3 Tried and Tested Productivity Tools


I'm on a real productive streak at the moment and several things come to mind as possible factors:

  1. It's finally summer in the UK. At least for this week. That means I'm getting more sun (and necessary vitamin D) and finding more excuses to go outside. As somebody who works from home, I find it very easy to spend all days indoors without realising it!
  2. My changing diet. I've been pretty much primal for several months now but after finally reading Mark Sisson's The Primal Blueprint, I was inspired to go 21 days straight with no grains and no sugar (I'll be sharing why and how it's been next week).
  3. Exercise. Something that I stopped doing regularly a few months ago (because of travel, life and if I'm really honest, not being bothered enough to prioritise it). But as I make diet changes, I am also making other lifestyle changes and that involves a whole lot more moving (I'll be sharing more about that soon too).

All in all, I'm feeling good and that usually translates to getting more, quality, satisfying stuff done. I constantly have several things on my plate, what with running a business, managing staff and client projects, keeping up with chores, working on Afri-love and trying to have a life. 

I don't want to say I couldn't do all this without my trusty tools (I don't want to give up total hope on human potential) BUT, right now, the following productivity tools are a godsend:



This simple to-do list app is one of the best things that happened to me. As soon as I think of something I have to do, I write it down. When I'm on my computer, the TeuxDeux tab is always open. When I'm on the move, with the app on my mobile phone, I'm still covered. And of course they sync up so that, at any time, I'm confident that my poor memory can't let me down. It's elegant, there's no fuss and the online app is free (and the mobile version is cheap now free!).

Update, April 2013: TeuxDeux has made some enhancements to the app (the ability to note recurring tasks is exactly what I needed!). However, it also means that they're going to start charging in order to continue to bring us a great tool. The fees are still relatively marginal and for me, totally worth it.


Storage that is accessible anywhere you can access the net. Back-up that I don't have to carry around and that I can't lose, unlike an external hard drive. As a business, Asilia uses Dropbox to store and share files – it's effectively our company server (check out the recent Teams development).

Again, a real bonus is the Dropbox mobile app. It means I can access my files on the go. Very handy when I'm not near a computer and need to reference something or give feedback on some work.


The most recent addition to my family of tools. Prior to Evernote I would keep notes in text files on Dropbox, in Notes on my phone, on my tablet and in my email programme as well as on scraps of paper lying around. Not useful when it comes to actually doing something with the information! Now, I have a central place to store my ideas, plans, notes etc. It's great that you can organise things by notebook and include multimedia content (i.e. images, documents, links etc. – I don't use this feature much yet). I currently have notebooks for Afri-love, health (I track my exercise activity), Asilia (several for this actually, to do with different aspects of the business) and for personal admin. Again, mobile version is a plus. [Check out this love letter to Evernote]

The good news is that all of these tools are free to start with, except the mobile version of TeuxDeux. I highly recommend them all (and I'm not getting paid to say this)!

Have you used any of these and what has your experience been?

Any others that you use and recommend?
How do you manage your productivity?


Related reading:

6 thoughts on “3 Tried and Tested Productivity Tools”

  1. Awesome post Lulu. I love Dropbox too. Have Evernote downloaded but haven’t started using it and use Any.Do for to-do lists.
    I’m always looking for ways to get more productive but my biggest time suck is web browsing. Couldn’t find a great solution so decided to build one myself. Would love your thoughts on Skim.Me (http://skim.me) to make you our daily online routines more productive.
    Our add-on does all the setup, organization and management work for your favorite site and app sources so you can browse no-reply emails, weather, news, social media, ecommerce, finance and more without leaving our web app – all in timed batches throughout the day. As you browse we manage a “done” list for you that can be toggled to a “to-do” list for browsing that’s algorithmically curated. It’s a great user experience that shows you what you’ve accomplished and never how many unread you have.
    We’re trying to help build browsing discipline for those of us who can’t seem to resist the urge of constantly checking things. Anyone can email me at wu at skim dot me with any questions or feature requests. We’ll be releasing the first version soon. Thanks for checking us out!

  2. Hey Clinton, thanks for sharing what you’re working on. Skim.Me sounds very compelling indeed – I will check it out and let you know my thoughts.
    My biggest time suck is definitely web browsing too, although I can sometimes justify it as work, you know research and all!

  3. If I could suggest another productivity tool that I find effective; using “Time Doctor” as a time tracking software could help you be motivated on working and avoiding things that can be considered as non-work related.
    It’s not just about monitoring but also it’s about how does an individual person increase their productivity. So if you can see the details of what you’ve been working on for the day, you can start to improve their behavior and output.

  4. Using Optimus Hive to perform your Business Monitoring will give you full visibility over your BaU and what it costs you! Yes, you can figure out the cost per task! This is possible no matter your employees are working from home, in a remote office, or sitting down the hall.

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