In the spirit of trying to get back in the swing of things here on the blog, I have been thinking quite a lot about what kind of tools and services I use to make my working life easier. I realized that I am essentially very basic when it comes to productivity tools – I only use four on a regular basis.
The Productivity Tools that I Love
If I had to name just one tool that I absolutely could not live without, it would be Evernote. Evernote provides an easy way to clip and save articles and content from the web, write notes and lists, share material with others, and sync everything across all of your devices.
My favorite way to use Evernote is to manage my to-do list. Each Sunday, I compile my schedule for the coming week. I break it down by day (I go Monday to Sunday) and put everything on it: work tasks and deadlines, appointments and meetings, personal errands and chores, the workouts I plan to do, and even my meals. There is something about checking off an item on this list that is so satisfying and it really motivates me to get things done!
LastPass is is another truly essential productivity tool for me. There is very little I hate more than having to reset passwords or dig around to try to find the login credentials for a website or service. LastPass eliminates this problem. Sign up for a LastPass account, download the LastPass web browser extension, and LastPass will automatically save your passwords for you so the only password you actually need to remember is the LastPass master password.
If having to search for and/or reset passwords is one of the things I hate most, printing documents, signing them, and then scanning them again might be the one thing I hate more. HelloSign eliminates this annoyance by offering a fast, simple, and secure way to sign documents. Thankfully, I don’t have to sign documents that often, so I get by on the free plan (which enables you to sign up to three documents per month) but you can bump the service up to unlimited documents for $13 per month (as of the time of this writing).
And last, but most certainly not least, there’s PDF Expert. I got hooked on Adobe Acrobat Pro at a former job and now find it hard to live my life without full PDF manipulation abilities. The problem? Adobe products, while generally awesome, are also quite expensive. As of this writing, the pro version of Adobe Acrobat costs $12.99 – $14.99 per month. Enter PDF Expert, which is, in my opinion, an extremely close dupe to Adobe Acrobat Pro, at a much better price of $79.99 (one-time payment). Another benefit: PDF Expert also has virtual document signing capabilities, so if ever I run out of free HelloSign documents for the month, I turn to my good friend PDF Expert.