I have a confession to make…

I’m an Appsumo LTD addict ?

Seriously, I check every week (sometimes daily) for the latest and greatest tech deals to either optimize my business or to keep *in case* I need it the future.

And for a one time payment, it’s crazy not to buy a code or two.

That beats paying monthly any day of the week.

I bought Publer a couple months ago, and it’s been one of my favorite tools for automating my social media postings.

The best part? They’re constantly updating it, making it better and better. Recently, they added an image library so I don’t have to jump onto pexels to find stock images (thank you!).

I’m planning to do some reviews on the deals I’ve bought, so be on the lookout.

Oh, and also, their marketing of the deals are spot on with their webinars and email campaigns ?

Noah Kagan, founder of Appsumo, has created something special here.

Also, check out his youtube channel – it’s one of the best I’ve come across when it comes to business and entrepreneurship tips. He also has a weekly office hours series tht I highly recommend watching. More to share on this soon.

Anyways, just wanted to share my quick confession!

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.


Draw.io 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:

Draw.io 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!

How I manage email for myself and my business

Email can be both good and frustratingly painful.

Why you might ask? Because it’s constantly in the back (or front) of our minds.

Smartphone vibrates. Immediately, you reach for your phone and wonder, “Hmm who emailed me?”

That happens to me constantly.

Rather than have email control me, I decided a couple years ago I would control it.

How I used to approach email

In my previous life before operating and founding A4E, I was a Corporate Finance leader. I managed a team, and I was supporting a number of business partners that relied on my financial expertise.

Because of the nature of my role, I was “on call” 24-7 via email.

Least that’s what I told myself.

For almost a decade, I would respond to 100s of emails everyday so that I could make my business partners happy.

It was exhausting, and I would spend upwards of 2-3 hours per day just emailing. That didn’t include the deliverables I still had on my plate to compolete.

It felt endless.

How taking a sabbatical changed my views on email

After reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” during my backpacking trip to Southeast Asia, I decided no more.

No more wasting away my time, my freedom, my life.

I decided I would control the situation with email, and not allow it to control me. Here is how I approach emailing today:

  • Check email twice per day at set intervals
  • Tag important emails as high priority to follow-up
  • If an email is important that requires a detailed response, create a task in Clickup with a reminder
  • Any junk or spam gets blocked immediately (out of sight, out of mind)
  • All other irrelevant emails goes to trash

Since changing my habits, I’ve found myself much happier and with more time to spend with my family.

I’m not constantly on my phone or laptop checking for new emails. Don’t get me wrong though, email is important. But it shouldn’t be something we’re glued to.

My favorite tools when it comes to email and being productive

I’m a huge fan of leveraging systems to build structure and good habits. Everything from email, my calendar down to my daily cleaning has a structure that keeps me productive and happy.

Here are just some of the few tools I use to keep my emails structured and in order:

  • Inbox Pause: free email pause tool that lets people know you’re only checking email at specific intervals (life saver)
  • Clickup: free tool to push emails into tasks, time tracking, and much more
  • Toggl: Time tracking for everything
  • HubSpot: email tracking, leads, and much more
  • FutureMe: not so much a tool for email, but a great way to email yourself in the future with positive messages (absolutely love this tool and free too)

With these tools, I can free up my time to do other things such as go to the gym, spend time with my family and work on my personal projects.

Leverage Gmail to your advantage

When it comes to Gmail and email systems, I highly recommend creating automatic filters for incoming email and assigning labels.

For example: When a QuickBooks reporting email is sent to me, immediately create a filter for all incoming emails as “Accounting”. This exercise takes no more than 1 minute and is forever categorized.

It doesn’t have to be complex, but it should be structured enough so that when you have questions you can quickly leverage your labels in the Gmail search function.

Here’s an example below that I use for labeling:

Another thing I leverage heavily is saving emails as pdf documents into a stored drive (shown below). Really helpful for when you need to save receipts, documents and more for future reference.

Final thoughts

As much as I love email, it’s a tool that should be leveraged to make your life easier and happier, not more stressful.

Hate those pesky coupon emails but still want them? Create a separate email handle for just those emails, and leave your personal email to friends and family.

Then leverage a tool like Windows Mail, an email aggregator, to see all your accounts in one place.

I’ve found these systems to be really helpful and has made my life much easier.

3 simple steps to being more productive in your life

“I’ll get to it next time.”

