Tools I Use

Somewhat in the spirit of usesthis.com I’m trying to compile a list of tools I use in work and play. Largely software and computing-device related things, as I reason you’re probably reading this on one of those, but some real-world tools and toys as well.

The line between these things and the [things I enjoy] can get a bit blurry, but I’ve tried to write lengthier, review-like passages for the things that show up here.

Software

I’m not going to list all of the technologies I use as a freelance web developer because that’s evolving all the time, but I do have some standbys that have served me well:

OmniFocus

I use OmniFocus to keep track of my professional and personal projects. It’s a very Apple centric product that doesn’t really integrate with much outside itself but there’s something about the way it works that jives with my workflow. In general it keeps me on top of things and gives me a place to store all of the details of a particular project without having to worry about finding them later or losing them outright

It has versions for Mac, iPhone and iPad and, though I own all three, I find the desktop version to be the most useful as it’s where I’m doing my work 90% of the time.

If you’re familiar with the book Getting Things Done and are a student of GTD principles then it will probably appeal to you quite a bit as it’s setup out-of-the-box to handle aspects of the practice like contexts, quickly capturing things via “mind dumps” and so on. I’m more of a GTD dilettante myself but I find the genera approach helpful.

The pricing is reasonable when viewed through the prism of a software-pricing realist at $39 for the Mac version with the “Pro” version available for about twice that. In the 99-cent App Store world we live in the iOS versions might give you a little sticker-shock at $19.99 and $29.99 but those pieces of software are really no less functional than the desktop counterpart.

They also offer a very capable syncing service (Omni Sync Server) that will keep all of those guys happy and talking to one another, as well as a private email address you can send to and have new tasks automatically created and show up in your OmniFocus inbox. Combined with IFTT you can do some clever things with this.

OmniFocus Links: