Five Tools That Have Ramped Up My Productivity
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “tool roundup”. Over the past few months, I’ve been using a handful of new tools to help me stay connected, focused, refreshed, filled, and productive. Here are the best of the bunch:
Use: Connected, frictionless, pain-free internet for home and office.
Our home WiFi network has been powered by an Apple Airport Extreme for years. It’s been a solid performer, but as the kids have grown older and more devices are on the network, it’s been more and more difficult to keep them all connected at all times.
I heard about Eero on a few podcasts I listen to, so thought I’d give it a try. I’ve been amazed. The network is rock solid, the app makes it simple to see which devices are on the network, and there are no more issues with family members being kicked off the network at random.
(Also, it seems like the internet always seems to go down when I’m traveling. One great thing about Eero is that I can do network maintenance via the app while I’m on the road.)
Because of the size of the space we have to cover, I opted for a 3-pack of Eeros, however I think that most people could start with just one or two. That said, it’s easy to add more whenever you need them.
Use: Filling my Stimulus Queue with magazine articles I’d never purchase on their own.
I’ve always loved to read magazines, but I grow a little tired of carrying them around. Texture is essentially the Netflix of magazines, allowing you to download many of your favorites to your tablet and carry them with you anywhere. I’ve found it invaluable for research and inspiration, and for lounging around on Sundays and catching up on what’s happening in the world. Subscriptions run around $9.99/month for up to 5 devices, so families can share one account.
If you love magazines as much as I do, I definitely recommend you check out Texture.
Use: Keep my daily habits and rituals on-track, even when things get busy.
This little iPhone app has taken over as my go-to “Dailies” tracker. It allows you to set up daily habits, and reminds you to perform them at whatever time of day you want. The wonderful thing about the app is that it also allows you to set up different habits for different days, which many apps don’t. (I have a different set of rituals on the weekend.)
Also, you are permitted to skip habits on days when you need to do so. When I’m traveling, I’m often unable to follow my regular regimen, so this comes in quite handy.
You can check out Productive here or in the iOS app store.
Use: Listen to books or podcasts anywhere, anytime.
I’m so glad I was an early passenger on the AirPods train. These little wonders are now a part of my everyday carry. Whenever I have to stop at the grocery or the drugstore, I can pop one earbud in and listen to a book or podcast while I shop. The case is the size a package of dental floss, and it re-charges the earbuds while they’re inside. Whether I’m on my daily walk, drying dishes, or working out, these are always in use.
Yes, they’re expensive for what they are, but they are super convenient and the ability to just use one at a time is priceless to me.
5. Levenger Circa Notebooks
Use: Keep my days and ideas organized and my travel complication-free.
I go through a lot of notebooks. (My favorite carry at the moment is a Leuchtturm 1917 Pocket Dot-Grid.) However, I run my days from a set of custom sheets I print every month (which I’ll be sharing at some point), and punch to fit into my Levenger Circa notebook. The great thing about Circa is that you can remove and re-arrange the pages however you’d like, and you can add or remove anything from the notebook that you might need at a given time. (For example, I put all of my client and travel info in my notebook when I leave for a trip.)
By the way, Accidental Creative has a partnership with Levenger, and you can buy our Personal Idea Pad in Circa format.
That’s what I’ve been using lately to keep me productive, inspired, and focused. What are you using? Please leave a response below.