January is all about productivity. I literally feel it sets the tone for the entire year and because of that I spend a lot of time getting ready for January.
If it’s going to set my pulse for the year, then I want to be ready for the exam. I want to help you do the same thing.
We’ve already established that the most important tool for getting things done is your mind and refusing to believe the constant lies that come at you when you try to start something. But what’s next?
This is where some really good tools come into play and I’ve found that there is no single perfect tool to make it all happen.
For me, it’s a compilation of a number of hardware pieces. I’ve got a Macbook Air that goes with me everywhere. It’s my go to for composition and I’ve all but worn it out. I’ll be looking to replace my Macbook early next year, but for now, it’s helping me change my world.
My iPad Pro is up next as it takes on the job of my reader that goes with me, as well as, my note taking and speaking resource. I do a whole lot of other things with it but those are the biggest.
Number three in my daily backpack is my Full Focus Planner. It’s the single best daily planner you can use, in my opinion. It will help you and take you to places in your productivity you only ever dreamed about and heard about on TV.
It’s not for everyone though!
Don’t imagine that just by having a resource like this is going to reshape your productive existence. No your tool needs to match your determination. Refer back to that mindset we walked about previously.
Number four is where I’ll start talking about apps and programs.
Notablity for example. Superb on the iPad and matched with an Apple Pencil and you’ve got a lethal productively combination. I use Notablity for a lot of different processes. Note taking in meetings, sermon brainstorming work, brainstorming in general, draft writing, etc. The ideas are limitless!
How about the newest app I downloaded, Otter. I don’t know about you, but I find that after every meeting, someone is inevitably left wondering what exactly was decided and who is actually in charge of whatever it was. Otter helps solve all that by capturing audio and then transcribing every word. You can even match people with names and then export those transcripts to your team or assistant to send out notes. Genius!
My life would be lost without Evernote. I’ve used Evernote for about 10 years now and at one time I had bought into their most premium level as it was most worth it to me. Since then I have stepped back my investment in Evernote but am still a paid user. I use it to track type written productivity, to do lists, password tracking, tax receipts, receipts in general and so many other things.
To go along with Evernote, Evernote’s Scanner App, Scannable, is a lifesaver. I do everything I can do stay as paper free as possible and that’s where Scanner comes in. It will automatically find the paper you are pointing your phone at, capture it into a jpg or pdf and then upload it to Evernote or another app/program of your choice. Disorganization has nothing in you with this tool on your phone screen.
When I started using my iPad for preaching, I started using GoodReader. I can export my talks that I compose on Google Drive direct to GoodReader and it keeps it in a distraction free format for us to use when I’m speaking. I’ve never had any trouble using this app while speaking. The last thing you want to have happen is app trouble when you’re in front of hundreds of people with no paper notes.
Google Drive. Let me confess my love and affection for the genius of Google Drive. I am bought in heart and soul and don’t process docs anywhere or with anything else other than through Google. The amazing thing is that they have the superest userablity and functionality by simply dropping other less google versions right into your drive. It’ll take care of the rest. And then you have all the function of being able to share and collaborate with others live and in the moment.
Slack. Oh my goodness! How did we ever exist before Slack? We probably just…emailed. Have you found that email is the new formal letter? If you want to send a formal message, but just under signed, sealed, delivered, you email. Besides that, email has become so cluttery that you need something that was on point and in the moment, accessible to your whole team and any given moment. Enter Slack. The in-the-moment collaboration tool that makes it possible for your entire team or single person to be in contact as often as is necessary.
Our team has changed worlds through the power of readily accessible communication with Slack.
I’m sure there is more, but these are the ones that rise to the top of the list when it comes to really changing the world around me.
What about you? What do you use to keep focused, on task and changing the world around you?