Workflow

I am a bit obsessive when it comes to how I interact with my computer and get my work done. I have read my books, watched many videos and listened to many podcasts over the years about how to improve my daily interaction with my computer. Essentially my computer is an extension of myself. It is what I use to interact with the world much of the time. It is what I use to be productive for the company I work for. I began in Windows many years ago, played with Linux, and then Android, but have ended up switching entirely to the Apple platform. This page will serve as a comprehensive list of my hardware and software that I use in my daily (or sometimes weekly, monthly) computer related activities and my workflows. This is a living page and will grow and change over time. I hope it serves to help others just as much of the content I have consumed over the years has helped me in making decisions about my own workflows, which, if you have not figured out already, is a very personal thing catered to your personality and habits.

Hardware:

 Software:

  • OmniFocus
  • nvALT
    • I have become a plain text nerd, and this is my tool of choice. I want my notes to be portable, and I want to be able to capture notes seamlessly across devices – nvAlt and Simplenote allow me to do that.
  • Simplenote
    • This is an iOS app I use in conjunction with nvAlt to take notes.
  • OmniGraffle
    • Great graphics/drawing tool. I use for creating architecture diagrams and pictures for slide decks.
  • OmniOutliner
    • An outlining tool that I am still learning how to master, but finding it to be quite useful the more I learn about it. Great for recording and organizing ideas.
  • DEVONthink Pro Office
    • A comprehensive file management/paperless office application. While it runs as its own application, it effectively sits on top of the built in Mac file system, so that I can drop files in a Finder folder and they show up in the respective DT folder (or “Group” as DT calls it). This application also has powerful OCR features. I use in conjunction with my ScanSnap scanner for my paperless office solution.
  • PathFinder
    • A Finder replacement that has many more features than Apple’s built in tool
  • BusyCal
    • A more feature packed calendar than the built in Apple Calendar
  • Apple Mail
    • It’s basic but gets the job done. I use a few plugins to augment some of the missing features I was used to with Outlook.
  • 1Password
    • It’s THE password management tool. Solid product with a growing and innovative company behind it.
  • iBank
    • My financial management software of choice. The Direct Access service ($40 per year) is fantastic: it automatically downloads all transactions into my accounts, including pending transactions!
  • Microsoft Office 2011
    • For reading, editing, and creating content in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
  • Aperture
    • My beefy picture management tool that I don’t really know how to use yet.
  • VMWare Fusion
    • For those occasions when I need to run Windows…
  • CrashPlan
    • Best bang for you buck for a cloud backup solution. I currently have 300+ GB backed up.
  • PopClip
    • Great hover tool when text is selected. Several plugins to choose from (e.g. send to OmniFocus).
  • Skim
    • Open source, light-weight, and free PDF reader
  • Filezilla
    • It’s not the prettiest FTP tool out there, but it sure is functional and dependable.
  • ReadKit
    • For all those RSS feeds that I subscribe to.. Combined with Feedly,which does the actual aggregation of the feeds.
  • TextExpander
    • A very handy app that provides a mechanism that expands text from custom keyboard shortcuts. I use it for meeting agenda templates, commonly used online meeting information, etc.
  • Alfred
    • A replacement for the built in Mac spotlight search.

 

Resources:

Below is a list of resources on the web that I have used over the years to navigate through my choices in what software and workflows to implement.

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