My Top 10 Productivity Tools

My Top 10 Productivity Tools

While I love to organize things, I’m not always the most organized person.  As a visual person, I tend to have things everywhere and I can appear disorganized at times.  I rely on a lot of tools and products to help boost my productivity.

Today I’m going to share some of those tools, but I definitely want to hear your suggestions in the comments area as well!


My Top 10 Productivity Tools

My Planner

action day plannerI have tried a lot of planners in my adult life, and I have usually discarded each one after just a short amount of time.  I say “adult life” only because we got planners/assignment books throughout high school that I religiously used.  When I went to college, they had the same type of planner available through the university, so I continued to be an avid user.  But then, college was done and so was I with planners.  Go figure.

This year, I’ve tried out the Action Day Planner, and I have really enjoyed it.  While I use it mostly for little notes and to do lists, those are very important tasks for me.  This year, I have used the 8×11 size Action Day Planner.  (Eric has as well.)  We’re both switching to the 6×8 size Action Day Planner for 2014.

Moleskine Notebooks

I love having small moleskine notebooks in places like my laptop backpack, sitting on my desk, in my purse, and just about anywhere else.  More specifically, I like the pocket sized plain moleskine cahier journals.

These do sometimes mess up my productivity because I have several, so I sometimes forget which one something is written in.  But, they’re especially handy for having something to write in while I’m out and about.

Post-it Notes

What can I say?  I love them in all sizes and colors.  My favorite are the multi-colored packs in the 3×3 size.  I like to stick up notes where I need them or just jot down notes that I’ll only need for a shorter amount of time.  I even like to stick some of these in the front of my Action Day Planner so that I can grab some Post-it notes any time I need them.

Pens Everywhere

I love pens.  I do not love pencils.  I would rather just have to scribble out writing that I’ve done in pen than to have written in pencil to start off.  I like keeping pens everywhere – a bunch on my desk, some in my kitchen, several in my purse, and so on.  With pens usually available within a few steps, it’s easy for me to write down ideas whenever I want.  My favorite pens lately are the colored InkJoy pens.

bulletin-boardDry Erase/Bulletin Board Combo

We have one of these boards, as well as an additional bulletin board under it, in our pantry/kitchen area.  I like that we can tack up important cards and papers, but also have an area to write reminders and notes.  It’s just so convenient.

Google Calendar

I love Google calendar, but mostly for the ability to have it on multiple devices, including Eric having it on his phone as well.  Now, I have to say that the new calendar app on the iOS 7 has been making me crazy.  But, that issue aside, I just think that having access to our calendar on so many different devices helps make us a little more productive.


In Mozilla Firefox, I use the LeechBlock add-on.  It blocks the sites (like social media) that I tell it to block after a certain amount of time each day.  There are lots of ways to set up LeechBlock, but I just have it set up to kick me off after a set amount of time in a 24 hour period.  Of course, I still can get on some of that same social media on my phone.  However, I don’t spend too much time doing that.  This add-on used to not be quick as productive because I would just take off the block as I got close to my time limit.  However, now Eric has a password set up for it, so I can’t get into it to change it.


It’s bad.  I know that.  I would be a big liar, however, if I didn’t admit that one of my tools for being very productive is when I have procrastinated too long on a certain task.  It’s been the way that I’ve operated for a long time.  Sometimes it backfires on me, of course.  But, it’s usually a pretty strong motivator.


That thing is like carrying a little computer around with me everywhere.  While it sometimes makes me less productive, it usually helps my productivity.  It would be hard to get used to not having it if I ever found myself in a situation where I couldn’t have one anymore.  Even before I had the iPhone, I still used my iPod Touch as a PDA.

Folders on my Computer

I am a very liberal user of folders on my computer.  I have my email full of folders, as well as elaborate systems of folders on my computer, external hard drive, and DropBox.  While my own folder system might slow someone else down because they wouldn’t know where to look for everything, I have them organized in a way that makes sense to me and I’m able to quickly click around and find exactly what I’m looking for.

What are some of your favorite tools or products to help with your productivity?

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  1. says

    keep hearing about Leechblock. I may need to try this our because it is true that social media gets in my way. And I agree about procrastination CAN be a good tool to get things done. I am a good example of it.

  2. says

    Love the procrastination one just because it is so true that when you have had to push things off at some point you get down to business and get it done! A little balance is nice, but sometimes life just makes you push some things aside. Great, honest, list! Thanks for hosting this link-up.

  3. says

    I am a procrastinator all the way!! And I always have been! It’s never actually been a bad thing for me…I always work better under pressure! I need to find a new planner to fall in love with. I use Cozi Calender to keep everybody linked in but I’d love to have a paper version when I’m at doctor’s offices, etc that I could pull out of my purse and not have to get on my phone all the time! ;-) Thanks for hosting the link up!

  4. Melissa says

    I laughed because apparently I’m not the only crazy one!!!
    I have the super elaborate folder system on my PC… Pinterest annoys me because I can’t make sub categories so I use my favorites folder to sub categorize my pins in certain areas! Hubs can’t even navigate my photo folders let alone documents and he about lost his mind when I reorganized his favorites :)
    I am a post it lover as well even my cookbook (hand written family recipes from all sides) is organized with the little tab ones! I keep them everywhere…
    Pens oh pens I actually prefer just a good cheap pen (cello smooth in blue and black ink) I buy them by the 20 pack at biglots. I usually have 2 or more in my hair as well as a healthy stash every 10 feet in my house and a bunch in my car.
    Notebooks again cheap ones college ruled that you can get for 10-20 cents each at back to school sales. I have about 100+ stashed in my closet and 10+ out and about and in use at all times. My kids each have one as well so they stay out of Mommy’s.
    My life line is my mommy book. I get tired of a planner after a few months because I can’t stuff them with everything I need and they had too much that I wouldn’t use. I have 4 kids and a busy family. I color coordinate sections for each person but I like to see my whole month at a glance so I gave up on store bought versions and grabbed a mini binder and took all my old planners I had lying around an salvaged what I liked from them like the nifty plastic zip pockets and card holders and photo pockets. I had one with a removable address book I actually do use. I made my own calendar and added a few clear plastic pencil pouches one for each person and pocke style tabbed dividers. Now I have my calendar, a place for our important documents, insurance cards etc for each person, a cover I love because it is just a big picture of my kids I can change out when I want and my wedding (casual luau) picture on the back. I can keep my bills and other needs attention mail right where I need it and nothing gets lost!!!
    My iPhone is a serious source if procrastination (which is agreeably a motivator last minute) I resisted getting a smart phone of any kind until about a year and a half ago when my 10th phone that year kicked the bucket (love toddlers) and I had to buy a brand new one. Hubs refused to get me another “dinosaur” so iPhone is what I ended up with. Now I can play on Pinterest ALL day… See serious procrastination device!!!
    Coffee is a motivator for me though I drink a ton to start with and its the main reason I get out o bed rather than barking orders from my room most days. I set my pot to brew 10 minutes before my alarm goes off so the smell of fresh coffee calls to me to get my rear moving!!!

  5. says

    I’m glad you mentioned the iOS calendar glitches. Before, when I put something in my Google Calendar, it would show up in my iPad, and vice versa. I have no idea what happened, but now, they’re not connected. ARGH.

  6. says

    I nodded my head as I read through your list since I use so many of the same tools. I really miss my PDA; having the iPhone has been fabulous. I almost feel like I have the PDA back.

    Evernote has been a fantastic productivity tool for me. Any time I run across something online I want to keep a copy of, I clip it to Evernote. I also write a lot of my draft posts in Evernote along with my research for posts.