Here is a short list of the Top-10 productivity boosting and time-saving resources, tips and tools I’ve used over the years that have had the greatest impact on my business life, and how they can help save you lots of time as well.
- Dragon Dictate – Dragon Naturally Speaking (For emails, Skype, content, coaching, free-reports, books, etc.) This is my new favorite time-saving tool, especially the new Dragon 15 professional which is extremely accurate. No matter how fast you can type, you can speak faster and get through emails and other tasks faster. Trust me, you will love this. And it ‘learns’ your voice in a one-time quick training session that will have you using it in no time…
The price is $300 for the new version, but I was able to get a discount coupon code out of them for half of that (50% off or $150) which is below.
You can still get the Dragon Professional Individual 15 for only $150 (which is 50% off the regular price. To order, just call 1800-654-1187 with ref # 161017-001141.
Note: This is not any kind of affiliate offer, and I’m not being compensated in any way. I’m just passing along, as we’re sharing with our VIP coaching clients.
Here are two great wireless headsets I use for this (one for my PC and one laptop)
Logitech G930 Wireless Headset
Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset
- Transcribing – For years, we’ve used Verbalink.com to transcribe other people’s VSL’s (For copy / swipe or ideas only) and also to re-purpose our own audio & video content.
But I’m super excited that finally today’s technology allows for uploading an audio or video file (MP3 or M4V) and software like Dragon’s Auto Transcribe Agent can do it automatically.
This is from Dragon’s Help File:
How cool is that?
- Hire a VA – Virtual assistants are great for: Checking Email, Clearing Spam, Prioritizing, Deleting, Scheduling, Travel, Appointments, Any Repeatable Task. Even condensing and posting important messages to Skype daily.
Many people use a VA, but few are using as effectively as you could be. I no longer check emails — the BIGGEST time-wasting activity in the world, next to Facebook (And Tinder – You know who you are!).
If you are getting up and checking email as the 1st thing you do in the day, you’re killing your time-productivity and wasting your mental focus. Don’t do it. My VA checks my emails, clears spam, filters important ones to a priority folder (the only one I check) and puts a brief summary into Skype.
My favorite resource for finding quality long-term Virtual Assistant’s is www.Outsourcely.com
That way, I avoid the one BIGGEST time and attention-killing activity that most of you are guilty of — The email treadmill. When I was running my last company, which we grew from the ‘Kitchen Table’ to #276 on the INC500 list of fastest growing privately held companies, I used to call them midnight Monday’s, because I would be in the office well past midnight -answering emails…
Then I figured out that the biggest reason was that I would come in first thing and reply to a whole bunch of emails and then send out a whole bunch of emails – and a funny thing happens when you do that… you start getting more emails back. And so the cycle continues. So stop doing it.
- Snag It – This is a great product from the makers of Camtasia, which is a great video capture and editing software that we’ve made millions of dollars with in the last ten years. SnagIt is like Camtasia’s little sister.
We use it to take quick screen capture images and short training videos, of important notes, tasks improvements, etc for contractors or virtual staffing.
It’s also great for recording skype calls, coaching calls, or anything else. You can easily upload these to Screencast.com for a small fee, or save to an external video drive. You can get a 1TB external Western Digital for $55 on Amazon.
- Basecamp – Organize your team and projects into ‘To Do’ lists that can be assigned and checked off, to break bigger projects into bite sized chunks.
This is pretty much self-explanatory. But while most project management software programs overwhelm with complexity (and actually waste time), Basecamp is great for managing teams and multiple projects, files, and other important tasks that involve more than one person (or even for just yourself, to ‘chunk down’ those larger intimidating projects like launches.
- Automation – We use our own proprietary platform we built called Cydec for automating email responses with intelligent auto-responders. This is common these days, and there are many options on the market today.
The key is to be able to send auto-responders at set times, specific dates (like for a webinar you’re having on X date at Y time) and even on a regular basis (like a weekly motivation email like our coaching students receive).
Then we use Zapier for advanced multi-platform multi-step automation and integrations (Slack, Basecamp, SMS, Email, CRM, and hundreds more). So make sure to check out Zapier, and make sure your CRM or email platform works with them. You can literally automate 90% of your business now.
Ex: Prospect signs up for a webinar, gets added to your auto-responder, is scheduled for a SMS reminder & confirmation, gets a voice-broadcast in CallFire, is added to Slack so your appropriate team members are notified, is added to Basecamp for your VA to send a personal welcome, gets added to One-Page CRM to track the lead and your call center to call them post-webinar to make the sale, and is also added to TrackVia (Like Google Docs on steroids) with all of their contact information to keep notes on.
And so on and so on. It’s awesome.
More more information about how we use Zapier click here.
- Time Blocking – Schedule blocks of time, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour. Block these on your calendar, live by your calendar. Don’t answer any calls that are not pre-scheduled or you don’t know who they are. Kills progress.
This one is short and sweet. But highly effective. If you’re bouncing around all day, with no structure or time blocked to work on your ‘Big Rocks’ then you are likely wasting most of your day chasing down non-essentials, and putting out fires then wondering where your day went. Sound familiar?
Here’s a great little tool we created to help focus on the 6 most important projects per week, and blocking time every week to focus on them. You really can’t focus on more than 6 projects at a time, and in the next tip we’re actually going to suggest you only focus on ONE.
Click here to get our custom ‘Big Rocks’ worksheet. Thank me later.
- Prioritize – Read the book ‘The One Thing’ and focus on the 1 thing that makes everything else easier or less important. Also read ‘Ruthless Time Management of People and Profits’ by Dan Kennedy.
There’s a famous story of when Charles Schwab paid consultant Ivy Lee $25,000 (The equivalent of $400k today) for this one secret. To focus on the ONE task at a time that was most important. Then on to the next. It works.
- Focus Time – Focus the FIRST two hours of your day to work on your #1 priority. No email until 1PM and 4PM. Use your VA to stay focused and train to respond on your behalf, and handle all non-emergency tasks.
- Passwords – Use a password manager like RoboForm (I like RoboForm Everywhere which syncs all my devices). I’ve heard LastPass is also good. You should never spend time hunting for or looking up a password. It’s one of those ‘death by a thousand cuts’ distractions you need to eliminate.
So there you have it…
My Top-Ten biggest Time-Saving and Productivity Enhancing Tools and Resources I’ve used over the years to get more out of my day (and the only way I can effectively run two six-figure startups, speak internationally and coach 60+ students in internet marketing on how to build an online business you can sell.
Use these tips and resources to increase your productivity and get more out of your daily hustle.
Hope this helps!
Bio - Brett Fogle is a serial entrepreneur who has been making a full-time income online since 1999 (right after Al Gore invented the internet) and has built three subsequent internet based businesses that which were later acquired, including a three-time INC500|5000 company started in 2004. Currently co-founder and CEO of Cydec Software, and ecommerce and email marketing automation platform and co-founder of Click and Grow Business / Click and Grow Rich Seminars which help aspiring internet entrepreneurs start and grow an online business, using proven online sales and marketing strategies. Click here for online reviews.
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