Here is a list of some tools and resources I recommend any current, fledgling, or future leader or manager out there to use. This list contains the tools and gear that I use to maximize my productivity as a business leader. I use or have used each and every item listed in this article. For books, please read this article instead: the best books for managers and leaders.
It took me years to find the right equipment and devices that fully meet my expectations on mobility and productivity. If you want inspiration or are simply curious, you can read about the equipment and apps that I use in this article.
Productivity Tools for leaders and managers
In order to stay productive, mobile, and accessible at the same time, I use the following tools, including gear, services, and subscriptions.
Cell phone and tablet ecosystem
I use Evernote, Gmail, Google Drive, and other applications enabling great productivity on multiple devices. This means I have complete access to anything I need, regardless of whether I am in Europe, Asia, Middle East, the Americas, or anywhere else. I use a Samsung S10 as a cell phone and a Samsung Galaxy Tab s6 to run this ecosystem – as well as my PC described below of course. I used iPhone for many years, but I decided to switch to be able to use Android apps. I know this is a matter of taste, but for me, it’s crystal clear by now. Samsung Galaxy is what works best for me, both for tablets as well as cell phones. Check out the current pricing of these devices on Amazon on these links in case you are interested: Galaxy Tab S6 (ad, amazon) and Galaxy S20 (ad, amazon). The tablet comes with a great stylus that I use for taking notes.
I’ve tried out numerous laptops during my job as a leader. I usually go for the less complex ones and I don’t need to convert my laptop into a tablet or anything like that. For all personal topics, including book writing, working on this site, personal development, and leadership development, I currently use a great laptop by Dell, it is the Dell XPS 13 to be exact. It has a fantastic battery time and is very lightweight so it is easy to bring anywhere. What really made me pick this one, in the end, was actually the keyboard – it is so smooth to write on it’s ridiculous. I can’t imagine using any other PC at this point, so they better keep this model around for a long time! Check out the current price at Amazon in case you are interested: Dell XPS 13 (ad, amazon).
Do not waste your time on remote meetings with poor sound quality and intermittent voice transmission. It kills your efficiency and creates risks for misunderstandings and frustration. This is totally unnecessary since there are actually really good microphone/speaker solutions out there. I use equipment from Jabra and they work great. (See listings on Amazon here: Jabra equipment. (ad, amazon))
Text and writing
I use Grammarly to ensure that longer and more important texts are not just spelled correctly, but also flow nicely and are easy to read. I can especially recommend this tool for non-native English speakers as it can increase the quality of your text remarkably well.
Blinkist is a great service that provides you with short summaries of books. You know how you sometimes read a 200-page book and feel that the learning points could have been listed in just five to six pages? Instead, you wasted hours of your time getting through sometimes long-winded elaborations and numerous examples before getting to the point. If I read a book summary on Blinkist that I really like, I actually buy the complete book and dig in. Blinkist helps me to get the quick learnings of multiple books in just a short time, as well as inspiration on which books to read in their entirety.
Most of the book summaries are also available on audio, so I normally listen to one or two book summaries in the car on my way to work. Check out blinkist here: Blinkist. They have apps for android, apple and you can use it with your computer as well.
I use Evernote for making notes, saving web pages and general resource items that I want to save for later. Thanks to the multi-platform setup, I can reach my notes from my cell phone, my tablet, and my PC. I have even set up the email service which means I can forward important emails, including attachments, for storage in Evernote.
You can create several notebooks for better organization, and you can share notes or notebooks with other users. Evernote has made my life easier, more organized, and more productive. Give them a try right here: Evernote.
I will keep this list updated as much as possible. It took me years to find these productivity tools, so I’m happy to share them with you guys.