Inside My Toolbox

I am often asked about the tools I use in my personal and professional life. I thought I would document them here. This is not a static list but one that I will update as my needs and tools change. Please note: the software tools are for Mac, since that’s the computer I use.

A Collection of Hand Tools - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/prill, Image #16208370

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/prill

If there’s a tool I am missing or one you think is better than the one I am using, please let me know in the comments at the bottom of this page. These entries are arranged in alphabetical order after each heading.

Blogging

  • Akismet: This is the plugin I use to control comment spam. Even though I get more than 500 comments a day, I get very little spam. Akismet blocks almost all it, so it never sees the light of day. This creates less work for you and less friction for your readers. (For example, you don’t have to require them to register to leave a comment.)
  • BlueHost: If you use WordPress as I recommend (see below), you will need a hosting service too. I recommend BlueHost. They are currently offering a special $3.95 a month rate to my readers. I also have a free screencast that will show you how to set up a WordPress site on BlueHost in 20 minutes or less.
  • BoxShot 3D: This is the software I use to create 3D images of books. It is an amazing, sophisticated piece of software that makes it simple to create gorgeous cover images for books and e-books. You can even use it to create images of ntebooks, software boxes, and many other objects.
  • Disqus: This is my commenting platform. It is used by thousands of large sites and has become the de facto standard on professional blogs. It is super-easy for your readers and allows them to manage comments across many sites without having to sign in every time. It is also very useful to you as a blogger.
  • Feedburner: Some people, particularly those who are more tech-savvy, will prefer to subscribe to your blog via RSS. I use Feedburner to manage my RSS feed. It is a free service owned by Google. It is easy to set up. It has an e-mail module too, but I still prefer using MailChimp for that (see below).
  • Get Noticed!: This is my brand-spanking new theme. I designed it myself and my web developer and partner Andrew Buckman coded it. We are planning to start selling this in the next few months. Before this, I used StandardTheme, which is also very good. Elegant Themes, WooThemes, and StudioPress are also great options.
  • Google Analytics: This is the gold standard when it comes to analytics. If you want to track your unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, and a host of other metrics, you need to sign up for a free account and then follow the directions for installing it on your blog.
  • iStockPhoto: If you want your posts to get noticed, you need to use photos. They pull people into the content. Yes, you can get free ones at places like Flickr.com, but personally, I can’t afford the time. iStockPhoto is one of the largest online stock photo databases. It is now owned by Getty Images. They offer a 20% discount to my readers.
  • MailChimp: As any Internet marketer will tell you, nothing is more important than building your own e-mail list. I use MailChimp to manage mine. It has a super easy-to-use interface, great analytics, and is 100 percent reliable. Other people prefer AWeber. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one.
  • ScribeSEO: This is a premium plugin I use to optimize my WordPress posts. It analyses each post, then assigns it a percentage grade (with 100% being a perfect score). Best of all, it suggests how to improve the score by offering different key words and metadata. It was developed by the very smart folks at CopyBlogger.
  • VaultPress: You definitely want to back up your blog on a regular basis. Disasters happen, and you don’t want to lose days, weeks, or years worth of content simply because you didn’t have it backed up. VaultPress was developed by Automattic, the same people who built WordPress. The integration is seamless. Turn it on and forget about it.
  • WordPress: I converted from TypePad to self-hosted WordPress in 2008 and haven’t looked back. In my opinion it is the most robust, yet easy-to-use blogging platform out there. You will find thousands of themes, plugins, and tools that work with WordPress. Best of all, it’s free. (However, you will pay for hosting, themes, and some plugins.)

Social Media

  • Buffer: This is one of those ideas that is so simple and so elegant, you slap yourself on the forehead and say, “Of course!” You add tweets to your Buffer whenever you want. It then spreads them out during the day according to a schedule you pre-determine, so it doesn’t overwhelm your followers.
  • HootSuite: This is my Twitter dashboard. (It can also be used for Facebook, LinkedIn, too.) It allows me to monitor direct messages, mentions, and the tweets of those I follow. It arranges lists of users into columns (e.g., Family, Work Associates, Industry Sources, etc.), so I can quickly see what’s happening with any specific group. I use this tool to send messages and replies.
  • Platform Conference: This is my newest conference, based on the framework I use in my book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The next event is scheduled for November 9–14, 2014 in Nashville, TN. Confirmed speakers include Amy Porterfield, Ken Davis, Pat Flynn, Ray Edwards, Stu McLaren, Cliff Ravenscraft, … and me!
  • SocialOomph: This is the service I use to manage scheduled tweets. I have a file with my top 100 most popular blog posts. Essentially, it includes one tweet for each post. I bulk upload this to Social Oomph and it posts these tweets, one per day every day at a specific time. It is a great way to keep my older posts visible. It drives a lot of traffic to my blog.
  • TweetPages: This is the design service I use to keep my social media branding in sync. They took my blog design and the used it to design my Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube profiles. They have spectacular customer service and are very affordable.

