This is the epic list of tools I use or recommend. If someone asks me “which ___ should I use?” Then the answer goes here. Could this be 12 different articles? Sure, but then you might not discover the stuff you didn’t know you needed.
- Project Management + Todo Lists
- Increase Focus, Remove Distractions
- Notes + Planning
- Automation, Timesavers
- Web Design + Development
- Domains + DIY Site Building
- Web Hosting
- Wordpress Themes + Plugins
- Web Developer Tools
- Business + Marketing
- Social Media
- Film + Video
- Health + Wellness
- Skin Care
Project Management + Todo Lists
- Trello – Amazing project management app. It’s like a digital pinboard with cards, but much better. I use this to keep track of my projects and todos.
- Notion – This app is so flexible, there’s no end to the usefulness it has. I’m keeping a whole business organized in here with a wiki, project management, and content drafts.
- Wunderlist / Nozbe / ToDoist / Things 3 – These are all great todo list apps I’ve used. They’re all similar in function, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Every DayCheck – Habit Tracking
- Amazing Marvin – Mindful approach
Increase Focus, Remove Distractions
- Facebook Feed Eradicator –
Chromebrowser extension that gets rid of your Facebook feed. Life is better this way. Also available for Firefox.
- Be Focused Pro – Mac and iOS Pomodoro Method app so you can set a timer to get work done.
- Momentum Chrome Extension –
Chromebrowser extension that replaces the new window/new tab default screen (full of distractions) with a beatifulimage and your focus for the day.
- Adblock Plus – Get rid of ads (distractions) on Facebook and other sites.
- Brain.FM – Music that helps me focus
- Bose QC35 Noise Canceling Headphones – This is one of the best investments in my productivity I have ever made. When paired with great tunes, meditation, watching videos on your phone, or Brain.fm, your listening experience is better and you can tune out the world around you and focus. Also an absolute must for air-travel.
- RescueTime – Track how much time you spend on various websites and apps. Use the data to evaluate whether you’re spending time on what’s actually important.
- Cave Day – if you’re in LA or NY, go to this. It will make you very productive.
- Superhuman – Email app for Gmail that helps you get through your inbox quickly and efficiently. Brought a sense of fun back to my email inbox, too.
- Simplify Gmail – Chrome extension to clean up the Gmail experience.
- DropBox – Syncs files across devices.
Easyway to share files with friends or coworkers. A must-have.
- Google Drive – Word and Excel are so last
millenium. I create and store documents, spreadsheets, and presentations here. Also great storage for other files that I don’t need cluttering up my hard drive.
- Gmail – It’s not fair, but you will be looked down upon if you still have an AOL email address. Also, Gmail’s tagging and filtering features are the best for managing lots of
- Slack – Great for small or large team collaboration where the team has
needfor several feeds. Great for organizing conversations about different projects, topics, or departments. Free for small teams.
Notes + Planning
- Pilot G2 Pen – This is the only pen I allow in my apartment. Yes, I’m serious. Easy to refill too.
- Evernote – This is my digital brain. I use it to store ideas, save articles to read later, outline writing projects, and store lots of other important info. There are
millionways to use it.
- Scapple – This is technically intended as a writing tool, but it’s so much more. It is a simple information visualization tool, or mind mapping tool. But better. It’s like having an unlimited whiteboard on your computer screen.
Writeyboard– Speaking of whiteboards, they are my favorite planning and productivity tool. But who wantto deal with giant whiteboards you need to hang on your wall or whiteboard paint? Writeyboardsare like posters that stick to your wall. But it’s a whiteboard. I have 4 of them.
- Fantastical 2 – It’s a nice looking calendar app, sure. But the real magic is the fact that you can view events in your Mac’s toolbar with a keyboard shortcut. I set the location of events for whatever I’m working on (a google doc or
trelloproject) and with a keyboard shortcut and click, I’m right where I need to be.
- Boomerang – Schedule emails a) to be sent later or b) to be hidden and return to your inbox when it becomes relevant. Incredibly useful. Works with Gmail only.
- aText – There are things you type every day that you don’t need to. I type my email daily, but now with 3 keystrokes it’s pasted. I do the same with commonly pasted URLs and other info. (I use Alfred for this now, but if you don’t want all the things that does, use this)
- LastPass – Remembers your passwords so you don’t have to. Also generates secure passwords for you. Because using the same password everywhere is not smart.
