My Productivity Toolkit

Here are some of the tools and apps I used to bring my productivity from 2.5 hours a day to 8+. I use most of them on a daily or near-daily basis. Most of them are free.

I’ve loosely organized them by category.

External Brain / Strategic Planning

  • Evernote — My main external brain. I use it for research, strategic planning, annotation and much more. This is what keeps me paperless at the end of my day.
  • Wunderlist — My go-to task management app. It’s free and syncs across all of your devices. I organize tasks with a modified form of David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done).
  • Trello — How I visualize larger projects. All of my publishing and marketing pipeline goes in here.
  • Anki — Never forget anything again. This is what I used to learn Japanese in 18 months and read basic Chinese on 5 minutes a day.
  • Day One — A beautiful journaling app that I use every morning. The sheer pleasure of use is part of the reason I was able to start writing consistently every morning.

Focus / Behavioral Change

  • Cold Turkey — For hardcore productivity-ists only. I use this to block distractions for 16 hours a day. Once the blocks start, you can’t turn them off. Great for creators.
  • Google Sheets — I do old school time and habit tracking with a custom spreadsheet. It lets me see where my best hours are and select what habits I focus on each week.
  • Beeminder — Reach your goals…or pay the price. It charges exponentially more money each time you fail a goal. Use this when failure is not an option.
  • Coach.me — Social accountability for onboarding good habits or deleting bad ones. Track habits or hire a coach to help you succeed. I also coach clients on marketing and productivity.

Outsourcing Life

  • Upwork — The biggest network of freelancers on the planet. This is where hired my VA (virtual assistant). It lets me outsource tasks so that I can focus on my most important ones.
  • Fiverr — Just $5 to get all sorts of tasks done by freelancers, designers, marketers and other creatives. I used this to make my site logo in less than 24 hours.

Miscellaneous Goodies

  • COLEMAK — An alternative keyboard layout to the horridly inefficient QWERTY that everyone uses. I have been on it for years, and it has erased my wrist pain. It is designed to be easier (and faster) than DVORAK, another popular layout.
  • Divvy — Assign shortcuts to window configurations. I only use one screen, but this lets me work like I have 2-3.
  • F.lux — “Warms” your computer display in the evening for better sleep.
  • TunnelBear. For avoiding blocked websites when I travel. (China blocks the silliest things.)

Note: Tools are great. But they won’t do the work for you. Desire and dedication always come first.

What are your favorite tools? Drop me a line at charles {at} marketmeditations {dot} com and let me know.