Speaking

  • Keynote: This is the software package that single-handedly converted me from PC to Mac. If you are not familiar with it, it is Apple’s alternative to PowerPoint. It is easy-to-use and produces amazing, beautiful slides. The graphic capabilities are so robust that I usually use it in place of PhotoShop for designing almost everything.
  • KeySpan Remote: This is the remote slide control unit I use when I speak publicly. Yes, I know I can use my iPhone for this, but the KeySpan is a third of the size of a phone. I can fit it in the palm of my hand, and no one knows it’s even there. It turns me into a magician!
  • Launch Conference: This is a conference I co-own with my partner, Ken Davis. It is about the business of public speaking—how to get booked, what to charge, how to create products you can sell at the back of the room, etc. It is for professional speakers or those who want to consider becoming a professional speaker.
  • OmniOutliner: This is where every speech starts for me. It is easier to use than a word processor, allowing me to arrange and rearrange all the elements of my speech, creating a thorough outline of my presentation. I also notate the slide numbers in a column to the right of the outline. Here’s an example of my Platform speech.
  • Photoshop: As I mentioned earlier, I use Keynote for most of my graphic design needs. However, for those really difficult jobs, I still use Photoshop. To be honest, I am not a big fan. I find the interface non-intuitive and clunky. But for raw power, I haven’t found anything that comes close. Photo shop does anything—if I can just figure out how to do it.
  • SCORRE Conference: This is another conference I co-own with my partner, Ken Davis. It is designed for professional speakers and those who simply want to communicate more professionally. While Launch is about the business of public speaking, SCORRE is about how to prepare and deliver your speech in a way maximizes it’s impact on the audience. It literally changed everything about how I communicate.

Podcasting

  • Adobe Audition: This is the audio editing software I use. It is expensive and probably overkill. There are free or cheaper alternatives available. I bought it because Cliff Ravenscraft recommended it and has some good tutorials about it. It is super-easy to use, but I feel I am only tapping five percent of its capabilities.
  • BluBrry PowerPress: This is the WordPress plugin I use to embed my podcast on my blog. It uses a simple, elegant interface and provides a very nice audio player, so your listeners can simply click “Play” to listen to your show.
  • BroadVoice: This is one of two voice mail services I use to capture questions and feedback from my listeners. (The other one is SpeakPipe below.) People simply call into my number, hear a voice mail greeting from me, and then leave their message. BroadVoice then mails me a WAV file of the recording, which I can edit and insert into my show.
  • Ginger Schell: She does all the transcriptions for my shows. She does a masterful job. She is a little more expensive than other services, but English is her first language, and she pays attention to the details. When you want it done right, she is the one to call.
  • Heil PR40 Microphone: This is the microphone I use. Again, I bought it because Cliff Ravenscraft recommended it. I haven’t found another mic that produces the depth and resonance of the PR40. If you have listened to my podcast and like the sound of my voice, this is the mic that is responsible.
  • Heil SM–2B Shock Mount: This is the cage-looking thing on which the mic mounts. It is a “shock mount,” so that if I bump the desk or the boom, the mic won’t pick up the sounds.
  • ID3 Editor: This is a single-purpose software package. It does one thing well. It allows you to create the metadata for your audio files, so when you upload them to iTunes, it’s all there.
  • LibSyn: If you are going to podcasting, you don’t want to host these files on your own blog. If you have hundreds of people—or thousands—trying to access them at once, you could crash your server, incur crazy charges from your hosting company, or risk them shutting down your blog. Instead, you want to host them on a flat-rate media service like LibSyn.
  • Mackie 1402-VLZ3 Mixer: This is the audio mixer I use—again, recommended by Cliff Ravenscraft. It enables me to mix together my voice, music bed, audio clips, and external callers, into a single audio stream that I record.
  • OmniOutliner: This is where every podcast starts. I create my “Show Prep” here, just like I do my speech outlines (see above for details).
  • Roland R–05 Digital Recorder: I don’t record directly to my computer’s hard disk or flash drive as you can with a USB microphone. The risk of doing so is that your computer crashes in the middle of your podcast and you have to re-record it. Instead, I record to a digital audio recorder. This one is fantastic quality and super simple to use.
  • SpeakPipe: This is the second of two voice mail services I use to capture questions and feedback from my listeners. (The other one is BroadVoice above.) People simply call into my number, hear a voice mail greeting from me, and then leave their message. BroadVoice then mails me a mp3 file of the recording, which I can edit and insert into my show.
  • SoundByte: This is another single-purpose program. It allows me to queue up audio clips (e.g., musical intro and outro, as well as listener questions) and play them in real time when I record my podcast. It’s a little buggy on Mountain Lion, but it works.
  • Timer Utility: This is pretty much as the name suggests: it’s a timer. I start it when I begin my podcast, so that I don’t lose track of the time and ramble on and one.

