6 Productivity Tools I Couldn't Live Without

As I wrap up 2019, I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve done best this year, and where I still have room to grow. While 2019 has been a year of massive growth, both professional and personal, I still struggled much of the year with organization.

For the first several months of 2019 I felt like I was constantly juggling a million things at once and I was always left frantic, feeling like I was forgetting something or that I was going to let something important fall through the cracks.

And to my dismay, I DID let a few things slip. 

There were a couple of cakes that I had to splurge on a rush order for, many late-night runs to Walmart, and more sleepless nights remembering things I still had left to do than I’d like to admit.

However, during the second half of the year, I found some productivity tools that I LOVE and I wanted to share them with you, in case you are also organizationally challenged!

As a quick note, these are OUTSIDE the tools we use every day to run our business such as our website platform (Squarespace), our email service provider (Active Campaign) and our POS and CRM system (Aluvii). These are tools I’ve found that supplement our day-to-day tools and help me take everything to the next level and become more AT PEACE with my organization.


No if, ands, or buts about it. Asana is my #1 favorite tool that I discovered this year. It is basically a project management tool, and I use it to make sure I never forget a task. I love that I can group tasks by “projects” to keep them organized, and Asana even color-coordinates them to create an easy visual. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, I have separate projects for Play Cafe Academy, Digital Brand Envy (my podcast), Climbing Vines Cafe (our actual play cafe business), and I even have a personal one to keep track of my household tasks and duties.
It’s so helpful that I can create tasks as “recurring” (so, for example, every Wednesday it reminds me to shoot a new YouTube video, etc) and that I can sort them by due date OR by project.

I love that I can assign tasks to others (like my staff or my husband) and include attachments inside the tasks or any relevant notes they may need in order to complete them.

It’s also nice that WITHIN each project, I can create “sub-projects” to further organize tasks. For example, inside of my Climbing Vines Cafe project, I have “sub-projects” called Parties, Staff, Cafe, etc. 

And the best part about Asana?

All of these features I mentioned are included in the FREE version! That’s right, you can have all of this organizational awesome-ness for ZERO cost. Asana even has an app so you can view your tasks and projects on-the-go and mark things off while you’re out and about.

P.S. YES I know some of my tasks are overdue, :)


My next favorite productivity tool is Google Drive. We use google drive to not only organize all of our business documents and templates, but we also use it to securely send information (via google drive link) to third parties.
I love creating all of my content (emails, blogs, podcast scripts, etc.) in google drive FIRST so that I can easily reference them later and not have to go into other tools (our website, our email service provider, etc.) in order to view or re-use them.

I love that I can give access to certain documents and folders and keep others restricted. I will often give a staff member or client access to one specific folder and than continually add documents or other materials to that folder so they have instant access (plus, I can remove access need-be).

I highly recommend some sort of system to organize all of your documentation, paperwork, etc. so that you can easily access everything you need (especially at tax time or if you plan to sell your business or bring on a partner).

Plus, this is another FREE tool! WIN!


While Quickbooks isn’t free, it’s a great low-cost tool for invoicing. Whenever we work with sponsors or vendors, it takes me less than two minutes to hop into quickbooks and send them a quick invoice that they can pay online by credit card (so no more waiting weeks for checks!).

Quickbooks allows you to create branded templates so that your invoices look professional, and you can choose HOW customers can pay and WHEN the invoice is due, which comes in very handy. 

Plus, Quickbooks keeps electronic records of all transactions and creates reporting for you which are helpful when compiling your monthly numbers AND when your accountant needs aggregate numbers when filing your taxes. 


These aren’t necessarily productivity tools, but the Apple Podcasts and Audible apps sure do make my life easier. 

I spent SO much of 2018 and 2019 doing personal development work and learning new business strategies and I would NOT have had the time to consume as much content as I did without being able to access them as audio.

In case you were wondering, my favorite books of 2018 & 2019 were Clockwork by Mike Michalowicz, Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller, and Superfans by Pat Flynn.

While I am a true-crime junkie at heart, my favorite business/ personal development related podcasts are The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher, Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield, Marketing your Business by Stu Mclaren, and The Life Coach School by Brooke Castillo.

Each of these has contributed to my success in some way and I am forever grateful for the advances in technology that allow me to get life and business advice nuggets while I drive my kids to school, fold laundry, and clean my house!


Another FREE tool, yay! Slack has been all the rage lately in small business, but I actually prefer voxer to communicate with my team members. Maybe it’s because most staff work independently (the only time we have more than 1 staff member on is during a party so we don’t have a huge amount of collaboration) or because I am on-the-go a lot, but I LOVE the voice-text capabilities of Voxer.

It allows me to send super quick voice messages (kind of like a walkie talkie!) to cut down on communication time and ensure that my message is crystal clear (with nothing lost-in-translation) to the person on the receiving end.

Voxer has a handy app that I encourage all of my team members to download!


Ah, Instacart. What a love-hate relationship I have with thee.  Even though I constantly struggle with the substitutions Instacart makes and their frequent failure to stay within their delivery window, I could not have survived the last few years without Instacart.

Whether I am stuck in the preschool pick up line or just plain BUSY running a household and multiple businesses-- it’s SO nice to open up the instacart app and order what the cafe needs and have it send directly to the cafe’s doorstep.

Do I love that I end up paying more for each item PLUS fees PLUS a tip for the drive? No.

But when I look at the amount of time it would take me to go to the store (both children in tow) OR the amount of money I’d need to pay an employee to go-- it makes good financial sense.  There are some things we just cannot order in bulk from other places (like milk, for example) and MUST get at our local supermarket.

If you run a small business that relies on frequent supermarket trips I highly recommend signing up for an unlimited annual membership!

Want $10 off your first order? Click here and sign-up through my affiliate link!

I will continue to share more productivity tools as I come across them, but these were my top 6 for 2019! Do you have any tools to add to the list? Comment below and I will check them out!




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