The following resources are some of the invaluable tools and sites that I use to get through the day, a big project, or life in general. I will keep this list updated as I discover cool new stuff. This list is just an intro/overview. I will link to in-depth blog posts as I write them.
Some of the tools below might include affiliate links, which means that I get a small benefit (free service, a small commission, etc.) from that company if you sign up through my link. It never costs you anything, but rather it is a way for me to help pay for the expenses of running and maintaining this site.
These are apps I use dozens of times every day in various contexts on all of my devices. They are so ingrained in my workflows that I can’t fit them into any one category.
Like most people, I was using the same variation of 2 or 3 different passwords for everything. I knew I shouldn’t have been doing that, but there was no other option. I was wrong, 1Password and other apps like it are essential in this day and age. Every password I have is unique and as strong as each service will allow; 1Password remembers it all for me and even keeps me up-to-date on security breaches, so I am never vulnerable. I wrote a blog post about 1Password that you can find here.
I have tons of posts and videos about Drafts. It is the most straightforward app to use and, at the same time, one of the most powerful. Every person who has an Apple device should have Drafts installed.
My default mental state is that of a lazy, disorganized procrastinator. I have to work hard to trick myself into being the reliable and proactive person I want to be. These apps help me be that person.
Find all of my productivity related posts here.
Automation is one of my favorite forms of productivity. I love being above to solve the puzzle of making it work and reap the benefits of computer precision replication of tedious but essential tasks. At its core, I see automation as a way to create time for my future self.
My number one tool for automation is Keyboard Maestro. It is the most powerful and complex tool at my disposal. However, it is only on macOS and has a cognitive barrier to entry, which means it is not my first automation recommendation to someone just starting.
Hazel is another Mac-only tool, but it is an excellent solution for handling complex or tedious file/folder organization. In a slightly round about way, it also allows you to remote control your Mac.
Shortcuts is an iOS/iPadOS app made by Apple that allows you to easily create automations that run the gamut of complexity. Want your phone to go into low power mode every time your battery goes below 50%? Shortcuts can do that. Want to Create calendar entries, send emails, and create an OmniFocus project for your next meeting? Shortcuts can do that too.
After years of searching, OmniFocus is my task manager of choice. It has all the complexity and automation options I need and is also simple enough to use for basic tasks. There is a big up from cost to the app, but once you outgrow Reminders and want a powerhouse app to manage your tasks, OmniFocus is your jam.
If I have to collaborate with someone, I reach for Trello. It’s an awesome kanban based project management tool. I have also used it as the backbone of my personal productivity system (before I landed on OmniFocus). I teach it to my students for project management and use it for dissection documentation, project feedback, and ice breakers.
You might not think there is a lot of room in the calendar app world. You would be wrong! Fantastical is a beautiful and powerful calendar app. If you are looking for the best way to interact with your calendars, Fantastical is it. Fantastical wrangles and synthesizes my personal Google Calendar and my work Office 365 calendars. I can see and manipulate all of my calendars, regardless of platform, from anywhere.