This is how I work (quasi Lifehacker style).
Apps Well Worth Paying For
Yes, these cost money. These developers have done great work and deserve to be paid. If you still want free alternatives, scroll below.
- Less Meeting (obviously) – The #1 meeting management software in the market.
- Boomerang for Gmail – One of the pricier individual GMail add ons, it’s a must for Inbox Zero fans…or for anyone who hates unanswered replies.
- BusyCal – Mac’s iCal leaves much to be desired. BusyCal fills that void well. Especially effective at managing appointment reminders and multiple calendars.
- Camtasia – Record awesome videos and screen-casts, then make them presentable to the world, like this Less Meeting demo. And the tutorials are must views – not only to become a Camtasia pro, but also to learn how tutorials should be done.
- Desk – Make customer support a competitive advantage for your SaaS product.
- Dropbox – No better way to sync, store, backup and access all your files.
- Evernote – I have a hard time explaining what’s so great about Evernote, but I use it daily. A cross platform notepad sync app is just that valueable I suppose.
- Flinto + Proto.io – Build your next app MVP in clickable prototype form instead of wasting thousands of dollars on an unproven idea.
- LastPass – Must use apps for password management. It’s 2015 already…quit using “password123” for all your passwords already. Just stop. Now.
- Mailchimp – Reach all of your customers with emails they’ll want to read.
- Mixpanel + Clicky – Web Analytics, Lifestyle emails, and detailed event tracking for your users. Funnels, funnels and funnels!
- OmniGraffle – User flows, process flows, diagrams, swimlanes and more (like Visio, for Mac).
- Optimizely – Super simple A/B testing software for your app.
- Slack – The ultimate in team communication. Email + IM + fileshare + wiki and more.
- Slides – A much simpler (read: looks better) alternative to PowerPoint.
- UberConference – Web + Video conferencing.
- VMWare – Incredibly simply way to run a virtual server. Simplicity in setup & running pays for itself.
- Activity Timer – Create a distraction-free productivity block with this feature-slim timer app.
- AirServer – Want to show off your iPad app to a client during a video conference or record a demo? AirServer makes this incredibly easy.
- DuoLingo – Freshen up your skills on a second language.
- Mailbox App – Beautifully designed. Helps with Inbox Zero, letting me file emails away for action at a later time.
- Feedly – Picked up where Google Reader left off and has improved the cross platform and sharing capabilities from what Reader could do.
- f.lux – A simple little app that slowly dims your screen as the day turns into night. My eyes thank me for this clever app.
- FullConact + Rapportive – Email lookup (for that c-suite executive you’re stalking), connect on LinkedIn right from your inbox, or just general contact management.
- Recordit – Fast screencasts + the ability to turn them into GIFs. Goes great with Desk.
- Siri – Yes, she belongs on the list of productivity tools. Stop typing and start talking to get things done faster with less time on your phone.
- Sketch – The “it” design app of the moment. Step aside Photoshop.
- Skitch (from Evernote) & Jing (from the makers of Camtasia) – Two great screenshot apps. The markup tools make it easy to make professional-looking screenshots in a snap. (Or just press CMD + Shift + 4)
- Songza – From Google, human-curated playlists to match any possible work style.
- Spritzlet – All those Hackernews posts and newsletter lists you’re on? Read them faster with Spritzlet’s speed reading bookmarklet.
- Trello – Personal task management replacing stickies & txt files.
- Tweetdeck – Social Media management for your company.
- Wave – Simple and free accounting software for small businesses.
- WordPress + SemPress theme – Makes this site a breeze to run.
- World Time Buddy – No easier way to schedule meetings across timezones.
- HONORABLE MENTION Text Editors – From Notepad++ to TextEdit to TextWrangler, could likely be my most used app behind my browser.
Even though these old friends haven’t made the cut I’m still happy to tell you what the did (or maybe didn’t) do so well:
- Google Reader
- Mouseposé Outbrain