In Defence Of InBox Zero And Why You Should Be Using It.

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Inbox Zero is an email management system created by Merlin Mann around 2006. The basic concept is there are only four things you can do with an email when it comes in: Reply, delete, defer or delegate it. This means when you are working on an email you do one of these four things with it and move it from your inbox. The idea is that by the end of the day, your inbox will be zeroed out and all emails will have been dealt with appropriately. Merlin did a great talk at Google Talks that is well worth watching for a full breakdown of how the system works.

These days, inbox zero appears to be out of fashion and I find it hard to understand why. I have seen articles and comments likening inbox zero to being Sisyphus forever rolling a rock up a hill, suggesting inbox zero is a waste of time and not a practical way to handle email because it’s a never-ending task. And yet, since I adopted the principles of inbox zero around 2009, I have never had any problems with email. No overwhelm, no difficulty finding anything and I generally reply to email in a timely manner.

Being Organised and productive will always be never-ending

The same, of course, can be said with anything related to becoming better organised and more productive. Many things in life will feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a hill. Putting clothes away at the end of the day is a never-ending task. Doing the dishes after eating a meal, or writing the weekly sales report. These are all never-ending tasks. If you don’t do these tasks, things will mount up and become a huge mess. Never putting clothes away after you have worn them will eventually make it difficult to find the clothes you want to wear when you want to wear them. Not doing the dishes at the end of the day will result in you not being able to find a clean cup in the morning for that life-giving first cup of coffee.

This also is the case with email. If you are not dealing with email as it comes in, it is going to mount up and become a cesspit of overwhelm and disorganisation. Finding that important email, sent to you last month, will take up a disproportionate amount of time because you cannot remember the correct spelling of the name of the person who sent it to you. And your suppliers, and in many cases, your customers will feel you don’t care because you didn’t take the two minutes it would take to respond to their message.

The importance of good email etiquette.

Any email that requires a reply has been sent by a human being. It is simply polite to reply in a timely manner! It shocks me the number of times I have answered a complete stranger’s question and not received a simple thank you reply. I don’t mind, but if I reach out to a stranger for an answer to a question, I always have the courtesy and good manners to thank them for their answer.

If your email is a mess, you cannot claim to be a productive person.

However, the deeper issue here is how can anyone claim to be a productive, organised individual if their email organisation is non-existent? Maybe their to-do list is beautifully set up, their notes app has a sophisticated structure that manages their notes in a complex hierarchical structure and yet their email inbox has thousands of opened and unopened emails. That is not the character of a well organised, productive individual. It’s a sign of laziness. If you are striving to become a better organised and productive person, you cannot do it by half measures. It’s an either all in or not at all way of life. It’s like someone running 10km every morning for their health but smoking twenty cigarettes a day, eating burgers, pizza and cookies and downing eight pints at the end of the day. You’re not living a healthy life.

Two questions: “What is it?” And “what’s the next action?”

Of all the email organisation systems I have come across over the years, inbox zero is by far the best system. As soon as an email comes in, I ask the questions: “what is it?” And “what is the next action?” Whatever the next action is I do it. There are only four things I can do with an email. Deal with it if it will take me less than two minutes. Defer it if I need more than two minutes. Delete it if it has no value to me or forward it on to a person who could handle it better than I could. This is not on a level with quantum physics. It is simple and with practice, you get incredibly fast at it.

Email is one of the best communication methods ever developed. It allows us to communicate with people on the other side of the world in an instant. It allows us to send documents, confirm reservations and receive important information. It is a fundamental part of any system, just as important as your to-do list and notes. If you want to become a more productive, organised person you need to treat email in the same way you treat your to-do list manager and notes app. Have a system in place that organises your mail so they are easy to find when you need them and always remember that when another human being sends you an email, they have taken valuable time to write to you and so the least you could do is reply with a simple thank you.


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Find out more about my 2018 Email Productivity Mastery course right here. Learn how to implement the system described in this post and become an master of email productivity.


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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Books On Sale & Bundles

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Over the last few days I’ve been reviewing the books I have on my website (as well as Amazon and iBookstore) and I have placed some of my books and bundles on sale. 

Here’s what you can find:

On Amazon and iBookstore I have reduced the price of Your Digital Life (edition 1) to $4.99. 

And over on my website, where I have much more control, here’s what you can find: 

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Your Digital Life (Edition 1) is now on sale at $4.50 direct from my website. You can buy either the ePub or Kindle versions at this price. 

