Harnessing Technology for Productivity: 20 Tools Recommended by Entrepreneurs

In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, productivity tools are vital. We’ve gathered insights from CEOs, founders, and other tech-savvy leaders to share the tools that have revolutionized their workflow. From centralizing tasks with Notion to automating email marketing with Mailchimp, explore the top twenty productivity hacks that these professionals swear by.

  • Centralize Tasks with Notion
  • Streamline Communication with Slack
  • AI Tools Enhance Content Creation
  • Todoist Simplifies Task Management
  • Captions and ChatGPT Boost Marketing
  • Google Tasks for Simple Task Management
  • Teamwork and Hunter.io Optimize Workflow
  • AI and Zapier for Automated Efficiency
  • Evernote for Comprehensive Note-Taking
  • Google Calendar for Rigorous Scheduling
  • Hubstaff and ClickUp for Team Productivity
  • StayFocused Blocks Online Distractions
  • Motion AI Manages Smart Scheduling
  • Beeminder Enforces Productivity with Stakes
  • Canva Simplifies Professional Graphic Design
  • Google Analytics Informs Content Strategy
  • Automation Transforms Startup Operations
  • Asana Centralizes Project Management
  • Google Suite Streamlines Business Operations
  • Mailchimp Automates Email Marketing

Centralize Tasks with Notion

Notion is my go-to tool as an entrepreneur. It serves as my central hub for organizing thoughts, ideas, and tasks. Its versatility in handling various tasks—from creating Kanban boards for project management to setting up wikis for information sharing—streamlines my workflow significantly. 

The standout feature, however, is its database functionality. I can view and manipulate a variety of data in numerous formats, catering to different needs. I use Notion as a catch-all; anything that crosses my mind goes into it.

Scott Gabdullin, CEO and Founder, Learo

Notion

Your wiki, docs, & projects. Together.

Notion is the connected workspace where better, faster work happens. Now with AI.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Streamline Communication with Slack

Slack has been a game-changer in facilitating seamless communication within my team of music teachers. With dedicated channels for concerts, lessons, and general discussions, Slack ensures focused and organized conversations. The ability to share files, links, and schedules in real time streamlines concert arrangements and lesson planning, keeping everyone on the same page.

Features like direct messaging and group calls enable quick clarifications and discussions, fostering collaboration regardless of geographical barriers.

Overall, it’s a tool that enhances coordination, minimizes misunderstandings, and boosts productivity among my music team.

Alan Senejani, Co-Founder, Digital Marketing Director, LVL Music Academy

AI Tools Enhance Content Creation

As a content marketer, I use a combination of AI tools that have proven to improve my daily productivity. I don’t believe in one-click article writers, but I use several tools that make my process of creating content much faster.

Perplexity is one of those tools, a real lifesaver when it comes to conducting in-depth research. It helps me quickly find relevant information, for example, relevant studies or statistics, saving me hours that I used to spend Googling and searching for it myself.

HyperWrite is another tool in my arsenal, significantly speeding up my writing process. With a smart AI assistant and fast Type-Aheads, it helps me draft high-quality content in a fraction of the time it used to take.

I use many other tools for different purposes too, such as for SEO or branding, and introducing every new tool has a transformative effect on my workflow. They allow me to focus more on creative strategy and less on time-consuming tasks like research and writing. I’m looking forward to the new inventions in the AI industry that we’ll inevitably see in 2024!

Juliet Dreamhunter, Founder, Juliety


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Todoist Simplifies Task Management

I’ve had the opportunity to work with a plethora of tools to enhance productivity and efficiency. Among these, one tool particularly stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness: Todoist.

Todoist is a task and project management tool that shines with its ease of use and intuitive interface. What has particularly aided me is the way Todoist enables the structuring of daily tasks and long-term projects. With Todoist, I can effortlessly plan my day, set deadlines, and prioritize tasks. This has allowed me to stay organized and focused, even during the busiest periods.

