These tools will make your life better

Today, I want to focus on the tools I use to help track everything from emails to story ideas to my to-do list. If you’ve been struggling with any of these challenges, these are my best recommendations.

Track daily to-dos and deeeeep thoughts with these notebooks and pens.


Screenshot of a tweet by PJ Vogt saying "Bought a new notebook, this'll probably fix everything."


I’m picky about my notebooks and pens. I’m a lefty, which means I have to have smear-proof pens and I have to be super careful about notebooks with coils on the side. As a print lover, I also appreciate nice paper and beautiful design. Below are some of my favorites:

  • I like these Kikkerland retro pens — they’re cool looking and they’re ballpoint. I lose a million pens a year and they’re not too expensive to replace.
  • For my daily to-dos and random scrawlings during interviews (as always, I trust the $1/minute service from Rev for my transcriptions), the Cambridge Limited Action Planners are A+. The layout is perfect for daily lists, there’s a spot for notes and dates, they’re perforated, and the covers are sturdy and water repellent.
  • For things I want to have handy long-term, the Stalogy Editor’s Series 365 Days Notebook is excellent. I take lots of notes on the work I’m doing so I can refer to it later. The paper is thin but high quality, the small gray grid is a good guide without being distracting, and the notebook lays flat and can take a beating.

Get your most important online metrics delivered daily.

I get an email from Sunrise KPI each morning that shares a few key details for me, including visitors to the Capstone Communications website and new subscribers to my email list. You can also create integrations to get likes or followers from your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, or even metrics you track manually through Google Sheets. This isn’t a super fancy tool, but it’s a nice way to keep track of a bunch of different numbers without doing a deep dive into every account.

Never lose track of an email again.

I looooooove Boomerang for Gmail. You can use it to schedule emails and get reminders on emails that haven’t gotten responses (hello, busy faculty members). There are also other features I don’t take advantage of, but you might find useful, including Inbox Pause and follow-up reminders. Plus, I love that it shows you at the end of every year how effective the reminders you sent were at getting a response.