When it comes to productivity, there is an abundance of tools, hacks, processes, and ideas to try next. Everyday, there is a new productivity app out there trying to sell the idea of: You can be productive, if you can just use our tool.
But, is this true? Do we really need those over-engineered tools with hundred features and slick designs?
I don’t think so. I’m sure you can be productive with just these 3 free tools. And anyone trying to tell you something else is trying to sell you a new product.
The way I’m separating concerns here comes from the Entrepreneur, Manager, Technician mindset. But the TLDR is: In order to live a productive life, and achieve your goals, you need to be 3 persons in 1:
- An entrepreneur: Keeps the vision and a bird’s view of the work in order to achieve a goal while adapting to the market.
- A manager: Takes the vision and the projects and creates chunks of work to achieve the outcome.
- A technician: Takes a chunk of work and work on it.
If we continue with this mindset, each persona has a favorite tool to do their work:
Entrepreneur: A kanban board
Being an entrepreneur is keeping an eye on your goals, and choosing what to tackle next. The best tool to get this view is a simple kanban board.
The most known tool for kanban boards is Trello, but I personally prefer Notion. The fact that Notion cards are full documents makes it easier to write project details, updates, and attach useful resources.
Manager: A calendar
Manager’s favorite tool is a calendar. Managing time and tasks is easier when you can see things in a timeline.
You can pick any calendar app you want, or even go physical. Personally, I use Google Calendar.
Technician: A to-do list
Planning is good, but unless you do the work, you aren’t moving from your spot. That’s why a technician needs a list of tasks to-do. Or what we call, a to-do list.
I personally use TickTick, but Todoist is also a good option. Otherwise, you can also use a physical notebook or tasks list.
Next time you’re evaluating a new tool, ask yourself: Is this really useful? Or are they trying to sell me something I don’t need?