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Your Digital Life (Edition 1) + Working With Todoist: The Book, can now be bought as a bundle for $12.50 (reduced from $17.00) ePub or Kindle versions

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The Time And Life Mastery 2018 Workbook is now at an incredibly low price of $5.00. This is an investment I belief everyone should make. This is an investment in your future. (PDF)

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The Your Digital Life 2.0 and Working With Todoist: The book  bundle is now available to purchase at the reduced price of $15.00 (saving $4.50) ePub or Kindle versions

[YDL 2.0 EXCERPT 5] You Need To Do Something To Make It Happen

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Here is another excerpt from my forthcoming book, Your Digital Life 2.0. This excerpt comes from the Goals section of the book and talks about the necessity of action.

Your Digitial Life will launch on Monday 11 December on Amazon, iBookstore and directly from my website. For more information click here  

Action
Without action nothing happens. So many people say they want to achieve something, yet they never do anything to make it happen. It always astounds me that so many people use the phrase “I want…” yet just sit there and do nothing to make that want happen. I strongly believe that all human beings have the ability to achieve almost anything they want, if they would just get up off the sofa and take some action. Do something, anything. To make something happen, you need to do something. To make a cup of tea, requires you to put the kettle on, put a tea bag in a cup and pour the hot water over the tea bag once the kettle has boiled. That is action. Your cup of tea is not going to make itself. Even if you do not make the tea yourself, you still need to ask someone to make it for you. That is action.

One of the biggest causes of inaction are the words “when Christmas is over I am going to…” or “after the New Year I will…” or “when my kids have gone back to school I will start…” These are excuses to not do something. There is never a right time and there will never be a situation when the conditions, time, weather or whatever it is that you are using as an excuse to not do something will be perfect. Once you have decided you want to do something, then that is the time to start doing it. If nothing else, you can start by capturing your thoughts into your note taking application and begin the process of planning out how you are going to achieve it and why you want to achieve it.

This book did not write itself. Each day I scheduled time to write at least 500 words. Some days it was easy, other days it was very hard. But I knew that unless I took action and typed at least 500 words each day this book would never get published. And that really is the point about taking action, it does not have to be one huge effort, done right, taking action on anything whether it is a goal, a project or writing a book, it is small, manageable action steps that take you closer and closer towards whatever it is you are wanting to achieve.

Take some time to have a think about all the things you are making excuses for not doing. Things like, cleaning out your wardrobe, looking in to enrolling in a further education programme or even buying your first home. Whatever it is you want to do, write them down and then write out the reasons why you have not started. When you have completed this exercise, take a look at those excuses. What you will find is that they really are not stopping you from starting. Quite often the reason you have not started is because you really do not want to do it, or the motivation for doing it is not in line with your real values. This is where your note-taking application can be of real value because it will show you exactly what you truly want to do, and what you do not want to do. If you do not want to do it, then remove it or put it into your someday | maybe folder to review at a later date.

Remember, action is what makes things happen. Excuses never do.

[YDL 2.0 EXCERPT 4] 'You Don't Manage Time, You Manage Yourself'

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Here's another excerpt from my forthcoming book, Your Digital Life 2.0. 

You can find out more by clicking here. 

Your Digitial Life will be available from Monday 11 December on Amazon, iBooks and directly from my website. 

You don’t manage time, you manage yourself.

You will no doubt have noticed some people have amazing ability to achieve a lot each day, they seem to meet their deadlines and still have a full social life. How do they do that? Why can’t you do that?

When I researched this I discovered something really special. The most productive people I’ve learned about—Sir Richard Branson, Winston Churchill, Ian Fleming and Margaret Thatcher to name but a few—always had a set structure to their day. They woke up and went to bed at the same time every day and stuck to a rigid routine they rarely, if ever, altered. Even on holiday Margaret Thatcher stuck to her normal routine of waking up at 7 AM and going to bed around 2AM (she famously survived on four hours of sleep every day—not something I would recommend) Winston Churchill always took a nap between 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM everyday so he could work late into the night. And Ian Fleming would close all the windows and doors of his study in his Jamaican home, Goldeneye, every day between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM and he would write undisturbed. These habits were rigidly stuck to and everyone around them knew they could not be changed or disturbed.