“Why are they so much better than me?”

“I really need to read some books.”

“This time, I’ll really save some money!”

Guessing you’ve probably said this at one point, right? I have…for years. ?

But it’s human nature for us to push things back—some fault lies on us, some because we have higher priorities. Either way, it happens and you shouldn’t feel guilty and stop.

So, here are 5 simple steps on being more productive in life and helping live a life that fulfills your goals.

Step #1: Prioritize your goals

First step, you’ll need to prioritize your goals. What makes you happy, sad, excited, depressed, and so on.

Surprisingly, we don’t spend enough time on ourselves to ask why we do what we do. Rather, we’ve been trained to do as we’re told.

In your job, you have a manager and that manager gives you tasks. They pay you in exchange for your services.

Well, it’s really easy to prioritize this because we’re getting paid. The hard thing is to do the stuff when no one is looking around, while you’re at home and when there’s no immediate incentive.

So, prioritize your goals by taking the following actions:

  1. List out a matrix in a word document with the columns:
    • What makes me happy
    • What makes me sad
    • What would I regret if I didn’t do this
  2. You’ll need a system to track and measure your goals
    • I recommend Clickup—a free productivity tool to track your goals, tasks, and so much more
    • You can learn more about how to set up your board in my last post here.
  3. Add your goals to Clickup using their Goals function to remind you of your goals.

Step #2: Create your productivity schedule

It’s not enough to write a bunch of goals and tasks; you’ll need to also create your schedule to become more productive.

The way to achieve this is review your goals and prepare a plan (doesn’t have to be detailed) on how you want to achieve those goals for the year.

Most of us struggle to achieve goals because we’re either exhausted, don’t see immediate results or things change. Whatever the reasons may be, creating a schedule like that of on a calendar can remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing.

In my case, it’s learning Mandarin Chinese. My wife and my in-laws are Chinese, but I’m Korean. Rather saying I’m not going to learn, I made it a priority to learn so that I can communicate effectively with my in-laws.

Because listing Mandarin Chinese as a priority, punching it in in Clickup and creating a schedule, my Chinese has improved dramatically.

Now when I speak to my in-laws, the communications are much more effective. 有意思!

Step #3: Track and measure your productivity

Now that we’ve covered steps #1 and #2, it’s time to track and measure to ensure we’re being productive and achieving our goals.

Otherwise, we go back to bad habits, lose sight of what’s important and fall back into our slump.

Well guess what, we ain’t letting that happen. ☺

To measure yourself, I recommend a tool called Toggl—a simple time tracking app that has a beautiful interface with charts, tags and more.

Within Toggl, you can create clients and projects to associate with your goals and projects. This could include things like reading, working out, building a side hustle, etc.

Whatever it may be, you can create in Toggl. Here’s an example from me tracking my reading below:

Create a new client

Create new project called “Reading”

Track your performance

March was a rough month given the whole coronavirus. ?

To recap everything

To recap, you’ll need 3 steps in order to achieving productivity and living the life you want. Here it is below:

  1. Prioritize your goals
  2. Create your productivity calendar
  3. Track and measure your productivity

That’s it.

By listing out everything and really questioning why you want what you want, you’ll have a much better understanding of your goals and priorities. It gives purpose and a reason to work on your goals.

But remember, goals are hard. Life is hard.

But if you set out to live a life you want to live, you’ll be happier, more productive and more satisfied in the long run.

As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions. Enjoy and stay safe!

Being intentional and more productive with your time

There’s 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 8,760 in a year.

If we think about it, we spend most of our time either sleeping or working, with the rest of it spent on frivolous things like video games or watching tv. Not much productivity there.

After my backpacking trip in 2017, I wanted to be more intentional with my time, specifically around accomplishing goals. And not just any goals, but goals I’ve had for years (as far as back as college even).

So what did that mean?

I needed a system, something to hold me accountable, and something I could measure with data.

There’s two tools I use today and everyday to track my goals and tasks. They help me measure whether or not I’m doing the things I need to do to get to my goals, to live the life I want to and to be extremely intentional with my time.

They are: Clickup and Toggl.

With Clickup, I set up my goals under the goals tab in addition to creating a folder like this:

This system has allowed me to constantly review and track what I’m doing to ensure I’m getting a) the most out of my time and b) getting me closer to the life I want.