Productivity

  • Chrome: This is my browser of choice. I find that it is faster than Safari or Firefox. However, it also has some memory quirks that bother me. If I get too many tabs open, it can really slow down my system or make it a little quirky.
  • Cobook: This is an interface to Apple’s Contacts application (formerly Address Book). Frankly, it’s what Contacts should be. My favorite feature is that it will look up the contact’s information on Twitter and/or Facebook and allow you to synchronize the user’s photo.
  • DropBox: This is the application I use to share files with my family and business associates. I am able to give access to both folders and files. It syncs automatically with my local computer in the background.
  • eaHELP: This is the company for whom my virtual assistant, Tricia, works. They are a domestic company, providing premium services to clients who really care how they are represented. I really cannot say enough good about them. They are first-class in every way. If you have never considered a virtual assistant, start by reading my post, “7 Reasons You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant.”
  • Evernote: This is my digital brain. I store everything here: receipts, web clippings, Kindle notes, meeting notes, you name it. I like it so much, I wrote a series of twelve posts about it on my blog. It is an application I launch at startup and keep open all the time.
  • Evernote Essentials: This is a great e-book intro to Evernote by Brett Kelly. It’s $29.00 and worth every penny. It will save you hours of learning on your own. Highly recommended.
  • Fujitsu S1300i ScanSnap Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Document Scanner: This is how I convert all paper to digital. I simply scan it through my scanner and it inserts it into Evernote, complete with tags, etc. If you want something a little more robust, you can check out the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Deluxe Bundle Sheet-Fed Scanner.
  • Excel: I use this for all number-crunching. Frankly, I am not a big fan of Microsoft Office. It is just too bloated for me. But Excel is the exception. I have tried iWork Numbers and even the Google Docs spreadsheet, but they are just not powerful enough. Maybe it’s because I have used Excel since version 2 in 1987. It’s second-nature.
  • Google Calendar: I have to have a calendar I can share. It must be accessible by my family and team members (e.b., managers, booking agents, etc.). Google Calendar provides all the functionality I need.
  • Harvest: This is my invoicing system. It lives in the cloud and is readily accessibly by my assistant and other team mates. It is powerful and allows my customers and clients to pay instantly by credit card. It has made collections effortless.
  • Mail: I have tried almost every Mac mail software program ever written, including (most recently) MailPlane, PostBox, and Sparrow. I keep coming back to Apple Mail. It really does everything I need, especially now that I have also installed MailTags and Mail Act-On.
  • Nozbe: This is my task management system. I have tried them all (I think), but I keep coming back to Nozbe. It has a bit of a learning curve, but I have not found anything that is more powerful or more flexible. The trick for me is to use labels to group projects together. This keeps my system organized and manageable. Nozbe also integrates with Evernote and DropBox.
  • PathFinder: This is a Finder replacement. (I can’t imagine going back to Finder.) It provides multiple windows and tabs. It’s really everything you would want in a file management system. It’s what Apple should have designed to begin with.
  • Skim: This is a PDF viewer and a replacement for Preview. It makes highlighting and notating PDFs a breeze. Plus, I just like the interface better than Preview.
  • SnagIt: I use this program for al my screen capture needs. It is something I use daily. It has a robust set of effects tools, like borders, drop shadows, reflections, and perspective. It also has an amazing array of annotation tools. It can also do video capture of your screen (i.e., a screencast).
  • Typinator: This is what is commonly called a text expander. You type in an abbreviation and it responds with whatever text you want. I use it to type commonly used phrases, correct common misspellings, insert HTML code, and type in boiler-plate templates.

