Welcome to the Assume Wisely Resource Section.
This is a curated list of tools, apps, and other resources that I use and strongly recommend to help (1) teams be more productive and (2) professionals communicate the value of their brand.
I have tested all of them, and I use many of them. They are a part of my everyday work and contributed to building this site.
Most productive way to spend time on the internet.
If I ranked this list by which has made me the most productive over the last year the top of the list is no contest. Bluehost is the clear winner.
Control. You might have a huge network on social media including linkedIn, but that can change,
- Thousands of musicians built their brand on Myspace before it went under.
- Facebook limits the visibility of your content shared with your network.
A wise man doesn’t build on rented land.
Bluehost makes it incredibly easy to get a new site up and running with their one-click automatic WordPress Blog installation.
You can use your Bluehost account to host multiple domains—no need to pay more for hosting when you’re ready to start another website.
Also, they provide outstanding customer service. Phone is best, they are happy to talk direct.
I highly recommend using Bluehost for your first website, and you can get started now at $5.95/month.
Discover the power of meditation.
Calm is the only app i really missed when my phone broke last year. I spent about two weeks shopping for a replacement. Calm for iPhone and Android, shows how simple meditation really is, and how taking a few moments out of your day can make you happier and healthier. Generally we are too busy. I use calm for my morning meditation. I’ve seen two benefits. First it helps me visualize activities that will lead to accomplishing my goals. Second, if there is anything buzzing around my mind that shouldn’t be I can address it.It’s life flossing your mind. I had an idea for an app that just told you to stop when you were being less than productive, Calm accomplishes that and more.
Move work forward.
I organize my projects in Asana. it is best of breed in the to do list app space. Myers says that “checking items off my list should be satisfying, if not delightful.” When I complete tasks in Asana I see rainbows and unicorns fly across the screen. Type “tab + b” to fill your kitten fix. My first list manager was any.do. Any.do sorts tasks into categories of “Today,” “Tomorrow,” “Upcoming,” and “Someday.” I like Asana because it also organizes tasks into “Today,” “Upcoming,” and “Later” in addition to other features. Forward emails to Asana to create new tasks. Each task has a chat log. The drawback is a significant learning curve. Once you learn asana it's very flexible. But that learning curve will limit team participation, voluntary team participation. You can organize up to 15 people for free.
Asana is my top productivity app to manage my to do lists. It might not work for you. I’ve included two other list managers below: Nirvana, Todoist. If you are shopping for a list manager try these three and see which one you like.
Free relationship manager that will upgrade your communication.
Streak very well could be my secret weapon. I'm still exploring streak and the limits of what you can do. It's an easy sell, because The premium version has a lot of great features. I use it principally to automate custom emails for specific groups in my gmail. I can create a sales funnel that channels my contacts through a path defined by me. I can customize the stages and criteria. I can manage my contacts in bulk. I can create an email template with merge fields and streak will send a unique email to each contact. What's gold is that streak will track who opens the emails. Pure gold. I recommend streak for anyone looking to do outreach within their existing gmail contacts.
Great if you have a voracious — that is, never fully satisfied — appetite for knowledge.
What does a great day look like for you? A day that you have added new insights to your mind’s storehouse of ideas. Do you delightful in thinking out loud and listening to intelligent people.
Education is a process that continues throughout one’s life. Thoughts come alive for you when questions are posed and answers are proposed. With Audible, you acquire knowledge more easily. Absorb all sorts of information from books, publications, or other written materials. It's great if you have a voracious — that is, never fully satisfied — appetite for knowledge. Knowing more increases the likelihood of your having something in common to talk about. Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world's largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, customers can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.
Simple solution to password peace of mind.
LastPass is a password vault. It's free, and the Chrome extension makes it really easy to use. LastPass runs in the background so when you log into your bank, for example, LastPass auto populates username and password for your bank. If visiting a site for the first time enter your credentials and LastPass will prompt you to store them in the vault. Easy. What's really great is when setting up credentials for a new site LastPass will seamlessly generate a unique secure password for the new site. The app includes a secure notes features for important information that you want to bring along in encrypted form.
Free online reader that will triple your reading speed.