- CheatSheet – One of the best ways to work faster is to learn the keyboard shortcuts on your computer. This Mac App lets you easily reference all keyboard shortcuts for the current app
- IFTTT – Stands for: If This, Then That. This is a powerful & free automation service. Connect tons of items. If you tag an email in gmail, send to evernote. If it’s this time or date, send a tweet
- Zapier – It’s like IFTTT, but more business-focused. Lots of integrations with all sorts of tools. The possibilities are endless
- Alfred – App launcher, text-expander, mega-tool. This helps me keep my hands on the keyboard so I can find what I need more quickly
- Magnet – Manage your windows. This is ESSENTIAL for large screens. Stop resizing and positioning windows. I had no idea how much time I wasted on this until I didn’t have to anymore
- Spritzlet – Speed Reading done for you. Try it out to get through articles online much faster
Web Design + Development
Domains + DIY Site Building
- Google Domains – Gotta have a .com, lots of places to get them totally suck. Google does it right. Free privacy, no annoying upsells, really easy to manage.
- Lean Domain Search– Not sure which domain to register? This can help you find options.
- WordPress.com – Not to be confused with WordPress.org (the self hosted open source software that runs this site). WordPress.com is an easy site to build and host your own site/blog/ecommerce store without needed to know how to code it yourself. Very inexpensive options.
- Carrd – Want a simple, single page, mobile friendly and free (or really inexpensive if you want to use your own domain) website? Carrd is super cool, and easy to use.
- SiteGround – Inexpensive shared hosting, high quality service, great customer support. I use SiteGround to host this site. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site and are getting less than 10K visits per month, host your site here. Best shared host I’ve ever used.
- Kinsta a high-end, robust, super-fast WordPress host. Great for popular business sites, e-commerce + membership sites, and blogs.
- Netlify – Amazing for hosting static sites. Very developer-friendly. It’s crazy simple to deploy manually or sync with a GitHub repo. The free tier does everything you need for small business or personal projects.
- Shifter – This is a combo of the last 2. The ease of building a site with WordPress, but the performance of a static site. Just brilliant.
- Digital Ocean – For advanced users. Set up and run your own VPS.
WordPress Themes + Plugins
- Divi Theme – Versatile theme that can be easily customized for any site you’ll need to build. You can change pretty much everything about it… and no coding needed.
- GeneratePress – Another really great theme, very lean and easy to customize. Used on this site.
- Beans Theme Framework – Lean, mean, it’s a great theme. Lightning fast, lots of great tech under the hood so developers can build a nice child theme to go with it. Or use on its own for a nice basic blog theme.
- Yoast SEO – A must-have.
- Google Analytics by Monster Insights –
- WP Smush –
- WordFence –
- CloudFlare –
- Disable Emojis –
- Rapidology –
- Under Construction –
- WP Rocket – speed up your site
- All-in-One WP Migration –
- Query Strings Remover –
- 404page – If your theme doesn’t allow you to customize your 404 page, use this.
- Display Posts Shortcode –
- Disqus – I prefer to turn comments off, but this is a decent service for handling comments and the spam that goes with it.
- Google Tag Manager for WordPress –
- Public Post Preview – Share an unpublished post draft with someone who isn’t logged in to WordPress. Great for editorial teams.
- Search by Algolia –
- Contact Form 7 –
- WooCommerce –
- Insert Headers and Footers – Don’t ever edit your theme directly. If you just need to add some tracking code, use this plugin.
Web Developer Tools
- VS Code – This is the code editor I use. It’s totally customizable with lots of great addons.
- HTML5UP – Free HTML templates that you can turn into all sorts of pretty creations.
- Formspree – Free and simple email form for static sites.
- Local by Flywheel – Local WordPress development made incredibly easy.
Business + Marketing
- ActiveCampaign – My favorite, it’s a real powerhouse for email and marketing automation.
- Revue – A really simple email newsletter tool, easy to use and send.
- MailChimp – It’s free to sign up and you get everything you need, has lots of features and can be a little intimidating to use, but it’s pretty popular.
- OptInMonster – This tool makes it stupidly easy to collect email newsletter signups and more.
- Nimble CRM – Simple enough, and robust too.