Writing

  • Scrivener: This is an amazing, powerful word processor developed specifically for writers. Unlike Word it doesn’t feel bloated or get in your way. I use it for writing everything—books, sales copy, even blog posts. It also has multi markdown language baked in, which I use extensively. It is my go-to word processor of choice.
  • Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition: This is the bible in the book publishing industry. It has an interesting introduction on the art of bookmaking, but it’s principal value is as a reference to all things related to grammar, style, and usage. If you prefer, you can use the online edition, which is what I do.
  • Fast, Effective Copywriting: This is a course taught by David Garfinkle. It is not cheap but the content is priceless. Best of all, David and his partner Brian McLeod provide a notebook worth of writing “templates.” They include every component of good sales copy, from headlines to bullets to guarantees.
  • How to Write Bestselling Fiction: As far as I know, this is the only non-fiction book Dean Koontz has ever written. Sadly, it is out-of-print. However, you can still find it in used bookstores or through Amazon. It is the best single book I have ever read on writing fiction. Be prepared to spend $50.00 or more.
  • On Writing: This is my favorite overall book on writing. Stephen King chronicles his writing journey, which is worth the price of the book. But then he goes on to give his best writing advice. As one of the most successful, prolific writers of all time, this counsel is extremely valuable.
  • The War of Art: This classic by Stephen Pressfield illuminates why the creative process is often so difficult and what you can do about it. It’s also a swift kick in the pants—something every writer needs from time to time. I have read this book several times and given dozens of copies away.
  • WestBow Press: There have never been more options available for getting your book published. Self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it once did. WestBow, a division of Thomas Nelson, is a good choice if you want to pursue assisted self-publishing. It’s like hiring a contractor to build a house, so you don’t have to manage the subcontractors.
  • Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author: This is a video of a speech I gave at the Indie Author Conference in 2011. Today we live in an unprecedented time for authors. Opportunities abound. I lay out five reasons why this is such a great time to pursue your dream of becoming a published author.
  • Word: I put this in the same category as Photoshop (see my comments above). There are some things that only Word will do. It has about every feature known to man—if you can just find it. I would probably never use Word, except for the fact that my publisher insists on it. Also, so many people use it that has become the standard in cross-platform document exchange.
  • Writing a Winning Book Proposal: This is my classic e-book that details everything you need to know to write a book proposal that gets the attention of agents and publishers. It has been used by publishing professionals for more than a decade and has become the de facto standard in the book publishing world.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://www.trafficguygary.com/ Gary Thomas

    Thanks for this amazingly comprehensive list. It is so refreshing to have someone share all their “secrets”. After all, if you help someone up a ladder, you get higher up too.

    • Yaar Muhammad Hamdard

      well said dude. “If you help someone up a ladder, you get higher up too”

  • Tim

    Hi there,

    Any ideas on task management software that you currently use or have used in the past?

    Thanks
    Tim

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m kind of in between options right now. I am currently using Nozbe but am also considering Nozbe and Workflowy. Thanks.

      • Murray

        I have just started using do.com By sales force its has a app and integration with google and it is free. Great find. Replaces my former client of teamworkpm.net which was also good.

      • Phil Larsen

        I love ToodleDo. I must say, I tried Nozbe, and it became extremely slow the more tasks I put in there. ToodleDo, along with their iPhone app, rocks. I live by it.

        • Subramanian_Narayan

          I have been using Nozbe (paid version) for over a year and I love it. If you use Evernote and google calendar, it works fantastic. You can change your to-do-list from google calendar. Besides it has a Desktop, iPhone,iPad version which syncs neatly

      • http://twitter.com/bicienzo Vincenzo Vecchio

        Asana is great!
        Even if I think they have to tweak a few more things. But with almost 30M in venture capital they raised… they’ll do it the right way! :)

      • http://www.ejectingballast.com/ Matthew Hexter

        I’ve started using ActiveInbox with Google Chrome. So far I’m really digging it. ActiveInbox allows me to stay within Gmail and keep my action list all in one place. 

        I’m an avid GTDer who used Outlook for the longest time on a PC. When I switched to a Mac, I gave up a lot. Outlook for Mac just doesn’t have the same robust feature set. So my goal was to find a “cloud-based” GTD alternative and my biggest problem was finding a tool that would integrate with Gmail and Google Calendar. For awhile I used GQueues, then Asana. Also tried Basecamp (better for project work with disbursed teams), Do.com, Freedcamp and Smartsheet. I finally landed on ActiveInbox and I really like it… A LOT.

        I also use GoogleDocs, Evernote and Dropbox.

        Someday it would be nice to find an “all-in-one” GTD tool, something that combines all the features of Outlook for PC: email, calendar, tasks, notes, a filing system, and the ability to create your own customized dashboard view. 

        • http://www.matthewhillis.com Matthew Hillis

          I have been using OmniFocus on my Mac for the GTD app.

      • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

        Michael, I know you are a big Evernote and Google Calendar user. Nozbe has such great Evernote and Google Calendar integration, so I’m a little surprised you would consider a different option than Nozbe. I’m testing Asana a little with a small project I’m doing right now, and I’m also impressed with the ease of use and user interface. I’m using Nozbe as my primary task/project tool right now, and I really like how it works with Evernote (also my “hub” application).

        I know you love experimenting with things like this, so I’m just curious what Asana has that would make you look pretty hard at an alternative to Nozbe.

        • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

          I’ll answer my own question after using Asana on two test projects. I really like the user interface, and the iPhone app is great. It’s simple to use. There are a few things I’d like to see improved, such as the ability to use tags in the Personal Projects workspace, but Asana easily does 80% of what Nozbe does for free compared to Nozbe’s $90/year or $10/month price tag.

          I’ve just set up a “Next Action” tag to replicate GTD functionality, and it pretty much does what I need it to do as a Nozbe replacement. 

      • http://twitter.com/Vegpacker Vegpacker

        http://www.smartsheet.com?u=PK3654289

        Discovered Smartsheet  a few months ago, have seen very little on it on web n mags, but a very powerful Task, Project Team and Time Manager

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          This looks promising. Thanks.

      • http://www.applicationtalk.com/ Jason

        Workflowy is great.

        • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

          I also like WorkFlowy a lot, but I use it more as an initial outlining and “stream of consciousness” tool. I like the tagging feature on it. I use this for a wiki for two classes I teach and to share podcast notes for co hosts. I have had more success sharing with WorkFlowy than Google Docs.

      • http://lancemorgan.net/ Lance Morgan

        Big fan of Asana.

    • http://twitter.com/aubajwa Asmat Ullah Bajwa

      Hallo,

      I would recommend toodledo.
      http://www.toodledo.com

      as it supports MYN task management system
      masteryourworkday.com

      Thanks

    • http://www.voppa.com/ Paul Povolni

      I’m in between task management apps as well. Was a fan of Toodledo for a long time. Trying Wunderkit, Trello and ActionMethod. Even giving Evernote a whirl.

      • Susan Lundal

         AnyToDo (by Keane and Able) has excellent integration with Evernote as well as sync’ing from iPhone to iPad andvice versa. Pleasant, fast customer support the one time I needed it when I was just getting started. Can use list or quadrant view.  Good to hear about some of the others mentioned.

    • joeakalis

      Amy Porterfield recommends “Wrike”, which I just downloaded a trial of. Looks very easy to use and pretty powerful. Just throwin it out there!

      If all else fails, trusty Excel/Google Docs spreadsheet! :-)

    • http://www.klingtocash.com Kristin Ingram

      I use IQTell for task management and email management. You can set up projects, actions for your projects and even attach emails to an action or create a new action. Seriously good stuff. I’ve been using it for about a month now and I’ve never been more organized.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        I have had several positive reports about this software. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cheriessner

    This is a wealth of great information!!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Jeff

    How about a section for iPhone apps you use?  I’ve recently been trying to organize my iPhone with my most used apps on the first screen and I’m wondering which ones I’m missing out on.  Which apps do you use for business/productivity?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestion. Thanks. I’ll do this when I get some time.

      • http://www.voppa.com/ Paul Povolni

        A screenshot of your first screen would be a start :) Here’s mine 

  • erintarr

    #awesome.  thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I’m probably a little too happy that you did this. Woohoo! I looked for something like this on your site just a couple days ago. Thank you! 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I’m joining the Happy Club with you, Michele!  

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    Great, comprehensive list, Michael. Thanks. Much of it is beyond where I’m at currently, but I’m tucking the recommendations away in Evernote for future reference. Although I’m sure many of these plug-ins, tools, and apps will change over time, this post will still offer value for years. Your generosity at sharing your trade secrets is inspiring. 

  • Pingback: Hub For Your Home Podcast Episode 003 - Hub For Your Home

  • http://www.48dayrebel.com/ Jonathan Brown

    Posted  a link to this on my blog. I don’t use all of the the tools,but I intend on upgrading my tools as I go which kinda only makes sense!

    Thanks Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jonathan. I appreciate that.

  • http://twitter.com/idealhelper Ideal-Helper.com

    Thanks for this great list of tools. As an online entrepreneur working together with virtual assistants, I feel that your list will come handy to both the employer and employee of any web based business.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great tools definitely help overcome the challenges (and realize the great benefits) of virtual office-ing!!