Routine and structure seem to be the golden thread running through amazingly productive people’s lives. If you have no structure, no discipline and no routine, somebody else will dictate what happens to you and this is very rarely a good thing—trust me on that one. You are the captain of your own ship and if you are not in control, the winds and seas of this world will take you far away from where you want to be. Understanding that you cannot borrow time from today to add to tomorrow is the best starting point to establishing a daily routine. Knowing that all you have is 24 hours to work with, all you need decide now is how you will make use of those precious 24 hours.

[YDL2.0 EXCERPT 3] You Need To Take Action

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If you are going to achieve anything it will require some form of action from yourself to make it happen. 

Here's an excerpt from my forthcoming book explaining why action is so important.

You can find out more about Your Digitial lIfe right here

Action
Without action, nothing happens. So many people say they want to achieve something, yet they never do anything to make it happen. It always astounds me that so many people use the phrase “I want…” yet just sit there and do nothing to make that want happen. I strongly believe that all human beings have the ability to achieve almost anything they want, if they would just get up off the sofa and take some action. Do something, anything. To make something happen, you need to do something. To make a cup of tea, requires you to put the kettle on, put a tea bag in a cup and pour the hot water over the tea bag once the kettle has boiled. That is action. Your cup of tea is not going to make itself. Even if you do not make the tea yourself, you still need to ask someone to make it for you. That is action.

One of the biggest causes of inaction are the words “when Christmas is over I am going to…” or “after the New Year I will…” or “when my kids have gone back to school I will start…” These are excuses to not do something. There is never a right time and there will never be a situation when the conditions, time, weather or whatever it is that you are using as an excuse to not do something will be perfect. Once you have decided you want to do something, then that is the time to start doing it. If nothing else, you can start by capturing your thoughts into your note taking application and begin the process of planning out how you are going to achieve it and why you want to achieve it.

This book will did write itself. Each day I scheduled time to write at least 500 words. Some days it was easy, other days it was very hard. But I knew that unless I took action and typed at least 500 words each day this book would never get published. And that really is the point about taking action, it does not have to be one huge effort, done right, taking action on anything whether it is a goal, a project or writing a book, it is small, manageable action steps that take you closer and closer towards whatever it is you are wanting to achieve.

[YDL2.0 EXCERPT 2] Learning From NASA's Mission Control

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One of the most productive and effective places on earth is in Houston, Texas. NASA's Mission Control utilised the latest technology to not only put a man on the moon in 1968 but were so well practised and dedicated to their cause they were able to bring back the astronauts of the fated Apollo 13 mission safely. 

Here's an excerpt from my forthcoming book explaining how they could do that. 

For more information on Your Digital Life 2.0, you can visit the page

 


"One of my favourite films of all time is the film, Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks. The film is the story of the Apollo 13 moon landing mission in April 1970. The problems for Apollo 13 began about twelve hours into the mission when a simple procedure caused an explosion in the engine bay of the spaceship, which started a sequence of events that kept the whole world on tender hooks for four days. The question was, would the crew of Apollo 13 survive and make it back to earth safely?
What most people did not know at the time was the amount of planning and preparation the engineers at Mission Control Center in Houston did before every mission. It took months of testing scenarios, contingency planning and then more testing and simulating before a mission launched. The engineers and flight directors tested every conceivable scenario so they were prepared if anything went wrong. Nothing was overlooked. Unfortunately, one of the very few inconceivable events happened and Mission Control went into full crisis management mode. 
The most inspiring part of the whole Apollo 13 mission was the way Mission Control managed the problem. Once they had the spaceship stabilised and the crew safe, they went about planning the next steps. While the film does not show the timeline very well—it makes it look like all this happened over a few hours, in fact, the rescue mission took four days.—Each step was meticulously planned and tested in the flight simulators. Each problem and potential problem was evaluated and steps were planned to manage or mitigate those problems and a full re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere plan and a checklist was developed and tested before being given to the crew around fourteen hours before the re-entry phase began so they had time to check it themselves. 
The crew of Apollo 13 re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and returned to earth safely. The rescue mission and that is exactly what it was, was executed perfectly and it was all because the team and crew had trained for any eventuality and had plans in place to avert any disaster. 
In many ways, the productive person is like Mission Control Center. They have every potential problem covered. If anything goes wrong with any part of their work or day, they have a plan to quickly and efficiently overcome the problem. They have every possible permutation of scenarios covered, leaving them confident in whatever they do and free of stress and worry."

