Over the past two years, I’ve tried and tested hundreds of apps, Chrome extensions, and productivity hacks to make myself become a more effective and efficient student. I stumbled upon most of these by reading other productivity-tools lists by experts and friends, but I wanted to write a single list that listed all the ones I use.
This article is the product of that. If you can find a productivity hack list that is longer and better than this, feel free to share that to me! Otherwise, this should be the best productivity-tools-list for you to share.
So if you want to double the amount of work you can do in a day, here is a list of 25 productivity tools and hacks you can use to do that:
Section 1: Google Chrome Extensions
Google Chrome extensions are the easiest to set up and use, and so some of my favorite productivity hacks come from this section.
- Facebook News Feed Eradicator — It does what it advertises: eradicating your news feed and replacing it with a quote. Everyone should be using this.
- Momentum — Every time you open up a new tab it opens a beautiful picture. Incredibly relaxing and calming.
- Adblock Plus — Lets you remove ads.
- Rapportive — This is perfect for confirming if you have someone’s correct email address. It checks if the contact is on Linkedin and shows a short bio and photo beside your email.
- HubSpot Sales — Lets you track who opens your emails.
- Evernote Web Clipper — This lets you save anything on the internet to your Evernote for future reading. 10x better than Facebook’s Saved Feature (Who ever reads articles they saved there? I don’t.)
- Video Speed Controller — This I saw through my friend Cliff Weitzman’s own productivity tools list (thank you for motivating me to write my own!). This extensions lets you speed up or slow down any video you watch online, at 0.1 increments, using simple keyboard shortcuts. Perfect for speeding up those YouTube videos quickly.
- Remove Suggestions on YouTube using Adblock — This is from Cliff as well. Here’s his video on how to disable YouTube suggestions using Adblock. You can do the same using Adblock Plus by clicking the ABP button when you’re on YouTube and clicking “Block Element”.
- Block Site — Helps you block specific sites that distract you. Has funny graphics when you keep trying to open blocked sites. A similar Chrome extension is Forest (thanks to Kyle S. Tanfor introducing me to this!).
- WhatFont — Lets you find out the font used on an element on a website. This and ColorZilla are mainly for web developers.
- ColorZilla — Lets you find out the color of an element on a website.
Section 2: Apps
- Alfred — Lets me shut down my computer in 2 seconds — By pressing option-spacebar, then typing “sh” and enter. It’s a better version of the Mac’s spotlight.
- Jumpcut — Lets you keep track of everything you Command-C/Copy, and you can cycle through 40 of them. Perfect for copy pasting things around while coding or emailing.
- F.lux — Turns your screen slightly orange so you can fall asleep easier. Less time taken to go to sleep + Better sleep = More productive.
- Todoist — My go-to task manager since I love the design. Wunderlist is also good.
- Evernote — This is where I take notes for everything. I’m an Evernote fanboy, and I particularly love the search functionality, the Web Clipper extension, and the overall design.
- Google Calendar — Everyone should already be using this.
- Dropbox and Google Drive — to let you access your files from anywhere. Everyone should already be using these too.
Section 3: General Productivity Hacks
- Raise Your Trackpad Sensitivity to the Highest/Fastest — This one I learned through noah kagan, and it’s been one of my favorite ones. If you use your computer all day to work, making your mouse move faster definitely makes you work faster. Just go to your computer’s settings to raise the sensitivity to the highest.
- Learn to Type Faster — After your trackpad, the next most important thing to optimize is your typing speed. I used a typing tutorial app such as this to learn to type faster (I now type in the 90–100 WPMs.) You can also test your typing speed on 10FastFingers.
- Journal Every Morning and Night — This doesn’t help me be efficient, but it helps me be more effective. Currently I use the journaling practice of Tim Ferriss, which you can find in his newest book Tools of Titans.
- Use the Getting Things Done productivity framework to manage your tasks on Todoist/Wunderlist — This one is a bit hard to implement, but it’s been very helpful to me. Basically, I create 4 projects/categories on my Todoist where I classify tasks, from “Today’s Tasks”, to “On Hold”, to “Tasks for the Week”, and to “Backlog of Tasks”. This helps me segment tasks and help me focus on what I need to do for today on “Today’s Tasks”, which helps lessen overwhelm.
- Loop songs to help yourself focus — This is something I did on my own that apparently a lot of other high-performers do as well, like Matt Mullenweg, the creator of Wordpress. Recently I looped The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming” a lot, so it’s now at 145 plays.
- Eat Breakfast Every Morning —On days where I don’t eat breakfast, I’m not as energetic or productive. So I never skip it now.
- Listen to Podcasts while eating, walking, or commuting — This lets you be productive even during idle time.
Also, on a final note, what I wanna push is that you should always be looking at how to optimize yourself and your productivity. If you want to do more work, achieve more things, help more people, and add value to the world, then you might as well optimize how you do all those. Just make sure you always stay happy and grateful in the process.
Anyway, I hope you guys liked this list! For the Google Chrome Extensions and Apps, I expect everyone to start downloading and trying any of the above that they haven’t tried before. I promise you, you won’t regret it.