One of the most beneficial aspects of Todoist is its ability to integrate complex processes into a simple and manageable system. This has significantly improved the efficiency of my work, allowing me to maintain an overview of my projects while managing daily details. Moreover, its collaborative feature has enabled me to work effectively with my teams, ensuring smooth communication and clear task distribution.

In summary, Todoist is not just a task management tool, but a true partner in managing my marketing projects. Its simplicity belies incredible power and flexibility, making it an indispensable tool for any entrepreneur looking to optimize their efficiency and productivity.

Guillaume Le Port, Webdesigner, btg communication

Todoist

Organize your work and life, finally.

Become focused, organized, and calm with Todoist. The world’s #1 task manager and to-do list app.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Captions and ChatGPT Boost Marketing

The two technology tools that have been game-changers for me as an entrepreneur are an app called Captions and ChatGPT. As you know, as an entrepreneur, we have to wear all the hats. Well, marketing and advertising are not my strengths, and these two tools have allowed me to plan out my week with prompts for content. 

So, when on my dedicated day for content batching, it makes the process that much more efficient and effective. Now, I am able to send out consistent emails and post consistently on social media without having days, weeks, or a month go by, leaving my audience wondering if my business still exists.

Kenston Henderson, Sr., Chief Empowerment Officer, Live With Lyfe, LLC

Google Tasks for Simple Task Management

I live in Google Tasks. It’s not that it’s the best or most amazing application; it’s more important that I use it exclusively to manage every single thing that comes into my queue. Rather than picking the perfect system, pick a system and stick with it. This is the ultimate and most boring efficiency hack.

Trevor Ewen, COO, QBench


Teamwork and Hunter.io Optimize Workflow

Teamwork is my main tool of choice for project management. It’s how I organize projects and assign tasks to my remote team. The time-tracking feature lets me know how much time employees spend on their work, and I can leave comments with feedback and productivity tips.

Another indispensable tool for me is Hunter.io. It’s my absolute must-have for email outreach when building backlinks. Its email finder feature saves me valuable hours that I would otherwise spend manually searching for contact information.

Nikola Baldikov, Founder, InBound Blogging

AI and Zapier for Automated Efficiency

I utilize a killer combo: AI and Zapier. It’s like having an extra team ten times our size, but more efficient and reliable. This synergy lets us sidestep the daily busy work, which frees up my time to focus on growth.

Justin Silverman, Founder and CEO, Merchynt

Zapier

Scale success with automation

Build automated workflows customized for your role and business.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Evernote for Comprehensive Note-Taking

I use task-oriented to-do list tools. As a productivity junkie, I’ve tried a bunch of to-do list apps to manage the never-ending tasks of entrepreneurship. I started with Any.do, then moved to Trello, played around with Habitica, and even gave Wunderlist a go. 

Unfortunately, most to-do lists focus more on ticking off small jobs rather than fostering in-depth thinking. It seems more satisfying to check off simple tasks than to spend 3 hours thinking about a task before even adding it to the list. That’s why I needed a to-do list that comes with a strong note-taking feature to help organize my thoughts. For me, that tool is Evernote. 

In my experience, Evernote is one of the top note-taking apps available. Evernote is great for me because it stores, organizes, and searches all my thoughts, notes, voice recordings, pictures, files, and anything else I put in it. It’s cloud-based, so I can access it from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. I also use it to categorize and organize my notes using Evernote’s tags, geolocation features, notebooks, and stacks of notebooks.

Precious Abacan, Marketing Director, Softlist

Google Calendar for Rigorous Scheduling

I’ve done some intense productivity hacks with Google Calendar synchronized across devices. Not many people have tried this, but it worked well for the two months I did it. I scheduled out my entire day in calendar blocks: breakfast, Pomodoro sessions, areas that I could use to take calls, and free areas for leisure.

Then, I stuck to this without missing a calendar block. On weekends, I would have no scheduling.

Across devices, I would get notified when a new block was to begin, so I could wrap up the block I was engaged in. I was wildly productive during this time. However, after two months, the rigorous schedule began feeling monotonous, and I stopped because I wasn’t enjoying it.

