Caplan Digital Toolkit 2018


  1. Google Drive for documents | Slack for team communication

  2. Google Calendar for meetings

  3. Dropbox / Crashplan for backup

  4. Google Keep / Apple Reminders/ Toodledo for to-do items

  5. Google Voice/Contacts for contacts and calls

  6. Instapaper for saving items to read later

  7. Tweetdeck/Hootsuite/Buffer as a social media dashboard

  8. Trello for managing projects and goals / 

  9. Adobe Spark Suite/Canva for designing graphics

  10.  Evernote for loose tidbits of info / Calendly for managing appointments

  11.  Gmail for unified communication 

  12. MixMax for email efficiency

  13. Mediagazer and Techmeme for keeping up with media & tech

  14. Nuzzel for socially-curated news

  15. Castro/Overcast/Downcast/Radio Public for podcasts

  16. Snapseed/Layout for mobile photo editing/collage

  17. Quik/Adobe Clip/Legend/ for creating quick mobile videos

  18. Waterlogue/Prisma/Pikazo/Lucid/ for foto illustrations

  19. Lynda for learning on your own

  20. ProductHunt for keeping up with new stuff

Bonus Resources: 

  1. for summary of new trends 

  2. for more mobile links

  3. for seven social media toolsets and for tools

  4. and for notes and more links from this talk

  5. for new tools for storytelling

  6. for entrepreneurial journalism resources

More Links:


Be an Email Ninja

Sharpen Your Phone

Update Your Toolkit

What’s Next

… and 15 BONUS Tools for 2018 (

Scan this QR code using the Barcode Scanner app on your mobile or tablet

  1. Dropbox Paper

  2. Unroll.Me

  3. Anymail finder

  4. Presentation Software | Online Presentation Tools | Haiku Deck

  5. Atavist: Publishing & Storytelling Platform – Make Your Story

  6. Creative Commons Search

  7. Unsplash | High-Resolution Photos

  8. Pablo by Buffer – Design engaging images for your social media posts in under 30 seconds

  9. Buffer – A Smarter Way to Share on Social Media

  10. KnowReddit – Google Sheets

  11. Quora

  12. IFTTT – Make Your Work Flow

  13. Typorama – Typography Generator and Instant Creative Text 

  14. The 1000 Club – Cool products w/ > 1000 Product Hunt upvotes

  15. Crystal | Communicate with anyone, based on personality


  1. Transcribe your own audio: oTranscribe  and 

  2.  and and Steno App

  3. and

  4. and 

  5.  AND Olympus TP8 for recording a live phone call 

  6. Mechanical Turk for cheap human-powered transcription

  7. Google Voice for transcription of voice messages

  8. Google Docs Voice Typing for quality, free, easy browser-based dictation 

  9. Nuance Dictation App for easy, free mobile dictation





PICK. STICK AND DIG. Unify Tools. Use whatever system works for you, just stick to it and learn its features well. 

Pick a few tools, dig in and get to know them well. 

  • Use Evernote for all loose info

    • Desktop: Store and Find Notes

    • Web: Clip and Save Anything

    • Email: Forward Key Messages

    • Mobile: Collect on the Go

  • Google Docs for documents

    • Never lose a document

    • Collaborate with others

    • Live access from anywhere

    • Publish instantly, revise in real time (“Google Blogging”)

    • Search and access any document easily

  • Gmail for all email in one place

    • Unify multiple inboxes from various addresses easily

    • Access from any mobile device

    • Plug-in any number of useful apps (Rapportive, Boomerang) 

    • Fantastic search using simple operators (has:attachment)

    • Fast, flexible, reliable

  • Toodledo for all your to-do items (or whatever to-do app you prefer)

    • Easy to add from email (send to an email address)

    • Access from Web or mobile device

    • Simple, though customizable if you want it to be

    • Add notes if you want to

    • Free (or very cheap for the mobile app)

