Apps I Use 2019

On my previous, now offline blog nicknish.blog, I created an Apps I Use page that showed my apps that I use every day (inspired by Tim Ferriss's Apps I Use).

I'm excited to relaunch this page as an annual post so each year we can see what's changed.

What's Changed Since 2017

Additions

It's been a few years since I updated the old page. I'm excited to talk about some additions that were added since then.

Brave browser: Brave is a privacy-focused browser. By default, ads and ad trackers that tell websites info about your identity are disabled. A few years ago, Brave forked Chromium (Google Chrome's open-sourced underlying browser software) to develop the new major browser which is faster, more stable, and all the niceties of Chrome including support for Chrome extensions and a familiar interface. It's fantastic.

CloudApp (replaced GIPHY Capture): Upload files to the cloud for sharing. Ironically, I barely use Cloudapp for file sharing but its screenshot and video/gif recorder are stellar and worth a subscription alone. CloudApp is the tool I’ve found to screenshot or record a video/gif of your screen, and it’s proven invaluable to my workflow.

Notion (replaced Evernote): Digital workspace and note-taking app. I'm such a fan of this product and it's been invaluable for my writing, note-taking, and learning process. I've written here about some things I adore about Notion.

Pocket Casts (replaces Overcast): Podcast listener. I prefer Pocket Casts UX and it has a small flat price for the app.

Google News

Google Photos: Photo backup service. Pricing is cheap with a fantastic UX, scary-good search, and bulk-deleting photos that have already been uploaded on the iOS app.

Dark Reader Chrome Extension

Honey Chrome Extension

Refined GitHub Chrome Extension

Removals

Of course, when adding new tools, it's always good to trim the fat. With gratitude in my heart, I thank each of these services for providing me value and enjoyment at one point.

  • Coach.me
  • Evernote
  • GIPHY Capture
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Noizio
  • Overcast
  • Sylo
  • Workflowy

Productivity

1Password (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, web, browser extension) – Stores and creates secure passwords, notes, IDs, software licenses, and more. I haven’t forgotten a password in a long time and I use its 2-Factor Authentication tool to protect my most important logins.

Alfred (macOS) – Like Spotlight on steroids. Instantly open apps, run scripted actions, and search files with a global search bar.

Brave (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows) - Web browser with a focus on privacy

CloudApp: Upload files to the cloud for sharing. Best screenshot and video/gif recording tool that I've used before.

Dropbox (iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, web, browser extension) – Backs up files to the cloud

Fantastical (iOS, macOS) – Schedules calendar and todos using spoken English

Gmail (Android, iOS, web) – Email client. iOS app recently added a scheduling feature and swipe gestures that improved the core experience.

Google Docs/Sheets (Android, iOS, web) – Write, analyze, and collaborate in the cloud

Google Drive (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, web) – Stores and creates files and documents in the cloud. I primarily use Drive for documents and Dropbox for everything else.

Hazel (macOS) – Watches your files and runs scripts on them. ex. One of my Hazel rules watches for PNG or GIF files in my screenshot folder and runs them through an image optimizer. This makes sharing images faster.

Notion: Digital workspace and note-taking app. Like Evernote, but a whole lot more powerful.

Pasteapp (iOS, macOS) – Saves copied text, images, and files to a visual clipboard that can be searched and referenced quickly. By far the best clipboard app out there.

Scanner Pro (iOS) – Scans documents and saves them to the cloud, like to Dropbox or Google Drive

Slack (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, web) – Communicate for work, side projects, and in communities. I combine Slack with other tools like IFTTT, Zapier, and Notify to give me daily Google Analytics reports, notify me when people are talking about me or my company, and more.

Spark (iOS, macOS) – Email client to quickly sort through email fast and beautifully

Programming

iTerm (macOS) – Bash terminal that is highly configurable and easy to use. My favorite feature is the ability to save window arrangements for my recent projects.

Microsoft Visual Studio Code (macOS, Windows) – Configurable and performant text-editor. Hugely innovative in its developer tools and stellar developer community. Easily transition from Sublime Text by downloading the keymap.

Utilities

Endurance (macOS) ****– Extends your battery life. Generally gives me an additional 1-4 hours depending on what I'm doing.

Flux (macOS, Windows) – Adapts computer screen colors to warmer hues in the evenings. Computers normally emit blue light which is similar to daylight and has been shown to cause insomnia. Great for late-night work sessions.

Google News (Android, iOS) – News

Google Photos (Android, iOS, web) – Stores photos in the cloud. Scary good photo search.

Grammarly (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, web, browser extension, word processors) – Proofreads spelling and grammar. Crucial for email, professional documents, and blog posts.

Headspace (Android, iOS, web) – Guided and non-guided meditation app. It has made meditation fun, accessible to anyone, and rewarding. All without any woo-wooness if you're not into the spiritual stuff.

Pocket (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, web, browser extension) – Saves web articles for reading later

Pocket Casts (Android, iOS, web) – Podcast listener that looks beautiful, has great power-user features like notification per podcast and speed adjustments, and discovery.

Product Hunt (Android, iOS, web) – Learn about new products

Reeder (iOS, macOS) – Collects RSS feeds and Pocket into a single beautiful reading experience. I've recently stopped using the Pocket app to use Reeder and also to cut down on email newsletters.

Rocket (macOS) – Searches and inserts emoji into any text field

Browser Extensions

Dark Reader – Flips website colors to a darker tone. This paired with Flux is wonderful for great late-night work sessions.

Honey - Searches for discount codes when you're shopping online

Refined GitHub – Adds more features to GitHub

Toby – Browser bookmarks on steroids. A utility that helps save browser tabs to help prevent context-switching and reduce tab overload.

Personal Finance

Personal Capital (Android, iOS, web) – Personal finance tool to monitor your overall finances. I use this to track my overall net worth and have a high-level look at my entire financial picture.

Mint (Android, iOS, web) – Personal finance tool to monitor your finances and plan budgets.

Wealthfront (Android, iOS, web) – Banking and roboadvisor service. Roboadvisors are automated investment firms that invest and reinvest for you. I have a high-yield savings account for holding short-term cash (1 week-2 year) and a separate brokerage account for riskier long-term investment (+2 years).

Vanguard (Android, iOS, web) – Purchase low-cost investment funds. Mature, secure finance company with a history of being customer-first. I have a ROTH IRA and brokerage account with Vanguard.

product