I often get asked what apps, services and tools I use to learn, plan, track habits, manage time, travel, write, read and more.
I’d like to emphasize one thing, it’s not about the tools, it’s about your results, personal preference, and efficiency. If you work best with a pen and paper, there is no need to try and adopt a digital tool that doesn’t feel right for you, just because your peers or someone you admire uses one or the other tool you shouldn’t force yourself to use it just to be cool.
I love traveling and try to do it as much as possible. To make my travel experiences more pleasurable, I research and plan a lot. Check out some of the tools and services I use.
Google Flights — a great tool for checking the world map with available flights to numerous destinations and prices.
Momondo — a smart tool for searching cheapest flights.
JetRadar — another great tool to search various airlines and find cheapest tickets.
Nomad List — useful tool for finding where to go next as a digital nomad, find prices of accommodation, weather, community
Agoda — find cheap hotels, a quite good value in Southeast Asia.
Booking — find and book cheap hotels, what I like about Booking is that it allows you to reserve a hotel without payment, you can pay once you arrive.
Google Maps — no introduction needed for this amazing service for finding your way anywhere in the world.
Foursquare — great app for discovering coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, bars and more.
It’s incredibly important to plan things. Your personal life, professional career, holidays, weekends and more. Just having a goal without a plan is just a wish. Even though you will not have a clear plan or the plan will change along the way it’s still good to have a direction to go to.
Pen and paper — old school pen and notebook work well for quick sketching or daily planning.
Toggl — simple and easy to use time tracker.
RescueTime — analytics software that tracks everything I do on my laptop and shows a productivity score.
Trello — a great tool for planning your projects and managing tasks with a team.
Apple Calendar — part of OSX operating system, works and synchronizes very well with my MacBook and iPhone.
Apple Notes — another native OSX app that works very well on MacBook and iPhone.
Evernote — a great tool for taking notes, saving PDF’s, scanning and saving receipts.
Swipes — to-do list app with intuitive user interface.
iDoneThis — tool for daily progress logging.
Coach.me — organize and track your habits, set goals and find a coach to help you achieve your dreams.
Speedtest — best tool to quickly evaluate if a cafe or restaurant has a fast WiFi for working.
Social media has changed the way people interact with each other, discover news and make connections. It certainly has changed my life, I meet new people, have interesting conversations, find jobs and get discovered on social media. Below are some tools I use to analyze, track, create and moderate my social media accounts.
Buffer — a handy tool for scheduling social media updates.
TweetDeck — easily manage multiple Twitter accounts.
Klout — analyze, measure and track your social media presence.
PayPal — get paid from anywhere in the world and pay for services online like hotels, flights etc.
Wave Accounting — best free accounting and invoicing software.
Scannable — scan and save business cards, documents, receipts and more directly to Evernote.
I am constantly learning new things, self-development is one of the most interesting fields for me. From design to web development to business to marketing to writing to speaking, most of my learning comes from the following sources.
TED — amazing and inspiring videos on
Duolingo — learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian for free. I’m currently learning Spanish.
Skillshare — high-quality courses for creatives and entrepreneurs.
Udemy — thousands of courses on every imaginable subject.
Codeacademy — interactive and free coding courses.
Medium — a platform that connects amazing storytellers and readers seeking for inspiring stories.
I’ve not been a huge reading fan when I was in school, but after I got the right book in my hands, I’ve made reading my priority. You can follow my reviews and reading list on Goodreads.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie — it is mostly common sense but principles in the book work like magic.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — this book transformed my way of thinking about pursuing my dreams.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss — a book that will inspire you to take action, start optimizing your work and escape the 9–5 trap.
The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau — Chris shares inspiring stories of people who started a business and redesigned their lifestyle with little to no money.
Start With Why by Simon Sinek — learn how to find clarity in your actions and inspire people.
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie — a touching story of TOMS Shoes, building a social business and making a positive impact in the world.
Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister — willpower must be the most important factor in making you successful.
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman — being intelligent is not enough, you have to learn to handle your emotions and read people.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell — virality is not an accident, there is a well-prepared process behind the big movements.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell — you might be overthinking in your daily life when making decisions. This book shows the power of thinking without thinking.
