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?
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.
That's a great one! I'm hugely biased from having been on the team, but it's truly a product I can't imagine living without. So many tasks that I need to get done that are possible with Zapier, and wouldn't even be feasible if there wasn't Zapier or that category of automation software in general.
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.
Oh very cool! I've used the post-it note feature in their Scrivener app before, but never gave Scapple a try.
Have you tried using any of the newer wiki-linking notes apps (Roam, Obsidian, and even Notion's new wiki linking), and if so, have you found the way you connect ideas in Scapple carrying over to them?
I'd always thought of Scapple as basically the same as other mindmapping apps, so hadn't really given it a separate shot. Seems like the core use-case for you is in listing unrelated thoughts and then drawing connections later? Which, in thinking about it, that does sound very useful.
Surprised they haven't made an iOS version of Scapple; seems like a natural fit for the iPad!
Can't say for Roam but Obsidian feels rather constraining compared to Scapple boards that don't have the limits of one-dimensional text documents. Scapple's landing says "it's a virtual sheet of paper" and it indeed feels close to that. Overall, I don't use connections there that much, only 10-20% of notes on my boards are connected.
While researching modern bi-directional PKM software, I saw some people saying that they don't see the benefits of connecting everything with everything because that's what the brain is for (and it also updates the connections on its own). I mostly agree, to me a Scapple board is a collection of short anchors to the stuff I've learned or decided before. I group the anchors a bit but generally know how they are connected without trying to maintain the connections digitally. Linking between the boards would be nice, but I rarely encounter topics where I can't fit all I need onto a 1920x1080 screen. Again, the information density in Scapple is incredible.
I've also been using locally hosted MoinMoin wiki with a database in Dropbox since 2010, but in the end, it keeps a different kind of knowledge: structured linear guides I wrote for myself, checklists, rarely used bookmarks.
With your own self-hosted wiki, you're definitely ahead of the curve on note-taking!
Do you have a process of going back through and reviewing your Scapple notes, or do you feel that by writing them down you end up remembering things and are able to find them again later when you need them without a review process? I think "accidental" rediscovery is supposed to be one of the core benefits of linking everything, though with the side-effect of clutter.
😅 I just got tired of the .txt mess too fast (back then Markdown wasn't a thing yet).
I do not review most of my boards in Scapple until I need to return to the topics captured in them. Considering that technically they are concept maps, I use them like I'd use a map of a city when visiting it again after a few years: I remember its layout more or less, but a map helps me to recall it in more detail, with all the nice places I found during the last visit.
Haha afraid Markdown hasn't solved the problem of endless .txt files either!
Gottcha, this is fascinating. I got Scapple downloaded; going to have to put your ideas to work here and give it a try!
Typeform since 2015.
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.
Google Calendar's a great pick—it's simple, but gets the job done. And its a platform for so many other calendar apps to build on top of, including Fantastical. And for all the competition on the email side (with Superhuman building a new Gmail interface and Hey reinventing how email works), Google Calendar is still largely unrivaled.
Only thing it's missing to a degree is the Calendly-style availability calendars where people can pick a time to have a meeting with you.
Totally agree about Calendly. For looking at other team members it's easy enough, especially with the working hours feature.
I just looked into Fantastical, seems to add a lot! Maybe... too much? Haha 😅
Yeah, the best thing about Fantastical is its natural language processing. You can type in "Meet Bob at JFK at 1:30 Friday" and it'll turn that into the correct appointment, which is super handy (or, in a way, like a text version of Siri).
Sublime Text kickstarted both the modern trend of using command palettes to run commands and the high level of interest in making quality code/text editing apps, directly influencing the design and feature set in Visual Studio Code and GitHub Atom before that. It's still the code editor I use most.
100%, both for its searching and for its text expander tools. It's easily the app I miss the most when working on iPad.
Now I just wish it tied a bit more deeply into software to be more of a universal command palette for in-app commands. You can get Alfred to do that, but it requires add-ons and workflows that break with updates. Wonder if they could pull something off by letting Alfred search through and run menu bar commands, like the Help tab search does? That would be wild.
That's the purpose of workflows. From my experience, update breaks occur but it's not that often.
For instance, the Search in Notion workflow is awesome.
Yeah, I just need to take more time and find workflows that fit apps I use!
Oh cool I’m going to go install that Notion one!
If you’re on the hunt for useful workflows, here’s a complete breakdown of how I use Alfred.
Amen! Alfred is my main workflow workhorse. I have over 80 workflows I've written that help me automate much of my work on my computer. I would definitely be hampered without it. Keyboard Maestro as well!
Excel is a huge one. Spreadsheets are the original PC "killer app" and continue to be one of the most versatile pieces of software most people have on their computers use.
What's your favorite thing about Excel specifically versus other spreadsheet apps?
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.
Not at all, it's great to hear how Obsidian has worked out for you. You're the resident Obsidian expert!
I didn't realize Obsidian had publishing also; there's another Notion feature it can take on. Wouldn't have expected that since it's a local/non-web app by default!
I'd say a few and more by category:
-Community-based chat (Slack & Discord) have fundamentally expanded my worldview, and I've been able to make new friends across the globe thanks to them.
-Notion has changed my entire workflow and how quickly my team and I can ideate, produce, and execute on new ideas
-Webflow has been instrumental in our nimbleness in messaging and design for our startup
-Hubspot - the learning curve is quite steep, but it's an absolute game-changer for marketing
Love that perspective on community tools—it is hard to imagine online live today without team chat tools and the way they let us easily talk with others. I'm not overall a fan of Facebook, but I've found Facebook Groups helpful in similar ways of chatting about topics and meeting people who otherwise I wouldn't have.
On HubSpot: What are the biggest things you've found helpful in it for your marketing versus other tools?
Re: Hubspot, I think it's less one particular feature as is the dominance they have in both integrations and full-funnel tools. Being able to have a single source of truth/cockpit/dashboard for all our marketing efforts is the most valuable especially bc of the decentralization in the martech space.
For me, it's Troop Messenger. It is a Team Communication & Collaboration Platform. It has many features like Chat, Meet, call, and collaborate with Instant messaging, audio-video conferencing, file sharing, desktop sharing, and more.
It's also providing flexibility to work in anOn-premise environment
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.
Looking for a better way to plan remote meetings across time zones, and keep up with events. What software is doing that best today?
We have 15k newsletter subscribers, and have around ~2k of them in a Slack group. We're starting to encounter issues in terms of community management - specifically, it's hard to pin content like c...
Google lets you subscribe to a calendar using a URL - although when using an Outlook 365 Calendar link, events are copied over once, and then the syncing stops. This seems to be a relatively new is...
That’s a great one! Had you built full websites by yourself prior to using Webflow, or did you typically have to work with a developer to get your designs online?
I had to work with a developer, and it took a long time. And the implementation always needed revisions because there were small details that weren't as the original design.
Gottcha! What's your favorite site you've designed with Webflow so far?