Everyone has a unique software stack to get work done—curious which tools you use together to stay productive?
Software I always have open: Sublime Text mostly for keeping my notes in markdown files — these are just plain text so integrated with great search tools like ripgrep. Visual Studio Code and Chrome for programming. Boxy for Keep for handling Google Keep notes I want in the cloud to easily access them through my Android phone too. I may switch some of these notes to Slite, which I've used before and is (currently) my favorite editor for cloud / team notes (and I've tried Notion, Coda, Dropbox Paper, …). Keyboard Maestro for hundreds of automations on my Mac (usually quick commands / scripts). iTerm 2 with Zsh for dozens of automations (mostly little Zsh and Python scripts I've written) and running command-line tools. Finder for managing local files and files synced with Google Drive. Todoist (always-open tab in Chrome) mostly for regular tasks — a Markdown file in Sublime Text for today's tasks (alternatively, Google Keep for tasks to do away from the computer).
Software I open often: Wire for team chatting (I only have one other person on my team) — I'll try Threema soon as an alternative. PDF Expert for reading (sometimes converting or editing) PDFs. Send Anywhere for transferring files (between devices) I don't want on the cloud. Spark I open only once or twice per day for checking / answering email. Figma for web design (and exporting designs / design styles to code).
I start the day with Outlook and Slack. After I hit inbox zero, I check Monday. Then it's time to open my programming tools; PHPStorm, git bash, Remote Desktop Manager, and Chrome.
I find the word "crucial" for Slack being more and more common due to, in my eyes, the emergence of Generation Z in the workplace and a dependence on instant communication. I feel even two years ago it was seen as a distraction- I don't hear that as much as I used to.
I still see people saying Slack is distracting—but typically it's from those who use another chat tool. I think it's mainly in how you set it up. You need to mute distracting channels, at least, and perhaps have a full strategy on when to check it and such. Some other chat tools are more designed for "quiet" chat so repress notifications by default, which might feel less distracting to some.
Depends a bit what I’m working on, but here are the tools I use the most when writing:
I start with research, in Google and Ahrefs, to see what people are saying and searching for around a subject. Very often I end up using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to find older content to add historic context.
I usually take notes in iA Writer or OmniOutliner. Then when I’m writing the longform article, I’ll use iA Writer or Ulysses. I often check the copy in a free Grammarly account for a second set of eyes, or share the copy in a Google Docs document to get others to edit it.
I’ll usually take screenshots with the Mac’s built-in screenshot tool, use Preview or Photoshop to edit them, and compress them with ImageOptim. Then I’ll publish the content, using our internal CMS, Kirby CMS on my personal blog, or the content engine behind the site where the content will be published.
I then use a bunch of other tools to promote content once it’s finished: Mailchimp or Customer.io for email newsletters, Buffer to schedule social posts, Tweetdeck to monitor shares, and Google Analytics to see how it performed over time.
Thank you for sharing your workflow — that was really interesting and useful for me. 🙂 Regarding image optimization / resizing / cropping I'd like to recommend this tool: imgbot.ai
Oh cool, thanks for sharing! Wild that it's free without ads. Do you know their business model?
Looking for a better way to plan remote meetings across time zones, and keep up with events. What software is doing that best today?
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Neat to hear on Slite, I was chatting with a friend about apps for team notes and we were discussing how nice Slite looks recently.
Curious, what made it your favorite over Notion/Coda/Dropbox Paper?
For me it's essential to have a well-thought-out text editor for my notes… Something in the vein of Sublime Text. Sublime Text (and a well-configured Visual Studio Code) is, in fact, where I am the most productive both writing and coding. For example, I pay a lot of attention to things like intuitive caret movement between lines and ease of text selection. …To make a long point short: from all those team notes apps I've tried, Slite won because of its text editor. I also liked how fast I could get to a note and how visually organized they were… This is back when I tried Slite (and used it for a while) several months ago… I guess it is only better now. 🙂
Ahhh neat, makes sense.
I do all my personal writing in iA Writer or Ulysses with a monospaced typeface for much the same reason. Picked Notion as a team notes tool in large part because it supports Markdown formatting so well.
Does Slite work well with Markdown and plain text?
I don't recall exactly… I think it was pretty good… But I do remember the export to Markdown feature could be improved significantly.
That's the case in far too many apps 😅