[YDL2.0 EXCERPT] Don't Let Complexity Creep Destroy Your System

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Complexity creep is the evil force that has one goal: to destroy your productivity system. Here's an excerpt from my upcoming book, Your Digitial Life 2.0.

Your Digitial Life is out Monday 11th December 2017. Find out more right here

 
"The biggest risk to your system is ‘complexity creep’. This book has outlined a way to build a basic system. A framework if you like for you to build on and customise to fit your way of working and thinking. With that responsibility, though, comes the need for constraint. With this responsibility, comes the serious risk you will start adding things to your system in the belief it will make it better. The chances are it will not. Anything that may make your system better needs to be focused on one single area; how fast will it allow me to add a task, an event or a note? It’s really about speed.
If you maintain a strict rule to keep a hard edge between your to-do list manager, your calendar and your note-taking application you are certainly on your way to developing a system that will work for you for many years to come. The mistake I see so many making is they begin to try and merge everything together. In my experience when you do that, when you try to use one app to maintain your whole system, you are inviting in complexity and you will start to compromise the integrity of your system.  It is possible to create your whole system around one app, Evernote for example, will do it but in doing this you will have to make compromises and build workarounds in order for it to work. This is completely unnecessary. It is far better to use the tools you have for the purpose they were built for. After all, a Ferrari will tow a horse trailer, but why would you do that when a Land Rover Discovery would do the job so much better?" 

Supercharge Your Productivity

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I am really excited to announce, I’ve written and produced a productivity course called Supercharge Your Productivity. The course gives you the overview of my productivity system and will allow you to build your own system that will supercharge your productivity and help you develop an essential skill for the twenty-first century.

In 2017 the business world is in the middle of some dramatic changes. With the growth in digital technology, automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence most of the jobs in the world today will have disappeared by 2025. The question to ask yourself is: are you prepared for this future?

Productivity is one of the key soft skills required of executives today. Productivity means you are able to manage all the work that comes your way, to handle all the distractions from your smartphone and computer without missing anything and without becoming overwhelmed and stressed. If you cannot do that, you will not survive in the future business world.

My course is designed to give you the key skill of personal productivity. To help you get the most out of your technology and to give you time and space to grow yourself professionally and personally.

You will not become more productive overnight. It takes time and it takes deliberate action to get your life together. The strategies and methods in this course will make you incredibly productive, which means you will become less stressed, more creative and have more time to do the things that are important to you. But that will only happen if you take action.

Just reading through the supplied workbook and watching the videos will not, on their own, help you. To really get the most out of this course you need to make a determined decision to change the way you work, to be focused and to set up the systems you will need to become a master of productivity.

It is not difficult, but it does take time. Taking that time to really get your life organised and productive is not something you should take lightly. Your very survival in the business world and your career now depends on it.

The course is currently on a special introductory offer of $10.00 (normal price is $40.00) so now is the time to take action and start to really develop a fundamental skill you will need to future proof your career. Get the course today and get lifetime access to the course.

 

 

If you have any questions about the course, feel free to contact me at carl@carlpullein.

Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more productive and creative.

Amazon iBooks | Website

Why Does Email Get Such a Bad Wrap?

I love email. It is a great way to communicate and it gives me a way to organise mails in a way that is far better than paper mail ever was. Paper mail used to hang around the door at home, work mail used to be dropped in to a never ending pile in my physical inbox. It was horrible. And then, if you lost that important letter, it was so much hassle trying to get a copy of the original letter.

With email I can control what I receive. I can block spam, newsletters and other digital debris that periodically enter my inbox, and unless I foolishly delete an important email, I am unlikely to lose those vital mails as the search functions in my email client is excellent. And since the introduction of smartphones I can reply to emails quicker than ever. Before email, Tuesdays used to be horrible. That was the day when I received the most mail and it was just a huge pile of important mixed in with a lot of crap, but to get to the important, you had to physically open the crap to see what it was before confirming it was crap. With email, you can see immediately, without opening the mail, whether it is important or not and a quick swipe on the screen permanently removes it if it is not important.

This is why I can’t understand why so many people give email a bad wrap. It is not as if we did not receive hundreds of physical letters every day before email went mainstream. We did, and it was a much bigger hassle to deal with it all. Okay, there was less time pressure. And we did of course have the excuse that the letter was “lost in the post”, but we can always claim an email was never received just as easily. And, if you are on top of your email, the time pressure should never really be a problem.

