December 1, 2019

Productivity Tools I Use

Roam-Research for Note Taking, Journaling, Project Planning, General Purpose Thinking

I’ve tried Notion, Evernote, Bear, Simplenote, OneNote, DayOne… basically every note-taking app. I could never quite get into them because I felt like every time I captured something I was never sure if/how/when I would ever look at it again. I needed some system to smartly surface relevant notes at the right time. Roam is the first thing that gets close to this.

Asana for Task Management

As much as I love Roam, it’s missing some key features that mean it’s not an ideal task management app. For some things, I still use Asana, which allows me to have recurring tasks, and I also love the My Tasks’ feature with Today’ / Upcoming’ / Later’ which is brilliant focusing and prioritizing while still seeing everything on your plate. Asana also let’s you forward emails to create tasks, which is essential for my inbox-zero process. I hope Roam will eventually implement these things! I had ago a recreating the Asana My Tasks view in Roam here.

Asana recently added the ability to switch between list view’ and board view’ for projects, so if you’re someone who thinks in a Trello-style Kanban board it offers a lot of flexibility.

To learn Asana, I recommend watching videos by Paul Minors.

Bitwarden Password Manager

I’ve tried LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password, and Keypass, and Bitwarden is the first password manager where I’m happy with the balance of functionality and usability. It’s also free! As well as putting in your passwords, I highly recommend adding your credit and debit cards this has saved me so much time. If you’re skeptical about why a password manager is worth it (because if someone gets your the password to your vault then they have access to all your passwords?!?!), know that the biggest threat is from people automatically trying the same password across all of your accounts. Because a password manager makes it easy to have different passwords for every account, you massively reduce your risk. Also, find out if you’ve been pwned for Easy Video Conferencing

Woven for Calendar Management

Google Calendar, is amazing, but you can take it to the next level with Woven, which lets you create event templates and lets you share a link so people can book time with you (like Calendly but free), among other things.

Polarized for Pdf Reading and Note-Taking

Podcast Addict

I’ve tried many podcasting apps, this is by far my favorite. This is for android I’m afraid I can’t advise on iOS! for Saving Things From the Web (Articles, Videos, Tweets, Etc)

  • Can easily save stuff across different sites/content types (e.g. tweets, videos, articles)
  • Can organize by folders and tags
  • Has an unsorted’ inbox so I know what needs processing and can use an inbox-zero workflow
  • Has a mobile app for easy saving
  • Has counts for each folder
  • Doesn’t have a way of highlighting or taking notes - will continue using Roam for this

Cronometer for Tracking Macro and Micro Nutrients

This is the best piece of software I’ve tried for tracking calories, macros, and micros. I can’t believe how much info you get in the free version!

Apps I Like but Don’t Fit My Current Way of Working:

  • Trello for Kanban-style task management
  • Todoist for list-style task management
  • Notion for a personal wiki and high-level planning
  • DayOne for journaling
  • Google Keep for quick notes
  • Guesstimate for estimating under uncertainty
  • Lights spreadsheet (for habit tracking)
  • Dynalist for note-taking - Like Workflowy but better. An outliner.