Top 5 favorite tools I use to manage my businesses and my life

The start of my journey

When I quit my job in 2017, I was really lost and unsure where I wanted to go or who I wanted to become.

But one thing was sure – I wanted to do something that I loved and that was going to be on my own terms.

You can read the full story here on why I left my job and turned down an offer with Amazon.

Since then, I’ve launched two businesses; in the process of writing a memoir; joined many amazing communities like Indie Hackers, CollabX, and No Code Founders to name a few; and currently launching a newsletter with a twist (more to come on this).

However, in order to manage all of this I leverage a set of tools and systems that I love.

Below are my top 5 favorite tools I use to manage my businesses and my life in no particular order.


ClickUp is by far the best tool I’ve ever used. It’s transformed the way I keep track of everything that goes on in my crazy life. That + the GTD framework is a godsend.

Seriously, no other app has come close when it comes to keeping me on track with my tasks, due dates, projects and anniversaries (for the wife ?).

ClickUp has essentially everything you could ask for in a task management / project management tool. Tasks, projects, folders, reporting, goals, docs, you name it and they got it.

Oh, and best of all, it’s free!

If you’re interested in a more detailed post on how to use and set up ClickUp, you can check out my post here.

Before ClickUp, I tried Trello and despite loving it at the time, it was just too limited (I’m a list view kind of guy). Here’s a sample of my dashboard below:

So thank you ClickUp! Highly recommend this tool to manage your business and your life.


Notion is another awesome tool that I’m getting a better grasp of every day that I use it. And so far, I love it!

It’s similar to ClickUp, but it manages more like a document manager/note taker/database tracker.

Think of it as your second brain.

Have bookmarks you want to save? Maybe books you want to reference quotes from? Want to build a Sales CRM?

You can do all of that and more in Notion. Plus, with their unlimited free plan there’s no excuse to not try it out.

Here’s an example database I created to track my readings and articles:

There’s so much you can do in Notion. Definitely recommend checking it out. At worst, you hate it and cancel. is next on the list of my favorite tools.

Coming up in Corporate Finance, workflows and processes were everything. So naturally, my brain works as such.

Entering the world of entrepreneurship as a first-time founder, I needed a simple tool to help me map out workflows and processes to:

  • track sales pipelines
  • manage email marketing funnels
  • determine any possible bottlenecks in service delivery
  • understand my business systems as a whole
  • organizational structure

Here’s an example sales workflow we have for our business, A4E: has come through time and time again. For a free tool (yes, free ?), it’s incredibly powerful what it can do.

Another tool I highly recommend checking out.


If you’re into mind mapping like me where thoughts and ideas can easily get scattered, check out Xmind.

This tool is incredibly easy to use for mind mapping and is, you guess it, free!

Mind maps are, in a nutshell, a way to visually organize information. Rather than writing information down, you draw it.

Here’s an example mind map I created on why I want to pursue entrepreneurship:

I highly recommend checking out Xmind for mind mapping. Amazing tool, simple to use, and a great way to structure yourself.


This is not business related, but I love FutureMe!

When I quit my job in 2017, to be completely honest I was scared. I had no idea if I made the right choice, if I had screwed myself and more.

But when I came across FutureMe – a free tool to write yourself a letter into the future – I knew I needed it.

Fast forward almost 3 years later, I still write letters. I write every quarter and forward it to at least a year later to be received.

It has been incredibly powerful as a tool. I get to be brutally honest with myself, what I’m proud of, my failures, my family and more.

Here’s a letter I wrote to myself one year before my son was born:

It’s powerful to see these letters when they arrive, and it reminds me why I do what I do everyday.

Give it a try – maybe it’ll help you too.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – my top 5 favorite tools.

These are the 5 tools I use every day or as frequently as possible (FutureMe is every quarter).

These tools help me improve my well-being, develop my business skills, be a better parent/husband, and so much more.

I honestly don’t know if I would have even made it this far without these tools. I’m really thankful tools like these exist and can only hope more people see them.

If you have the time and are willing to share, let me know what your favorite tools are. Agree or disagree with my list? Let me know!

Till next time!

Reinventing yourself and your career to be happy

While driving to buy groceries, my wife and I were having conversation about how people change their careers. Some either move into an adjacent career, or some move into completely new ones.

Then my wife said to me, “You managed to reinvent yourself though.”

It had me thinking, what does it mean to reinvent yourself. So I looked it up.

The meaning of reinvent

Merriam Webster dictionary defines reinvent as the following:

  • to make as if for the first time something already invented
  • to remake or redo completely
  • to bring into use again

The second definition resonated.

To remake or redo completely….

It had me thinking about my career and what I had done up to this point.

For nearly a decade, I was working in corporate finance, managed multiple promotions in a short time span, collected bonuses and praise, and received options.

But I was never happy.