I think the reason why email gets such negative press these days is because someone somewhere back in the early 2000s once complained they got too much email. And that single person was a very disorganised, unproductive person. Their comments about email caught on and now it seems to be a cool thing to say that they get too much email. A kind of badge of honour if you like. It’s the “hey look at me! Aren’t I important. I get so many emails!” type of person.

The truth is, email is easy to maintain. If you treat your inbox as just that, an inbox, and whenever you get new mail, you decide immediately what it is and what you have to do with it (and of course, do it) email should never ever be a problem. If you are strict about what you receive, treat your email address as your home address, i.e. Not giving it out to just anyone who asks for it, and not subscribe to anything and everything that asks you to subscribe, you will find you don’t really get all that many emails. However, if you treat your inbox as a storage centre, give your email address to any person or website that asks for it, and you never make a decision about an email — what it is and what you have to do with it — of course your inbox will grow into a pit of despair. But that is not the fault of email. That is your fault.

If you want to love email again, here are some simple rules you can follow:

  1. Whenever you get an email, immediately decide what it is and what you need to do with it, and do it. Do not leave it in your inbox.
  2. Unsubscribe from all those newsletters you do not read. Only keep the ones you do read.
  3. Create 3 folders. 1 — Action today (all emails that need a reply today) 2 — Waiting for (all emails you are waiting for a reply) 3 — Archive (for all emails you need not do anything with)
  4. If an email does not fit in to any of the above folders, delete it.
  5. Treat your email address as you would you home address. You wouldn’t give your home address to any stranger you just met. Do the same with your email address.
  6. Create a dummy web-based email address you can use for home shopping accounts and other places where an email address is needed to join. Do not add this email address into your email client. Keep it as a web-based email account. This way the crap these companies send won’t clutter up your real inbox.

And that is all it takes to love email again. There should be no reason at all for having a long list of read emails in your inbox. If an email is opened, you need to do something with it. Reply, archive or delete. Simple. The real reason email is a problem today? People overcomplicate it. It really is simple. So, keep it simple.

Take some time this week to empty your inbox, a good tip is to select all the emails in there, save for the the most recent ten emails, and hit the delete key. Don’t worry, if you delete an important email the sender will soon send you a reminder. Alternatively, you could do a “soft email bankruptcy” and just move these emails into a temporary folder called “old inbox” and process that when you have time. Then follow the six rules above. You will soon find yourself falling in love with email. And that means one less thing to get stressed about.

Good luck.

Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more productive and creative.

Amazon iBooks | Website

The Tools I Use.

I am often asked, aside from Todoist and Evernote, what apps I use on a daily basis. So I thought I would use this blog post to go through the different apps I use to help make me more productive.

Todoist

Todoist is the core of my whole productivity system. It controls my daily tasks, it makes sure I am doing stuff that is important to my future goals and it makes sure I collect all the daily stuff that comes in to my life so I can process it later.

Evernote

Evernote is my go to notes application. I have been using Evernote for eight years now and I have built up a large collection of articles, ideas and reference materials over those years. I use Evernote to collect articles I find interesting or want to refer to at a later date. I also use it to collect ideas and plans for future use. I even use it for brainstorming ideas.

Fantastical

Fantastical is my calendar app of choice for all my appointments. I’ve been using Fantastical for about three years now and I chose it because of its incredible natural language recognition abilities. Over those three years, Fantastical has got better and better and now with it’s desktop app it has become an all round great calendar app.

Newton Mail

For years I used Apple’s built in mail app on all my devices. That was until I was introduced to Newton about six months ago. To me all the traditional mail apps looked too corporate and were not an inspiring place to do work. Newton changed that for me. It’s interface is gorgeous and it really is a pleasure to compose, read and organise mail. I confess I do still use Apple Mail at the end of a day because Apple Mail has smart mailboxes where I can collect all the action today emails into one place.

So there are my core apps. These apps tell me what have to do and where I have to be while at the same time makes sure I get my work done on time.

Now for the heavy lifting apps:

Apple Keynote

I really don’t think I would be a presenter today if it was not for Keynote. I began using it from the very first day it was launched and have never been tempted back to PowerPoint. All my workshops, presentations and even draft design work is done in Keynote. I love the fact I can create outlines, PDF files and so much more with this brilliant app.

