10 Productivity Hacks You Can Use to Improve Your Filmmaking

MattBusiness, Filmmaking, Lifestyle, Video Production7 Comments

I’m a productivity monster.

I keep to-do lists, Google calendars, alarms, and timers. Productivity hacks. Everytime I hear about a new productivity tool or technique, I have to try it out.

However, many of them tend to phase out of use over time. So I’ve compiled a list of products, services, and techniques I use that will help you improve your productivity, so you can get more of the stuff you want to get done done.

1. Bullet Journaling

This new method of journaling has changed my life, and improved my productivity dramatically.

Bullet Journaling is a simple system using just pen and paper, and making checkboxes, circles, and dots. The key is sticking to it, and writing down your daily tasks either in the morning or the night before.

Check out Bullet Journal

Cost: $10-15 for supplies

2. Freedom and Self-Control App freedom-app

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably wasting time on surfing the internet when you should be working!

And that’s okay. This is a great site, after all. 🙂

If you have a Mac and want to stop wasting time online, you should download Freedom. It’ll seriously get your freedom back.

It shuts down your internet for a max of 8 hours and the only way to get it back is to restart your computer.

Check out Freedom.

Cost: $10

There’s also Self-Control, which is free! It doesn’t let you log back in even if you shut down your computer, and you can have a black list of website to block only those sites for a period of time, check it out:

Cost: Free

3. Things things-app

Things is a Mac app that is the best digital to-do list that I’ve tried. It has project to-do lists, it has daily to-do lists, it has tagging functionality, and a bunch of other useful functions.

It’s all around the best app for keeping a record of tasks.

Check out Things.

Cost: $49.99 or Free trial

4. Multi Inboxes in gmail gmail-logo

Imagine being able to see everything at a glance in your inbox.

Multiple Inboxes can help you get your inbox super organized. You make a specific filter for each of the inboxes you want and it’ll sort them as soon as they come in.

You’ll have to go to Gmail Labs to set it up. Read this to learn more about Gmail Labs.

I know Gmail has come out with “Tabs,” but I don’t like that you can’t customize them just yet. In the meanwhile, M.I. should do the trick.

5. Boomerang for Gmail boomerang-logo

Sometimes I have to send out emails at a certain time, but I’ll either be working, or driving, and I can’t do it.

This is where Boomerang comes in handy. You set the time and date when you’d like your email to be sent, and then you just click “Send Later” and you can forget about it.

Check out Boomerang.

6. The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit is an awesome book describing how to change your life by getting rid of bad habits or making new ones.

Up to 40% of what we do daily is based on well ingrained habits. This book tells you how to control your habits.

If you purchase the Kindle version, you can get the audiobook from Audible for only $4 bucks more, which is a steal.

I listen to it while I’m driving or before I go to sleep. It’s a great book describing the psychology behind what we do and why we do it just based on a few things like cues, rewards, and cravings.

Check out The Power of Habit.

Cost: $12

7. How To Wake Up Earlier

The best way I’ve found to wake up earlier is by drinking a cup of water at night to wake up earlier the next morning.

Usually, I wake up 20 to 30 minutes earlier than normal. It’s not scientifically proven, but my buddy introduced me to it, and he wakes up usually at 6am or 6:30am.

If you don’t believe me, just try it yourself.

8. Nev’s Task System

Nev write’s an entrepreneur blog I found a long time ago, and he talked about how he does his daily to do list.

I’ve tried it and it’s really helpful to see how much time you spend doing things and where all of your time goes.

The only thing is I don’t like large notepads, but maybe you’ll like the system. It’s really simple and efficient.

Check out Nev’s Task System.

9. Ohlife ohlife-app

Sometimes you’re going through life, and then you try to remember what you did last week.

You try and try…and nothing…you come up blank.

Sound familiar?

Even looking at the entire year, you think “what the fuck did I get done this year?”

Well, Ohlife may help you with that by sending you a daily email asking “What did you do today?”

After doing it for 3 years, it’s helped me in several situations where I had to remember what the hell I did that day. It especially helps for accounting purposes to remind yourself when you received or sent a payment.

Sign up is easy, and you only get one email every night at 8pm.

Check out Ohlife.

10. WeTransfer wetransfer-app

This is hands down the best temporary file transfer service out there.

  • It’s better than Yousendit and Dropbox for sending temporary files.
  • It has a 2 gig limit, and
  • The file disappears after two weeks, so you can send it and forget it.

However, that last point can be a double-edged sword if your recipient forgot to download it, and needs you to resend the damn thing again. In that case, Dropbox may be better.

You can also upgrade for $50 a year to have your own database, private download channel, and you can password lock the downloads, so it’s a pretty darn good service.

Check out WeTransfer.

Let me know if you guys have any helpful productivity hacks or tips, I’d love to hear ’em out! Let me know in the comments below!


This article was written by Gio Orellana of Giordany.com.

He’s a USC school of cinematic arts alum from 2009. He started his own production company called Anchorbolt Studios and directed his first feature this year. From Gio: “I want to share as much wisdom as I can so you don’t make the same dumb ass mistakes I made.”

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7 Comments on “10 Productivity Hacks You Can Use to Improve Your Filmmaking”

  1. Learnt about some new apps here, thanks. Would you say Wetransfer is better than Dropbox then?

    1. Thanks for the comment, Hangman Studios.

      WeTransfer and Dropbox are both great in their own ways, but slightly different apps serving slightly different markets.

      Dropbox offers more features. WeTransfer is great for quickly sending the odd file to friends or colleagues.

      Dropbox is a more robust solution for professionals. Although I do now plenty of professionals who use WeTransfer, so your mileage may vary. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Matt

  2. Thanks for the comment, Hangman Studios.

    WeTransfer and Dropbox are both great in their own ways, but slightly different apps serving slightly different markets.

    Dropbox offers more features. WeTransfer is great for quickly sending the odd file to friends or colleagues.

    Dropbox is a more robust solution for professionals. Although I do now plenty of professionals who use WeTransfer, so your mileage may vary. 🙂

    Cheers,

    Matt

  3. Great tips! I love hearing about everyone’s different ways of staying on track.
    Do you have any productivity issues that you haven’t addressed yet? 😉

    1. Hi Katie,

      Thanks for the comment and getting in touch!

      Yeah, I still have productivity issues. One of the biggest issues when working for yourself, is motivating yourself to do certain tasks (especially ones you’ve been putting off!)

      One thing I’ve found that’s really powerful is setting yourself hard deadlines. Owning a video production business, you’re not always given deadlines by the clients themselves. This is especially true of wedding videography clients.

      Set yourself deadlines and you’ll find you get more done and quicker! Some days are better than others for this. I’m still working on this one myself!

      Thanks,

      Matt

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