Ultimate Productivity Software Stack
Welcome to your ultimate productivity stack guide!
If you're reading this guide, you:
What you won't find in this guide are general software recommendations with a bunch of tools that are 'trending' but we haven't actually used ourselves. This isn't another guide about all the productivity tools under the sun.
This guide is prescriptive and offers single tools to help you make essential business software decisions more quickly. The software below has been deeply vetted against competitors and all the below mentioned are used by us (we are paying customers).
Let's get into it! ⤵
Let's start with the portal to the internet: your browser.
For years, we used Chrome and the last thing we ever thought about needing was another browser. We have seen browser companies come and go with none on the market leaving much to be desired.
Then Arc by The Browser Company showed up. Arc is not just another browser. It's a workflow engine, offering an entirely new way to personalize the internet and make it your own.
The idea behind Arc is that no matter where you are in the world, no matter what device, you can log into your "portal to the internet" aka your browser and have it configured exactly like you left it.
The problem with Chrome, we learned, is that the creators had no reason to make the internet personal. This is because the creators want you to start from scratch every time you open the browser, searching Google for where you want to end up online. This is great for their ad revenue business model.
It wasn't until we started using Arc that we realized how often we really were unnecessarily going to Google to just open up the programs we use on a daily basis.
The difference with Arc is that the team has totally rethought the bookmarks and the "tab experience", along with introducing a feature called "Spaces". Spaces allow you to stay focused and easily segment your personal and work life while easily organizing tabs are important to you in folders.
For example, set up a personal space, favorite your YouTube, Spotify, WhatsApp, and Gmail tabs—from there, they function like mini apps. Now, with the swipe of 2 fingers, you're in your work space. All of your favorite apps are swapped out with your work apps, and you're logged into all of your work accounts:
This is like organizing a drawer. You put everything in its place, and hours later when you return, everything is as you left it. No more "searching" every time you want to use the internet. This has tremendously reduced fatigue (we didn't even realize we had) when using the internet.
If you're intrigued, want to know more, and see more of the features/benefits in GIF format, go check out this article where we've done a deep dive on why we think Arc is the future of the internet.
Sign up for Arc For Free (MacOS only, Windows coming soon!)
Now that you've enhanced your browsing experience, let's move onto your email. Meet Superhuman. Superhuman is a paid email client tool that is designed to make your email experience faster and more enjoyable.
But wait, you might be thinking why pay for your email when you can use any email client for free? 🤔
"Making email suck less" is Superhuman’s business mission. And remember — this guide is for the folks who want the best of the best—and Superhuman is a tool that after using for several years, we can't live without.
Prior to Superhuman we were using Gmail. And Gmail is great as a free email sending tool, but once we tried Superhuman we found it made the entire "checking and answering emails" experience way more enjoyable—and fast.
Not kidding, you know those 3-5 seconds you often need to wait for Gmail to load—yeah, Superhuman is literally instant. Want to write an email? Open Superhuman and press [c] and you'll be in a compose window a solid 2 seconds before Gmail loads.
Superhuman allows you to triage through your inbox using only keyboard shortcuts and the app on the phone is also super sleek and fast. Set reminders to be returned on your emails if someone hasn't responded, mark messages as done with hitting a button and label messages with ease. Since we started using Superhuman, we see inbox 0 way more often.
In summary, if you’re on email A LOT and want to optimize for enjoyment/ease/speed, Superhuman is 100% worth it. We’ve been paying for it for years and can't see life without it It's thoughtful, fast, and powerful. The way email should have been.
Click here to get a free Superhuman trial (get 30 days free).
On the topic of email, Mailman is a Gmail plugin that allows you to control when and what emails should land in your inbox.
You can set the times you'd like Mailman to deliver your emails (say at 9 am and 4 pm daily) so that you are not constantly interrupted by a new emails coming in.
Waiting on an urgent email? You can tell Mailman to only allow the email from that specific sender.
Mailman is that cherry on top of email if you're looking to optimize your email experience and create more blocks of focus time in your day.
If you've hung around our website long enough, you'll know we Motion. And that's because it's changed the way we managed our meetings, time and projects — and this cannot be ignored.
We think of Motion as the ultimate platform for time management. Motion is a calendar, a meeting scheduler, and a task/project manager all in one. On top of this, it uses AI to help plan your day (as if you had a personal assistant on hand).
Here's how it works:
For example, let's say you have three hour-long meetings scheduled for Monday. You also have some other tasks that you need to get done that day. If something urgent comes up and you need to add an ASAP task, Motion will automatically rearrange your day and push the other tasks back. This way, you can always be sure that you're working on the most important tasks first.
There are so many other calendar and project management tools on the market and we find that Motion to be the best that we've evaluated. It's also helped us replace numerous tools. For example, we went from using four tools, Google Calendar, Chili Piper (call scheduling), TickTick (personal task management), Asana (project management) to using just Motion to manage all of the above.