After working from 7am to 7pm, I would often come home and ask myself, “What am I doing?”.

I was having an existential moment every day I came home.

Then in 2017, I was laid off.

Yes, admittedly I was angry and upset. But a part of me was also relieved and happy. For nearly a decade, I wanted out of this career. And then it happened.

How entrepreneurship enabled me to reinvent myself

After backpacking in 2017 with my wife throughout Southeast Asia, we were having deep conversations about the direction of our lives.

Do we go back to corporate? Do we take another comfy job? Do we do something completely different?

These are hard choices to think about.

But after reading the book “The Everything Store”, a biography on Jeff Bezos and Amazon and one of my favorite books, it gave me the realization that we only have one life–this life.

We have this one life to live and make it our own.

So I decided that entrepreneurship was going to be my path.

Since taking this path, I’ve learned and gained the following skills:

  • How to close deals with prospects
  • How to build a website
  • How to build sales and marketing funnels
  • How to create engaging social posts
  • How to set up analytics to analyze web performance
  • How to project manage using scrum and agile frameworks
  • How to manage remote teams and build team culture
  • How to create automated workflows using no code
  • How to leverage my time for maximum efficiency (i.e. no more 40 hour work weeks)
I save every website I read and learn from. This is just a few of them here.

These are just a few of the things I’ve learned over the past couple of years. But I’ve been so happy. Words can’t describe how much better I feel since taking this path.

I feel like I’m in college all over again.

You can reinvent yourself too

I strongly believe that at some point we become accustom to our lifestyles.

We take that corporate career path, we work our 9-5 shift, we collect our paycheck, then we rinse and repeat.

We don’t think about the possibility that there could be something else.

Fear has overridden us. We take the path of least resistance.

I thought this way for so long. And it wasn’t until being laid off that I realized how big this world is and the opportunities that are out there.

It’s vast.

You can reinvent yourself too. Ask yourself the following:

  • Am I happy in this career path I’m in?
  • Do I actually like this work that I do?
  • Does it align with my values in life?
  • What are my values in life?
  • If I died in the next 5 years, would I do something different?

These simple questions can help determine if you’re truly happy in the path you’re in.

You may be, you might not be. But it’ll manifest if you take the time to ask. Feel free to use a free tool like XMind to create a mind map, which I found to be extremely valuable.

I did this, and it was the best thing for me personally.

Final thoughts

In the end, this is our only life.

Time is the only commodity we can’t make more of. When the time passes, it’s gone. This alone should make us think about what we truly value with our time.

If there’s this burning desire inside of you that’s begging for a change, consider it. Seriously consider it.

It will be scary, it will be daunting.

But remember this — this is our life. We have a choice.

Reinvent yourself. Become the person you want to be.

Above all else, be happy. Because that’s what matters.

Stay strong, stay healthy and best wishes ?

Build confidence by embracing the struggles

Embrace the struggle

“Life is struggle.” I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.”
― Ben Horowitz, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

I read this book while I was backpacking through Southeast Asia in the scorching heat, mosquitoes poking me in all directions, trying to figure out the next steps in my career.

Up until this point, I had been working through my career in Corporate Finance, not entirely sure where I was aiming to go.

Did I want to become a CFO? No…. Did I want to run financial reports and analysis for the next 20 years? Nope….. So what was it?

The hardest things about these things is we don’t know until we try things and take those first steps. Simple, right?

But after nearly a decade in this field, I wanted to try something different. When I woke up, I wasn’t feeling excited like I did when I went to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) or listen to “How I built this” podcasts. Then I discovered entrepreneurship.

In 2018, I decided to strike out on my own. I didn’t have much experience (if any) and wasn’t sure where to even begin. But I knew I was good at research, so away I went in reading everything. I mean…everything. Blogs, content, attending meetups, books, you name it.

Slowly, but surely, I was feeling more confident, that maybe this was possible. Don’t get me wrong, there were (and still are) days where I think, “This is just too hard.” But I remember that such a small percentage will ever take their hand at entrepreneurship, and even smaller who persevere and stay persistent.

As someone who wrestled, does BJJ and even competed in mixed martial arts, the hardest part is just taking those first steps. We’re ingrained to be afraid of the unknown. I know I was.

But this journey has taught me more than in my 10 years have in Corporate Finance. Its taught me to truly bootstrap, take on my challenges head on, and control my destiny. Because being afraid won’t take us far. Just like my first MMA competition, I was scared of what could happen physically to me — but I feared not competing at all even more.

Building confidence is a long, arduous process. It literally sometimes takes blood, sweat and tears. I’ve seen friends and family struggle through the process, questioning themselves whether the fight is worth it.

But in the end, I see them succeed in their goals. They embraced the struggle.

There are no shortcuts. Hard work is hard work, and confidence stems from that.

Embrace the struggle, and we’ll build confidence from there.