Issue 5—Apps I use daily

10 Things Worth Sharing by Makzan

Hi there,

In this week, I share some apps that I use every day in my workflow.

  1. Mobile first, I read RSS feed to learn what’s going on in the industry. I use Unread. It’s elegant gesture based UI and consistent navigation allows browsing, reading and bookmarking essays with single hand operation.

  2. For note taking and brainstorming, I use the Notability app to handwrite all my visual notes. Every night I create a new page and write down what I need to do the next day. So every day I have the most important task focus.

  3. I don’t have a todo “list” anymore. All my tasks my planned on Notability visually like a graph. It maps my mind better. (More on that in later emails). But I still need a Due list that keep prompting me something important is due, like paying the bill.

  4. For writing, I use Ulysses to draft and edit them. I find myself more focus when writing on iPad. It’s a great place to get the first draft out. Then I need its Mac companion to edit the text with mouse cursor. Their iPhone version is now in beta, which is a good place to write down sudden inspirations and text notes.

  5. I don’t draw professionally. But I do draw things. For graphs and visual explanations, I use Notability app (point 2). For other illustrations, I use Procreate app. It’s a powerful with simple interface. The essential things are handy, and all powerful features are one or two taps away.

  6. The followings are some Mac utilities I use. I use Snap to quickly access my daily used apps all with a single keyboard shortcut. For example, I mapped Safari, Ulysses, Notability, Fantastical app.

  7. Divvy app to position application windows on different segments on the screen. There are similar tools that allows assignment the windows to half of the screen. But I need more than half screen. Divvy allows me to assign windows into corners so that I can have multiple references on the side and the main document in the middle. The follow graph shows how I have different screens setup in different modes.

  8. For coding, I use Cloud9 IDE with unlimited private workspace plan. I setup each project with a dedicated workspace. In such setup, I can quick switch between files, run preview server, have project-based shell scripts all in one organised place. For quick demo or front-end experiments, I use CodePen.

  9. I used lots of web services: Basecamp, Pocket, Cloud9 IDE, Facebook messenger etc. The Fluid app is a must to make this web services wrapped as a Mac app. Especially I can use the Snap shortcut to quickly switch between them with keyboard shortcut. And having they appearing as an app icon is better than mixing them into browser tabs.

  10. For screencast, I used to. Use Screenflow since its version 1. Then I paid each upgrade to version 5. It worth every penny because it’s really easy to edit the recorded screen with its non linear timeline and handy shortcuts. But recently I’m checking the Final Cut Pro to seek more powerful control on the recorded video clips.

At last, a quote to un-procrastinate your most important task:

In the context of procrastination, it’s easy to put off doing important things by doing a lot of smaller tasks, or incoming tasks that might seem urgent. But that means the important stuff gets pushed back.

Picking an important task means part of your job is done: you know what you should be working on, and you know that if you’re not working on it, you’re procrastinating. So then all you have to do is start — Leo Babauta, The Art of Choosing Important Tasks

That’s it for this week’s sharing. What is your application stack for your workflow? Please share with me your daily using app that boosts your productivity.

Enjoy your weekend.

Best Wishes,

Thomas Mak