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The Best Apps for 2017

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This Post appear first on Medium.

This amazing year is gone already, and if I had to start 2017 from zero, what would be the apps that 2016 made me not live without?

On 2015 most of this app I had no idea they existed, or I had no idea I can use them in such a way, and now if I had to reset and re-install everything on my computer, this would by my default apps:


SPECTACLE

I love this app, and no I’m not talking about Snapchat Spectacles.

Spectacle makes everything super easy for moving windows on your Mac. They have Keyboard short cuts and boom you can move your windows and start multitasking.


TRELLO

I’ve been a Trello user for at least 4 years, it wasn’t until 2016 that I start using it with a purpose. I’m basically running my life on it, this is how I manage my todo’s on the different projects I’m working on.

How I use it: I use a mix between GTD, and Agile Methodology, I’ll create post about this someday.


TOGGL

If you want to improve something, measure it. I use Toggl for tracking every corner of my life.

Toggl is also an app that I probably signed up on 2014, their system glitch a bit and had some minor bugs, but they optimize their timer and dashboard and now is amazing.

You can add Toggl into almost any app, so you can start tracking your time. If you never heard of Toggl, they make super cool Infographics and challenges you on how to run a startup unicorn.

How I use it: I added a Chrome plugin directly to Trello so I start timing the task, and then I just see all my tracking times on my Dashboard. Sometimes I get nerdy enough to track how it took me to grab a coffee, and I use the iOS app for that.


POLYMAIL

Even though Slack is awesome, email is like a cockroach, it will never die. It was invented in 1960’s and it hasn’t been until 2016 (Mailbox did a very good job, but it shut down) that someone made a decent Mail app, that actually makes you more productive.

Polymail has a clean UI, very intuitive, I was an early adopter, and the bug fixing patience was worth it.

They have iOS and Desktop app, which allows you to send later (as boomerang), who read your email feature, email lists, re-schedule, activity feed, multiple inboxes in case you have different email accounts, Contact Information, which it tells you all the emails that contact has sent to you, and also the attachments.


2017 will be an interesting year for emailing, there is already amazing products aiming to fix that, like Hop a Chat email or Notion AI, which brings AI and Machine learning to emails.

ALFRED3

Alfred is like your Mac Spotlight on steroids; it allows you to search everything inside your computer and outside your computer, such places like Amazon. For example, you can search if a domain is available, search on Github, send your mac to sleep and basically automate everything on your mac.

You can add workflows and bring third party apps into Alfred, like Open a Slack Channel directly from Alfred, or a specific repo on Github. The “workflows” has a price, but productivity always comes with a price.

NUMI

Numi as their slogan says: “a beautiful Calculator for Mac.”

It’s very simple and works like writing code you can assign a value to a word and start making calculations.


ALTERNOTE

I used to LOVE Evernote, it was my default note taker, their MVP was useful. They just to focused on one thing only: A simple taking notes application.

Evernote is a mess, their UI is complicated, it has way to many features, as consequence it complicates a simple task: taking notes.

Due to above, Alternote was invented, a beautiful app that has clean UI, for taking notes, it allows you to have a “Distraction Free” mode which is only a white or black pages, and boom you get yourself writing.

Funny fact: Alternote uses Evernote backend system for syncing the notes. I never paid for Evernote, but without hesitation I bought Alternote, even though they depend 100% entirely on what’s happening on Evernote.

They way it works is, that if you already have an Evernote account the notebooks and notes will sync and appear on Alternote the moment you log in with your Evernote details on Alternote.

How I use it: Alternote is my day by day taking note app, if I’m in a meeting I pull Alternote, open the notebook and start writing, as simple as that, I use to write my blogs on Alternote until I moved to something more specific for my blogging.

BEAR

The more you write, more demanding it becomes the organization of the stuff you are writing.