  • ElaineDonnellyAllen

    Amazingly comprehensive! You are a very confident man….looking to help and not self focused. I applaud you.

  • http://twitter.com/noahcoley Noah Coley

    Michael,

    Thanks for years of transparency!  How was your transition from a PC to a Mac?  I have been looking for tools and I am starting to get familiar with them on my PC, but fear when I finally can afford to become a Mac user I will have to relearn everything.  Am I wasting my time if I plan to switch to Mac in the near future?  Love what you do, btw since you started This is Your Life, you have become my weekly mowing buddy!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It wasn’t that difficult. The main thing is that I use a ton of keyboard shortcuts. The Mac used the Command key for most of these rather than the Control key. I had to retrain my brain. But it was SOOOOO worth it.

  • http://www.destiny2lead.com/ Jeremy May

    Thanks for this great list. These tools seem very helpful, especially the speaking section. I am currently using dropbox for all my docs and wunderlist as a task management tool.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I LOVE Dropbox!  I use it to send out my advance Media Kits and Tech files for speaking engagements.   The cool thing is that the more that others open the folders I send them, the more space Dropbox gives me for FREE!  I now have ~ 10GB of FREE storage.  It’s awesome!

  • http://www.lydiadifrancesco.com Lydia Di Francesco

    Thanks for sharing Michael!! This is a great list and I plan on downloading a number of the ones I don’t have. Super helpful!

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Love the Heil PR-40.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Is that what you used on your Get Started with Kindle product? Whatever you used on that sounded great.

      • chasflemming

         Jeff, how do you and Michael get those blurbs alongside your names here?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          If you are talking about Disqus, you just need to fill out your Disqus profile.

  • http://twitter.com/quirkycity Heather C Button

    Wow that’s a comprehensive list. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to see what I can add little by little to make sure I don’t get overwhelmed.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Good plan, Heather!  Pick your favorite one or two items from the list and implement those.  You’ll start receiving the benefits and then you can come back and pick another one or two to do next.  Good luck!

      • http://twitter.com/quirkycity Heather C Button

         Thanks for the encouragement!

  • http://aparchedsoul.com/ Grayson Pope (A Parched Soul)

    This is a great page of resources, thanks Michael!

  • enjoythearchitecture

    Thank you for sharing. I use most of your tools. Others I have to study. 

    Let me say that for 

    todo: I am starting to apply “living in the calendar” approach with Workflowy (see this article: http://workawesome.com/productivity/to-do-lists/)

    pdf: on Mac I am using FingerPDF (www.fingerpdf.com) which is the final solution I found for managing PDF libraries of books, papers and articles) 

    Again Michael, is a gift reading your posts.

    Pier

  • http://twitter.com/cbrokaw Chad Brokaw

    If you are looking for something less expensive than MS Office, I would recommend the open source LibreOffice (www.libreoffice.org). Everything that you would need is included: word processor, spreadsheets, slides, etc.

    In fact, there are a lot of open source alternatives for what Michael has listed. Some people like them, some don’t. They are nice to have if you don’t have extra money to spend on software or if your keeping costs down as a start-up or a nonprofit.

  • http://noahfleming.com/ Noah Fleming

    Pretty cool list. I always wondered how you did that with the older posts. Seems like a great tool.

  • http://www.beardsforbreastcancer.com Adam Martin

    Michael,

    Thank you for the detail list of the tools you use.  Very detailed.  I like it.

    Adam

  • http://twitter.com/DrDavidGosse Dr. David Gosse

    For productivity I love ActiveWords, which is a keyboard launcher that opens files
    and documents, launches programs, navigates to websites, inserts text substitutions,
    etc. – all with just a few keystrokes. 

    I believe the Mac equivalent of this program is called Quicksilver.

    • http://www.corbaecafe.com/ Victoria Smith

      I haven’t heard of ActiveWords before, but definitely will check it out. It sounds like a great time-saver. Thanks for the rec!

      • http://www.corbaecafe.com/ Victoria Smith

        I see I need to get registered with Disqus in order to show my pic…hopefully this will work :)

  • http://ryankparker.com/ Ryan K. Parker

    This is very comprehensive. I have used it to fine tune a few things. I also want to say a huge thank you for the blog template you posted. I recreated it for my use and then did a podcast template as well. I think I need to do a show notes template also. Take care, stay awesome!

  • http://ryankparker.com/ Ryan K. Parker

    Thanks for sharing this list. I have gone through it and implemented many of the tools. The first tool I used though was Platform. I wouldn’t have started this w/out that great book. A big thanks as well for the blogging template. I now use one very similar and also created one for podcasting. 
    If you have time in the future I would love to hear your thoughts on creating great “Show Notes.” 
    thanks again!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Ryan. I will give the “Show Notes” request some thought.

