You’ve made it to the last lesson of this Module and the final lesson of this course, woop woop! This lesson is about the hacks, tools, and resources you can use in your daily routine for purposeful productivity.
This last lesson is where almost all productivity advice starts. But hacks, tools, and resources are not the solution. They’re not going to solve your productivity problem. It all starts with you and your daily routine. Resources are meant to be a means to an end, not a goal in and of itself. Resources should support you and your daily routine. So please, look at them and use them that way.
Okay, here we go. A quick disclaimer: I list both free and paid resources. Paid resources are marked with a *. You can find the links to these resources below the video.
List and organize your to-dos and reminders.
SimpleMind is a mind mapping tool that turns your computer, tablet or phone into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device.
Choose up to six tasks you want to turn into daily habits and this app helps you stay accountable. Streaks shows you how many days in a row you’ve met your goals.
This tool helps you create projects and lists and keeps you on track with your current to-dos. It gives you points for completing tasks and you can move up levels once you’ve received enough points. ToDoist is an app for mobile devices, but it also has a web version.
Organize and coordinate to-dos and projects. You can also add notes, reminders and even assign tasks to others.
Evernote lets you capture, nurture, and share your ideas across any device. It’s a great tool for making lists, saving links, and even writing longer pieces of text.
The idea behind Handle is that it combines your to-dos, email, and calendar in one.
IFTTT (If this, then that)
This tool helps you do more with the tools and services you love. You can connect two tools, so that if one thing happens (if this), another thing happens automatically (then that).
Similar to IFTTT, this tool connects your apps and automates workflows.
My tool of choice! I use it to store my master to-do list, organize my tasks in my daily routine, manage my projects, organize my editorial calendar, store all of my processes, ideas and resources. Both my work and life is stored and managed in Trello. You can use Trello both on desktop and mobile. I created a separate tech walkthrough video to show you how to use Trello.
Asana is another great project management tool. Certainly, if you collaborate with others.
If you work with multiple large projects at once, Basecamp is a great tool to help you manage all your projects.
Organize and easily share your files with other people, team members or clients. Dropbox works both on desktop and mobile, so you can access files on the go.
Similar to Dropbox, this tool is for storing and managing files. If you have a Gmail or Google Apps account, you already have access to Google Drive.
Similar to Dropbox and Google Drive. You can use it to organize files, but also to auto-backup your iPhone.
I use Toggle to track my time. I love how I can create labels and color code everything.
Another great app is Rescuetime. It runs securely in the background on your computer or mobile device and tracks time spent on applications and websites. It then gives you a detailed report based on your activity.
This is a Chrome browser extension that lets you set goals and tracks how you spend time online. It lets you categorize sites and note if they’re productive or not. At the end of the day, it shows a breakdown of the sites that you visited during the day and how long you spent on each.
To keep up with your schedule and appointments. If you have a Gmail or Google Apps account, you already have access to Google Calendar.
Set a timer and work in 25-minute time blocks.
Boxer is a mobile productivity tool that works both on IOS and Android and integrates with Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote. It sets up a faster, smarter mobile inbox that adapts to the way you work, with tools like bulk edit, quick response and smart labels. Boxer also creates a smarter calendar and helps you manage your contacts right from your inbox.
SaneBox filters unimportant email out of your inbox.
Did you know you can schedule to read and send your emails at a certain time? Boomerang allows you to reply to emails in batches and schedule them to go out at the appropriate times throughout the week. You can also ‘boomerang’ incoming emails and choose a time for them to reappear in your inbox.
Canned Responses is a function in Gmail that that allows you to save email templates and add them directly into an email with the click of a mouse. It’s a great tool if you’re sending out similar email responses on a regular basis.
You can configure Inbox Pause to deliver your email in a certain number of batches per day. It saves incoming mail to be delivered at the set times and keeps your workflow uninterrupted by email.
Instead of going back and forth scheduling time with people, send them a link to your Calendly. It links with your Google Calendar and will block out times that you have marked as busy on your calendar.
Spend too much time sifting through junk email? This tool will unsubscribe you from all the unwanted email in your inbox.
When it comes to email management these hacks will also help you immensely.
Check emails in bulk. Wait until you have ten messages to check your email. Of course, you should probably tell people that you’ve instituted this rule, so they know to instant-message you if something’s urgent.