I ran into Bear as upvoted on Product Hunt and then also feature on the App Store. Bear is amazingly beautiful, the main feature that I love is the way you can organize your things through hashtags, and sub-hashtags, and automatically in organize’s them, doesn’t matter if you added the “#” sign it will show up on the sidebar.

How I use it: I started to write a book a couple of months ago, just about when I found Bear, bear allows me to keep things perfectly organize. I would add notes and ideas and random resources on Alternote, but the writing, the getting into Flow of writing would be on Bear.

iA Writer

iA Writer is a very simple writing app, it’s been around for quite a few years, but they added some new features, and I decided to give it a try.

This is now my go-to app for writing any blog posts, all the styling is through markdown which I love. Also, it allows you to have distraction free and night mode like Alternote, but the main features I love is: Focus Mode.

iA Writer brings the sentence which I’m writing just in the middle of the screen, and the rest gets ignored by lowering the font opacity.

 The moment you add a “.”, you close the paragraph, and boom you are reading only the sentence you are writing and that’s a sweet feature

The other feature I love is the “Preview Bar”. What happens sometimes with Evernote, Alternote or any other writing app is when adding images to them it takes sometime to load them or rendered them, and it’s time-consuming.

iA Writer what it does it allows you keep everything on Markdown, and then preview it in “real time”, as if you were compiling and then executing the program.

How I use it: This is now my main writing blog app, I can export direct from iA Writer to Medium or WP and start editing over there. I still don’t know if writing the book will be better here than Bear, but time will define that.

GRAMMARLY

Best English editor ever! You can add it on Chrome and also to your mac. There is a paid version but it’s way to expensive, so I keep it simple with the free version.

HEMINGWAY APP

The main difference between Grammarly, is that Grammarly focuses on (at least free version) reviewing only the spelling, and wording, not in a macro writing sense. Whereas Hemingway helps you with the structure of your writing, either by the way your paragraphs are written, how hard is to read your sentences etc.

ONEDAY 

This amazing app (hard though of sticking of the habit) is your go-to journal. I love the clean design, super neat UI.

I paid for both the Destkop and iOS app. I started with the desktop app and then I tried the iOS app, and to be honest both of them are amazing. The user case is different between app and desktop. Desktop is getting deep with what happen on your day, writing long paragraphs and the things you felt during that event, and the iOS is more for logging something on the go, that moment, what you felt at that particularly moment.

The main feature I love is that the app pulls data from other apps and you can just log something about whatever happen in that moment.

BRAIN.FM

When I really need to focus and get in the “flow” I use Brain.Fm. Brain.Fm is an AI composer, yes all the music is composed and produced by an IA built by the BFM team.

I haven’t upgraded to their premium version. Without paying you can have up to 10 sessions. Each session can last from 30 minutes to 20 hours, and is amazing, is like white noise but with super powers.

FLUX

You are on your way home. You feel tired, you open your iPhone to see Facebook and then boom you can’t sleep. What happens is that the blue colors of your devices either your smartphone or your computer are telling your brain, be awake! Is not sunrise, is not time to sleep. What flux does is that mimics your screen colors with the sunlight hours, so your screen is actually sunrising.

This helps you a lot to keep working but not making your eyes get to tired. You must also keep the recommended colors, giving it too much red makes me a little bit sleepy and dizzy.

GYROSCOPE APP

Your life dashboard. You can see the complete story of your life in one app. Crazy right? Gyroscope app is made with React Native, I ran into this amazing app by their blogpost explaining the challenges they run into creating such a beautiful app.

The feature I love hate, is the year count, I’m at the moment of writing this blogpost I’m 26.494540919 years old and counting.

FINDO

Photographic Memory for Searching everything. That probably has happened to you. You know you saw the file, you know that it is somewhere, but you don’t know where to find it.

Findo is the perfect solution for that, you give access from different sources, fro google drive, dropbox, to Slack, and boom you start finding everything.

This Post appear first on Medium.

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