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For day seven, Natalie’s got us way down in the weeds.  Not surprisingly, as an engineer by training, I’m like a pig in shit today!  The prompt for today is:

  • Which key tools will you turn to regularly to maintain your mindset and how will you use them effectively?

There’s three things that come to mind when I think of the tools that either help me or would help me the most:

  • First, is a time management system.  Time’s a scarce commodity and if you intend to use it to its fullest, you need a system that will help you manage it.  Whether it’s a “to do list”, a Franklin planner, a series of post it notes, is not important.  What is important is (i) it makes sense to you, (ii) you utilize it, and (iii) it helps you get things done daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
  • Second, is a content management system.  With the explosion of the internet there is so much information available.  In order to take advantage of all of this content, you need a system.  I’ve started using Evernote and Dropbox to help me stay a bit more organized.  I also use a structured folder system on my PC and keep a series of file folders for content that I like to view in the “hard” versus digital format.
  • Third, is a contact management system.  Ultimately it’s not about you, it’s about everyone else.  That being the case, you need to make sure you stay in touch with all of those “everyone elses”.  A good address/contact book is a fine place to start.  However, you really need some sort of system to stay in touch with folks.  In sales they talk about CRM’s (customer relationship management systems).  I hate to think of my personal contact management system as a CRM as it feels a bit sleazy.  However, at the end of the day, the concept is the same — you need a method to stay in touch with all of those folks you interact with.

While these three are not comprehensive, they do serve as a good set of foundational tools that — in my mind — will improve your productivity dramatically.

If you want some more information on the challenge, check out the post on day seven at:



30 day challenge