Gini Dietrich

Three Productivity Tools that Will Change Your Life in 2017

By: Gini Dietrich | December 7, 2016 | 

Three Productivity ToolsOn the third day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you three productivity tools, two lies told about the PR industry, and a phrase to banish forever.

Today we’re going to talk about the three productivity tools that, if you aren’t already using them, will change your life in 2017.

They are: Slack, Wunderlist, and LastPass.

Let’s start with Slack.

#1 of the Productivity Tools: Slack

It’s probably not going to come as any big surprise that Slack is number one on my productivity tools list.


Here is why: Remember, back in the day, when we all had AOL Instant Messaging?

You could instantly message someone halfway across the country or the globe and they would instantly message you back.

My handle was prginiarment and it was the easiest way I could communicate with my new boyfriend, Kelly Dietrich, who lived in Washington, D.C. (I was already in Chicago).

The only trouble was, you could only message one person at a time.

Enter Slack.

You can invite people in—either through a work email address or by manually adding them—and then add them to channels.

For Spin Sucks, we have 38 channels.

Some are for clients, others are for online courses, and we have one specific one for the hilarious things Pete Salmon says (trust me, you want a record of it).

But not every team member is in every channel. He or she belongs to the ones where she needs to communicate or share information.

You can tag people, share documents, collaborate on work, or create your own emojis.

Spin Sucks Slack Community

It is the best productivity tool out there, especially for large and/or distributed teams.

We also use it for clients and we’ve found satisfaction has increased significantly.

It’s an easy way to ask them quick questions or get information quickly, without having to do the email circle thing.

If you are new to Slack, don’t know what to expect, need to figure it out, or just want a new place to hand out, we have a free Spin Sucks Slack community.

Join it now and we’ll show you the ropes!

#2 of the Productivity Tools: Wunderlist

A little more than a year ago, I was trying to find a to-do list that Dawn Buford and I could share, but that also would allow me to repeat certain tasks.

I was using (still kind of do) a notebook and, when the page got full, I’d just transfer the list to the next page.

Not super efficient or safe…considering if I lost the notebook, I’d have zero idea of the things I had promised to do.

We tried Trello.

I hated it.

We were already using Basecamp for project management, so we tried that.

It didn’t work for me, particularly when I was on a plane and didn’t have internet access.

So I did a bunch of online research and asked my Facebook friends and finally settled on Wunderlist.

Wunderlist Features

You can invite people to join your lists and assign tasks, create due dates with notifications (I hate that feature, but it works for some), access it online and off, and—most importantly—it has little boxes you check off when you finish the task.

For me, having that satisfaction is really, really important.

You can even print your to-do’s, if you still want to keep them in a notebook.

I don’t recommend it, but hey! Each to his own.

#3 of the Productivity Tools: LastPass

And, last but certainly not least, we have LastPass as our third productivity tool.

I’m going to admit it kind of drives me crazy when people use the same password for everything or have them all written down in one spot.


LastPass is a password keeper that creates really strong passwords, and changes them periodically.

This makes it A LOT more difficult for hackers to get into your system.

It autofills all of your sites and gives you options.

LastPass Example

This is the login page for Spin Sucks.

See how there is a 9+ on the side?

Click on that and it will give you options for logging in.

In this case, it gives me the login information for every WordPress site where I am an editor or contributor.

I don’t have to remember any of my login information and I don’t need to have it written down somewhere that can be stolen.

You can create teams and share certain logins with your teams or keep them to yourself.

It’s possible to access passwords if you are offline (which is helpful when you’re standing in line at the grocery store and have been kicked out of ApplePay).

But what I really, really love about it is it changes your passwords for you.

I have mine set to change once a month.

With that feature turned on, it autofills for you and you don’t have to worry about anything else.

So there you have it.

If you aren’t already using Slack, Wunderlist, and LastPass, get to it!

What are your must-have productivity tools for 2017?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Google Analytics & Google Webmaster Tools, Google Alerts and Buffer – they are my top three all-timers 🙂
    But I’m always for trying something new and I gladly recommend everyone to do that!

    • Corina also loves Buffer. I’ve never been able to get into it. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?

      • haha I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you dear Gini 🙂 You just prefer one thing over the other and that’s ok! Can you imagine how boring our world would be if we all were into same things?!

  • Truth – LastPass might just be a lifesaver. I can’t tell you the number of times per week I’m resetting my passwords because I forgot the latest rendition. Implementing now!

    I love notebooks, writing things down and crossing them off. Right now I’m using OneNote for work projects and PassionPlanner for life/volunteering/freelance. OneNote is great because it feels similar to working in a binder and I can keep track of different project phases. Sometimes it feels like I have lists all over the place, but I’m liking this combination of methods for now.

    • Trust me, I have the same problems with passwords and LastPass IS a life saver (there also have an app, so you can use it on your phone)

    • Samantha McCain

      All hail OneNote! The one and only microsoft product that doesn’t drive me insane!

  • SaneBox has changed my life! Wunderlist looks amazing! I love checking off boxes

  • I’m already a Slack convert and I agree, 100%! It’s awesome! I use another app for passwords. It hasn’t been working great lately so it may be time to take another look at LastPass. Here’s a tip for you… what if you could integrate a Slack app that had the features you love about Wunderlist? My company did. Last week we integrated Busybot app for Slack and it’s been a game changer, admittedly in part because we didn’t do a good job with collaborative to-do lists before. Dropbox and Google Drive are my other two must-haves. Doodle is great for organizing events and meetings for small groups of people.

  • susancellura

    Okay, you have been yelling at me to start using LastPass. Yet you never told me it will CHANGE the passwords for you!!!!!!! Now I shall use it.

    • OMG. I am 110% positive I have told you this. Many times.

  • I just joined Slack last week thanks to your invitation and can see why you like it. I’m looking forward to using it more.

    • Hope to see you in our Slack community as well, Steve.

    • I am traveling this month (one more trip, one more trip, one more trip) so I just lurk in Slack. But i’ll be by to say hello soon!

  • this is awesome. the password thing drives me nuts now that so many sites require complex ones i cant ever remember.

    #$@#%YouTEDRubin and BriannFanzoisa%#%#%#%$itter are faves

    i got locked out of salesforce many times. my online banking i cant access and have been delaying calling in for help.

  • Bill Clifford

    Gini, why did you hate Trello? Besides a bit of a clunky UI, why? Thanks for the list! Time to evaluate!

  • Dawn Buford

    I absolutely love working in Slack. Makes virtual communication a whole lot easier! Go join the Spin Sucks Community, if you haven’t already. It’s a hoot (and super helpful, resource-wise).

  • Michelle Hals

    I started using LastPass a few weeks ago and LOVE it–so much easier to deal with one password than hundreds.

    • Right?!? LOL! I JUST yelled at someone for pulling up a spreadsheet of passwords. Stop doing that!

  • Pete Salmon

    I lost my Slack for a weekend. I lost my will to work. But I powered on.

  • Shelley Mantei

    Asana (love, love), Slack, and Canva. Game changers. And Asana’s creator is an original from the Facebook crew.

    • Canva is a great addition! I have made all of the 12 Days of Christmas images in there. Love it!

  • paulakiger

    These all sound so promising. Thanks!

  • Nice tools! Love Wunderlist and Slack. I use Slack for a few golf groups I’m part of.

    A friend told me about Last Pass last weekend. I need to get on it!

  • I used Wunderlist at some point, but I am still fond of my iPhone Notes.
    No matter what new app I try, I always end up using Notes!!