In my study of productivity over the last decade, I’ve come across some great YouTube channels dedicated to the topic. While I do follow quite a few of them, there are a small number whose videos frequent my watch later list much more often than others. These are the top 5 Productivity YouTube channels I currently follow:
1. Ali Abdaal
Ali started off making productivity videos and creating exam study resources while he was in medical school. His channel is not only about productivity, but also how to become a “creatorpreneur” as he calls it. I’ve been following him for about a year now after I came across his video on overcoming imposter syndrome (you can read my post about that here). That video inspired me to finally start blogging, something I’d wanted to do for years, but had always struggled with feeling like I didn’t know enough and there was nothing of value I could contribute.
Linking Your Thinking is run by a guy named Nick Milo, whose focus is on personal knowledge management and idea exploration. He promotes the idea of relevance over structure: the substance of your notes is far more important than the structure of them. The structure should be allowed to evolve and grow naturally over time. He, of course, is big on linking ideas together (hence his channel name) and utilizes Obsidian as his tool for managing ideas and creating connections between them. His videos have helped me break my habit of jumping straight to the organizing and structuring of my notes rather than using and developing the information I’ve collected.
This channel is a bit dangerous for me as it’s a channel that reviews new and upcoming productivity apps. Trying out new and shiny apps is something I have fallen prey to far too often in the past. I’ve spent many hours fiddling with app settings rather than getting things done. Nowadays, I try to stick to a core set of apps, but I do like seeing what new tools are being made available (see my current productivity apps here).
4. Tiago Forte
Tiago Forte is the creator of the Building a Second Brain course, and the author of the book of the same name. It was Tiago who first introduced me to the idea of having a personal repository of knowledge that could be built up as I’m watching videos or reading articles on my topics of interest. Having that repository of knowledge has been useful for writing blog posts, preparing Sunday School lessons, and just having general conversations because I’ve already done the research beforehand. I can then draw upon this knowledge any time I need it (My Weekly Review is heavily inspired by Tiago Forte’s weekly review).
5. Doug Neill
I first came across Sketchnoting (note taking using a combination of imagery and handwritten notes) about six years ago, and found Doug Neill’s channel around the same time. Doug teaches how to use Sketchnotes for all kinds of purposes, such as taking notes on books, teaching online courses, teaching in the classroom, and many more. I enjoy watching his channel because he draws out Sketchnotes throughout each of his videos, and has given me lots of ideas on how to improve my own Sketchnoting (see my Sketchnoting Tools here).