Apple Pages

Pages is my go to app for all written work. I love it’s interface, and the way you can format documents pretty much how you please. I also use the track changes features to proof read client work and then export as a Word file (as pretty much all my clients use MS Office)

Apple Numbers

Like Pages, I use Numbers for my day to day office work. I keep all student attendance lists, client payments and other similar files in iCloud so I can access these from my iPad when I am out and about.

Scrivener

For writing books and these articles I use Scrivener. Scrivener is the best app there is for long form writing such as a book or blog posts and since the app came available for the iPad and iPhone last year, this has meant I no longer need to carry my laptop with me every day as I can simply pick up where I left off on my iPad with its Dropbox syncing.

Screenflow 6

Screenflow is my app of choice for recording and editing my YouTube videos. I love it’s simplicity and solidity. It works, it has direct publishing to YouTube and the way it allows you to mix videos and text is just fantastic.

Now for the cloud drives I use.

I essentially use two cloud drives. These are:

Dropbox

Dropbox changed everything for me. It gave me a folder in the cloud where I could store pretty much all my files, so I no longer relied so much on my desktop or laptop’s hard drive. Now, when I change my computer, I can do a clean install of all the apps, and then allow Dropbox to do it’s thing and download the folders I require on the computer. Everything for both my work and personal life is stored in my Dropbox folder.

ICloud

I use iCloud for specific apps. In particular I use iCloud for Pages and Numbers files I am currently working on as I can access these directly from the device I am working from.

And now for the little utilities apps I use every day to make my life that little bit easier.

1Password

I couldn’t live without this wonderful app. 1Password is where I store all my passwords so I do not have to remember any. The only password I have to remember is the master password and as I use that every day it’s not difficult to remember. With the fingerprint ID functionality on the iPhone and iPad, 1Password is brilliant on my IOS devices.

TextExpander

Another one of those little apps that I couldn’t live without. TextExpander stores little snippets of text I use regularly so all I have to do is type the trigger word or letters and boom! The text appears. I also use TextExpander for today’s date and to correct my most common spelling errors — such as business which I regularly spell as “buisiness” for some reason.

Drafts

Drafts is a clever note taking app that allows you to send notes and captured ideas almost anywhere. I have a list of Evernote notes that Drafts can append notes to so I don’t need to go in to Evernote and search for a note. I can type my idea in Drafts, and then use the actions menu to send the note to any of my pre-defined notes. I also have some pre-written emails in Drafts that I use to send reminders to students. I do not need to type anything except the recipient’s email address. I admit since I got my iPhone 7 with 3D Touch, I have used it less for adding tasks to Todoist, but I do still use it for Evernote and common emails.

Scanbot

Scanbot is my scanning app of choice. It’s a great little app that works really well with Todoist and Evernote and allows me to take a quick scan of a document, receipt or sign and then send it to either my Evernote or Todoist accounts. Scanbot is one of those solid apps that does exactly what it is supposed to do and does it very well.

Apple Music

Love this app so much. It allows me to listen to my favourite trance artists as well as go down memory lane whenever the mood takes me. How I survived without it I have no idea.

Apple’s Podcast App

Okay, this one might surprise some people, but I have found Apple’s Podcasts is a solid app that works extremely well. I’ve tried a lot of alternatives, but none of them has been so much better than Apple’s native podcast app that I wanted to change. On my phone, where I listen to most of my podcasts, I am subscribed to Above & Beyond’s Group Therapy, Judge Jules’s Global Warm Up, Paul Van Dyk’s VONYC Sessions and Gareth Emery’s Electric For Life. Perfect music for when you are out and about or just need a pick me up.

And finally for reading I have the following:

Reeder

I use Reeder to collect all the articles from the blogs I am interested in and scan through these every morning while I am on my way to me first client. Any article I want to read later I send to…

Pocket

Where I will read these articles as and when I get time throughout the day.

And that is really all there is to it. I use Safari as my main browser on all my devices and from time to time I use Google Docs and Google Drive for collaboration projects. If I need a browser for doing work, then I use Chrome as I have no social media sites saved there and so the temptation to procrastinate is removed.

What you use to get your work done is irrelevant, what really matters is the content you produce. How you produce it doesn’t matter. The only advice I would give to anyone looking for the right tools for them is to choose tools you enjoy using. If you do not enjoy using them, or if you actually hate them, then it will affect the quality of your work. A good example of this is my use of Newton Mail. Newton isn’t really that much better than Apple mail, but it is a beautiful app to use and I just enjoy using it.

Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book, as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more productive and creative.

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