Over the past month or so, I’ve found a handful of programs are absolutely essential to my productivit. They’re also especially nice in terms of allowing for a paperless work environment.
Evernote: The longer I use it, the more I am convinced I would be lost without Evernote. I use it for almost everything from a capture system to keeping my to-do list (I used to use Wunderlist, but ditched it after figuring out how to do lists in Evernote).
Dropbox: Dropbox has slowly been replacing my hard drive. I’m worthless at remembering to back up my work, so this is extremely beneficial. I haven’t had a massive hardware failure yet, but I’m not overly worried about it, at least in terms of losing my work.
Ommwriter: For the longest time I just wrote using WordPress’ text editor, but I find I really prefer having a stand alone word processor. Ommwriter is a nice basic one with four different fonts, that runs in full screen, has a visible word count, and plays music and keystroke sounds while you type. “Noise while you type and you like it?” I can hear you saying. Yes. Dare I say I love it even. When I first started using the program I was worried about it being distracting, but I’ve found its actually the opposite. Having the sound acts as a block to everything going on around me to help maintain focus, and wearing headphones is a clear “do not disturb” sign to anyone around me. I live with my parents at the moment and do most of my work in the living room, so this is extremely helpful. The one gripe I have is the horizontal cursor which can make editing a bit confusing.
Gmail/Gcal: I have yet to find a good replacement for gmail. Hushmail was under consideration for a while, but I decided not to use it upon hearing concerns about privacy. I also love gmail because its extremely power-usery. I’ve got it set up so its integrated with Evernote along with all manner of other useful plugins.
Gcal has been my calender of choice since I got a smart phone a while back. Honestly at this point gmail and gcal are the only google services I use. I have a Google Plus account, but other than having my various wordpress blogs autopost to it, I don’t actually use it.
Hoosuite: Hootsuite is a social media dashboard, which means that you can plug all your social media accounts into it and see everything in one place. These days, I do basically everything social media related through here. They have a paid version, but unless you’re big business the free version is all you need. It even has an Evernote app.
Firefox: Switched from Chrome, and not going back anytime soon. Firefox is a great little browser that has the advantage of being not just non-google, but also open source. The only hiccup was getting Hootsuite to play nice with it, but got that cleared up with a quick back and forth tweet conversation with Hootsuite tech support. Did I mention there’s a version of the Evernote webclipper for Firefox?
And there you go, my essential productivity apps. The best part, of course is that all of these are either dirt cheap or free. What applications do you consider essential to what you do? Head on down to the comments and let us know.