Dribbble — a great way to explore how other designers work and learn from most talented designers in the world.
Product Hunt — a powerful tool for discovering hottest products in the world voted by the community of tech experts, investors and general public.
StumbleUpon — a free web-browser extension which acts as an intelligent browsing tool for discovering and sharing websites.
Random Useful Websites — hit the button and get a random useful website, surprisingly works like magic.
Nuzzel — social, real-time platform that allows you to see the news that your friends share.
Prismatic — choose topics you are interested in and get the best content recommendations.
Muzli — an add-on for Google Chrome that provides you inspiration and useful resources for designers every day.
The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes — Lewis interviews bestselling authors, top athletes, successful entrepreneurs and other inspiring individuals.
The Tim Ferriss Show — Tim talks with scientists, authors, entrepreneurs and people who change the world. Topics range from neuroscience to psychology to business and more.
The $100 MBA Show — real life business lessons in short form episodes with Omar Zenhom and Nicole Baldinu.
The Fizzle Show — fun, actionable and inspiring show for creative entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur on Fire — John Lee Dumas interviews most inspiring and successful entrepreneurs.
Slack — messaging app for teams. Get focused on work and reduce email communication.
Calendly — a tool for scheduling meetings, calls.
Skype — free software for instant messaging and video/audio calls.
WordPress — a blogging platform that powers 25% of the internet. This blog is built on WordPress too.
Bluehost — affordable and reliable hosting for your blog or small project.
MediaTemple — more powerful hosting for bigger blogs and projects.
ThemeForest — Photoshop and HTML templates, themes for different content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, Shopify, Drupal and more.
MaxCDN — a content delivery network which makes your website load significantly faster.
Grammarly — a fantastic tool that will make you a better writer. It checks your spelling, grammar and suggests fixes instantly.
MailerLite — email marketing software with super easy to use interface and affordable pricing.
MailChimp — another email marketing software. Good for smaller projects, an account with up to 2,000 subscribers is free.
SumoMe — online software for growing your website’s traffic and subscribers.
Creative Market — market for design resources like fonts, templates, themes and more.
Unsplash — high-quality free photos to use for personal and commercial projects.
StockSnap — this tool allows you to search for free stock photos that don’t suck.
Google Analyticator — an easy way to install Google Analytics on your website.
Search Meter — this plugin tracks what your readers are searching for on your blog.
WP External Links — open external links in a new window or tab, add “no follow”, set link icon, styling, SEO friendly options and more.
Akismet — blocks incoming spam to your blog.
WP Smush — reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO.
Yoast SEO — the ultimate all-in-one SEO plugin.
W3 Total Cache — easy web performance optimization using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.
Photo & Video
iPhone 6 — this powerful device fulfills all my photo/video needs.
ScreenFlow (for Mac users) — the screen capture software I’m currently using for screencasts.
VSCO Cam — I don’t use any other software for editing my photos, this app for iPhone is all I need.
Instagram — a great source of inspiration as well as a medium to share my travels and daily life.
Flickr — great for storing photos online. Flickr gives you 1,000 GB for free.
YouTube — great for watching videos, listening to music but also for storing all videos from my iPhone, upload, set to private and save.
Samson C01U Microphone — affordable USB microphone, quality is quite good if used it properly.
Logic Pro X — professional audio editing software for Mac users.
SoundCloud — great service for storing audio files, discovering new music and listening to podcasts.
iTunes — listen to internet radio, music on your computer and discover new podcasts or submit yours.
Dropbox — easy to use cloud storage for your files. I store my projects on Dropbox.
Google Docs — free online alternative to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. The best part that it allows live collaboration.
Google Analytics — free online software for tracking, measuring and analyzing website content.
Gumroad — great online software for selling anything online.
Headspace — I recommend this app for everyone who wants to try meditation.
StayFocusd — block distracting websites and have a limited time a day to access them. I’ve blocked Twitter, Facebook, and some news websites.
AdBlock — an add-on for Chrome that blocks ads on the websites, including video ads on YouTube.
Spotify — millions of songs for free. I have different playlists for different moods so I can get into the zone easier.
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How do you get things done? What tools do you use? Please share your arsenal in the comments section below or tweet at me @tomaslau.
Originally published at tomaslau.com on November 12, 2015.