My Current Suite of Productivity Tools

My Current Suite Of Productivity Tools

From time to time I’ll share a list of the digital and analog tools I’m using to manage my work and help me be more effective.

Digital Tools

  • iPhone, iPad Air, MacBook – May as well start with these to confirm that I’m still fully entrenched in the Apple ecosystem.
  • OmniFocus – Hard to imagine a time in the future when this won’t be my center of gravity for action item tracking, project planning, and reminders. Simply the best productivity tool I’ve ever used.
  • Evernote – I know they are raising their subscription pricing which is bothering some folks, but Evernote remains my key repository for reference information and note taking. What I love the most about Evernote is that it helps me bridge the analog and digital divide by providing more-than-adequate, automatic character recognition of scanned files and photos that I upload. So I can scan pages in my notebook and usually still find details via search.
  • Sublime Text – Most would call this a programmer’s editor, but I use it for all of my writing for the web. The plugins for Markdown support are good enough and I’m able to easily tie it into my favorite Markdown previewer, Marked 2.
  • Marked 2 – This is a Mac app for previewing Markdown documents. I have it wired into Sublime Text as a build action for text files.
  • Google Mail and Inbox – I’ve been on Gmail for a long time but started using their new interface Inbox late last year. It is very good on mobile devices, decent on the desktop browser. My main frustration with it is getting email addresses off messages so that I can add to or adjust my contacts.
  • DropBox – This is a combination backup tool and a way to keep all of my important documents in sync. Just recently I had a 6+ GB video project I left on Julie’s laptop in NY, and my son was able to move it into DropBox and share it with me, resulting in a successful transfer in less than 3 hours.
  • Hazel – File-based automation for the Mac, Hazel can do everything from automatically clean out your downloads folder to invoke a video compression script when you drop a movie file into a particular folder.
  • TextExpander – Automatic text expansion from small snippets. I use it for email signatures, my home address, as well as for complex form-fill-in emails that I send out from time to time.

Analog Tools

  • Moleskine Classic Notebook, 5 x 8.25 – I like the larger one because I rarely keep it in a pocket anyway. This gives me enough room for mindmapping, sketching football plays, or detailed project planning.
  • Freedom Journal – I’m experimenting with this on a big project I have in flight right now. If you have an important project that you’d like to complete in about 100 days, consider trying this out.