You know what they say, time is money! But that doesn’t mean it’s all the same denomination of money. Most of us trade minutes for pennies and nickels. But a few who have really worked to build something special can trade minutes for Benjamins!
While I’m certainly not in that class (yet), I work hard at increasing the worth of the minutes I do spend working towards a Life Stoked. Here are my absolute top, could not live without tools that help me continue to move forward every day.
If you use more than one computer, then Dropbox is a must have. Even if you just use a computer and a smart phone you ought to give it a try. Dropbox is essentially a folder on your computer that is synced magically to each of your devices.
For example, I have 3 devices that I work on frequently: a laptop, a desktop, and an iPhone. When I’m working on a project in a word doc on my laptop and I hit the save button, that document is instantly updated on all my desktop. If I’m on my phone and want to read a PDF I downloaded last night, I can open my Dropbox and load it right up. You can do some really fancy stuff with Dropbox I won’t get into here, but even this basic level of functionality is amazing!
How it helps me:
To build Life Stoked while working a full time job I have to be efficient. I work when I can and where I can, and thanks to this app I always have access to my docs no matter where I’m able to work.
I would be lost without Evernote. Evernote is basically a stack of notebooks you write notes in. So when I take my car to the shop and the mechanic rattles off some mumbo jumbo, I write it down so I can retrieve it later (even years later). When I have a brilliant business idea I want to capture, I write it down in a note. If you see something cool while you’re out shopping you want to remember, take a picture note (yep, works with pictures too!).
Anything and everything I want to remember, organize, and keep up with goes into Evernote. It can take some time to figure out the best way to use it for you personally, but once you get the hang of it you’ll never go back.
And the best part is, your notes are all searchable! So no matter how much stuff you capture you’ll be able to quickly find what you’re looking for. This is such a huge topic there are entire ebooks, training courses, and tons of blog posts devoted to it. I suggest you just get started and see where it takes you.
How it helps me:
Like Dropbox, I can access my notes in Evernote anywhere. Right now I’m writing this post in a note on Evernote (in my Blog notebook). Later I may review it on my phone or edit it at home on my desktop. Piece of cake!
I also do lots of planning and brainstorming in Evernote so I can continue the thoughts no matter where I am.
3. Pocketcast (iPhone App)
I’m a huge believer in listening to positive, educational material. Nowadays one of the best sources of up to date, awesome, and free information is podcasts. I guarantee you whatever it is you’re interested in learning more about there’s at least one podcast dedicated to nothing but that.
I listen to podcasts when I’m doing chores, eating breakfast, riding the train, driving to work, and pretty much any other time I have some downtime to plug in and learn.
Pocketcast makes it super easy to always stay up to date. I just subscribe to my favorite shows (about 10 or so right now) in the app and I get a notification whenever there’s a new episode. I can download it right there on my phone (even over 3G), or stream it instead.
How it helps me:
I’m instantly connected to powerful content that helps me achieve my goals no matter where I am! I can turn a surprise wait at the doctor’s office into learning time, or listen on my lunch break. Love it!
4. Google Docs
It may not be the newest or most flashy app on the block, but Google Docs has been a staple in my toolbox for years now. Because it’s cloud based I can access my documents no matter what computer I’m on.
Maybe it sounds a lot like Dropbox and Evernote so far? But Google Docs adds another layer to the puzzle by having killer collaboration tools. I share docs with my wife for family stuff (our budget for one), and docs with clients. Even if we’re both in the document working at the same time it’s easy to see what’s happening (pretty cool!).
Google Docs is also great for spreadsheets in my opinion. They have all the support you’d need to do some heavy lifting, and because it’s in the cloud you can use it (or share it) with any operating system or browser.
How it helps me:
I organize everything important for myself, my family, and my business in Google Docs. My wife and I manage our finances in Google Docs so we can always view and edit the same document. I also work on shared documents with people often so we’re sure to always have the latest edits.
Notice a theme?
Notice a theme in these apps? I love tools that help me work when it’s convenient, not where it’s convenient. I work on the train 5 days a week. I work from a laptop, from a desktop, review notes and documents on my iPhone, and all of it is super simple with this ecosystem of apps.
— Deacon Bradley (@deaconbradley) May 22, 2012
What am I missing? What apps help you be the most productive?