I have a toolkit–a set of tools that help me to be productive.  I use these tools every day and across a variety of platforms.  They reduce time expenditures, make use of today’s excellent digital networks, and require me to continually learn more and more.

What follows is a list that is not prioritized or sorted in any way imaginable.  My hope is that it’s helpful.

Tools That Help Me To Be Productive, Part One

  1. Gmail – This is my oldest tool–I remember receiving my invite for a personal email account and continue to use that account.  At LaGrange College, we now have the option to use the Google Apps suite of software.  Search and the ability to make amendments to the email address (e.g. jon@gmail.com, Jon@gmail.com, jon+magazines@gmail.com, and j.o.n@gmail.com are all the same email address) for the purposes of sorting and making search in your email easier.
  2. Google Drive – Drive is the tool that took social productivity to a whole new level with me.  MS Office has had the option to track changes and edits for some time, but it was confusing.  Drive made sharing, keeping drafts, commenting, and simultaneous editing something that became commonplace.
  3. Office 365 – As weird as it is to include this on the list immediately after Google Drive, hear me out.  The ability to share/upload an Excel spreadsheet and keep native tools working and moving is invaluable.  Although I think Drive is superior in most every way, Excel is king–for good reason.
  4. Google Keep – This wonderful app is like digital sticky notes–only better.  In fact, it’s so good that I’ve already written about it.  You can color-code notes, each note can have checkboxes (for real), you can share notes with others, and you can set reminders (time/date/location) for each of those notes.  I’ve turned Keep into more of a to-do list than a notekeeping tool.  However, I do keep notes on my Keep accounts (and then I archive them).  Even better, this tool is available across every platform.
  5. iMovie – When I made the switch from a PC running Linux to a Macbook, I needed video editing.  Fortunately, the MBP comes with iMovie.  I’m slowly adjusting to the workflow of this tool, but am starting to build some intuition for it.  Vimeo has a series of courses and videos that have helped me to become more familiar with this tool–I highly recommend them.
  6. Sublime Text Editor – Another necessity when I made the switch from Linux to Mac–a really good, syntax-highlighting text editor.  Sublime comes at the top of the list.  I’ve only had my Mac for a little while and therefore only been using Sublime for a little while. However, this tool is great, in general.  The license is $70 for continued use and I’m in debate on it.  There are no educational discounts.


This list was prompted by the aforementioned recent exchange to using a Mac from my Linux-based PC.  I was forced to think about the tools that I actually use vs. those which are only marginally used.  In a future post, I’ll continue writing about tools that are useful to me.

If you have any thoughts to add or if you have any questions, please feel free them in the comments section,  Otherwise, if this was a helpful post, feel free to subscribe to the blog or share the post on social media.

Tools That Help Me to Be Productive, Part One

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