With Toggl, I’m able to integrate time tracking directly with Clickup and measure how long each tasks takes. Take a look below:

So to wrap it up, being intentional with your time is extremely crucial in being able to accomplish your goals, being more productive, and living the life you want.

Tools like Clickup and Toggl help us to hold us accountable and measure our progress.

We’re in 2019, and it’s already October. Still time left to set out your goals and accomplish them. ?

Using ClickUp to organize your life

**Note: When I made this originally, it was made using Clickup 1.0. So much has changed since, and for the better. I’ve updated the images below based on 2.0. Enjoy!

With today’s standards of getting more done, it’s become crazy in this day and age of staying organized and completing everything that needs be completed.

Get work done, clean the dishes, take care of the kids, meet with friends, call the plumber…the list goes on and on and on.

So what is the best way to manage everything that goes on?

An organization tool, that’s how.

Using ClickUp to manage tasks, goals and projects

I use a tool called ClickUp, a productivity platform that can virtually handle everything related to projects, tasks, productivity, etc.

I love this tool in how it’s made a huge difference in both my life and productivity. The saying goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”.

By using ClickUp and using the GTD (getting things done) framework, I can see everything that needs to get done in my personal, professional and family life.

This is hugely important to me because I don’t want to ever slip the ball on my goals (e.g. learning Chinese!)

How I use Clickup today

Let me first add, there is no right or wrong way to use ClickUp or any productivity tool — it comes down to your own system and habits.

No tool can overcome those, so if you’re facing issues of staying consistent, try to start with a habit and doing that habit for at least one month.

Okay, so how do I have my ClickUp software set up?


First, I set up my spaces, which are individual pieces of my life: personal, professional, family.

I keep each of them as separate as possible, otherwise, it becomes overwhelming. See below:

Clickup 2.0’s Spaces

As you can see, here are my spaces as they’re set up today. I prefer this set up as I can laser focus in on areas that require my attention.

Projects & Lists

Next, once the spaces are created its time to create projects and lists specific to your spaces. Think of them as very specific goals within your space, e.g. your job.

Here is an example of how I set up my personal space:

Clickup’s Projects and Lists Hierarchy

As you can see, I have a project labeled “Yarty GTD”. It encompasses all the stuff I need to get done, some of which are personal and goal-oriented.

This helps me to stay focused so that I never (or least try to never) forget the important stuff (e.g. my wife ?).


Like any project management system, you’ll need actual tasks to complete.

For many, we use the traditional pen and paper method. I personally love leveraging software like ClickUp because I can always access my projects and tasks via their web app and mobile app.

Essentially, it’s always with me. ?

So, what do tasks look like? Here’s a few of mine below:

Tasks I’ve created in my Clickup

Its super simple to add a task as well. You can create tasks through the large green button in the upper right corner or you can create within your lists.

Another awesome feature of ClickUp’s is being able to see which tasks are coming due, what’s on hold, etc.

This is great because you can quickly decide which tasks require your immediate attention and which can maybe be pushed off till a later date.

ClickUp’s filters function comes in handy for these purposes. I use them every day. Sample below:

My filters created in ClickUp

Other awesome features Clickup includes such as goals, reporting, box views

Personally, this is what makes ClickUp so amazing compared to other alternatives I’ve tried.

The goals, reporting and box views are just simply awesome.

Want to hold yourself accountable to those New Year’s goals? Want to ensure never missing an anniversary?

ClickUp’s the answer. ?

Here’s an example of each below:

Create your own goals
Reporting views
Box views
Calendar views (I love this view!)

The possibilities are endless, and I use these functions every day to stay on track with my goals, projects and more.

Use ClickUp to accomplish goals and stay organized

With ClickUp, I found myself accomplishing so much more than I ever have prior to using the software.

Being able to capture all my projects, tasks, goals in one place is hugely valuable.

Because everything is sync’d with their web app and phone apps, I have my tasks with me wherever I go.

There are a lot of things I want to accomplish, and by having a system in place like ClickUp, I don’t feel anxious or frazzled that I might let something slip.

I’ve used a number of systems over the years like Trello, Excel, Google Sheets, pen and paper. But none of them come close to ClickUp and their functionality / ease of use.

To anyone looking for a tool to manage their lives or to stay better organized, I highly recommend ClickUp. Because there’s a forever free plan, there’s no risk in trying it out either.

Feel free to use this link to sign up today. If you have any questions on setting your board up, feel free to reach out to me as well.