Yay, it's a new year! I'm feeling super excited about this one. Lots of goals to achieve and travel around the globe.

I'm also quite excited about how can I improve even more my productivity while coding, reviewing and writing. I believe apps and software have gotten into a point where people can save tons of time. Our limited and scarce resource.

I wanted to start this year with a post some people have asked me to write. These are tools I use every day and many many times a day. The reason I'm highlighting them is because they:

  • Automate tasks
  • Save time
  • Organize my work
  • Allow me to focus

Let's begin!

TextExpander

Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Chrome Extension

Cost: Free trial, after that USD$4.16 / month.

After learning all the shortcuts from the apps you use, there's one step further. Start expanding automatically words or paragraphs, with more shortcuts.

TextExpander has saved me from thousands of mistakes while writing critical data, such as my email(s), bank account information and personal IDs. The app is very easy to configure and it sits on the background, waiting for you to type any magical combination.

A tip for devs: This works well when expanding complex git operations, ssh accesses and any other commands from a framework.

Notion

Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Chrome Extension

Cost: Free up until certain amount of content. USD$4 / month for unlimited content.

What is there not to love about Notion? Databases, notes, kanban boards and much more. I've been using this app for some time now and it's amazing.

My ideas and work feel so much organized when I drop them inside a page or database. I can relate data and notes in ways I couldn't before.

The product is evolving quite fast, and they actually listen to people for feedback. I look forward to what they can achieve in 2020.

Alfred

Platforms: Mac

Cost: One license for USD$33.

Alfred has become a critical part in my day to day workflow. Not only I can launch folders quickly and search stuff in Google and Youtube. Alfred lets you create complex flows with repetitive tasks.

My favorites are: Access to my past clipboard, retrieve info from a contact card, kill instantly any halted application, convert HEX to RGB colors and get current time from different cities. Many more here.

Bartender

Platforms: Mac

Cost: One license for USD$16.

Simple. Effective. Remove icons from the MacOS top bar menu.

I have many apps running and this apps hides the ones you don't normally use. You can even hide the system icons (name, battery info, volume, and so on).

Simplicity for your eyes.

Magnet

Platforms: Mac

Cost: License for USD$2.99.

One of my last discoveries. Quite useful when you're comparing, copying or deleting code. Also, it has prevented lots of mouse clicks and useless dragging to get a window in full screen.

Freedom

Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android - Linux and ChromeOS via an extension

Cost: USD$6.99 / month. Forever plan for USD$129 (my personal choice ⭐️).

In times where there's too much information and people are pulling your focus in different directions, Freefrom comes into the rescue.

Freedom is an app where you can set sessions to block certain apps and websites. I like to set a session for 45 minutes which is usually great to tackle a feature or write a piece of content.

Lately, I've found it really useful to block email.


As a bonus, here are two that I just discovered but haven't used too much.

Snag It

Who doesn't take screenshots and share them with work mates or friends? Moreover, isn't it nice to draw arrows and add text to point out stuff quicker?

Otter.ai

I've given documentation a serious bump, while tracking and reviewing my work. Some people like to record their meetings. I found that to be quite useful, but why not have a direct transcript from it, and even better, highlight content for later review? I'm especially excited about this one.