I am not only a personal finance nerd, but a productivity nerd as well. So it is an understatement to say that I live and die by my ‘tools’. My arsenal keeps me going and I have loved them over a period of time. These are some things that keeps me sane:
- Bullet Journal: There are enough blogs out there that have dedicated to the joy of bullet journaling. I am no different. I started on my BuJo journey around four years ago and have been an ardent user since. Over a period of four years I have tweaked my system to suit my life best – organise my day, help me keep track of my goals, make lists, brainstorm ideas and everything in between. The founder of the system has the best explanation of the system and mine is quite close to the original system. But the beauty of Bullet Journal is its customisation and the freedom it gives to use the system any way you want.
- Money Manager: I keep track of all my expenses in this app. Love it immensely. I simply start each month on 1st and add the salary and then keep adding my expenses every day as I go. The app is the simplest spending tracker I have come across – it has no fancy bells and rings. It doesn’t link to your accounts (I am skeptical of letting apps access my bank accounts) or your cards. It is a simple tracker that helps me track, review and plan my spending.
- Google sheets: This is the granddaddy of all my finances. Eventually it all goes into my google sheet. My current google sheet has evolved over a long period of time with thousands of tweaks. Multiple graphs, and tables later, what I have today is the clear picture of my past finances, present situation and future plans. It keeps track of my investments, cash balance details, debts, credit cards, and my monthly spending tracker (in which I download an excel from money manager and add to my google sheet). This google sheet helps me plan – it tells me if I have been falling off the wagon, or if I need to pivot my plan or stay the course. I access the sheet from all devices I use (my laptop and phone mostly).
- Kindle: I wasn’t big on e-book readers as I loved the feel of physical books. But now I have come to love my e-reader. I literally carry it in my bag all the time, read constantly on it and have found a cheaper way to keep my habit of buying books in check.
Of course there are other tools, my laptop, my phone and journal but I consider them necessities and not necessarily a ‘productivity tool’. The above list is what helps me stay truly productive, in my style.