Inspired by this tweet from Matt Gemmell, here’s a look at what tools I’m currently using to tackle the projects I’m focusing on right now.
I’m trying to use paper and pencil as much as possible for work. So my main tools are an A5 Leuchtturm1917 notebook and my trusty rOtring 600 mechanical pencil in black. I use a bastardized version of the Bullet Journal system, which has replaced the 3-4 different task management apps I was using previously. I’ve extended the system a bit to fit my own needs, including some elements of Patrick Rhone’s Dash/Plus system, as well as adding in sections for tracking what I read, taking my medication, doing monthly reviews pre-migration, and using it as a commonplace book.
For writing, I use Ulysses almost exclusively. I love writing in markdown, and Ulysses’ combination of simplicity and hidden power can’t be beat. I’m just getting started on some longer form writing, though, so I plan on dusting off my copy of Scrivener for those projects.
I just made the jump over to Atom for my coding needs and it’s working out really well so far. For coding and testing emails specifically, there’s nothing better than Litmus Builder.
For illustration and graphics, I use Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo for damned near everything. It feels nice to get away from Adobe products, and I’ve found Affinity’s tools to do everything I’ve needed up to this point. Although, one of my favorite illustration apps is still Paper by FiftyThree. It’s my go-to for quick illustrations to accompany blog posts here and its color fill tool is one of the most brilliant illustration tools ever made. Now, if only we could get layers…
Most everything else I use is very boring. When I need to do things digitally, I just use Apple’s stock apps: Notes, Calendar, Mail, Reminders, iMovie, and Photos.
As far as smaller utilities go, I couldn’t live without Couleurs, CloudApp, Dropbox, 1Password, and Litmus Scope. For more work-y type stuff, I’m a huge fan of Slack, Google Docs, and all of Litmus’ tools. Instant previews is freaking amazing when you work with email on a regular basis.
For hardware, it’s either my Macbook Air (Pro for work stuff), an iPhone, or an iPad Air 2.