To quote Robin Sharma, author of the 5am Club: “Productivity is less about what you do with your time, and more about how you run your mind.”
We all know that successful people are the ones who get the most out of every day.
So it’s little wonder that productivity has come to take up so much space in the collective mindset of ambitious people.
It’s the art of overcoming our fickle, easily distracted brains, squeezing every last drop out of the day, doing our most important work, and living our best lives.
As the number of people looking to be more productive grows, so does the number of experts sharing ways to do all of this.
And in the information age that presents a great opportunity for all of us to access free, expert content.
But how do you sort the ‘must-reads’ from the ‘also-rans’?
Which are the ones you really need to check out? Bookmark? The ones you need to block out a few hours to digest in full? The ones you should click to when you need inspiration?
In this post we’re going to cut through the noise and give you our verdict on what we believe are the WORLD’S top 10 productivity blogs.
The bona fide experts, the ‘been there, done it, got the t-shirts’, the ones constantly updated with fresh insight, and the ones with such timeless expertise that they don’t need to be updated.
IMPORTANT: As you may notice, we’re listing these in reverse order – make sure to read to the end to find out our number 1 pick! 🥳 🏆 ✨
Lifehacker is more than a productivity blog – its bold strapline promises to help readers ‘do everything better!’ and it features a wide array of categories – more than any other we’ve included in our top 10 – including stuff like food and drink, money, home and parenting.
This means that the actual focus of the site is quite diffuse.
But the ‘Work’ section of the blog definitely carries enough value to warrant inclusion here. It features contributions from some eminent thinkers and leaders, sharing their own productivity tips.
This large network of contributors is a double-edged sword because it means content is regularly updated and comes with a wide array of perspectives – but, critically, it means that you can never be quite sure who you’re taking advice from and how much weight to place on their opinions.
OUR VERDICT: A bit of a mixed bag at times, but worthy of inclusion in the list purely because some of the stuff on here is really helpful. A good weekly scroll with your mid-morning coffee.
9. Adobe 99u
Positioned as a ‘creative career resource,’ Adobe 99u goes slightly beyond productivity, into career-based content like resume design, interview advice and more.
But there’s still a huge amount of productivity content on there that’s really helpful – and you’ll often find that, rather than being a ‘one size fits all’ guide, articles can be a little more niched down to the nature of your role and work if you’re in the creative space.
This means you’ll find a lot of productivity tips, strategies and hacks from experts doing roles *just like yours* which can be incredibly valuable.
OUR VERDICT: Won’t be relevant to everyone but a beautifully designed blog that features a lot of great value to people in creative careers.
Michael Hyatt’s simple but lofty ambition is to help you ‘win at work and succeed at life.’
The site – formerly known as ‘Michael S. Hyatt & Company – rebranded to FullFocus in 2021, doubling down on many of the things the site was already doing very well.
As well as a designated productivity category on the blog, FullFocus also features a glut of free content around topics like leadership, personal development and entrepreneurship meaning that managers and leaders will find value here in a number of different ways. You’ll also find podcasts and downloadable resources.
The posts shared are interesting and paired with an attractive hero image. Sometimes the posts are short and blunt, which, again, is fine. They also revolve around specifically what works for the author which is neither a good nor bad thing, just an observation.
It’s one person’s opinion and your experience will vary based on how much you value that opinion!
For example, when talking about the importance of break periods…
“On a typical workday, I take a mid-morning break. Later, I break for lunch and an afternoon nap. Breaks renew my energy. Each time I return to my desk, I work with fresh eyes and fresh motivation.”
Nonetheless, posts are written engagingly and in many ways it’s nice that they’re all from one viewpoint. It means consistency and authenticity.
OUR VERDICT: A really nice blog with lots of cool content. Posts are sometimes on the short side and based on what works for the author – rather than rooted in deeper research and theory. But this authenticity is part of its appeal, as well.
Sometimes you find diamonds hidden in the rough – and the Institute of Productivity feels like one of them.
With an outdated and, honestly, really unattractive design and a weird URL structure, you’d be forgiven for assuming the content mightn’t be up to much.
But look past aesthetics and what you actually find is a stream of very good – regularly-updated – content that’s unerringly topical and insightful.
Posts do tend to be on the short-side, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your reading preferences. But personally we respect the brevity and conciseness, and the fact that posts tend to offer opinion and/or actionable insight. Why use 2,000 words when 200 will do the same job?
OUR VERDICT: A nice, regularly-updated stream of content that’s often brief but always interesting. We feel like high-school bullies for saying it – but loses points for aesthetics! Could really do with a redesign and some SEO tweaks to improve visibility of content.
6. James Clear
James Clear is perhaps best known as the author of Atomic Habits, a book that’s well worth reading.
But he also gives away a bunch of free expertise on his blog, in a variety of different categories: creativity, decision making, focus, habits, life lessons, motivation, self-improvement, and – of course – productivity.
The productivity section of the blog is different to what you might find on other sites, in that it’s almost a ‘mega blog’ piecing together a number of different articles into a sort of online guide.
This isn’t the type of blog that you need to be checking out every day or every week – as it doesn’t seem like new content isn’t constantly being added.
But what Clear does offer is a content hub that is great to bookmark and read – it links out to a host of fundamental info about productivity including many of the author’s own favourite techniques, strategies and ideas – and those of famous people including President Eisenhower, Warren Buffet and Anthony Trollope.
You’ll find yourself opening 3 or 4 new articles in new tabs, or bookmarking them for later, which can become overwhelming – but there’s just so much value to go at here that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks!
