Recently, Mike Vardy, of Productivityist, and I announced a joint project called Do Better With Asana. Do Better With Asana has, at its heart, a book. While we are using many tools to help us deliver the final product, I would like to share with you the tools involved in crafting the content for the book, as well as other components of the final product. I do this in the hope that you perhaps discover an idea about how you can use the same tools, or that you’re inspired to start a project that has been stewing in the recesses of you mind.
We all have apps and services we use every day to get things done. I don’t mean things like Facebook or Twitter. I mean things that really do help achieve a goal, not distract from it. So I wanted to share with you the apps and services that I depend on most. One of the biggest criterion for me is the accessibility of the app or service – it needs to be available just about everywhere and at any time. So here they are, my 7 most loved apps.
Have you ever been faced with a scenario that has really made you stop and think about who you are and the way you live? We go about our everyday lives as though nothing will ever change; as though what is now has always been and will always be.
The pace of daily life is incredibly fast. Often we do whatever we can to keep up, to get by, to be able to pay the bills, life can very quick pass us by. In fact, this has never been more true! With technology in our pockets wherever we go we often have our heads buried in a mobile phone and don’t even look up. There is a whole world flying by that we’re missing out on.
Since I started blogging on productivity and technology and all that fun stuff I’ve been reading other blogs more and more. I’ve tried a couple of different tools to help me stay on top of the articles that I want to read, and at the moment I am very happy using Readability.
Readability is a bit like Pocket or Instapaper. You find an article you want to save for later and click the “Readability” button in the toolbar of the web browser. This captures the article and copies it to the Readability service so you can read it later from the Readability site, or from your mobile device.
There are three main ways I add articles Readability.
There is a huge selection of new productivity applications being released these days and each one has its own unique approach to target a specific audience. There are tools such as OmniFocus that cater to the high-end GTD adepts and then there’s things like Moredays.
While OmniFocus uses contexts, tags, projects and priorities to help you manage your day to day activities, Moredays takes a much more relaxed approach and spans not only tasks, but contacts, events and notes too.
Moredays aims to be a single resource for the everyday human that is looking for a place to manage the day to day. It is not, and doesn’t intend to be, a fully fledged GTD application. Moredays takes a user-friendly, image rich, approach to ensure the user experience is what matters most. So many GTD apps focus so much on the process that they forget about the user and what they’ll need to do in order to use the application properly.
6Wunderkinder is the software development company behind the incredibly popular Wunderlist. 6Wunderkinder started to make themselves known at the end of 2010 by launching Wunderlist.
Wunderlist is a task management application that works on almost every device! There’s a web version, iPad/iPhone and Mac version, Android version, Windows version and even a linux version. There are two devices that are missing from this list – Blackberry and Windows Phone. Wunderlist was initially released on Windows, Mac and iPhone and it’s popularity grew phenomenally quickly. This was largely because:
- It’s free
- It looks amazing
- It keeps things simple
It also helped that no matter what device you were using, your tasks were always in sync. Wunderlist sync’s tasks up to the cloud and then keeps your other devices up to date seamlessly.
Evernote has changed my life. It’s such a simple thing, but it has had a massive impact on my day-to-day life. I have a really bad memory, so I use it to remember everything, so I don’t have to.
I remember first hearing about Evernote in mid 2010 and dismissed it pretty quickly, thinking “why would I need another note taking tool when I can use the Notes app on my iPhone or a text editor on my computer, or Google Docs?”. A few months later, I thought it might give it another go as a way to write down and keep notes from meetings and be able to easily reference them again later.
And that was just the beginning…
File sizes are getting bigger. Security is always a big concern. Sharing and collaboration gets things done. It used to be that as computer programs evolved, the size of the files they produced (that is, that you could save and load) grew in size too. This meant that you would constantly be looking out for a bigger hard drive so that you would keep using the programs you love and not have to delete anything to avoid running out of space on your computer.
And if you wanted to access a file (be it a document, spreadsheet, photo, movie, or anything else) on another computer, you would have to first copy the file from your own hard drive to a either a USB stick or thumb drive, a CD/DVD, or external hard drive, and then carry that device around with you, connect it to the other computer and hope it recognized the device and the file would open ok for you.
I was part of this cycle and was a big advocate of CD/DVD storage, especially as a backup medium. I would backup my photos, copy files and take them around with me. There was definitely problems with this solution, many of which are obvious:
- Devices are fragile
- Devices can be lost
- CD/DVDs were a pain to use multiple times and re-writable discs were always messy
And of course, they have a limited lifespan. And who could forget the constant worry of a hard drive clicking it’s way to death.
Now, services are popping up on the internet that act as your hard drive. There’s services from Amazon, box.net, Syncplicity, Ubuntu One, Google Docs, SugarSync and more. One that I’ve found very powerful and flexible, is Dropbox.