My 9 All-Time Favorite Productivity Tools
The tools that gave me 1 hour back per day — that extra hour can give you time to create.
From cold showers to waking up at 4 AM every day — I’ve done it all when it comes to lifehacking and productivity over the last 6 years. My entire life is a productivity experiment.
I’d have to be an idiot (entirely possible) to *not* have learned a few ways by now to get back time, that can help you in your life. I have written thousands of extra blog posts and social media posts thanks to the time these tools below gave me.
Why do you need an extra hour back in your day? So you can create rather than endlessly consume.
You need time back to create. These productivity tools can help (no secret promotions or commissions, just real talk).
Hello Trello! Changed my life man, seriously.
A messy mind like mine needs visuals. Trello is the answer to visualizing the daily tasks associated with your goals. When you can clearly see what you have to do in gorgeous colors with deadlines on each task, you can do anything. All the blocks that are tasks have a deadline.
If the task is not due yet, it has no color. If the task is done it turns a gorgeous green. If you have been lazy, the task turns red.
Create a Trello board for work and your personal life. It will make a huge difference.
James Clear’s newsletter
This guy is the ultimate productivity nerd.
Why learn the skills needed to be productive when James can punch you in the face and drop your head in an icy cold bucket of cold water for free each week? I don’t know the guy personally but I worship his productivity hacks. Join his weekly newsletter if you want time back to spend elsewhere.
Apple Notes App
There is so many fancy note-taking apps on the market. They all suck. The Apple Notes app is free and it’s all you need.
The functions I use the most are:
- Pinned notes
- Placing emoji’s in the title of a note to make it stand out
- “Scan Document” which captures the text from any photo (like a receipt needed for your tax return)
- Titles and headings
- Cloud storage that syncs with all my devices (phone, desktop, tablet)
The notes app you need has been right under your nose this whole time.
Often the free stuff you overlook is just as good, if not better, than the overpriced paid subscriptions that complicate the heck out of your life.
I used to be a Chrome man. That was until they started abusing my privacy and spying on me in the shower. Never again. Brave is the answer to privacy.
Brave will make you more productive because it loads quickly, blocks ads, and updates like an automated house cleaner who scrubs your toilet bowl for you when you’re not home. Get it. Bam.
OneTab Browser Extension
Sick of having a million tabs open? Browser crashed and lost all the windows and tabs you had open?
OneTab is the productivity answer. On a single page you can see all of your tabs. It allows you to have one browser window open instead of hundreds (that was Tim Version 1.6 in 2011).
Minimize the number of windows you have open on your computer to experience the magic of clear thinking once again while you create.
“Focus on being productive instead of busy” — Tim Ferriss
iTunes for music soundtracks
Before you stab me in the back with a comment, yes I know the product is dead. If there’s a better solution for music then I’m open to it. Let me know.
In the meantime, I use iTunes and still love the old girl. She allows me to listen to movie soundtracks while I attempt to be creative. The user interface is stupidly simple for normies like me.
Get a music app on your devices and use it to tune out the world, so you can tune into your thoughts.
ConvertKit Email Management
Whatever you do in life, build an audience. Even if it’s only 100 people, it will change your life.
Sending emails to more than one person at the same time is complicated. That’s where ConvertKit comes in. ConvertKit allows you to create landing pages to collect email addresses respectfully, and email those subscribers with helpful content every so often (weekly is ideal, not daily).
The magic is being able to run automation so people think you’re sending lots of emails and being clever when it’s really the software doing it for you. It gets better when you start to segment your email subscribers. Some people are okay with daily emails and others will sentence you to death if you email them more than once a week.
ConvertKit allows you to segment people based on their individual interests, behaviors and preferences. Customization leads to personalization.
Having an audience can help you do incredible things in life. Why? Because you can’t change the world on your own. If you’ve been wasting hours and hours with complicated email software, then get back loads of time in your day with proper email management.
Kindle App on iPad
Part of the reason I’m so productive is because of all the books I’ve read over the years. The Kindle app keeps me productive because it allows me to fire up a book lightning-fast and read it. It lets me highlights sentences too, which I come back to later, and often quote in my blog posts.
Many people underestimate load time and an easy to use app menu. The quicker you can get to the task at hand the quicker you can tap into your creativity and explore your imagination.
Leaders in their field read. Read to become more productive.
Stripe (to get paid)
Okay, I’m a bit of a fanboy with this one. I met the two Stripe Founders in Melbourne a few years ago. That aside, they made getting paid on the internet easy. I use Stripe to get paid from businesses who pay me for various services, strangers who need a coach, people who purchase products from my website, and the platforms who pay me royalties.
When you want to get paid online, the question that matters is this: does the payment app allow people from as many countries as possible to pay you? If the answer is yes that’s key. The more places people can pay you from, the more income you can earn.
Stripe also allows you to split payments. This is important because revenue share is the language of the internet. Partnering with people is far easier than building everything yourself.
When I sell a digital product online, Stripe allows me to split the payment in realtime with the person I’m working with. This reduces friction, speed to market, and time spent keeping track of who owes who.
Why is getting paid important for productivity? Earning money online helps you stress less, work less, and help others with your money. From this more relaxed state of mind you can buy back time to do work you love.
Productivity tools are a life-saver. Whether you get inspired by the tools I use or find your own, it doesn’t matter. The point of productivity is to find the time you need to create, so you can feel fulfilled and perhaps discover a meaning for your life.
Productivity helps you create.
Productivity helps you think.
Productivity helps you write.
Productivity helps you find time to relax.
Use productivity as a weapon against distractions and your forgetful mind, to create the best work of your life.