I’m always asked about which productivity apps and tools I use… Well, here you go. In this episode + article, I share exactly what I’m using right now to stay productive on a daily basis. Enjoy!
This app is incredible. It saves memory, battery life, and most important—keeps my browser clutter-free. When you’ve got too many tabs open, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you want to access the tabs again, you can restore them individually or all at once.
Sunsama is a beautifully-designed, minimalistic daily planning app that I’ve been experimenting with lately. It can effectively eliminate the need for switching between multiple apps because it pulls together your tasks, emails, and calendars—all in one place.
iOS | Mac – OmniFocus is my GTD-based productivity app of choice. It has its drawbacks, but it’s robust enough to meet my needs as far as productivity software goes. Either way, productivity tools alone can’t make you more productive. At the end of the day, it’s about having a system and a set of principles that you’re willing to use consistently.
iOS – This is my digital filing cabinet. Reference material, receipts, bookmarks, checklists, templates, and all of my other non-actionable-but-important stuff goes straight to Evernote.
WorkFlowy is an outlining and list-making app that I use for note-taking and day-to-day task management. I’m in love with it for its nesting feature—being able to put lists inside of lists, inside of lists—and then being able to collapse it all under one heading. It keeps everything clean. The nesting feature, along with its minimalist design have made WorkFlowy one of my essential daily productivity tools.
Aweber is what I use to manage email subscribers of my newsletter. If you’re writing or selling anything online, you need a way to collect emails to stay in touch with your subscribers, leads, and customers. For me, Aweber has been the easiest and most powerful way to do it.
Mac | Windows – The best productivity tool for serious writers. Scrivener is my go-to word processor. I’ve been using it for writing and publishing books for several years. It’s the only tool I know that can handle everything from writing and formatting to exporting a publish-ready book into multiple formats (PDF, kindle, ebooks). I also use it for long-form articles and book summaries. I provide a copy for all of my writers and editors at FlashBooks as well.
Byword is a markdown app I use for writing blog posts and articles. It’s light, quick, and minimalist.
iOS | Mac | Whitenoise is (obviously) a white noise app with tons of natural and white-noise sounds. It’s simple and effective. I use it when I write. Goes for a whopping $0.99 cents in the App Store.
Communication, collaboration, and cloud storage apps
And when all else fails, there’s always Paper + pen
Productivity apps are all well and good, but the mightiest and most anti-fragile of all productivity tools is paper. Nothing beats a pad of paper and a nice pen. They never run out of batteries. Plus, paper is just a pleasure to use—especially if you’re a stationary whore like myself.
- Smythson Panama notebook – Used for my morning journal, daily logs, and on-the-go note-taking
- A4 size “record cards” made by Exacompta in plain white and squared for brainstorming and writing down my daily plans
- Small leather index card holder by Smythson with 3×5 index cards made by Exacompta – used for writing down my top 1–3 daily outcomes.
- Montblanc sketchbook (8.2 x 10.2) – A larger notebook for journaling. Montblanc makes one of the finest, most luxurious leather notebooks I’ve used. I’m on my third one as of this writing, and I absolutely love these notebooks for journaling, mind-mapping, and writing out goals and ideas.
- Pens: My current go-to pen is a black ballpoint Montblanc Meisterstuck. I also love Parker Jotter pens, of which I have several.
Update: I got a ReMarkable 2 “paper tablet” in December 2021 and it’s effectively replaced almost all of my paper-based solutions.
Productivity apps and tools for podcasting + audiobook production
In case you’re interested, here are the apps and tools I use for productively producing audiobooks + podcasts:
If you’re a podcaster, or you’re thinking about getting into podcasting, then you need a reliable place to host your content and distribute it to major platforms like Apple and Spotify. Libsyn is the easiest, most reliable company to do that with. I’ve been with them since 2014. Use this link to get two months for free.
The software I use for audiobook and podcast production.
This is my primary microphone for recording audiobooks and podcast episodes. I’ve used every major microphone under the sun, and this is the best all-round mic for me.