For Your Consideration…
- Not Your Average Productivity Post
- I’ve Got Apps 4 U
- Around The World
1. NOT YOUR AVERAGE PRODUCTIVITY POST
I’m conflicted when it comes to “How I Get Work Done” posts. What’s good for one person isn’t always a good fit for someone else. A huge thing I wish I saw more was resource-based advice that centered on people like me: The creatively-minded who operate in worlds where we have to work closely with people (clients/customers/co-workers/bosses/etc) that don’t understand creative or “out-of-the-box” thinking. More than systems, we need consistent sparks for the creative fire.
One thing I do notice is that the “How I Get Work Done”-style of journalism we get these days is either strategic product placement or some weird intellectual voyeurism. Except in this case, I guess you’d be horny for productivity solutions?
This newsletter is my attempt to share some resources that help me do my thing. Given that you subscribe to this niche newsletter, I’m assuming you’re in the same boat as I am—and are looking for ways to not only stay productive as a creative, but also ways to maintain that delicate alchemy of courting our muse vs. making money.
Everything shared here is a product, tool, or resource that I believe in, personally, and that I think can provide broad value to folks like us.
Before we go forward, a few things:
Pay for the products that I recommend to you (if they work for your personal needs and goals).
I am of the opinion that you should pay for software in order to get the best value from it. This is tied to a little mental trick called the sunk cost fallacy: The higher amount of time (or money, in this case) you invest into something, the chance you will give it up decreases considerably. If you struggle with accountability or self-discipline, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is.
I will never recommend something I don’t personally use.
I’m not an influencer, I’m a person who wants the community to win. Therefore, I’m drawing a line in the sand here and saying that I will never share something that I don’t believe in. You have my word.
If it don’t apply, let it fly.
Not everything works for everyone. If you find that a different service or app works better for you, USE IT. I’m not a spokesperson for these products, and this isn’t a “do this and you will be successful”-type beat. Only you can decide what works best for you.
2. I’VE GOT APPS 4 U
or 4 Apps That Every Creative Entrepreneur Needs
Affiliate Link: https://doist.grsm.io/e2b81k2bjqgw
(As I said, I am not a spokesperson for or paid by any of these brands. However, I would be remiss not to try to get a discount on my current subscriptions. This is a one-man all-expenses-incurred show. So if you do end up springing for these programs, do it via the affiliate links, please.)
What is it? A productivity tool.
What does it do: Keeps, tracks and organizes your to-do list for your life, business, or both.
Why I love it: I have ADHD. I always have. I’m 36 now and I didn’t know that until February of 2020. Since then, I’ve been unlearning the negative self-talk that is on a permanent ESPN-style crawl at the bottom of my thoughts. It’s on a never-ending loop because when young/older/current Ernest took an L due to a symptom of yet-undiagnosed ADHD, he assumed it was because he was disorganized and/or a bad person.
Now that I know what’s really going on, I’m falling in love with organization, albeit in small doses. I will never enjoy being told what to do, but I have no problem following a ritual.
Todoist is a to-do list app that helps you stay organized. That’s it. That’s what it does. Where it differs from the rest for me was having a system that I could implement that helped me PRIORITIZE (My brain lacks the chemicals that a lot of folks have where they can identify, prioritize and execute a list of tasks or errands.)
Affiliate Link: https://calendly.grsm.io/u6rm1udp940m
(As I said, I am not a spokesperson for or paid by any of these brands. However, I would be remiss not to try to get a discount on my current subscriptions. This is a one-man all-expenses-incurred show. So if you do end up springing for these products, do it via the affiliate links, please.)
What is it? The last scheduling app you’ll ever need.
What does it do: Hyperbole aside, this app allows you to reclaim the most important thing you’ll ever possess: your time. Calendly allows you (or an assistant) to manage your calendar and when you do/don’t have time to have that “quick chat” with someone. Mine is segmented out into ntervals that are locked into a specific window of time every week. That way, I can organize (and recognize) my calendar based on patterns: calls happen on Tuesdays; podcast tapings happen Thursdays between 2 and 4; the newsletter editorial meeting is the last Friday of every month. And so on and so forth.
Why I love it: I took a risk last week and created a 15-minute window wherein potential clients or recruiters can chat with me directly about how I can help their business. We’re also working on a way for Office Hours Mag paid subscribers to book time on my calendar to get consultations, chat through topics, or just go full galaxy brain about culture for 30 mins. I’ve had these kinds of ideas for years but have never been quite able to schedule it out without some help. Not to mention, having the ability to choose the communication format (you can integrate Calendly into Slack, Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and more) is a GODSEND.
Long story short: Calendly allows me to make better stuff.
Affiliate Link: https://1password.grsm.io/OfficeHoursMag
(Same spiel as above.)
What is it? The key to saving your online sanity
What does it do: Want to ruin your day? Try to calculate how much time you spend entering or finding the passwords to your online life. It’s so frustrating. The whole damn world is burning down and y’all want me to easily recall what my password is to my brand email or the password to one of the 120 streaming services I’m subscribed to, AND I have to use unique passwords because my old trusty “hotwingz1987” apparently isn’t safe against being hacked?
Why I love it: 1Password puts all the passwords I use every day into one place. It’s integrated with all my devices; all I have to do is open the 1Password app or widget, and every password I need is there. Less time thinking about what I reset my gmail password to for the 900th time, more time procrastinating on writing this newsletter!
Affiliate Link: https://tryshift.grsm.io/OfficeHoursMag
What is it? It’s a browser for work. Everything you need, in one place.
What does it do: Shift is an essential tool for people who juggle multiple responsibilities or want to keep their brain from becoming like that warm pile of cheesy goo left in the microwave after your drunk craving for a quesadilla last weekend. It will organize your email addresses, business accounts, apps you only use once a year, whatever you need.
Why I love it: Shift acts as its own browser and integrates with every possible app, and it saves my brain by negating the chance that I’ll get distracted while switching between apps. It’s like if an e-mail browser and a social network had a really productive baby. It takes a bit to set up at first, but I promise that if you’re the type that needs everything in one place like I do, Shift might change the way you work?
In the next installment, I’ll be sharing my super-secret list of free/extended trial software that I use or recommend instead of (insert expensive software you use every day here).
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3. AROUND THE WORLD
- The gritty reality for Substack’s middle class (Simon Owens, Simon Owens’s Media Newsletter)
- How to ask for more money — and actually get it (Tim Herrera, Freelancing with Tim)
- She’s the Investor Guru for Online Creators (Taylor Lorenz, New York Times)
- Rick Ross joined the Trapital Podcast. ‘Nuff Said. (Dan Runcie, Trapital)
- Most Hollywood Writers’ Rooms Look Nothing Like America (Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic)