I get many questions about the tools that I use to maximize my productivity both in my job and the operation of my website and newsletter.
Here you will find a few of the tools and services that I use in this regard. I will occasionally add to this list, so feel free to check back here for updates.
A few of these sources (not all) contain affiliate links, which means that my website might get a small commission if you purchase the tool or service. If that happens, the commission is not ever added on top of the price. In fact, a few of these links contain special discounts. Any commissions made are invested in the operations of this website.
Please do not spend any money on these tools or services unless you feel you need them or that they will help you to achieve your goals.
If you spend a lot of your working hours on your computer like me, you know that the faster you type, the more you can get done. Text Expander is a tool that allows you to set up words, phrases, sentences, and even entire documents that you commonly use as small snippets in the TextExpander app, so you don’t have to type them each time. I use the tool across all of my computers and devices, and it has saved me a great deal of time when writing. Text Expander offers a free trial so that users can try it and experience first hand the productivity gains in their writing.Learn More
It is far too easy to get distracted when you are trying to get work done. One type of distraction is the internet and social media, where you may find yourself checking websites and social media accounts when you are trying to get work done. I use a tool called Freedom, which allows me to block certain websites and apps during times that I have set aside to do work. I use it on my computers and mobile devices, and it is compatible with Windows, iPhone, Mac, and iPad. It also syncs across all your devices. You can sign-up for a free trial to see if you like it.Learn More
Just like many people, I have a ton of passwords that I use to access websites, accounts, and subscriptions, to name a few. It is impossible to remember all of them, and it is frustrating when you cannot locate a password and have to go through a reset process. LastPass is a tool that I have had on all my computers and devices for several years. It helps you generate secure passwords, safely stores them, and easily populates your user name and passwords when you log in to a website. It is safe and easy to use, and it has saved me a lot of time.Learn More
Dropbox is my cloud-based document storage system of choice that easily syncs with all of my devices and computers. I use it to save all of my files, videos, and images. Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage space when you sign-up. I subscribe to the Plus package, which is one tier up from the Free Plan and provides me with 2TB of space, which is sufficient for my purposes. I have been using Dropbox for years, have never had any problems, and is simple to use. It saves me time when accessing and working on different files. You can try the free version to experience it.Learn More
To operate a website, you need two things. First, you need to purchase your own domain name (mine is brianheger.com). Then, you need a web hosting platform to operate your website. Bluehost is the hosting platform I use for my website and is a proven powerhouse in the website hosting industry. Aside from hosting, you can purchase your domain through them. They offer exceptional customer service, are reliable, and have great pricing. Whether you want to operate your website or want a personal domain so you can have a secure email platform, I highly recommend Bluehost. They offer a free 30-day trial for web hosting.Learn More
There are many platforms on which one can build a website. However, Wordpress is the number one website building platform out there and is the one I use for my website. It's a platform any non-designer can build a great website or blog on, and it's completely free. There are tons of great themes and plug-ins available to design your Wordpress site to your liking. It is easy to use and provides much greater flexibility in terms of design options than other platforms, most of which also require a subscription-where Wordpress does not. Just make sure you go to Wordpress.com versus Wordpress.org since there is a difference.Learn More
Bluesoft Design is the firm I selected to help build my website. While it is not difficult to find a web designer, I had a very specific vision and needs for my website and I needed to have a partner who not only had the technical skills to execute my vision, but who also has high standards, is flexible, patient, and a strong collaborator. David from Bluesoft Design goes beyond in each of these areas. If you are looking to build a website of any kind, I strongly suggest you reach out to David. From the initial consultation to the point the website is delivered, he will be there for you each step of the way. Tell him that I sent you and he will take great care of you.Learn More
I love audiobooks and find that they are a great way to stay informed, generate ideas, and gain insights. And while not everyone enjoys listening to books, I find that audiobooks are a great supplement to reading physical books and provides an efficient way to consume content while performing other tasks such as exercising and driving. I use Audible as my audiobook provider. Audible offers a 30-day free trial where you will get two free audiobooks books immediately. Even if you cancel, you keep the two audiobooks, but I suspect that when you experience the services firsthand that you will want to sign-up for a monthly subscription, which can be canceled at any time.Learn More
While I enjoy reading physical books and listening to audiobooks, the downside of consuming content through these learning channels is that they require time. One effective way I use to find great ideas in an efficient manner is through Soundview Executive Books Summaries. Soundview focuses solely on business books and does an excellent job of summarizing key points and concepts from these books into a 7-8 page PDF. This service enables me to obtain great learnings and ideas in a short amount of time. Soundview offers a monthly plan as well as a yearly plan, and you can download a free summary PDF to try it out. They also offer plans for work teams and organizations.Learn More
To stay informed on topics related to my work and current events, I read each day. However, given the vast amount of content and the various platforms through which content can be consumed, it can be challenging to determine what is worth reading. One tool I use to overcome this challenge is Feedly--an RSS reader – or feed aggregator. It lets you organize, read, and share the content of your favorite sites and keywords. Feedly is an important tool that enables me to efficiently access the content that is most important to my interests. They offer a free plan, but I subscribe to their Pro Plan since it has additional functionality, such as a higher search and alert limit.Learn More
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