I spent $300 or so on speed reading course over 10 years ago. I discovered that Kindle has a speed reading utility, Word Runner, built into the app. Basically the app flashed text at you one word of the time. It dawned on me that there might be a Chrome extension. that's how I found Spread. Spreed displays text on the web.You can easily reading 500 words a minute. At 900 words a minute I can understand about 50% depending on the content. I'm currently working on increasing my speed to competently read 750 words a minute. this is a great Chrome extension.
Best way to save articles, videos, and more.
I hate reading articles on my phone. In the past I saved articles for later on Facebook and never read them. Pocket is a great solution. You can find content on any platform and share it to your pocket app to read later. Go through emails, skim through the linked content, and save it to pocket to read later. Very efficient. There is an added benefit. Pocket is a great tool for organizing and curating content to share through social media.
Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.
If you love Apple I recommend Nirvana. Nirvana is easy to use and has a great feature called focus that leads you to what you should focus on for the day. After using Nirvana I created a focus project in Asana to meet that need because it was missing in Asana. Nirvana gives structure to your thinking. I've noticed it's very popular among managers. although I use Asana, Nirvana is a close second. truthfully I've listed 3 to do list managers on my top productivity apps for 2016 because everyone's different. Test at all three see which one you like.
Millions of people rely on Todoist to get things done.
I tested Todoist alongside Asana. At the time Todoist did not have the ability to create templates for recurring products. Today, in addition to adding templates, Todoist has a new integration with Evernote. Todoist also integrates with Google Calendar and provides location-based reminders (it can ping you to pick up milk when you pass by Target). Todoist makes work fun by “gamifying” productivity. Users can accumulate points by meeting their goals. With these features I will be reevaluating Todoist in the near future. I considered adding Wunderlist to the mix however it seems to me most people are leaving Wunderlist in favor of one of these three apps. Give them a try.
Know who opens your email.
Information is power, and this is powerful. I can see when people open my emails in real time. I first learned about email tracking through Sidekick by HubSpot. I like their tracking better. It works seamlessly with Gmail. Not only do I see when someone opens an email, I get a pop up telling me in real time so I can follow up in the moment. Sidekick also has unique functionality if you're trying to reach out to someone for the first time. I am a fan of HubSpot's blog. it has great actionable content.
Upgrade Google Drive to find files faster.
Quick Search for Google Drive Is my favorite Chrome extension. I use it everyday, multiple times a day. Research has shown that searching email is more efficient than filing it in a folder system. Quick search for Google Drive makes searching easy: I open a new tab, type “drive”, tab, the name of what I want or some search keys and Google finds it. I store all my files on Google Drive. This is my primary retrieval method for pulling up files.
One click to start a new Google Doc.
Google Docs Quick Create Is another great extension for Chrome. I click on the icon and I can create whatever doc I need. it's great for taking notes on the fly. one click and I'm taking notes.
Other Top Productivity Apps - Google Docs / Drive
I read a lot and it take a lot of notes. I keep them in Google Drive. I've tried Evernote and I worry that I'll hit my storage limit and then I'll be stuck paying for Evernote. I don't think Evernote is that great. I've tried their Chrome extension. I've tried to love Evernote and I just don't. I might try again but for now I like Google Docs:
- Storage is effectively infinite.
- Google Drive syncs with all my other Google products.
- I can link files, share them, and work with them collaboratively.
- The interface is more intuitive.
Evernote is trendy. Google keep pales in comparison . If Evernote doesn't have an aggregate limit but rather limits monthly uploads or uploads per month then it would be worth checking out again. OneNote is more organized, I don't use it either. I prefer Google Docs in my drive.
Other Top Productivity Apps - Microsoft Office
I did not mention Microsoft office because that's a given in my line of work. I live in Excel and nothing else will suffice. I also didn't mention Google Docs because they're free and that's also a given. Office is fairly ubiquitous However, I can Imagine not having access to excel. If I didn't get Excel on my work computer I would get a subscription to office 365. it's very cheap. I think the apps for mobile are ok. I'm not a huge fan. they work in a pinch if you need to review something. I personally wouldn't work office tablet unless I had a keyboard.
Other Top Productivity Apps
Did I miss one? Please make suggestions in the comments below. Click here, to *instantly download* my top productivity apps tool kit & mindmap. Feel free to email me, if you prefer.