5 Swag Tools to Keep Productivity Up During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and as we gear up for family gatherings to celebrate the season, time has a habit of getting away from us. Luckily the 21st century has come to the rescue. Before the hectic rush gets you down, check out the following time (and sanity) saving tools.

1. Sococo For anyone who has ever experienced the headache of trying to keep up with things when out of the office, Sococo is your wildest dream come true. It brings chat, video, audio, text and screen sharing together in an easy to use virtual office – it even lets you make calls for those impromptu conferences. Engaging avatars let you see colleagues. You can stay in your own office space for private conversations, or gather together in a conference room. Whether on your computer or mobile device, you can use Sococo anywhere, allowing you to stay available to your team. It even helps a certain sleigh driver keep in touch with his production team…

2. Evernote It can be a hassle to juggle multiple projects and keep on task at the best of times, but when you add the madness of holiday shopping and travel, you can suddenly find yourself in the deep end – possibly with sharks. Evernote can help you avoid that terrible fate. From notes and lists to articles, Evernote keeps it all in a single workspace. It makes clipping a bit from a web article or taking a picture of handwritten notes easy. Information is a snap to store, and Evernote’s powerful search features ensure you can find anything from a word to a document quickly. You can even make your Christmas list with it.

3. Google Now From those industrious elves comes the coolest feature your mobile device is likely to have this holiday season. It can process voice commands to search for that perfect gift. Far more than just a search engine, Google Now takes into account the time of day, your location, and location history to greet you in the morning with traffic conditions for your daily commute. It can give you sports or flight updates, and reminders from your calendar. Easy to install, easy to use, there are endless ways to make your life less stressful with Google Now.

4. Mind Meister Creativity can be a capricious muse. This app allows you to capture your brainstorming with a mind map. It’s so easy and intuitive to use, you can shift your brain into high gear no matter where you are. Mind Meister lets you collaborate, and then embed maps in a website or a blog. If you’re managing a project, it allows you to assign tasks to collaborators and monitor progress. Mind Meister makes it possible to incorporate multi media into your map, and then turn it into a presentation or word document, PNG or PDF.

5. IFTTT ifttt is short for if this, then that. As in, have you ever wished if x happened, y would automatically take place? As in, if its going to rain tomorrow, why can’t you get a text message? Now, you can. In other words, recipes for life. The digital age has revolutionized communication, but it sometimes makes it difficult for us to keep up with multiplying channels both in our professional and private lives. ifttt is so simple, yet so amazing – it makes it possible to automate just about everything in your digital existence; you know, those niggling small tasks that are easy to overlook but inevitably disastrous to ignore. It can back up pictures on Facebook or create a status message or send you a reminder about appointments. It supports integration with dozens of other apps or services.

With a little planning and a few good apps in your stocking you can make this holiday season wonderful without sacrificing productivity.

Do you use these? Tell us about them.

Look forward to your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.