    • Other useful apps: Wunderlist, Remember the Milk

  • Google Calendar for all dates

    • Share calendar with partner or colleagues

    • Subscribe to public calendars (company, events, sports, TV, etc)

    • Access calendar from any device, sync automatically

    • Automatically backed up, you can also print

    • Easy, customizable reminders and invites

  • Google Voice for all voice numbers

    • Go from having 3 numbers to one

    • Forward calls to whatever number you want

    • Cheap international calls, free domestic calls

    • Record calls with touch of a button

    • Keep track of contact numbers easily

  • Social Media Dashboard (Hootsuite/Tweetdeck)

    • 4 Primary Streams: Home, Direct Messages (In & Out) & Mentions

    • 4 Aids: Scheduled Messages, Sent Messages, Drafts, Favorites 

    • 4 Search Terms (i.e. Hashtags, Topic, Person, Self)

    • 4 Lists (i.e. Experts, Colleagues, Quality Curators, Competitors)

    • 4 Key Accounts (i.e. Job, Mentor, Key Source, Competitor)

    • Optional: 4 Other Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)


  1. Evernote | Remember everything with Evernote, Skitch and our other great apps.

  2. My Drive – Google Drive

  3. Dropbox 

  4. Social Media Management Dashboard – HootSuite

  5. TweetDeck / Hootsuite

  6. Google Calendar

  7. Trello  

  8. Toodledo : Your To-Do List


The most crucial way to work more efficiently is to use email more efficiently.

  • Visit for my full list of 21 email tips; 3 top tips here 

  • Search, Don’t File: Searching is far more efficient, filing wastes time

  • Batch, Don’t Squirrel: Sked regular email sessions, don’t check constantly

  • Act, Don’t Postpone: That means either Do, Defer/Delegate or Dump

  • Use new email apps & services to enhance what email can do. 

  1. – A Disciplined Way To Deal With Email


  3. Rapportive


  5. Scheduled sending and email reminders | Boomerang for Gmail

  6. WiseStamp Email Signatures ? The Best Email Apps for You!

  7. Contactually |

  8. NudgeMail | Use Easy Email Reminders to Achieve Inbox Zero!

  9. | Schedule Email Reminders From Any Inbox



Question: What’s an email trick/tip you like?


  • Pick 10 apps that work well for you, learn them well and reap benefits

  • Here are my 10:

  • Instapaper  = reading

  • Evernote = notes 

  • Overcast/Downcast  = podcasts

  • Typorama/Adobe Spark Post = social posts

  • NYT Now = news summary

  • Snapseed = photo editing


  • Nuzzel  = social curation

  • Quik/Magisto/Adobe Clip = automagic video

  • Instagram = social photos

  • Twitter = social media

Question: Favorite app?


  1. Downcast

  2. Instapaper

  3. Evernote | Remember everything with Evernote, Skitch and our other great apps.

  4. Snapseed – Android Apps on Google Play

  5. Camera+ …the ultimate photo app

  6. Toodledo : Your To-Do List

  7. Video Editing By Magisto | An Automatic Online Video Editor

  8. Make videos, faster than ever – Quik App


  10. Phoster – Make your Own Poster

  11. Presentation Software that Inspires | Haiku Deck 


Find little ways of doing things more efficiently by using a range of sites/apps/tools that can help you get things done quickly, easily and at very little or no cost. 

Backup Everything 

Save major headaches and heartache

  • Dropbox works seamlessly, easily; also try Sugarsync; Google Drive

  • Apple users can use Time Machine – works simply, easily, automatically

  • Online backups with Crashplan, Mozy, or Carbonite

  • Weekly seems like a reasonable time frame for backups for most people

Question: Do you have a crash story?