Point people to your FAQ page. If you run a business or have a website, this hack is might help you. If you receive a lot of form submissions each day, you might want to create an FAQ page and link to it on your contact page. Place the link in a prominent place and encourage inquirers to take a look at the FAQs before submitting a contact form.
Send short messages. Long emails take time. Don’t beat around the bush. Get to the point. You can still be friendly while keeping your email concise.
Prevent long email chains by picking up the phone or setting up a quick meeting. This one speaks for itself.
Implement a 2-minute rule. Can you write a response to an email in 2 minutes or less? Instead of clicking out of the message and putting off a response until later, go ahead and tackle it to get it out of the way.
Create office hours and tell everyone about them. By creating office hours and sticking to them, not only will you free up your time but the people you deal with will respect your time and have reasonable expectations. List your office hours in your email signature and set an out of office response every evening and on the weekends so that people know not to expect to hear from you during my off hours.
These are some great tools for invoicing, accounting, and tracking expenses.
Coffitivity is a website that streams the ambient sounds of a cafe. It helps you focus and concentrate.
Listen to the sound of rain when your work to help you focus.
Noisli is the most versatile of the three apps mentioned so far. You can adjust the settings to play any background sound that you want, like the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop or rainy day weather or the chirping of birds. You can mix and match the sounds to create the perfect work environment that inspires you.
Use the power of meditation improve your concentration and increase your focus and productivity.
Focus At Will *
Focus At Will is an app and website that streams music to boost your concentration. You can choose a station and then zone out to the music.
Stand Up is a tool that allows you to pick when and how often you'd like to be reminded to stand up and move around.
Noise canceling headphones *
If you work better in total silence, consider investing in noise canceling headphones
These are some great tools for blocking your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else distracting on the Internet for a certain period of time. No matter what you do, even if you restart your device, you won’t get access to Internet.
Appointments / meetings management
Use resources like Google Hangout, Skype, or Facetime to set up a meeting. These are some great hacks to make the most of your meetings.
Set time limits at the outset. Don’t leave meetings open-ended, but set an end time right away. The other person will respect you for being cautious of their time and respecting their schedule.
Set expectations for what you’ll talk about during the meeting. Outline the purpose and make it clear to the person on the other end to save time and make sure you’ll accomplish what needs to be accomplished.
Schedule calls during travel times. Do you have a hour-long car ride or long layover ahead of you? Make good use of that extra time by scheduling a meeting. Not only will it free up your schedule later, but it will also make the travel time pass by more quickly.
Social media management & marketing
Great tools for social media scheduling are:
Now, if you want your social media management automated, use tools like:
A great time-saving hack is that most of these social media tools allow you to share one post on multiple platforms. With one click of a mouse you’re done for every social platform.
Canva is a free tool to quickly and easily create graphics to share on social media.
Using an email marketing service can help you set up automated emails to connect with your customers or clients.
A great tool for beginners.
ConvertKit is for more intermediate users.
A more expensive but more advanced tool.
Client and customer management
A service to help you streamline your customer support.
Adobe Sign *
Dealing with contracts? This tool makes it easy on your client, who no longer has to print, scan and email you the contract.
Similar to Adobe Sign, but has a basic, free plan.
Slack is a real-time messaging app for teams. It brings all your communication together in one place.
Typeform is a multi-functional tool that you can use to create surveys, for design inquiries, and to help you intake information from clients.
Phew, those were a LOT of tools, resources, and hacks! Make sure to download the cheatsheet, so you can always refer back to these resources.
And also, confetti! You’ve successfully completed this course, yay! I just want to thank you so much, again, for investing in this course and investing in yourself. I trust that by now you have created a tailored-to-your-needs, sustainable daily routine for purposeful productivity. Have fun with it, be flexible, stay creative, and check back in with yourself ever so often to see if you’re still on track. Don’t forget to share your routine and your tips and tricks in the Facebook group.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to work through all of the worksheets, that’s okay! Take your time with it. I’m cheering you on. I’ll be your accountability buddy if you want me to. Or reach out in the Facebook group for support and encouragement.
Now, I want to point out that I’ve added a few tech tutorials to this course and I recommend you watch those videos to take full advantage of these tips.
I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for getting the privilege of walking you through this course, to go through this process with you, and to share this experience with you. It’s been amazing. And I just want to say thank you. And congratulations for having created your daily routine for purposeful productivity.