My Favorite Productivity Tools & Hacks

by Greg Barrett

We always talk in awe about the grinders that work long hours. Especially the old timers. That’s great but we all have more important things in our lives (at least I hope we do) than grinding at work 12 hours a day. My goal is to achieve the most in the smallest period of time. In a previous life, when I managed a bunch of healthcare clinics, I can recall working about half the hours as my counterparts. Despite that fact, I was one of the top producers.  Why? I focused on results not effort. I implemented systems and processes, trained people, motivated people and delegated. I then did only those things that I couldn’t delegate. I also used tools and systems to maximize my individual productivity. We can’t delegate everything, but we can use the technology platforms below to improve our efficiency and output.


These are some productivity tools and hacks I incorporate to get the most out of my time.



This tool monitors what I’m doing on my computer. You download a small application that runs in the background and monitors what you are doing on your computer. This is great for those that have a problem with social media, youtube or ESPN… or Pinterest if that floats your boat. It will tell you exactly how much time you’ve spent in each application on your computer. I like it because I can see where I’m spending my time, from there I can come up with ways to reduce the times spent in those areas.



I’m sure you listen to podcasts. If you are an audiobook guy then you can download them from itunes or subscribe to audible. Your can also rent audiobooks from your local library entirely through an App called OverDrive.  It’s simple, you just create an account with your library info then download books.  It’s free and there is a wide selection of books.  The only con is that you have just 14 days to listen to the book.



When your email box becomes insane, use sane box. My email box isn’t quite to that level. The built in clutter removers from Google and Microsoft work sufficiently for me at this point. More important people, like my boss, use it. He swears by it.  The only downside is this one is not free.



Save Websites for later. When your bookmarks toolbar is full, use this to save important websites or things you plan to look at later or on another device. You tag the article so you can then search for it later.


Wrike and Asana

A project management tool for businesses. They are both free. I use wrike for a few different projects I am working on with multiple people and locations.  It’s much better than blowing up email. You can set tasks, store documents, and record progress. Many startup companies use these platforms.


Evernote and OneNote

These tools provide an online note taking platform accessible from any computer or device. Evernote is the industry standard for bloggers and techies. I prefer OneNote because there is an undo button, and because the table in Evernote are subpar. I also prefer OneNote because it is basically like having a free version of Office on the cloud. They are both great though.


Last Pass

This program let’s you save all your passwords so you only have to remember one.  Install the extension in your browser, then start saving your passwords, so you won’t have to remember them again.



Buffer allows you to easily organize and share information on your social media sites. Connect all your social media and buffer will take care of it. You can schedule posts and monitor conversations and view stats and analytics.


There are many other productivity and organizational tools out there. I try to limit the number of tools I use because by using too many the purpose can quickly get defeated. I recommend starting with one or two and then add a few more when you get comfortable using the first two.

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