  1. oTranscribe

  2. Photo editor | PicMonkey: Free Online Photo Editing

  3. Buffer

  4. QuickCast. Make. Publish. Share. 3 Minute Screencasts – Free screencasting software. 


  6. | The easiest and smartest online crop tool

  7. Typeform

  8. TagCrowd: make your own tag cloud from any text

  9. Design flyers to spread the word online | Smore

  10. Online video tutorials & training |

  11. Lifehacker – Tips and downloads for getting things done

  12. Coursera

  13. Journalism Tools on Pinterest

  14. Product Hunt

  15. Discover and get early access to tomorrow's startups – Beta List

  16. – The best way to send emails to yourself in the future.


Automate Repetitive Tasks

Save your brain for when you need it. Let computers manage mindless tasks.

  • IFTTT ( triggers and action)

  • Email filters (Gmail or

  • Auto bill-pay (your bank or credit card company)

  • Budget tracking (Mint)

  • Breaks (Time Out Free)

  • Fitness tracking (Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Nike Pulse)

  • Digital backups (i.e. Time Machine, Dropbox)

Question: What mindless task do you dread the most?

Question: What’s your favorite tool?

Consistent Learning

  • We live in an era when it’s easier than ever to learn wherever, whenever, and however we want to. Online, in-person, with books, one-hour sessions, semester classes, free, premium, whatever works for you.

  • A few that I like:




    • Quora

    • ProductHunt/ReadWriteWeb/TheNextWeb/MakeUseOf/Mashable

    • Google

    • Coursera

Question: Favorite way to learn? 

Draw a Life Map

 Think through what matters to you

  • People spend more time planning vacations than mapping out life

  • On the first of every month, review these 6 boxes and see where you stand

  • 3 Key Areas of the Map

    • 4 Areas of Focus [distinct areas in your life]

    • 10 Projects [requires more than one step]

    • 20 Tasks Per Project [specific to-do items]

    • On a weekly basis, review your calendar, projects and tasks 

    • For more on this subject, look into #GTD, ie. “Getting Things Done” 

  • 3 Goal Areas

    • big life goals [tombstone]

    • 5 long-term goals [3 years]

    • 5 short-term goals [3 months]

Question: When’s the last time you mapped out your priorities? 

Establish Rituals

“We each have one reservoir of will and discipline, and it gets progressively depleted by any act of conscious self-regulation.” – Tony Schwartz,

  • Pick simple habits that work for you, i.e a walk/run when you wake up

  • When working, focus on bigger, more challenging projects/tasks first

  • Train yourself w/ triggers, i.e. if you pass kitchen, drink water (BJ Fogg)

  • After repeating something for 3 weeks, it becomes a positive habit “train yourself like a dog” – Burton Kaplan

Take a Tech Sabbath

Turn everything off, turn your soul on

  • Pick mornings, before bed, or half a weekend day

  • Do something creative – drawing, game playing, singing

  • Talk to someone with no distractions – reconnect to people

  • Think about something big – not day-to-day tasks or projects

  • Stimulate your brain with puzzles, remembering names, etc

Question: When do you unplug? 

Question: What’s one ritual you have or would like to have?


  1. RescueTime : Time management software for staying productive and happy in the modern workplace

  2. Free Time Tracking Software – Toggl

  3. Dashboard – IFTTT

  4. Mint – Personal Finance, Budgeting, Money Management, Financial Management, Money Manager, Budget Planner, Free Budget Software, Online Banking |

  5. TextExpander: Mac Typing Shortcut Utility Saves You Time

  6. Autotext – Text Expander for Windows – Snippets Organizer

  7. Clipboard History. The Mac application for Copying and Pasting without limits!

  8. Chrome Web Store – StayFocusd

  9. SelfControl

  10. Dejal – Time Out

  11. The Only Way to Get Important Things Done – Tony Schwartz – Harvard Business Review 

  12. Quora – Your Best Source for Knowledge

  13. Netted by the Webbys |

  14. Apps Gone Free (Best Daily Top App Deals) on the App Store on iTunes

  15. MakeUseOf

  16. Web Apps, Web Technology Trends, Social Networking and Social Media – ReadWrite

  17. Product Hunt

  18. Discover and get early access to tomorrow's startups – Beta List

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