How To Be Productive While Working From Home

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I know during this special period of time many of us need to work from home and stay productive. I struggled with being productive while working from home. After spending several months keep trying new methods and tools, I finally found the combination of tools that works for me(while working from home).

I know there are many perspectives on how to become productive. It is actually a big topic. In this post, I will focus on the tools which improve my efficiency a lot.

Before Working From Home

2019 my productive tool = Evernote + Trello + Xmind + Microsoft To Do + Go to Library(for real) = 70% Satisfaction

Evernote used to be my favorite note-taking software given it is cross-platform and easy to use. But it does not meet all my needs, sometimes I need to save code snippets, write math formulas, and Big O… I will explain further in the last section.

I mostly use the Cornell notes template to write notes. But I find it is hard to insert code when I use the template. As in Evernote, the Cornell template is implemented by a table and you cannot insert code block into a table. The only way is to insert a screenshot.


Xmind is a mindmap software I mostly use mindmap after finish reading a book or make a project plan. The reason I do not use this is that I find a better mindmap tool called MindMaster.

Microsoft To-Do can integrate my outlook and also it is a cross-platform application so that I like it.

Trello is mainly for my side project management. This is the kanban style application. The reason I do not use trello is that I find a better replacement for it.

While Working from Home

2020 my productive tool = Notion + MindMaster + Focusmate(replacement of go-to library) = 85% Satisfaction

Notion is the biggest surprise for me this year. Notion is an all-in-one-place solution for me to manage resources, writing journals, plan my week, personal wiki you name it.

For me Notion = Evernote + Trello + Microsoft To-Do + …

Here is a screenshot of my Notion home page. You can design your own home page by using your imagination.

My Home page

I am not able to tell you all the features in Notion in one article but I would like to say Notion gives you the freedom to design your notes and organize them. More importantly, it is free!!!

MindMaster is a cross-platform and easy to use mindmap software. I have tried several other mindmaps tools but this one is my favorite.

You can also organize your day with MindMaster. It works like a charm for me. I also use MindMaster to help me to understand complex concepts and review book content.

my weekly plan in MindMaster

Focusmate is a really good platform to help you find someone to study together. I have already attended 314 sessions on the Focusmate website.

During the session, you need to keep your camera on. You can also share your screen if you want. This will help you keep productive while work from home.

my focusmate profile


For me to keep myself productive is to study in public(Focusmate or Library) and put everything in one place(Notion). If you haven’t tried Focusmate or Notion before, please give it a go. Hope these tools are also useful for you.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store