Using

Inspired by this tweet from Matt Gemmell, here’s a look at what tools I’m currently using to tackle the projects I’m focusing on right now.

The most important thing I do is write. After trying out a ton of different apps, I’m settling on Ulysses for damned near everything. My notes, ideas, articles, and books now all live in Ulysses, which works on both my Mac and iOS devices. It’s not perfect, but it’s nice to have everything in one place and have my work accessible across all my devices. I use Markdown for everything, exporting to other formats as needed. Work writing will typically start there but inevitably make its way to Google Docs, with which I have a love/hate relationship.

For keeping track of what I need to do and when, I rely on Omnifocus, augmented with a paper notebook or index cards using a variation of the Bullet Journal method. I find that having to physically write down what needs to be done and having that object in front of me throughout the day helps massively. For calendars, I use Fantastical 2, which has some clutch features.

My website is hosted using Netlify and I use Fork to manage my repos and push to GitLab. Although I’m learning, I’m still not a command line person. I’m GUI by default. On iOS, I absolutely LOVE Working Copy. In fact, it’s my favorite Git tool across all platforms.

Coding happens in a few places, depending on my mood and device. On desktop, it’s either Sublime Text 3 or Visual Studio Code. On iOS, I use GoCoEdit. I’ve realized that all iOS code editors are pretty fucking bad, but this is the best of the bunch. I wish Coda for iOS supported Dropbox and Working Copy. For email stuff, you just can’t beat Litmus Builder.

For illustration and graphics, I use Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. Affinity Photo on iOS is amazingly full-featured. It feels nice to get away from Adobe products, and I’ve found Affinity’s tools to do everything I’ve needed up to this point. At this point, nearly all of my illustrations are done on my iPad Pro, using either Paper by FiftyThree, Linea Sketch, or ProCreate. I’ve been using Linea Sketch a lot lately. It’s tools are nice and its “crop & export” feature is the best tool of its type in existence. Paper’s color fill tool is still my favorite illustration tool ever created, but ProCreate is stupidly powerful.

Most everything else I use is very boring. When I need to do things digitally, I just use Apple’s stock apps: Mail, iMovie, and Photos.

As far as smaller utilities go, I couldn’t live without Couleurs, CloudApp, Dropbox, 1Password, and Litmus Scope. For more work-y type stuff, I grudgingly use Slack, Google Docs, and (happily) all of Litmus’ tools. Instant previews is freaking amazing when you work with email on a regular basis.

For hardware, it’s either my MacBook Air (which is easily the best machine I’ve ever owned), a MacBook Pro at work, an iPhone 8 Plus, or an iPad Pro 10.5in with the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.

Updated on Saturday, April 21, 2018