Productivity tools for the {fill in type} achiever

I do lots of things and I love doing all of the things. But remembering all the things I am doing includes:

  • Time wrangling
  • People wrangling
  • Communication wrangling
  • Memory wrangling

Basically, lots of wrangling.

Here are some of the tools I enjoy using and some of the tools that my like-minded busy do-gooders use too.

Scheduling tools

Doodle - A free tool you can integrate with your calendar, permitting folks to schedule events with you as you are available. Or you can use Doodle to poll availabilities given a selection of options.

Time and Date - Have you ever had to schedule a meeting with people in other timezones? At the Python Software Foundation we have directors from South Korea, India, England and the United States. A simple link in an calendar reminder can keep folks on time and be a lifesaver. It’s free!

Fantastical - I struggle with a personal Google calendar, a work Google calendar, and shared calendars from other platforms because people like planning on Facebook or Apple Calendar. It’s not so fantastic. Enter Fantastical, it integrates with all those! Fantastical is for iPhone, iPad, Macs and available for $39.99 via Apple Store. It’s also nicely colored and easily surfaces if I am available at a time or not when I create an event. Wired did a nice write up on it it in 2015 for some why try it out feels.

Project management tools

Omnifocus - $39.99 iPad, iPhone, Mac personal project management tool. You can easily add projects with tasks, marking specific tags as complete or tag as important. There’s community support for Omnifocus users. You can forecast your projects with the built in calendar to track progress and review old projects. You can get as nitty gritty as you want. Shawn Blanc did a deep dive of Omnifocus a few years ago.

Asana - Don’t want to spend $39.99 you can try out Asada’s free plan and even include up to 15 users! Asana has an iPhone app, Android add, and a web app.

Concentration tools

StayFocusd - Free Chrome plugin that lets you write custom black list rules for websites. While I work at a social media management software company at times I need social blocked (I’m pretty obsessed with Hamilton the Hipster Cat ... ). You can limit the length of time on a schedule. Want to change the rules? It takes a day for any change to go into effect.

Momentum - Yet another free Chrome plugin. Whenever you open a new tab Momentum shows you an inspirational photo and asks you “What is your main focus for today?” letting you fill out a TODO. You can mark it as complete when done and add more too.

Tomato Timer - A pomodoro timer that sends notifications when your pomodoro is done. Let’s you deep dive for the full length of the pomodoro without having to manage another time app!

Reading all the things tools

OneTab - Hate closing all your Chrome or Firefox tabs because you must read everything but know you’ll forget if you close the tab? Enter OneTab, a tool that collapses all your taps into one tab as a list. You can easily click into the link through the collapsed OneTab view.

Pocket - Can be used for free with web plug ins, via email, via other applications or from your phone! On a page you want to save for later? If you’re using the web plugin, for example, you can “pocket” the link and revisit it through your Pocket account later!

Computering Done Easy Tools

LastPass - Need to remember a trillion passwords? Can’t think of yet another variation of that one password combo you know you shouldn’t use? LastPass saves the day! LastPass has a browser plugins, native phone apps, desktop apps and can be used for free. Recovery options depend on the option you use, if you ultimately have to reset your account all data will be deleted. More information on how it works here.

f.lux - If you’re on a monitor all hours of the day like your computer, f.lux is a must have. It’ll adjust the color of your computer monitor in the evening removing white and adding in orange hues to mirror the setting of the sun, allegedly making it easier to sleep. Free and available on Mac, Linux, Windows.

Caffeine - Prevents your Mac from going to sleep, easily turn on and off by “filling” the coffee cup on the Mac navigation bar. You can adjust the length of time that your Mac won’t go to sleep. Free!

Spectacle - Mapping your keyboard keys for better window management. I always have 2+ programs open that I need side by side. Essential for the information hungry! Free and Mac.

There are just a few of the tools I have used. What tools do you enjoy using? Tweet me!