Productivity Tools: My Secrets for Getting Sh*t Done


As the owner of multiple small businesses, I’ve got a lot on my plate. Over the years, I’ve struggled to figure out how to get everything done in the amount of time I had. My approach to work used to be scattered and disjointed; I was constantly reactive, focusing on the tasks and to-dos that were most pressing in any given moment. I was losing sight of the big picture, and was too focused on the incoming requests each day. Eventually, I reached a breaking point, and I started working on remedying how I spent my time each week.

I’ve been working on shifting my habits and approach to work for a while now. The goal was to find a system that allowed me to do better, focused work on the projects that matter most and to be able to shut down my brain in the off hours, so that I could spend uninterrupted quality time with my family and friends and myself. It’s been a process, to say the least, but I feel so much better about how I organize my schedule these days. I continue to make small tweaks here and there, and I am inching closer and closer every week to a lifestyle that allows me to take care of each moving puzzle piece as best I can.

Did I develop this approach on my own? Absolutely not. I’ve relied on the influence of mentors and friends and authors whose research has completely shifted the way I live my life and the way I stay productive during the workweek. Last week I broke down my thought process behind how I stay on track, and today I’m sharing a list of the tools that have helped me get to where I am today.

I hope you find some useful information below, and if you have any of your own tips and tricks for staying productive, I’d love to hear them in the comments!


Atomic Habits

Author James Clear shares practical strategies that help you to form good habits and get rid of bad habits. This book has, hands down, been one of the most important things in helping me shift my approach to work and life.


Stay On Track Desktop Notepad

I’ve recommended this notepad before, and that’s because I use it—every. single. day. I designed this system to help people keep their primary focus on the big picture tasks, and fill in their schedule with smaller tasks throughout the week. I swear by it for staying productive and on task in the midst of a busy life.



Aaptiv is an audio fitness app that offers audio to guide you through home workouts and meditation. In addition, you’re able to keep track of self-care habits. This app has been a big help in motivating me to take care of my health on a regular basis.



The W&D team has been using Slack for quite some time now as our primary form of communication other than talking face-to-face. Slack has been a game-changer for how we communicate as a team, and is so helpful for keeping everyone aligned on key initiatives. I love that Slack has a Do Not Disturb feature, which I use frequently when I need to get focused writing or designing done.


Package Pricing Varies

I use Zapier to automate and optimize my workflow. This program allows you to select the apps you use, and then offers workflow suggestions based on your selections.


Apple Watch

My Apple Watch has allowed me to keep track of my schedule, meeting times, and any pertinent incoming messages. For someone whose brain can be somewhat scattered, this watch has been a huge help in allowing me to manage my time.


Note to Self Notebook – Pink Linen

Each day I set aside 10 minutes to journal and get all of my swirling musings onto paper. The point is to get all the cluttered thoughts out of my head so I can get in touch with my feelings and move on to what is most important in my day. 



When your work relies on social media to drive your business, trying to stay organized and on schedule can be rather difficult. Not only does Plann allow you to smart schedule posts in advance, but it also offers anecdotal insights based on your channel’s analytics to decipher best practices. Plann has helped me organize our social media feeds so I’m not nearly as glued to my phone as I once was.


Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

Find yourself starting a boatload of projects, and finishing only a few? Me too. Until I got my hands on Jon Acuff’s book Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done. This book has helped me see things through from start to finish, and I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for concrete advice on how to do the same.



Whether you’re saving up to buy a house or paying back credit card debt, Digit is designed to help you reach your financial goals by automatically saving the perfect amount everyday. I find that when my family’s finances are in order, I have a lot more mental space to focus on important projects and goals.

Editor’s Note: This article contains affiliate links. Wit & Delight uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. Wit & Delight stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

BY Kate Arends - September 9, 2019

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add a comment

  1. Jessica Camerata

    September 9th, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    All about getting shit done. Such a great list. I started using Asana and have been loving how much more organized and productive I feel.

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

  2. Productivity Tools: My Secrets for Getting Sh*t Done – Business Blog

    September 9th, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    […] Continue reading Productivity Tools: My Secrets for Getting Sh*t Done at Wit & Delight | Designi… […]

  3. Dee Nowak

    September 10th, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Great list, and I love the app recommendations!

    Dee ~ Vanilla Papers

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