Tools for 2015

In Productivity by Chris Marlow

Tools I’m Using for 2015.

The Muse

 

I’m a super fan of being productive. When much is given, much is required. I feel like one of my responsibilities in life is to manage my time well and utilize key tools that will help me fight to make the world better.

I don’t go overboard and buy all the new shiny toys each year, I rarely buy apps, and I have a system that helps me control the cost (buy, sell, buy, sell).

But, if I do need to spend cash, I will in order to be productive. Some of these tools are personal and others are team related. Some are new, but most are things I’ve been using for years.

Here are my top ten tools (plus a couple bonus tools):

1) Macbook Pro 13” Retina: I LOVED my MBA 11”. But, the older I get, the harder it is to see (so sad, right). So, I upgraded screen size and resolution and I love it. It’s so much easier on the eyes. Plus, I can store movies and music for long flights. I now have space to organize my files. I always ran out of room with my MBA and I stink at backing up my files.

2) iPhone 6: I love the bigger screen and iOS8. As a matter of fact, I kind of wish I would gone with a 6+. I spend so much time on my phone that I think the bigger screen size would be worth it.

3) Kinde Paperwhite: This kindle is awesome; it is easy to read and super small. I love how my highlights all go to my Amazon page for easy access.

4) Asana: My team has moved away from Basecamp to Asana for all project management. We’re hoping this improves our productivity. Basecamp started to seem stale to me and I’m hoping Asana will help us get more work done.

5) Wunderlist: I use this free app for all my personal to-do’s and projects. It’s simple, efficient, and syncs with all devices. Yet, it also has some depth to it with subtasks, comments, etc.

6) Scrivener: I bought this app AGES ago. But, I hate learning complex apps; I just don’t have the patience. Then, I saw Jeff’s post and Mike’s post, which got me to purchase Scrivener coaching. Now, I do ALL my writing (books/blogs) in Scrivener. It’s truly amazing. When I open this app, my mind is triggered to work.

If you write a lot, this is a great invementent. My entire book project is stored here–drafts, images, ideas, research, and more. It’s all in ONE place!

7) Evernote: Superfan. I use this app to collect everything. This year, I’m going to organize it better than years past. I want Evernote to literally be my digital filing cabinet. The key is using it everyday and making sure you keep it organized with folders, tags, etc.

8) Slack HQ: We just switched from HipChat to SlackHQ and our team loves it. We live in this little app. The mobile version is superior to HipChat as well. I hardly ever have to email anyone on my team any more.

9) Textexpander: This program is so amazing if used well. If you love to automate your workflow, then use this app. If you do the proper work ahead of time, then this app will help you ship that work over and over in just a few clicks of the keyboard.

10) Headphones: Bose 20i. Okay, there are some purchases that cause me to pause. I get nervous when I take out the credit card and swipe. THIS is the one purchase that made me do that in 2014. I spend a lot of time on airplanes and airports and in busy coffee shops. I prefer to work in third places over an office.

So, I had been searching for some headphones that would drown out the noise around me. I bought three pairs and sent them all back. Most were the large clunky ones, which I did not want as I love to travel light. When these came out, I knew they would be perfect. They got rave reviews, and somehow, I got them on sale for a 30% discount at Target.

These little headphones literally changed the way I work. When I click the little button, all sound disappears and I can focus. When I do those 17 hour flights to Africa, it’s like a little bit of heaven! 🙂

11) I finally purchased some new luggage in 2014:

* For travel (domestic & overseas): This is by far, my favorite carry on luggage (I hardly EVER check a bag). It has so much space. I can take this on a 12 days trip and be fine.
* The reason I can do a 12 day trip with just a carry on is because of this bag. I can store a ton of clothes and all my tech gear and have plenty of room for 12/14 day trip. Also, this is now what I take if I do quick 2 day domestic trips.
* This is my day to day bag. I LOVE it. It has lots of space, it is well organized, and it is still small enough to not feel like I’m carry a large bag everywhere.

12) I also use Dropbox for personal files and Sharefile for all business files for Help One Now, Google Docs for all things collaborative, such as video chat, document creations, Salesforce for CRM, and I LOVE Tripit for all my travel.

I plan to fight a lot in 2015, and like any fighter, these are the tools that I will use.

What tools do you use? I would love to know about them!