There’s a simplicity to productivity that often goes unacknowledged. The best way to be productive is to enjoy the work enough that you want to do it. If you don’t have that luxury, the second-best option is small chunking.

I use the Pomodoro technique to small-chunk tasks—unenjoyable and enjoyable—to be productive without burnout. Scheduling the way I did works as well—especially for sprints. You will be hyper-productive for 2-4 months. Then, you will need a break from the schedule.

Edward Sturm, Fractional CMO, Edwardsturm.com

Hubstaff and ClickUp for Team Productivity

Utilize various productive tools (like Hubstaff and ClickUp) to boost your efficiency!

With so many applications on the market, finding the one that can be your efficiency partner is important, and I have finally found my productive toolkit.

Firstly, I utilize Hubstaff. Its detailed analytics and time-tracking capabilities enable me to monitor project progress and team productivity effectively, ensuring every minute counts.

I also use Google Calendar to allocate time slots for various tasks and meetings, ensuring a well-organized and productive day. This deliberate scheduling helps prevent burnout and keeps me focused on business growth and personal well-being.

Lastly, my team and I have started using ClickUp as our project management tool. Its comprehensive features offer a panoramic view of projects, deadlines, and team tasks, streamlining project management and enhancing team coordination.

All these tools collectively form an ecosystem that supports the diverse aspects of my work.

Madhurima Halder, Content Manager, Recruit CRM

ClickUp

One app to replace them all

Eliminate app chaos, data duplication, and multiple subscriptions by centralizing work in a single platform built for modern teams.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

StayFocused Blocks Online Distractions

The real productivity test is when you’re working on yourself and your business with proper self-discipline. I won’t consider being productive just by making money for someone else; the real productivity comes when you’re making processes and tasks efficient for yourself. There are loads of distractions around us, especially when working from home.

To stay hyper-focused and ensure that I’m not wasting my time, I have downloaded a Chrome extension named StayFocused, which simply blocks out all the nonsense, time-consuming websites from my desktop and allows me to open only the ones that need my focus and attention. Surely, apps like YouTube can help in research, or we may need to order urgent products from Amazon, but not between the 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. hours that I’ve set on the StayFocused extension.

There are times when we simply cannot resist and have to open WhatsApp, YouTube, etc., on our desktop, but turning off these productivity tools would make you feel guilty and trigger an impulse to return back to normal, no-distraction working.

Alex Mastin, CEO and Founder, Home Grounds

Motion AI Manages Smart Scheduling

As an entrepreneur, I heavily rely on AI-powered smart calendars and scheduling tools. One of my favorite tools in this area is Motion. Its AI-driven smart calendar capabilities revolutionize how I manage my time. 

With its intuitive interface and advanced algorithms, Motion efficiently organizes my schedule, adapts to my preferences, and intelligently suggests meeting times. Its ability to smoothly integrate with other tools and apps ensures a smooth workflow and minimizes administrative overhead. 

This tool has significantly elevated my efficiency by automating scheduling complexities and providing a holistic view of my commitments, empowering me to navigate my entrepreneurial ventures more effectively.

Mike Stuzzi, Founder, Mike Stuzzi


Verizon Digital Ready: Providing Entrepreneurs the Skills and Knowledge They Need


Beeminder Enforces Productivity with Stakes

Before using Beeminder, I’d often procrastinate or inconsistently review competitor activities, which is a key aspect of strategic planning. With Beeminder, I set a goal to dedicate four hours every week to this task. 

Over three months, I observed a 30% increase in strategic insights gained, a 25% improvement in response time to market changes, and a 15% uptick in targeted marketing efficiency. The tool’s financial stake element kept me consistently engaged; missing a week would cost me $5. The regular competitor analysis led to more informed decision-making and a better understanding of market trends. 

Studies in behavioral economics, particularly on loss aversion by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, validate Beeminder’s approach: The potential for financial loss is a stronger motivator than potential gains, a principle central to Beeminder’s goal enforcement strategy. Don’t trust me—take the useful task you are too lazy to do and start working with it using Beeminder.

