I’ve always been interested in the the tools and apps that other marketers and executives use to get work done and collaborate with their teams. I know I’m not the only one interested in these things, so here’s a list of the tools I use daily to stay productive at work.
These are in no particular order…
I mean, is this the best note taking app ever created? I use basically use three tools for work – a MacBook, my Pixelbook, and my iPhone, and Keep allows me to stay in sync across all my devices with no effort.
It’s a clever, very lightweight tool that I use to capture thoughts, dump ideas in and then export to Google Docs. I also love the reminders and ability to collaborate with others. Probably my favorite tool.
Through its Chrome plugin, I’m using Keep to save the stuff I come across online during the week and want to feature in my weekly newsletter, the Sunday Bulletin. You can organize and tag articles and content right within the plugin, then review later on your phone. It’s pretty awesome.
It’s crazy how much you use a word processing app. And I hate Microsoft Word. An I mean hate. Apple’s Pages app is cool, but it can be as bloated as Word. Google Docs’ simplicity is what I love and the collaboration within Drive is just so easy. Drive is also a good solution to manage documents and share files with others, regardless of what type of computer they use.
I don’t use the native Mac mail app. It sucks and is slow. I’ve been using ProtonMail since they launched and rely on their business solution to keep my communications encrypted and secure. Access lives in the browser and on the phone for less than $10/month. A no brainer.
Why wouldn’t you use PayPall? It’s one of the most trusted payment platforms on the planet. Yes, there are other payment processors out there, and yes, they’re good, but who doesn’t trust PayPal? Their business package is affordable and has everything you need. Just use it.
I’m a bit of a security nut and, over the years, I have evolved from Dropbox to Box to Tresorit, my go-to file storage, management and sharing app. I use Tresorit every day. It lives in my menu bar, syncs to everything, and provides end-to-end encrypted file storage and sharing. There’s nothing more secure.
I have a lot of logins. I also manage logins on behalf of other companies or clients I work with. Keeping those secure is a top priority of mine and I rely on Dashlane to manage all of my passwords and financial accounts. It’s more expensive than other apps, but the security and features are second to none. I especially like their 2FA and YubiKey integrations.
Send in Blue was my go-to tool for email marketing, until I changed over to SendGrid. SendGrid is the leader in deliverability and their API and SMTP services are simple to use. They require a bit more advanced setup, but if you’re nerdy like me, you’ll figure it out and appreciate the flexibility and control you have with your email marketing. If you’re not the nerdy type – stick to Send in Blue, which is still an awesome and affordable solution.
Asana is an extremely flexible and powerful project management tool. It’s great for collaborating with others and it ties in perfectly with Google Drive ( Docs and Sheets ). It basically eliminates email when working on projects and has pretty awesome tagging and organization features.
Nothing is more important than communication when running a business. Slack is the king here. It integrates into just about everything, is on every device, and you can just drag and drop for file and link sharing. There isn’t a better team communication app. Email is obsolete when combined with Asana.
I back up my data daily to a G-Tech hard drive with Time Machine, but I also push my data with Arq and Wasabi. Again, back to my security nerdery, Arq and Wasabi allow me to sleep at night. Wasabi stores my data that Arq encrypts and pushes via SSL.
Fully encrypted storage for all my files. Wasabi is 80% less expensive than Amazon’s S3 solution and 100% easier to use. They also now have a drag-and-drop feature for both Mac and Windows users.
Keeps my MacBook virus free. A common misconception is that Macs don’t get viruses or malware, but it can happen. I’ve had good success with Malwarebytes, it doesn’t slow my machine down nor does it eat memory or battery life. It’s also free.
My go-to screen capture and screen recording tool. It’s an easy to use and no frills tool that just gets the job done. My only complaint is that I need to clean the library from time to time as it starts to bog when the library gets big.
I know I can use SendGrid’s email marketing tools ( or any others ), but I love having control and full access to my business and systems. Direct Mail is a cool piece of software that lives on my Mac and that I use to send all of my newsletters and email marketing. I tie it in with SendGrid’s SMTP service, so I know my messages are always going to be delivered. It obviously doesn’t do automation, but that’s not something I need.
I work with a lot of people from all over the world. I’m a bit old fashioned and prefer face to face over phone, and Zoom helps me do that. It’s a great videoconferencing solution that also allows me to record calls and send them to our customers. I also love it because non-Zoom users don’t need to download some stupid software or plugins like other video calling solutions.
What can I say, this thing is awesome. I prefer my Pixelbook over my MacBook Pro. It’s got better battery, converts to tablet, has a great pen, and just works all the time. It’s the perfect machine for running a business and has never let me down. It’s also got one of the best keyboard feels of any computer I’ve ever used.
This is probably my most used app. I write almost everything, my notes, my docs, and my articles, in Markdown – probably for the past 10 – 12 years. The only downside to Ulysses is that it’s not available on my Pixelbook. If it were, I wouldn’t have a Mac anymore. However, StackEdit is a web based markdown editor I use on my Pixelbook.
I haven’t fully migrated to StackEdit yet, I’m pretty invested in Ulysses. The problem with Ulysses is that it’s only on my Mac and I use my Pixelbook more and more every week. StackEdit is a web based Markdown editor and works with your Google account. I’m sure I’ll abandon Ulysses soon enough…
I use my Pixelbook about 90% of the time. The only tasks I haven’t been able to transition from my MacBook to my Pixelbook are coding and Photoshop. My only complaint is that I’ve been using more or less the same keyboard and shortcuts for the past 15 – 20 years, but Google has gone and completely changed it. Working between MacBook and Pixelbook can sometimes leave me with typos. 1st world problems – I know…
I work from my home, which means I’m on my couch and lounge chair all the time. I’m also a single dad to two boys, which means I wrestle and have Nerf wars a lot. All of my furniture is from this awesome company, Interior Define, which custom builds your furniture as you order it. You need to be comfortable while you work, and you work to live a good life. I can work on my sofa all day 😉