OUR VERDICT: A glut of valuable productivity-boosting content that only loses marks for being sporadically updated, and potentially a little overwhelming in terms of finding and navigating content to read.
Seeking to offer ‘pieces of the productivity puzzle,’ Productivity501 does pretty much what it says on the tin.
‘Productivity’ is one of the content topics, with others including technology, development, organisation, money and time, offering a broad spectrum of topic focuses.
Much, if not all of the content on Productivity501 is written by Mark Shead who has a background in software engineering. This gives his outlook on productivity a helpful scientific angle, and it’s rooted in real-world experience.
OUR VERDICT: A well-written and well-researched resource that offers an interesting perspective on productivity from an industry expert.
Steve Pavlina is a personal growth and development expert, and his blog is – well, his blog!
To put that slightly differently, this really is a personal blog – as you can see from the screenshot above – with work and productivity playing a key part.
It’s quite a nice experience to get advice from someone whose whole focus is growth and development – especially knowing you’re getting it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak – although some readers will find many of the concepts a little theoretical and framework based.
Content is published semi-regularly – 1-2 articles per month.
And it’s clear that Steve’s writing because he has something to say about productivity and growth. He writes thought provoking opinion pieces that aren’t just aiming to bring traffic and visibility – but really challenging how people think.
OUR VERDICT: Limited and narrow in the sense that it’s a largely personal blog, but comes with the authenticity and credibility of knowing that this is someone immersed in personal development and his words carry some weight.
3. Zen Habits 🥉
Written by the author Leo Babauta, Zen Habits is another that’s more than just a productivity blog.
It’s a blog designed to promote a certain type of lifestyle and mindset – ‘mindfulness and simplicity’ amidst the chaos of daily life, which will surely be incredibly powerful and helpful to some people.
After all, you could argue that ‘poor productivity’ is more of a symptom than a disease. A simplified mindset could lead, among other things, to huge productivity gains, but there are other benefits too – better decision-making, better habits and improved mental and physical health.
The blog is regularly updated and presented in a slick, minimalistic chronological view.
This isn’t a ‘collated’ blog site that brings together woolly best practices and spam.
Posts are personalised, deeply-considered and presented with first-person perspective and deep insight. The author, simply, shares value with every post.
Zen Life is a great blog with genuinely useful insights, and it’s well worth bookmarking to check weekly. (You might even want to subscribe to the mailing list to get articles straight into your inbox.)
OUR VERDICT: A blog that knows exactly what it wants to do, and nails it. By treating the ‘root causes’ of poor productivity – rather than just patching it up – you genuinely come away from this blog with a new outlook on work and life.
The first ‘company’ blog we’ve included – although it’s really more of a publication than a company blog! – this is a really nice read, published by software company Atlassian.
Posts are thoughtful, topics are well-thought out, titles are clickable and engaging.
It’s designed with a broader purpose than ‘just’ productivity. To quote Atlassian:
“Work Life is Atlassian’s flagship publication dedicated to unleashing the potential of every team through real-life advice, inspiring stories, and thoughtful perspectives from leaders around the world.”
It’s a beautiful looking blog, with time invested into uniform hero images for each post, and a clean, attractive page design.
Productivity is one of 4 central content topics – the others being teamwork, leadership and strategy, meaning you can get straight to the productivity stuff if you want to.
Posts are engaging, well-written and include a lot of good info.
Helpfully, each post has a 5-second summary at the top. This can help you decide whether to invest time into reading the full thing – or even just take away some lessons without reading the full thing, although you’ll often be missing out on some good stuff in the body of the post itself!
And there’s a good variety of content here. Articles, guest posts, interviews and more.
One slight potential drawback – as you can gather from the blog’s mission statement, there IS an unashamed angle towards unleashing the potential of ‘teams’ which means, if you’re a freelancer or solopreneur looking to boost your own productivity, yes, you may find some useful stuff here – but it’s more geared towards the productivity of teams.
OUR VERDICT: This is a great example of a company doing amazing work with content – and wins extra points for offering a variety of perspectives from different leaders and experts.
1. Mark Manson 🥇
You probably know Mark Manson as author of the widely popular The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. And this is his online home – Life Advice That Doesn’t Suck!
It’s clear from the strapline through to the content itself that this is supposed to be different to other blogs. And it genuinely is.
Many of his articles are based on real life experiences – including writing that book.
Productivity, again, appears as one of the main categories of the blog – alongside the somewhat more abstract philosophy, psychology, relationships and society.
Manson writes in an engaging, highly readable way – not averse to the occasional curse word, which imbues his writing with a sense of personality and fun.
The trade-off is regularity. The blog isn’t updated all that often – but, really, is that a problem? Should we publish for the sake of it?
And as you can see, scrolling through the articles, the titles are so clickable, so magnetic, that you could spend hours reading.
Posts aren’t vanilla. They offer real expertise and insight and they’re based in solid, well-researched foundations.
OUR VERDICT: Fantastic, easy-to-read content that presents a clear, irreverent world view and changes the way you think about productivity. We could mark it down for being updated less regularly than others on the list – but we won’t, because the content is so great!
Thanks for reading…
Not to give out participation awards here, but it’s important to say that even making it onto this list is a measure of success!
We’ve considered *literally hundreds* of different productivity blogs in compiling this top 10, scrolling their pages and reading their content.
The 10 in this list are the ones we found particularly useful, insightful and actionable. They’re definitely the ones we think you should check out if you’re looking for tips and techniques to boost your productivity!
And if you ARE interested in productivity – while you’re here – we wanted to remind you to check out Project.co: our modular project management software. Create a project and choose the tools you need to get any job done!