Itay Malinski, Founder and CEO, AlohaDigital

Canva Simplifies Professional Graphic Design

Canva has been a game-changer for creating quick, professional-looking graphics for my business. As someone who isn’t a designer by trade, Canva’s user-friendly interface and vast template library have allowed me to produce high-quality visual content easily. It’s been instrumental in enhancing our marketing materials and social media presence without the need for expensive design software or outsourcing.

Hardy Desai, Founder, Supple Digital

Google Analytics Informs Content Strategy

Social media analytics software like Google Analytics helps us track our content performance and make changes according to what’s working for us. While Google Analytics isn’t solely focused on social media performance, it can offer integrated and insightful analytics about user behavior, identify conversion goals, and segment our content more effectively. You should choose the tools that best fit your business goals, as industry, scale, and customer base all impact strategy. 

For us, video content on Instagram engages our audience more than other content types, and we can track impressions and how often content is shared using a suite of analytics software. For our clients, as a different example, we measure campaign performance based on the type of growth or results they’re looking for. For extending awareness, measuring impressions, comments, shares, and conversions are helpful performance measures. For increasing conversions, we might look at how effectively unique content motivates a lead or click-through.

Kevin Miller, Founder, kevinmiller.com

Automation Transforms Startup Operations

Our startup is committed to harnessing the power of automation to optimize our operations. For example, our Marketing Department uses AI tools like Rev and Jasper, which allow us to initiate content pieces with greater efficiency and creativity. 

Similarly, our Finance Department uses a sophisticated accounts payable and accounts receivable automation system. The platform has optimized our entire billing process with customers and facilitated smoother transactions with our vendors. Adopting these automation tools has truly transformed our team and allowed us to scale for major growth in 2023, significantly reducing the time we spend on manual, repetitive tasks. 

These tools have seriously enhanced our productivity and the effectiveness of our operations. Speaking from my experience as a Content Marketing Manager, leveraging Jasper and Rev saves me approximately 20 hours per week.

Katie White, Content Marketing Manager, Centime

Asana Centralizes Project Management

This year, I began using Asana, and it’s been a game-changer for my productivity!

Every morning, when I log into Asana, I know exactly what I need to do that day to make progress toward my mid- and long-term goals and stay focused on what truly matters, which wasn’t the case before I incorporated it into my routine. It centralizes all my information, projects, and deadlines, giving me a clear overview of all business activities and moving pieces. I’ve also stored all SOPs in Asana, simplifying delegation and facilitating communication with team members and freelancers.

For me, Asana is truly the only productivity and project management tool that keeps things simple, intuitive, and user-friendly without adding unnecessary complexity to planning. Yet, it still has all the features entrepreneurs might need. It has become the backbone of my business—I use it every single day and can’t imagine running my business without it.

Ana Colak-Fustin, Founder, ByRecruiters

Asana

Get Asana. Get results.

Make it easier for your team to do more work that matters.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Google Suite Streamlines Business Operations

As an entrepreneur, my go-to productivity tool is Google Suite. It’s a simple yet powerful set of applications like Gmail, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Calendar that seamlessly integrate into my workflow. These tools have significantly improved my efficiency by providing a centralized platform for my team’s communication, collaboration, and document management.

Whether it’s drafting proposals in Google Docs, coordinating schedules through Calendar, or sharing files effortlessly on Google Drive, the suite streamlines my business operations. It’s also cloud-based, so it means we can access it from anywhere, fostering collaboration among team members, and the real-time updates feature has been a game-changer for staying on top of my projects.

Johannes Larsson, Founder and CEO, JohannesLarsson.com

Mailchimp Automates Email Marketing

For email marketing, Mailchimp has been my preferred tool. Its ease of use in creating email campaigns, managing subscriber lists, and analyzing campaign performance has been invaluable. The automation features, such as welcome emails and customer-journey workflows, have helped in personalizing our communication and increasing engagement.

Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing, Ninja Transfers

Photo by Wrightstudio | Dreamstime.com


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