Here are some of the apps that I use on a daily or near-daily basis. I can’t live without them, and most are free.
Evernote — My external brain, used for all note-taking, decluttering, research, and more. I normally use it 10+ times per day. So does Adam Savage of Mythbusters.
F.lux — Prevents laptop-induced insomnia. Dims/reheats your screen at local sundown.
Boomerang — Get the upgraded extension for Gmail. Allows you to schedule email to be sent in the future, automate follow-up emails, get pinged if someone doesn’t reply, etc. In short, it frees up your brain and calendar from all the “Check with [person] on [whatever]” clutter. Clear your mind, clear your inbox. On a related note…
Email Game (emailga.me) [2019 Update from the Baydin company: “…in order to focus our efforts on our core products, Boomerang for Gmail and Boomerang for Outlook, we are sunsetting the Email Game effective February 7th, 2019.”] — If you use Gmail or Google Apps, this could help you clear your inbox in 40-50% the usual time. It forces you to process serially, so no bouncing around in the inbox. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean. Made by the same people (Baydin) who make Boomerang.
Noisli — Sounds, white noise, and colors for productivity or relaxation.
Jumpcut — Have you ever cut and pasted two or three things, and lost something hugely important that you cut first? Horrible. Jumpcut, which is free, allows you to store (and easily retrieve) 40+ copied or cut things from your clipboard.
Uber — Uber has saved my ass more times than I can count, whether avoiding long taxi lines at the airport or delivery charges from BestBuy, etc. In cities like San Francisco, it’s far less expensive for me to use Uber daily than to own a car. Parking, car insurance, gas — all things I can do without. Available in 200+ cities.
Coach.me (formerly “Lift”) — For adding new habits or ending old habits. This is the only thing that got me to floss regularly. I (and 5,000+ others) also recently went 30 days without booze…and other stuff.
Scrivener — This is the word processor I used for The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. Unlike Word, it doesn’t crash every five minutes, and it was originally designed for screenplays. I can also look at multiple docs at once in the same window. It’s wonderfully minimalist.
I ended up loving some of these apps so much that I reached out to the companies to collaborate. For a full(ish) list of startups I work with, click here.
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