Top 5 Productivity Apps

Happy Sunday, y’all! As promised, here’s a list of my top 5 favorite apps and programs to help keep me on top of my game!

Trello

Trello is a great app for personal or professional use. It’s a project management platform that is like a digital cork board on steroids. The coolest thing about Trello are the Power-Ups which let you integrate Trello with so many other apps! My favorite Power-Up is the Calendar function which allows you to turn your board into a calendar. 

I use Trello for managing both our homes – that includes our house inventory, our ‘honey-do’ list, tracking the furniture that we bought or want to buy, and for saving design ideas. I also use Trello to manage my clients and their projects – each new client gets their own board. I also use Trello to manage my book ideas, the littles’ birthday parties and our vacations! 

Slack

Slack is an amazingly powerful instant messaging tool. Like Trello, it can integrate with many other apps as well (shocker: it can integrate with Trello too!). What I love about Slack is how easy it is to use, right out of the gate.  

I often suggest Slack to my corporate clients. You can create channels based on projects, both internal or client facing. For example, any new project that comes in, I make a channel for it. Then I pin the contract, client contact form, and any other relevant documentation to the channel so anyone on my team can easily access those. We also have integrated Google Drive and Harvest to Slack as well – this makes it easy to manage any other files associated with the project and track our billable hours! 

My favorite Slack hack? The forward slash. You can type “/remindme to call Joe tomorrow morning” into your personal slack channel and then guess what? Yup! The app will remind you to call Joe at 9AM the following morning (or whatever time you’ve established as the start of your day). That feature is a lifesaver! 

Outlook 

The Outlook app is truly a fabulous way to manage one or more email accounts. Unlike the default mail app, Outlook has a much faster search tool and IMHO, an easier calendar view too. 

My favorite feature of the Outlook app is that you can search by folder name when you want to move an email out of the inbox to another folder. Why the Apple mail app can’t handle this is beyond me…but since it doesn’t I’m going to stick with Outlook! 

Pro Tip: If you use G Suite, Outlook does not support the Category feature without switching from IMAP to POP3. 

Google Drive 

You probably already use Google Drive for sharing documents, sheets, images and other content so I won’t go into a million details as to why I also love it. That said, it might seem weird that I use Outlook / O365 and Google Drive. The simple fact is, most of the vendors I work with use Google Drive and so I use it to make the transfer of information easier. 

I also use Google Drive to manage files for our homes, documents for the kids, book ideas with my writing partner, and much more. It’s a super easy way to share photos with family members too! I realize that one day Google is going to probably do my thinking for me too…hopefully that is many, many years from now when I’m old and can’t remember sh*t anyway 😉  

iCalendar 

I know, I know. I’ve already said how much I love Outlook and included it’s Calendar functionality. The thing is, if you don’t use Outlook and don’t have any desire to seek out a new Calendar app, iCalendar is a really easy way to share events with family members and manage multiple calendars in one place. 

For example, I have calendars for: Bills, Events, Travel, Family Stuff, Date Nights, Birthdays and Design Happy. Only two of those are shared with Jeff (can you guess which ones??). 

Pro Tip: If you have a hard time managing bills and when they’re due, here is a simple solution: Add all of your bills to a special calendar, just for bills! Give the calendar a color, red for instance, so it stands out against the other items on iCalendar. Add each bill to it’s actual due date and set the alert for two days prior. I started doing this so long ago I can’t even remember how long it’s been! It was a total game changer. 

These apps are ALL game changers. I’ll share more soon, but for now – share your favorites in the comments below!