I am a huge productivity person. I love adopting productivity tools and methods that help me work better.
In the past few months, I have been using several tools that improved my productivity. Of them, here are eight main tools I use almost daily.
Rize ($9.99 per month) is a new, intelligent time tracking software that I have been using for three months. Once you set everything up, Rize will show how you are spending time on your computer.
It estimates the number of focus hours and distractions you create every day. After using it for a while, I realized I could better focus during mornings than afternoons. I never knew this fact about myself – now that I know I'm more of a morning person thanks to Rize. I try to power through my tasks in the mornings and take my afternoons a little easier.
After I became an early user, I got to know the founders McGill Davis and Will Goto. They're great and genuine product people. Rize is a fantastic product with a beautiful design.
Rize is a bootstrapped startup. If you like to use a great product and support small software, you should definitely try Rize!
Flow for macOS
Flow (free) for macOS is a timer app (which is different from time tracking!) that lets you set a specific amount of time for your tasks. It features a simple and clean interface, and it doesn't claim to do more than what it's really about.
If you purchase the Pro version ($0.99 per month), you can block websites and applications during your flow time. It works like magic – no matter how hard I try to open Twitter, this app won't let me.
They say you can only have a couple of hours to focus per day. Flow helps me to make them count.
Zappy (free) is a simple, super-easy screenshot capturing app that comes with a CDN. This means that as soon as you grab a screenshot with Zappy, it will copy a direct link to your clipboard so you can paste and share it with others in Slack, iMessage, Twitter, etc.
You can obscure, highlight, annotate, or draw diagrams into the screenshot too. You can take screenshots with the
Cmd+Shift+1 shortcut anywhere on your desktop.
Alfred for macOS
According to the app's analytics, I open Alfred (free) 38.7 times a day. It's a daily tool that saves me lots of time throughout the day.
Alfred for macOS is an enhanced version of Apple's Spotlight. You can open it with
Cmd+Space. With Alfred, you can search through your applications, files, folders and open them directly. You can add workflows too. For example, you can calculate numbers, search on Google, or visit a site without opening a browser.
A lot of what we do on our desktops is manual (mouse+trackpad). Alfred lets you move faster by keeping everything from the command palette.
Email is notorious for distraction. Tempo (€10 per month) is an email client that's designed to keep you from checking emails every hour. Tempo has a minimal interface featuring only the essentials for email. I do use HEY for my personal email, but for work, Tempo is my go-to-app for email.
Drafts (free) lets me quickly capture the sudden thoughts that come to mind randomly. A lot of these thoughts are ingredients that I can develop to create new ideas and solutions. Drafts supports iOS, macOS, and iPadOS, so wherever you're having these eureka moments, you have Drafts to capture them safely.
Roam ($14.99 per month) is my second brain. It's a tool built for networked thoughts – I can bidirectionally connect multiple notes, so they share context. This is useful when I'm trying to connect the dots between many of my thoughts.
I write blog posts, memos, and essays here. I also build a personal encyclopedia on Roam. For example, whenever I gain knowledge about a certain topic, I would add that in Roam and connect it to other knowledge.
Hyperinbox (we're in free private beta!) was born out of our own needs.
We kept losing track of notes, files, messages – the necessary context for collaboration. We'd miss each other's Slack messages, Asana tasks, and Figma comments all the time.
So, we built Hyperinbox to grab all of these communications in multiple software tools and provide a centralized hub for managing them.
We're still pre-launch, but if you're interested, you're more than welcome to join our early access list. We invite a handful users at a time to try our app.