The Apps I Use to Stay Productive

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly tempted to hunt for new, exciting tools to incorporate into my work. The latest and greatest; something that will surely supercharge my productivity. The missing ingredient.

I often hear from readers who want to know about the tools I use. They ask which editor is my favorite, how I edit my work, or what I use to track my to-do list.

Part of my wants to shrink away from those questions. The real answer, of course, is that tools don’t matter.

Mostly.

Tools matter a great deal. But it’s far more important to make use of the tools you have available, rather than always looking for something new. In the right circumstances, a new app might make you 5% more productive. But, if you spent 10 hours — or more — looking for, finding, and learning that tool, have you gained anything?

In my experience, the problems most developers face have nothing to do with their tools.

But I keep getting questions. So, I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite apps. Maybe — just maybe — you’ll find something you can use in your work.

Just don’t spend too much time on it.

Ulysses

Mission Control for everything I write, from outline to the finished article. I’m typing this sentence on it, right now. Ulysses offers more features than I can count. It provides top-notch Markdown support and more options for exporting your work than I've seen in any other app.

Deckset

I use Deckset for all of my presentations. It allows you to edit a Markdown document, while it automatically produces slides for you. Stop worrying about fiddling with slide transitions, and start worrying about your content.

Alfred

The first app I install on a  new machine. Alfred can help you launch apps, do math, search the web, and so much more. Thanks to Workflows, it also allows me to make phone call, switch my audio source, shut down my laptop, or search Giphy. All from my keyboard.

Todoist

I’m giving this one a try, after being a fan of Omnifocus for many years. It’s working well, so far.

Hazel

I hate organizing my files. With Hazel, I automatically delete old downloads, clean up my desktop, and moves files based on the tags I give them.

Grammarly

As someone who writes thousands of words a month, my subscription to Grammarly is worth every penny. It checks my writing for issues with grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. I’ve also used their proofreading services, from time to time. Highly recommended.

Trello

I publish the newsletter every Monday and the occasional article during the rest of the week. I also contribute guest posts to other sites, from time to time. I manage all of my writing tasks through Trello. My writing board has a lot of lists on it — 17 in total. They cover everything from the latest newsletter drafts, to guest posts I’m writing, to tracking where I’m publishing & promoting my work. I couldn’t keep everything straight without it.