- TweetDeck – Great app for using twitter the smart way. Easily display lists, because a full feed is overwhelming. I use the web browser version, but there’s a desktop version that’s great too.
- Canva – Make great looking graphics to post; tweetable, pinnable, instagrammable images. The best part is – you can make amazing looking stuff without knowing a darn thing about graphic design.
- Fade In Pro – Super easy screenplay writing and publishing. All the features you need without the hefty pricetag of Final Draft.
- Scrivener – I was skeptical about this app at first. There are lots of features and it takes a little getting used to, but it’s an amazingly powerful tool to structure and organize large writing projects.
- 750 Words or Write Honey – In The Artist’s Way, the author recommends writing “morning pages”: basically a writing meditation to get your thoughts out of your head. This site helps you do that. Also is a great excercise to practice writing without editing yourself, which helps when writing other projects.
Film + Video
- DaVinci Resolve – Used to be just a color correction app. Now it’s got a full set of video editing tools. And you can’t beat the price tag: FREE! It’s a full editor, not as simple as iMovie. Not recommended for total beginners. Also has paid pro edition.
- ScreenFlow – Screen capture software. Grab video that’s playing, record presentations, and edit after. You can also edit any other type of video very easily.
- VLC – Ditch quicktime or windows media player. This plays everything, it’s free, and awesome.
- Filmic Pro for iPhone – App that gives you lots of control over the video you shoot on your iPhone to get really great footage.
Health + Wellness
- F.lux – Excessive blue spectrum light messes up your internal clock, causing sleep problems. This fixes that by changing the colors of your computer screen in the evenings.
- Philips Hue Lights – These are magical LEDs that can be controlled & programmed from a phone. Set to any color. I programmed mine to change color throughout the day just like F.lux to give me better light indoors. I also set them to turn on when I arrive home and off when I leave.
- Sleep Cycle – An app to track how you sleep. Odds are that you could be sleeping better. Get info about how your sleep was. Track how activities during the day affect sleep
- Ample – Meal replacement shakes are convenient, but I hadn’t found one that was actually really healthy until this one.
- TheraGun – It’s like if you combined a power tool with a foam roller. Beats your muscles into submission. I mean, relaxation.
- StandDesk – I can sit at my desk and I can stand at my desk. I push a button and go from one to another, and it’s wonderful.
- Mobility WOD BattleStar Roller – This is not your ordinary foam roller. It’s also not foam. It’s hardcore rolling and it hurts so good.
- Holosync Meditation – Binaural beats that get your brain in a meditative state without worrying about doing anything correctly.
- Astaxanthin – Antioxidant supplement, improves bloodflow to your skin giving you clearer complexion and a rosy glow
- Alitura Clay Mask – If you want to be really ridiculously good looking you’ve got to take care of your skin. I used to have terrible acne… clean diet got me 80% better. This did the rest.
- WealthFront – Investment made easy. Low cost index funds so you get steady growth; managed by software so you don’t pay high fees. Your savings account is making less interest than the rate on inflation. Just do it.
- Simple – Banks aren’t particularly exciting… but this one is. It’s a checking account with a Visa check card, and a great app for tracking your spending. Totally free, no fees, no headaches. It’s amazing.
- Venmo – Easy money transfer to friends. Pay someone back for dinner, etc.
- Paribus – When retailers change prices, you can get money back. This company files price adjustment claims on your behalf. You pay nothing, they just take a small chunk of your refund.
- Self Lender – build your credit score!
- Privacy.com – Generates a credit card number for each site or single uses so you can be safer when you pay online.
- Libby – Reading? Ain’t nobody got time for that! I listen to books while I eat, drive, take a walk. Easy way to learn without spending extra time on it. Libby is free with a library card.
- Duolingo – Don’t bother looking for a better way to learn a language. This is it. And it’s free!
- Free Code Camp – Learn HTML, CSS, JS, and more acronyms as well. This is a fantastic + FREE resource to learn to code.
- Know The Code – Become a WordPress developer with really easy to follow step by step tutorials to master PHP and WordPress theme & plugin development.
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The 8th Habit
- The One Thing
- Tao Te Ching – also see Hua Hu Ching and Wei Wu Wei Ching
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The Slight Edge
- The 12 Week Year
- Bad Science
Looking for a recommendation that you didn’t find? Tweet me and I’ll add it here.
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