It's hard to imagine the world without software—without video calls and instant messages and spellcheck and all the tiny bits of software we rely on without thinking.
What software changed your life the most, the things that made your business possible and get you to stop every so often and think how glad you are that thing's around?
I am really greatful for Webflow, it changed my life as a designer, now I can bring to life all my ideas and projects. I really can't imagine what I would be doing without it.
Zapier but as a bigger picture, any no-code automation services.
What used to require engineers, large budgets, and weeks of development can now be done in minutes for under $20/month by average software users. The time saved and efficiencies won by using these platforms has created opportunities for people/companies that may not have been there otherwise.
Scapple: eight years later it still beats any other tool for thinking and collecting ideas over a long period. I have boards for different topics and projects that I revisit to "load" their overview into my active memory.
The app does not force me to find a branch when adding a note (like mind maps do), so I can quickly drop some ideas at the bottom and arrange them later. Scapple is also very information-dense because it doesn't waste space with pretty arrows or note backgrounds.
In the case of projects, I move them to Trello after the research phase and create a linear roadmap, but topics like "programming best practices" stay in Scapple for years.
Definitely Slack on my part. Very easy to collaborate with teams while being remote and you can integrate a lot of automations around it (CRM, tasks, alerting, etc.)
I'd say Google Calendar. Easy-to-use, manage multiple calendars, and see other people's availability. If I had to switch to a competitor I'd be bummed.
Sublime Text. Off late I'd also include Visual Studio Code to the list. I haven't worked with an IDE before so I find it pretty amazing.
I can't even imagine using my Mac without it.
It also made me a bit spoiled. Anything I can't do in a few keystrokes frustrates me.
i'm reluctant to add my two cents because i don't want to keep reminding myself here on the site, but i am absolutely loving obsidian. it is a markdown editor with tons of extra features for organizing and presenting your content. it has become my main app for writing, thinking, organizing my ideas. i'm organizing the classes that i teach with it. i'm now publishing my website using it (still a work in progress). there are a ton of other apps and systems that i love, but obsidian is where it starts for me.
Phone calls over the internet (both VoIP voice calls and video calls) still strike me as one of the biggest ways technology directly improved the status quo. In 2000 the first time I traveled outside the country, your options to call people abroad was to spend dollars a minute, or to use early calling apps over the web. I’ll never forget hearing Dialpad’s startup sound, as you’d have to try to make the call over and again over dialup, only for the audio to be so poor you’d have to still pay for a real international call.
Cell phones a few years prior had already made “long distance” calls a thing of the past, and slowly Skype, then chat apps, then smartphones and services like Twilio made internet calls routine. You can call people on Messenger or LINE or Skype anytime without thinking about where they are or if you’ve talked long enough to use up your budget.
So every now and then, when a relative calls from another country, it strikes me how much has changed, and how that little thing made the world feel smaller.
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