My Top 5 Apps For Productivity as a Creative Professional

(WARNING: This list is boring. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

I am an app abuser.

That doesn’t mean I use apps to death. That means I habitually download a new app or software, promising to love it and use it better than any user has ever done.

“I promise this time will be different,” I coo to the slick intro sequence.
“You are beautiful,” I say, fawning over the guided tour.
“I was just thinking of you,” I tell the push notifications when they emerge.

Then, two weeks later, I have milked all the interesting functions out of the new toy, thrown it away, and started searching for the next one.

From the graveyard of forgotten fads, here are the few things I put a ring on.

1) 750 WORDS

Hands down the best “form a writing habit” tool I’ve seen. You get a minimalist display with two things: a place to write, and a word count.

Your only goal is to hit 750 words.

Once you’re finished, of course, there are badges, streaks, stats, etc, but the UI does it for me.

2) THE VIDEO DUO — iPHONE VIDEO + iMOVIE

I’m a writer, which means I’d much prefer to be hidden behind a screen, cleverly comparing apps to romance and citing DJ Khaled as inspiration.

BUT I know video is more fun for people to look at, takes up less time than reading. Instead of shelling out big bucks for a film team, I’ll crack open my video recorder and talk for 2 or 3 minutes (usually about the concepts in my latest post).

From there, I’ll pop that sucker into iMovie, where I slap in a title screen, add some music, and upload to YouTube.

(I can also easily cut different versions to share natively on Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

Here’s the result:

3) THE ALARM FUNCTION ON YOUR PHONE!

Watch out! Now we are getting crazy. The alarm function has a bit of a learning curve, but I am confident you can master it.

Here’s my current array of alarms:

I’ve given up on remembering nearly everything. In fact, I intentionally try to forget as much as possible to use the brain space on stuff I care about. If it’s important, but I don’t really want to think about it, it goes in the phone.

(P.S. The month I before started doing this, I forgot to pay the gas bill, my taxes, and the car payment all in the same month. Turns out even if you intentionally discard things from your brain, other people still need them done.)

(P.P.S: Francis is my dog. We used to start walking and I would forget to turn around. 2 hour walks were the norm.)

4) YOUTUBE

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this site. There are video tutorials for nearly everything! It’s neat. I guess it’s new or something.

5) QUORA

This feels dirty to confess. Using Quora to write feels just like cheating. In fact, probably 3 of 5 blog posts ideas come from there directly.

Actually, it doesn’t feel that dirty. These questions help me tap into specific needs in the areas I like to write about. Before Quora, I was throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what stuck.


This is awkward.

Normally I’d link to some related posts. But I have no other posts about apps nor productivity…

Try this one instead.

-TB