Most new software adds a slight new twist to the way you already work—perhaps it helps you send email faster or add notes automatically, but generally works in the same way as other tools in the category.
Then other software comes along that changes your expectations and way you work entirely. Gmail's labels and seemingly unlimited storage, Dropbox' auto-syncing folder, and more were some early takes at rethinking a category and making you use software in entirely new ways.
What software have you used that changed the way you work and interact with other software the most?
In 1990 my sister, knowing how I think, showed me Inspiration software on an Apple laptop. The software was designed for mindmapping, a concept I did not know. This led me to Tony Buzan’s books and I became a ardent mindmapper, which I’ve continued to this day. Since then I’ve played with a lot of mindmapping software products and I’m now using X-Mind mostly. Roam Research with its knowledge graphs has my attention but I have not taken the leap. I do use Notion and like their addition of backlinks, which I’m using. Having a visual representation (as I think RR has) would be nice. I‘ll soon be 74 and continue to mindmap books that are rich in content. Currently rereading “The Black Swan” and mindmapping it using X-Mind. Love how mindmapping a book lets you watch your knowledge grow. At first you are adding a lot of new concepts but then the pace slows as you only add what is new. Looking forward to learning about other visual thinking tools.
MySQL. Back in the 80s and 90s, relational databases were incredible complex and expensive, stifling innovation and a barrier to entry for young programmers and entrepreneurs just looking to build smaller solutions to smaller software problems. MySQL came on the scene as a cute but "not very serious" option for creating small applications on the SQL language. Quickly, it went from not very serious to legitimate threat to the SQL Server, Oracle, and similar enterprise DBs. Much of the early software 2000s would likely not have been build if it weren't for the "M" in the LAMP stack; MySQL.
I work as a digital marketing manager at a small b2b company. We were using asana mostly for managing our projects for years. But we didn't have a good structure in it and it seemed a bit complex for beginners to understand it. Last year, when everything changed due to the pandemic, we were looking into other businesses and trying to diversify our offerings. We tried another tool similar to asana called Clickup that helped us setup a structure that's easy to use and follow. Clickup has a hierarchical way of setting up things from spaces to folders to lists. We created different spaces for our teams and a central space for everyone to look at the company objectives and follow the progress. It completely changed the way we work and process information as a team.
EC2. In 2006, when I got a running Linux box with root access and a public IP in a couple of minutes, I was blown away. So much so that I moved from Chicago to Seattle and joined Amazon.
For me, Notion. It completely changed the way I take notes, organize information, share information, and publish information to the public.
I was generally pretty organized before using Notion - however, now I'm organized and streamlined on steroids. My management of Notion has also changed how I manage my calendar, and restructured the way that I think and break down problems.
Figma. It makes you think like a designer even when you're not intending to.
I work at Spike (so I might be a tad biased ;)), but I started using the app before I started working there and I can honestly say that it changed the way I think and work.
For years emailing was my least favorite way of communication- which was problematic considering the fact that it is probably the most common wayto do so.
I feared checking my inbox cause I knew I had at least 1,000 unread email at all times and couldn't keep track of all the treads I had.
Spike solved all of these problems for me. It's a conversational email that displays your conversation in three modes (to your preference)- 'People', 'Subject' and 'Inbox', making it super easy to clear inbox clutter and keep track of your emails and assignments. Other than that Spike has a bunch of tool for collaborative work like online shared notes and tasks, build- in calendar, group chats, built- in templates and more.
From being a person who uses a bunch of different apps to get any project done I have transformed all of my workspace into one app that has managed to meet all my needs and I love it :)
I've used Airtable extensively to build simple internal apps as minimal viable products, but would love to build something bigger without coding. What are your favorite tools to build MVPs?
My Knowledge Processing Pipeline looks like this: Instapaper → Readwise → Roam Research. Recently I struggled with discovering quality content to pipe through the line. What’s your way to fill yo...
Sticky notes on a wall? Random ideas on a whiteboard? Outlining or mind-mapping apps? Kanban cards, notes connected in a Roam Research-style wiki, random ideas scribbled down on paper until somethi...