Optimization Toolbox

Reading Time: 5 minutes

These are the tools I use every day to improve my life. After trying dozens of products, apps, and programs, these are the ones that I recommend. Make sure to keep revisiting this page, because I am constantly exploring and adding new items to the list.

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Get Smarter

Books that make you smarter

I love reading. And so do many of the world’s smartest people. From Warren Buffett and Richard Branson to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, they all reserve time to read. And so should you. These books are guaranteed to change the way you see the world. 

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

How did humans come to dominate Earth? We don’t have the biggest brains, the strongest muscles, or the fastest reflexes. Still, we are at the top of the food chain. This book will tell you why. Explore the story of the entire human race in just 400 pages. After reading it, Bill Gates said: “I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species.”

The Rational Optimist – Matt Ridley

Every day we’re bombarded with scandalous news and gloomy predictions about imminent catastrophes that will end civilization as we know it. But are these fears justified? Will the oil run out and the planet overheat? This book offers an answer. Matt Ridley reveals why our species has succeeded until now and how we should think about the future.

Letters from a Stoic – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

This book changed my life. It’s an invaluable and timeless guide on how to live a virtuous and fulfilling life. Seneca wrote it over 2000 years ago, but people still read and recommend it. The teachings inside it have guided successful people across the ages, ranging from a Roman emperor to the New England Patriots. Grab it to find out why.

Principles – Ray Dalio

What if you could learn the secret of success in life and business from one of the wealthiest people alive? Here’s a roadmap. Ray Dalio gives you exact instructions on how to get past your ego and achieve your goals. He reveals his 5-step process for getting what you want out of life, whatever that is. He also tells us how to deal with our failures and use them to grow.

Apps that make you smarter

Audible for iPhone or Android

Sometimes you just can’t find the time to read. That’s why audiobooks were invented. You can listen to them during your commute, while gardening, or walking your dog. This way you can go through dozens of books every month. Try it for free. You won’t regret it.

Podcasts that make you smarter

Best Podcasts out there

If you haven’t yet discovered Podcasts you are really missing some great stuff. They have become my favorite way of getting smarter while going for a walk, doing the dishes of feeding the baby. Here are some of the best:

Get Fitter

Books that make you fitter

The 4 Hour Body – Timothy Ferriss

This book uncovers the hidden potential of the human body. From it you will learn: 

How to prevent fat gain while bingeing

How to sleep 2 hrs/day and feel fully rested

How to produce 15-minute female orgasms

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not kidding. Grab it and see for yourself.

Body by Science – John Little and Doug McGuff, MD  

What if there was a scientifically proven formula for maximizing muscle development? It turns out there is. And it takes just 12 minutes a week! A medical doctor and a bodybuilder, both with decades of experience in the field, have teamed up to create this book. I’m usually skeptical of fitness books, but this one’s based on solid science and it really works.

Apps that make you fitter

No gym? No problem!

You can’t always find the time to go to the gym. I get that. But that’s no excuse to not be in shape. What if you could get your very own fitness instructor in your living room? Yes, you read that right. No matter if you prefer yoga (like my wife does), bodyweight workouts (like me), or you just want  to get in better shape, the  Nike Training Club has you covered. All you need is a phone and 10 minutes of free time. Get sweatin’, sexy!

Just get out and run

Now you might think I’m biased here. I’m not. I just know that Nike has invested a lot in recruiting world class experts to create these fitness apps. You can see that right from the start. So if you want a personal trainer to prepare you for anything from a 5k to a full marathon, this is your best pick. 

Get Organized

Books that make you organized

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – Marie Kondō

Do you also have papers accumulate at work and growing piles of clothes at home? This book is the perfect solution! Marie Kondō made a career from advising organizations and individuals on how to declutter the space around them. As a result they are more productive and feel less overwhelmed. It’s worked wonders for my own wardrobe and I bet it will do the same for you.

Apps that make you organized

Organize your ideas

Mind mapping is my favorite software to brainstorm and organize ideas. Whether you’re using it in the boardroom, the presentation hall, or the lunch meeting, MindMeister can help you organize, prioritize, and even generate new thoughts. Pair it with their free web interface and watch your ideas turn into plans. 

Organize your trips & vacations

Are you tired of searching for hotels, reading restaurant reviews, and guides for your next trip? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could get insider information every time you visit a new city? Enter Airbnb. It’s the best way to travel at affordable prices, get tips from locals, and enjoy unforgettable trips. To sign up for free first click the image to collect your €25 bonus. Then download the app and discover a new way of travelling. 

Organize your thoughts

What’s the one thing you should organize to instantly boost productivity? Your thoughts! A focussed mind is a healthy mind. Meditating will help you reduce stress, improve sleep, and gain razor-sharp focus. Try the free guided sessions to learn how to meditate anytime, anywhere. Then watch your mind change.

Organize your files

Sometimes I start a blog post on my Mac, but on the way to work I get a great new idea to include in the article. I just get my phone out, open Dropbox, and edit the file. It’s updated immediately and my collaborators have instant access to the new version. That’s why I love having all the projects I’m working in one place – no matter where I am or what device I’m using. It’s free and easy to use, so try it out.

Organize your notes

As you might suspect, I do a fair amount of research for my blog posts. And as a hobby. And as a reason to not do anything important I should be doing. As a result I have tons of notes on dozens of different topics. How do I keep them organized and always at hand? Using Evernote. It’s free, it’s simple, and it just works. Check it out and thank me later.


As always, I would love to know your thoughts on this. So drop me an email. I promise to read them all.

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