Tools That Have Triggered My Growth and Productivity

Ivan Kabandize
6 min readFeb 28, 2022
Image designed by Author using Icons8 and Unsplash resources

If you know me personally, you probably already know that I’m fascinated by technology and its immense possibilities. If I have a problem to solve or a task to accomplish, one of the first questions I ask myself is; how can technology help me solve this and what do I need to do? After all, we’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) where the internet and information are more accessible than ever before.

My desire to grow and remain productive in everything I do has led me to try out some new platforms and tools, as well as rely on some usual suspects. From productivity tools and collaboration platforms to knowledge bases, these have helped me to not only become more efficient in doing my work, but also broaden my knowledge and perspective on various aspects of work, business, and other areas of life.

Here are 6 tools and platforms that have greatly influenced my growth and improved my productivity in the past year.

1. Notion

Category: All-in-one platform.
Platform: Mobile & Desktop Apps + Web Platform
Plans: Free & Paid

Image from Notion

Notion is an All-in-one platform that I discovered later than I should have. Nonetheless, it has inspired the most growth in my life. I started actively using Notion in November 2020, and I can boldly say it’s been my biggest discovery of the decade so far. I plan to share more about this, so lookout for a detailed article.

Besides helping me improve my skills, especially in using no-code platforms, it has helped me think more critically about structure, not just in my life, but in my work as well. Using Notion, I have built systems that have added great value to how I do my work and track the different aspects of my life. The immense power that Notion has makes you feel like you can do anything and everything. And yes, you can do quite a lot with the tool.

2. YouVersion

Category: Knowledge base | Resource
Platform: Mobile App & Web Platform
Plans: Not Applicable

Image designed by Author using YouVersion resources

This is a Bible App that fosters not just spiritual, but all-around growth. I have been using YouVersion since 2017 and one of my best sections is the Plans section. This section provides over 10,000 Bible plans or devotionals on various themes including; business, entrepreneurship, relationships, marriage, leadership, money, productivity among others.

In this information age, there is a lot of information that isn’t credible. YouVersion not only provides information from a wide range of credible sources, but this information is also founded on kingdom principles. The resources from YouVersion have had a huge influence on my work, relationships and most importantly my faith.

3. Canva

Category: Design & Content Creation.
Platform: Mobile & Desktop Apps + Web Platform
Plans: Free & Paid

Image from Canva

Canva is a graphic design platform. The platform provides thousands of templates and ideas for design, regardless of what you’re trying to create. It also supports team collaboration under the paid plan and provides cloud storage, which makes it convenient to work on multiple devices.

With a great love for systems and technology, comes a love for design. In the past year, I found myself doing a lot of graphic design work, especially as I designed systems for work and productivity. Canva has provided a quick and easy-to-use solution to my graphic design needs.

4. Tally Forms

Category: Data Collection
Platform: Web Platform
Plans: Free & Paid

Image from Tally Forms

Tally forms is a form builder and the most diverse one I have come across so far. Tally forms works seamlessly with the Notion API and this allows you to pull any information into Notion without requiring a third-party tool like Automate.io or Zapier. This is exactly why it’s perfect for me and anyone that uses Notion. It also supports so many features and capabilities that other form building platforms don’t or support under their paid plans.

I collect a lot of data and most of it goes into my Notion system. Tally forms allows me to automate that process and reduce the amount of time I would spend sorting the data before sending it to its final destination. I also use it to create landing pages for my projects.

5. Automate.io

Category: Automation
Platform: Web Platform
Plans: Free & Paid

Image from Automate.io

The need to automate my workflows and processes led me to the discovery of Automate.io. For someone who heavily relies on digital tools to work and solve problems, I needed a way to integrate most of my work across different platforms and apps. Automate.io presented a perfect solution. The Notion API also made this even easier, as I am able to integrate my Notion system with other apps and automate most of my work. With recent acquisition of Automate.io by Notion, I can’t wait for even more possibilities of automation.

6. Loom

Category: Content Creation
Platform: Mobile & Desktop Apps + Web Platform
Plans: Free & Paid

Image by Loom

Loom is a screen recording program that works for both mobile and desktop devices. In the recent past, I have had to train my team on how particular computer programs work or show them how to navigate a specific page within the organisational management system. Loom has been my go-to tool as it enables me to record the entire process and share the video with the team. The ability to share just a link to the recorded video without having to download and send the video file makes it even more convenient. This helps me document these processes without having to do the same thing every time a new member joins. But it also provides a reference point or record for future use.

It's amazing how easy life and work can be if we leveraged the technology we have at our disposal. All the tools listed above are either completely free or have a free plan with all the crucial features being accessible. They're also pretty easy to learn and use, as they require little or no coding knowledge.

I discovered or actively started using most of the tools listed because of my heavy reliance or use of Notion. The Notion community is a resource I have heavily leveraged and learned from.

Using these tools comes with its own challenges, especially when it comes to collaboration tools that require more than one person. However, my approach to solving any problem and delivering the most value is based on the 3 Pillars of Software Development theory. Every project is dependent upon people, processes, and tools: they are how the work gets done. These three essential elements are not equal, though, as each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each one provides a different value to our projects.

I hope the ideas and principles shared herein will help you do better and be better. I share free resources and content, but you can still support me to be able to create more of such content here — buymeacoffee.com/begeniuskibs

Blessings!

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Ivan Kabandize

Leveraging technology to solve day-to-day problems is my passion. I do what I can, with what I have, to leave a space better than I found it.