State of the Apps: May 2018

At Adelsberger Marketing, we use a lot of apps to help keep the business running smoothly. I know you probably use a few, too, but I wanted share ours in case you were looking for others to help productivity!

RainyMood: Rainy Mood is a free browser-based rain noise maker. I frequently use this in Chrome, with an extension called ‘Volume’ Master. I like to make the rain noises be the base layer of sound in my earphones when I am at theCO or working around other people. This allows a continuous background noise that I often edit video over or play focus music on top of it. It helps keep dips and track changes in the music from becoming distracting.

Google Drive: Adelsberger Marketing using Google’s G Suite for our emails, this also gives us access to Google Drive which we have nearly unlimited amounts of storage on. This is a way we share files internally and externally with clients. Instead of also paying for DropBox, we use Google Drive’s provided storage with G Suite. It’s pretty sweet.

BackBlaze: Fortunately, I have not needed to implement the recovery feature of BackBlaze yet, and hopefully I never will. Backblaze is a very affordable in-the-background backup service. It is always backing up my computer and it’s $5 a month for all you can use data. It also backs up external hard drives that you connect to your computer once a month. I have this running on all of my team’s computers.

Toggl: Toggle is our time tracking method of choice (right now). It helps us keep our time based on the client. We don’t charge hourly but it helps us review where we are spending our time.

Slack: We use slack internally to communicate as a team. We try to avoid sending email in house as much as possible. Slack is a lifesaver. Pro-tip: I recently found out that you can ask Slack to remind you of a message in a certain period of time. This is a new tool that I will use a lot.

Adobe Creative Cloud: We use the creative cloud suite for all of our creative work around here. Seems like on a weekly basis we use almost all of the major Adobe products!

Splice: Splice is the app I use to assemble my daily videos. It is a free app from GoPro and has built-in titles and sound files. It makes putting that video together a snap.

WordSwag: WordSwag may be some of the best money I have ever spent on an app. We use it all the time. Fortunately, they recently released some new fonts.

Overcast: Listening to podcasts is something I spend a lot of time on. Overcast helps me to do that better. It has smart speed, which removes dead spaces in conversation, which helps you listen to podcasts faster. It also allows you to save custom speeds for each of the shows that you listen to.

A Follow Up: Best Self Journal

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the Best Self Journal and how they used social media marketing to get me to buy one. You can read that post here.

Starting the Best Self Journal a few months ago was a little bit out of my comfort zone. I do not normally use journals or paper products to push me to improve. Also with a name like Best Self Journal it kinda feels like a product sold after a cheesy motivational seminar.


But I have been very pleased with how the Best Self Journal has helped me improve and challenged me. At this current moment in my life, I am in the process of scaling a marketing firm. This means lots of work, lots of time, and lots of different clients. Trying to grow enough cash flow to bring teammates on is exhausting on the front end. It’s really easy for my time to get away from me.

This affects all areas of my life: work, home, fitness, and community. I think the Journal has helped me stay focused on many of these areas better and helped me keep perspective. These things will help me from, ‘living in a van down by the river‘, hopefully!

Let’s talk specifics:

    1. Scheduling: The biggest thing that the BSJ has helped me with is time blocking out my day. I am really good with schedules and meetings. But how I spend the time around those usually was just spent putting out fires or whatever is the most urgent thing on my plate. This prevented me from making progress in balanced ways across my schedule. It also allowed me to get distracted from projects that I was already working on. The BSJ uses 30 minute time chunks through the day to help you block out time.Usually, at the end of the workday, I take a few minutes and look through my Asana task manager and my meetings for tomorrow and plan out my work schedule for the next day. I am able to allocate time for each of the projects I need to work on and even constrain email checking to specific time periods. This factor alone has increased my productivity considerably. For no other reason, other than this calendar function, this book is worth buying for me.
    2. Targets: Causing me to set targets for the day, 1-3 super important things to get done for the day, has allowed me to rest easier at night. Sometimes during the rush, it can be easy to forget how much you accomplished during the day and feel like you need to continue working all night. With these targets, it has given me the ability to look back and see that I have accomplished something and that it is okay to rest (at least occasionally). Conversely, if I have gotten distracted or lazy during the day, the targets can push me to get back on track and get important things accomplished even if takes a little extra time.
    3. Goal setting. I traditionally like big picture goals, like buying a house, but am not good at milestone goals to get there or progress toward those goals. The BSJ has a great goal mapping and follow up system. For example, every day, you write out your goals for the 13-week session. This helps to keep the goals on top of your mind. I am currently behind on two my three goals for this session, but it’s not because I have forgotten about them!

The way it breaks down your goals into steps and habits to accomplish them has been very helpful to me toward working on these goals and helping to become more of the person and business that I want to be.