pencils. For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept a clean journal and a few sharpened pencils near my desk to keep track of everything that’s going on. It’s also fun to be able to flip back through my days at the end of the year and see what was accomplished, or what my thoughts may have been at certain points.

Andrea, Director, Programs and Marketing Communications:

I am a big believer in using Calendly as a way for others to easily schedule meetings with me. Setting up my availability in calendly has helped to eliminate all that back and forth emailing while trying to align on a time, and has helped keep me accountable with making sure that my own calendar is up to date. When it comes to trying to arrange larger group meetings, such as community organization or board groups, Doodle is a great tool to simplify that process!

Catherine, Executive & Personal Assistant to the CEO:

This might seem incredibly simple, but the first thing that comes to mind is keeping pre-chopped onions on hand in my fridge. I’m not a fan of chopping veggies, onions especially, and buying a container of pre-chopped onions actually saves me a ton of time (and some tears). So many recipes call for onions… having them ready to just measure and throw into the pot makes cooking a lot easier, and more enjoyable for me.

Christina Millar, BLI Alumna, BAE:

Personally, when it comes to work strategies and hacks, I’m a big fan of the 50/10 split. To avoid being constantly distracted by social media or texting, I structure my day so that I have 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest. During the 50 minute time block, I make sure I’m comfortable and have zero distractions, and I work diligently on my tasking for 50 minutes. Once the timer goes off, I enjoy 10 minutes of checking my phone, stretching, or taking a quick walk. This increases the amount of work I am able to accomplish as well as improves my health and well-being in the process.

Jennifer, Partnership Liaison:

With three daughters in school, I am a big fan of the Scanner PDF App on my phone. I use it to sign and scan documents for both work and school, and it’s a quick and easy way for me to change paper into a PDF. Not to mention, I don’t need to keep a scanner in the house anymore, which took up a bunch of space. It’s a win win!

Kait, Growth and Communications Specialist:

A few years ago I started using a light alarm clock to wake up in the mornings, and it’s been a game changer. I’m an early riser, but in those cold winter months when the sun isn’t up yet, it can be harder to find motivation to crawl out from under my covers. I’m a generally light sleeper, and the minute that alarm clock light starts to come on, I find myself slowly waking up. It just feels more natural and slightly less intrusive than the jarring ding from my iPhone.

Melissa, President & CEO:

One of my favorite productivity hacks is finding your power hour each day. That’s the time when you are most energized, and the least distracted. For me this is early in the morning, when I’m able to do my best thinking, free from the noise. I use that time to do the things that build me up before the distractions of the day roll in. Typically that includes working out, prayer, reading, listening to podcasts, or digging into a meaty work project that requires a good bit of mind muscle.

Olivia Smith, BLI Alumna, Boston Scientific:

A big time saver for me has been committing to communicating in a way that is easiest for me, and then to rewrite it for a bigger audience when necessary. A while ago, I started writing a newsletter at work instead of individually communicating and adding more calls to my schedule. My degree is in Communications and although my audience has grown to a Global scale, it’s been amazing how well received the newsletter has been (and how it increased collaboration, and reduced my emails and meetings).

Robin, Senior IT Administrator:

As an avid calendar user for both my job and for my family, I would be absolutely lost without the Fantastical Calendar Application for Macs. It syncs with both my computer and phone, and makes scheduling and keeping track of my various appointments way more straightforward, and visible.

Zeenaz, Operations Administrator:

So many of us use Slack for work; it’s one of the main tools that keeps our She-Suite Team connected. I have to admit, I’m a super user of the ‘remind me’ feature. Slackbot reminds me of everything and anything across my work week, from scheduling meetings, to sending a thank you note. I also find myself sending direct messages to myself throughout the day when something pops into my head that I don’t want to forget. Hitting that ‘remind me about this’ button on those messages has become such a convenient way to remember things after the fact.