4 helpful productivity tools part 1

I’m always amazed and delighted to discover a new ‘cool tool’ or service cleverly solving a problem I didn’t even know I had! As I enjoy reading other people’s posts about this subject I thought I’d throw in my 2 pence worth.

Evernote

evernote

Evernote logo

In Brief: A note taker and archive service with powerful search and many plugins

In my opinion, Evernote is still the number 1 organiser/notebook out there. The key to this claim is that apart from the obvious features like ability to have multiple notebooks, ability to add notes, take pictures, add audio files add links, it’s what evernote then does that makes it special. For example, if I scan or take a photo of my handwritten notes, when I come to search for them, evernote has automatically made my handwriting searchable using their OCR (optical character recognition) ¬†technology.

The other great thing about evernote is that it plugs into so many other services. So, if evernote alone doesn’t have the killer feature you need, it’s fairly likely one of the services that link to evernote does. For example, my next tool/app called Draft.

https://www.evernote.com

Drafts

Drafts logo

Drafts logo

In Brief: A super fast IOS app to take notes.

You may be wondering why I’ve included Drafts given I’ve included evernote. The answer is that while evernote is feature packed, if you want to jot something down quickly on your iPhone, evernote can sometimes take awhile to start up and give you a new blank note to write on. Drafton the other hand starts very quickly and by default starts on a new note. This means it even competes with a physical notepad and pen for speed! Paperless office here we come! Like most of these kind of apps it integrates really well with evernote. Ironically, its the quickest way of getting a note into evernote, which is why I love it.

http://agiletortoise.com/drafts/

Trello

Trello

Trello

In Brief: Your entire project at a single glance

If you are a software developer you have almost certainly seen an agile development board full of sticky notes moving through columns with various titles. Trello was clearly inspired by that process but can be used for all sorts of things. It really comes into it’s own when you need to co-ordinate the activity of a group of people. For example, lets say you were trying to ensure your team has packed everything it needs for an expedition you might have a board with the following columns:

  1. Things to buy
  2. Buying
  3. Things to pack
  4. Packed

You would then add each item into the first column and as each person would move the thing represented by a card into the next column as they were carrying out the task. Everyone in the team would then see what was remaining to do.

https://trello.com/

IFTT

IFTT

IFTT

In Brief: ‘If This Then That’ is all about putting the internet to work for you

The idea behind this service is to attach the many online services out there on the internet together to do something usefull for you.  For example you may want to keep every tweet you fav in your evernote or have an email sent to you if its going to rain tomorrow. A really great aspect of this service is that they have made what could be a really complicated process into a super simple one that actually makes the service a pleasure to use.

https://iftt.com

Thats it for today. Lots more where that came from! i hope you find them usefull.

Daniel

I'm a professional software engineer of near on 15 years. Lucky enough to work for a small but rapidly growing company in London called Redington. They have given me the technical freedom to learn some cutting edge technologies like CQRS and Event Sourcing. Now I'm sharing what I learn here.