Which tools do I use to stay productive and to make a living online? Here are my favorites.
(Some links on this page are affiliate links, which means that if you buy a product or service, I may be compensated. I only recommend products and services that I love, though!)
- OmniFocus is a sophisticated task manager that I first started using in 2011. Over the years, it has helped me get stuff done and stay in control of my projects. Check out my course Get Stuff Done with OmniFocus 3.
- Things 3 is the most gorgeous and well-designed task manager out there. Its thoughtful design and simplicity might be just what you need. Learn how to build a workflow around Things 3 with my video course, Organize Your Life with Things 3.
To decide whether OmniFocus or Things 3 is the better fit for you, read my OmniFocus vs. Things 3 review.
Video Recording Gear
I use the following gear to record my videos.
- Elgato Key Lights: for making sure I am well-lit in my videos. You can control them with mobile and desktop apps, which is incredibly convenient.
- Rode NTG5 microphone: for talking head shots in which I don’t want the microphone to be visible.
- Rode PSA1 arm: for mounting my microphone on, so the mic doesn’t have to sit on my desk.
- Shure MV7 microphone: sound like a radio broadcaster. Good for calls and video recordings where you don’t mind having a mic visible.
- Sony A7C full-frame camera: picture quality is amazing, has lots of features that are convenient for my use case, such as a screen that flips out to the side and rotates, as well as being ready to use as a webcam out of the box. Battery life is excellent too.
- Sony FE 24mm F2.8 G lens: a great, compact lens that (because of the F/2.8 aperture) can create that awesome background blur you often see in YouTube videos. I find that a focal length of 24 mm is the sweet spot for talking head shots.
- Zoom H5 audio recorder: when I’m using the Rode NTG5 shotgun microphone, the audio records to an SD card in this recorder.
In the past, I have also used the Sony alpha 6400 camera with a Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN lens. Those produced excellent image quality as well, so you really don’t have to spend the extra money on the full-frame Sony A7C camera with a (more expensive) full-frame lens.
- Apple Notes: I don’t use a third-party notes app anymore. Check out my video on why and how I use Apple Notes.
- Backblaze: automatically and continuously backs up all of your files to the cloud. Never lose documents again.
- CleanMyMac: remove junk from your Mac, freeing up space and making it run quicker.
- Fantastical: a calendar app with a fantastic (😉) design.
- HEY: a new, refreshing take on email by the makers of Basecamp. Since I started using HEY, I’ve been enjoying processing my email.
- IA Writer: my favorite app for writing my weekly newsletter and the occasional longer piece.
- Nirvana: my task manager of choice for people who cannot use OmniFocus or Things. (The latter two are only available on Apple devices.)
- Savvycal: for scheduling meetings without the back-and-forth.
Physical and mental health
- Day One: a journaling app for Apple devices. When I’m on trips, I like to journal on paper. At home, I rarely took the time to journal, until I discovered Day One. Lovely app for getting your thoughts out of your head.
- Headspace: a super friendly meditation app.
- Strong: super handy app for tracking your weightlifting. Lets you create lifting templates and helps you while you’re in the gym.
- Ten Percent: great app to get into meditation if you’re skeptical of it.
- Waking Up: learn meditation with Sam Harris. Also includes conversations (like podcast episodes) with interesting people.
To choose between the three meditation apps, watch my video review of 10% Happier, Headspace, and Waking Up.
Website, courses, and email list
- ConvertKit: The very first thing you should do if you want to make a living online is to start an email list. And you should do so with ConvertKit.
- Fathom Analytics: a privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics. Allows me to collect useful statistics about my website visitors without collecting any personal information.
- Fizzle: Fizzle taught me how to make a living online as a creator. They were invaluable at the start of my journey.
- Screenflow is the app I use to record my Mac, iPhone, and iPad screens for YouTube and for my courses.
- Teachable is my course platform of choice. I love it mainly because it handles sales and value-added taxes for me, which would otherwise be a massive pain in the ass. There are course platforms with more and better features, but none of them handle tax properly (even when they say they do; trust me).
- Webflow: my website designer, content management system, and web host—all in one! Webflow makes it a breeze to create a blazing-fast website that looks exactly like you want it to.
- Descript for editing my podcast episodes. It transcribes your audio (or video) file. You can then edit the audio by editing the text transcript. It saves quite a bit of time.
- Riverside for recording my podcast episodes. It records audio locally, so an unreliable Internet connection is no problem. It also allows my guest and me to see each other, which helps our conversation flow smoothly.
- Transistor is where I host my podcast. It’s easy to use, fast, and inexpensive.
Be more secure online
- 1Blocker: a tracker blocker for Safari. It makes it super easy to allow or restrict certain types of tracking, depending on what you’re comfortable with.
- 1Password: you should be using a password manager and 1Password is my password manager of choice.
- NordVPN: when you’re on a WiFi network you don’t trust (like at a coffee place), use a VPN to prevent others from snooping on you. I’ve tried a bunch of VPNs and NordVPN works most reliably for me.