There are a lot of different things I could live without, but I don't want to. These are ten essential products I use for running my business, streamlining my day, and improving my health.
- Scheduler. If you are wasting your time doing that back-and-forth dance to determine when someone can meet with you, stop now. Implement a scheduler, send your link, and voila! They choose a time that works for them, and it pops up on your calendar without another thought. There are many good ones: Book Like a Boss, Calendly, and ScheduleOnce. I prefer Acuity* because it allows me to take payments and work with packages to show how many sessions a client has left and has class settings for groups like our Focus90. It's pretty robust, so it may be overkill for some. I have different appointments – Virtual Coffee, Speaker Inquiry, Coaching Sessions, and Discovery Sessions.
- Password management system. If you're still using stickies, an Excel spreadsheet, or are reusing the same password over and over with slight variations, please don't invite the hackers to steal your data. Use a proper password management system to create hard-to-crack passwords for you. They are especially helpful when you need to share passwords because you can choose to share limited access, which means the recipient can't see billing information or have access to change the password. I have dozens shared with my assistant. If I needed to revoke them for any reason, I could do that with one click! My password manager is Dashlane*.
- Focus Music. I like music without words to focus and do deep work. Brain.fm* is an excellent choice. Their music is backed by science, and you can choose deep work, creative, light work, and even sleep music and sounds. I also use Spotify and created my own playlist called Focus90 or listen to a video game music playlist. Did you know video game music is designed for focus? It's also beautiful and inspiring. We're not talking Donkey Kong!
- Phone sanitizer*. I had one of these before COVID-19, and some people thought it was overkill. No more! Phone Soap is a UV sanitizer and has been clinically tested in a lab to remove all the poop and other germs on your phone (yes, most people have poo particles on their phone!).
- Whiteboard*. I am a big fan of a whiteboard. It's one thing to say what you're going to do or the goals that you have, but writing it down and staring at it can be a game-changer. I look at mine several times a day. A whiteboard is what started my journey to Marcey 2.0 and ended with me starting a business and writing my third book. If you don't want to nail something to the wall, use whiteboard decals*! These genius inventions take up half my wall and the top of my refrigerator, and I can cut to fit.
- Coffee warmer. I have bought so many of these as gifts and have a second one I take with me for co-working and travel. It keeps me from having to drink out of those unfancy travel mugs.
- Standing desk. I use a medical cart as a standing desk because I bought mine long ago. Prices range from $10 for a portable desk to the equivalent of a small car! Besides my primary desk, I've used FitDesk Sit-to-Stand Desk (amazon)* on my screened-in-porch (watch my review). I use a portable desk when I travel.
- Magnesium. I don't recommend a lot of supplements, but feel completely safe recommending magnesium. About half the US and European population are deficient, and we need it for over 600 reactions in the body. Taking it in the evening can help with sleep and also contribute to a healthy poo in the morning (poo again!). It can help with blood sugar control and high blood pressure. There is enough to fill a book, so I'll stop there. I like Natural Calm* and mix it in my home-brewed kombucha.
- HRV Tracker. This is an advanced technique, but I track my heart rate variability (different than heart rate) to keep my autoimmune disease under control and recognize when I'm starting to overreach or get stressed before the symptoms become apparent. I use the Oura ring, which is also one of the best sleep trackers on the market. I've also used the Elite HRV and Sweetbeat Apps.
- Sleep Mask. Any light can be disruptive to sleep. The photoreceptors on our skin can detect light in our room, and pure darkness puts us in the best state. Since I don't want to wake up when my husband comes to bed by the light of his iPhone or when I'm traveling and can't get the hotel curtains to shut, I wear a sleep mask. My sleep mask of choice is the super affordable Dream Essentials Contoured Eye Mask (amazon)*. It doesn't lay flat on your face (it's a bra for your eyes!), is adjustable, and lightweight.
There you have it. Ten things I can't live without and consider essential for my productivity and health.
If you try one out, let me know what you think!