Here are the tools I use everyday. They’re all key components of my personal productivity kit, and I expect that I’ll lean on them more as I work to ramp up my productivity this year. So without further ado:
This has become one of those indispensable tools for me. For me, because it syncs across all devices (in my case: PC, iPhone, Mac) it functions as a digital notebook where I can keep everything from articles to project notes to drafts of blog posts. I love how, after installing the Evernote Web Clipper on all of my computers, I can easily clip articles and save them for later. In fact, I recently became an Evernote Premium user ($5/month or $45/year), which gives me offline access to specific notebooks, and the ability to search PDFs. I also can take notes on my iPhone on the subway and not lose them, as I did prior to upgrading. Finally, I use a handy script from IFTTT (If This Then That) that collects all the Tweets I’ve favorited in a notebook so that I can easily come back to them later.
Evernote also has a number of “Ambassadors” who can help you use it more effectively. I’m following Jamie Rubin, the “Going Paperless” guru so that I can get use less paper.
Back in the day I used to email files back and forth between the office and home. Sound familiar? There’s no need for that with Dropbox, which makes files accessible at either location. As well, I can share access with others, so it can also be a central access point for team members at some point in the future.
I also access Google Drive, but don’t use it as much simply because the file icons are ugly. Who says design doesn’t matter?
This is my go-to Twitter client. I particularly like that it shows “interactions,” i.e., when someone does a simple retweet, favorite or follows you. There are other clients you can use, for sure, but this one easily supports multiple social media accounts and gives you the ability to schedule tweets.
So, you ask, if I can schedule my updates from Tweetdeck, why use Buffer? Because after you install the Buffer extension for Firefox, Chrome or Safari, you click on it and it automatically grabs the URL of the page you’re on, along with the title of the article. You can easily modify the update prior to sending, but basically, you click and you’re done. I use it to send updates to Twitter and LinkedIN, but you can also send to Facebook. One feature that would be nice: An ability to post updates to Google+.
Mobile versions of Twitter & Hootsuite
For Twitter on the go, I use two apps, each for different things. The Twitter app I like because I like the ability to see “Interactions,” i.e., who retweeted and favorited tweets, as well as who followed me. What it’s not so good at is adding people to lists, which is why I keep Hootsuite on my phone. I don’t recall, but I think Tweetcaster Pro did both but it had another problem: It crashed waayy too often. Had to cut it loose. As a friend says, “Too bad, so sad.”
I’m testing the Action Method on my iPhone and desktops as my to do list. It’s still something I’m getting used to, both the software and the habit of using to-do lists effectively. Solid syncing across mobile devices and Web/desktop, so that’s cool. Also, you can quickly delegate a task to a team member. Still not quite sure if this program is the one. As of right now what I can tell you is that there are simpler programs (Remember The Milk, for example) and more expensive ones (Nozbe) available, so it’s really about personal preference.
New software I’m trying out: iA Writer
Hat tip to Family Records’ Wesley Verhoeve on this one. iA Writer is a plain, stripped down text editor. No fuss, no muss. And the other cool feature: It has a “focus” mode, which goes to full screen and blocks out scrolling tweets or incoming alerts from distracting you. Currently, it’s on sale in the iTunes store for $4.99. If you do a lot of writing, check it out.
There are several other tools that I use: WordPress (all my sites); Picmonkey for quick image editing; PDFonline to turn docs into PDFs; ProCamera since the shutter is faster than the native iPhone camera and you have greater exposure control; and Photogene2 for mobile image editing.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Are there great apps or productivity software you guys are using that you’d recommend? Let me know.