  • http://www.leadingyourlife.net/ Jason Pulley

    Great resource. Thanks for sharing. I have already started using some of these.

  • http://www.leadingyourlife.net/ Jason Pulley

    Do you think scribe SEO is better than Yoast?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I haven’t reviewed Yoast in a while, but Scribe’s analytical abilities are unsurpassed.

  • Subramanian Narayan

    Michael

    Thanks for sharing, a very comprehensive list of tools. Need to start working on many of them.

    Thanks

  • http://pastorjohnbarrett.com/ John Barrett

    Thanks for the list Michael, awesome.  Are you using Scrivener for writing at all? I noticed you used to use that I believe, but didn’t see it listed above.  Just checking to see how you liked that program or not. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Scrivener is a great program. I use it when I am writing books. I guess because I am in between books right now, I forgot about it. I will definitely add it. Thanks.

  • http://www.andersgerdmar.com/ Anders Gerdmar

    Thanks for this great page!
    Do you have any tools for making your e-books? They look great. Did you have professional help?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great question. I actually wrote about this: “How to Create an e-Book in Seven Steps.”

      • http://www.andersgerdmar.com/ Anders Gerdmar

        Thanks. We get spoiled by you ;)… I got soo much important input from your blog, podcasts and book the last six months!

  • Chris Green

    Scrivener, especially as it now works on both Mac and Pc, syncing via Dropbox.

    • Jim Martin

      I have been using Scrivener lately.  A great tool!

    • http://www.andersgerdmar.com/ Anders Gerdmar

      I use Scrivener for my writing of bigger text, and think it’s great.

  • http://www.spch.org.au/ Bren McLean

    Thanks for sharing! Great list covering so many mediums

  • Greg

    Michael,

    I’ve been reading Platform and truly appreciate all of the information. I’ve just made the switch from RapidWeaver to WordPress so that I could leverage a blog to help generate interest in my executive coaching practice. All of this information is a great help.

    Greg Atchison, Ph.D., ACC
    Aspyre Coaching

  • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

    Love it!  Thx for sharing Michael!

  • Hareclippings

    Google Drive – Chrome weapons of choice. 

  • Jan

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • Seyifunmi Adebisi

    Thanks Micheal, sure a great person u are!

  • http://www.voppa.com/ Paul Povolni

    Michael,

    When speaking, do you use Omni Outliner or Evernote? Start in Omni, end in Evernote? I use Evernote for all my research and prep and then speak from it.

    Thanks

    Paul

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I do my research with Evernote but then write it in OmniOutliner.

      • http://www.voppa.com/ Paul Povolni

        Do you also speak from Omni on an iPad at the podium?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          No, I print out my notes from OmniOutliner and have them in case my technology fails. I have my notes in the Presenters Notes section of Keynote.

  • http://www.voppa.com/ Paul Povolni

    Michael,

    I see you’re using Harvest for accounting. I was using Freshbooks for my design business. Did you compare the two? I’m trying them now. If you compared, what leaned you towards Harvest?

    Paul

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I really can’t remember much about Freshbooks. I didn’t need a full accounting solution; just invoicing. I love Harvest for that. I am using QuickBooks for accounting (mostly because that is what my accountant uses).

  • http://outofegyptblog.wordpress.com/ Fr. James Guirguis

    Michael, Thanks for this post!  You have probably given us hundreds if not thousands of dollars in free advice through just this one generous post.  Thanks again.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Father.

  • http://www.corbaecafe.com/ Victoria Smith

    Shawn, I tried to go check out your list of tools, but the link you provided was broken. Try again?

  • Tony States

    Thank you very much for sharing all this invaluable information with us Michael :-) can you tell us what widget you are using to keep track of your subscribers? (the counter that is in your sidebar)
    Cheers :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It’s actually part of my new GetNoticed! theme.

      • Tony States

        Thanks Michael, I can’t wait until it becomes available :-)

  • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Michael,
    I am trying to find a good system that I can use on my Mac and/or iPhone for keeping track of organizations and people that I want to stay in contact with for potential speaking engagements. What tool do you use/suggest to keeping track of contacting them on a regular basis?
    Live Beyond Awesome!
    Jen
    Twitter: @TheIronJen:disqus 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      My booking agent uses SalesForce. You might give that a try. Thanks.

      • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

        MANY thanks Michael.
        Oh reminds me, I am going to do a search on your site for booking agent info as well as I am sure you have some great content. 
        Michael, seriously, thanks for the great content you provide. REALLY enjoy bragging you up to people.
        Jen

    • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

      Jen, if you are looking for another dedicated system like Salesforce, you can try Highrise. It’s $29/month for a solopreneur plan. I liked Highrise. It’s pretty simple to use. It may not have the greatest number of features, but it does work and has an iPhone app.

      I’m using Podio now for my CRM. It’s only $9/month, but you do have to look at some of their apps because there are a number of different CRM issues. Podio also has an iPhone/iPad app.

      • http://www.livebeyondawesome.com/ Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

        oh thanks Dallon, that was awfully kind of you to drop a note on this. I will check both these out as well.
        MANY thanks!!
        Jen

  • Cheryl Mclaughlin

    Michael. Thank you so much for sharing this. I work with authors and have turned quite a few of them onto you and your site. 2 questions:
    Question 1: Feedburner. Have the recent changes with Google’s support of Feedburner (meaning decreasing support of Feedburner – deprecating the API, as well as the loss of RSS stats, twitter for feedburner, and the feedburner blog ) affected you? Are you considering moving away from Feedburner to something like Feedblitz?
    Question 2: What have you found as the best, most accurate way to measure your RSS subscribers?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am watching the issues with Feedburner, but, best I can tell, the threat of them closing down the service is just speculation. I can’t find where Google has made that announcement. Frankly, people have been speculating about this since Google bought them.
      I still use Feedburner to measure the size of my RSS list.

  • Sol Rosenberg

    Thank you so much for this.

    One quick question… What do you use for ecommerce and downloading of the digital goods, like ebooks and audio?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Currently, we are using Kajabi and 1ShoppingCart. (I guess I need to add those to the list.)

    • Nataliahilderbrand@yahoo.com

      Thank you very much for this list, just what I needed!

  • http://www.transitionministriesgroup.com/ Bud Brown

    What do you use for lead capture at your blogsite?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      We use MailChimp.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkBHenry Mark B. Henry

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this recommendation. I will check it out.

  • http://twitter.com/jdmayfield Jason Mayfield

    Michael,
    I love reading your productivity insights. They have radically changed my personal and office productivity.

    For curiosity sake… do you use GOOGLE CALENDAR with iCal or online only?

    - Jason

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Online only. (Though I have it on my iPhone too. It is tied into the iPhone calendar.)

  • ED

    Great list. Unfortunately I’m pretty new to the idea of writing on a computer so I have no idea what most of this means. I will be researching it all on a day to day basis. Are most of these programs Apple based because I use a PC. I’m being dragged into the 20th Century kicking and screaming all the way. Then I’ll have to start working on the 21st Century. Can I have my yellow #2 pencil back now?

  • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

    This is a go-to reference and, I believe, sets the standard for what a “TOOLS” page ought to be. Great job with it, Michael.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Charles.

  • http://www.RobTrenckmann.com/ Rob Trenckmann

    Does anyone else have trouble getting Byword to make a bulleted list or numbered list that includes appropriate spacing?  When I make a list with Byword, it puts the number or bullets in place in Markdown view, but when I copy and paste it or put it in preview view, it doesn’t list them out–it just puts them in the body all together.  Help!  :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You have to put it into Preview mode and then copy the HTML. Unless you convert the markdown in this way, it will do nothing when you paste it into your blog. Hope that helps.

      • http://www.RobTrenckmann.com/ Rob Trenckmann

        Thanks Michael. Even when I do that, my lists show up in paragraph form with number or bullets, not list form. Weird. I don’t understand why it is doing that (or what I’m doing wrong.)

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          It is likely then in your style sheet. The HTML just tells WordPress what the text elements are (e.g., an “ordered list” or an “unordered list”). The style sheet tells it what kind of bullets, indents, spacing, etc.

          • http://www.RobTrenckmann.com/ Rob Trenckmann

            Michael–thanks for the help! I’m using MarsEdit, and that is where the problem is showing up. I can’t get it to copy lists into MarsEdit correctly, when using HTML. Even when I Preview in ByWord, the lists are in paragraph form with numbers or bullets, not list form. Weird!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            But MarsEdit uses a style sheet. (This is one of the cool things about it. I use the style sheet from my own blog.) You might check what you are using. Check under Blog | Edit Preview Template.

          • http://www.RobTrenckmann.com/ Rob Trenckmann

            Ahh, thank you! I’m just getting started with WordPress and MarsEdit, so I appreciate the help. I don’t know that much about HTML yet, so I’ll have to do some reading on that so I can change my style sheet. Thanks!