Tools for life and product management

Over the last couple of years I’ve found a set of apps that I keep coming back to, that work for me and that I simply love to use. They work because 1) they are designed for the purpose; 2) they are mobile and browser based and sync seamlessly between the two; 3) they are (mostly) interconnected with the other apps that I use.

Here they are, in no particular order.

Trello — for any kind of project management

I simply could not live without Trello. It’s brilliant for keeping a record of the status of a project and prioritising and ordering bits of work. I use it in product development for product backlogs, roadmaps, for planning events and longer term programs of work. It’s where I keep a record of everything I have going on in my world: current work, status reports, meeting notes, next steps, completed actions.

Clear — to-do lists

Despite there being lots of brilliant to-do list apps out there (and most of which I use for various purposes) I still love the simplicity of Clear. Clear is such a joy to use because it gives mundane tasks a playful edge to them. I try and make my to-dos very specific and actionable so that I can complete them quickly and hear the little jingle that plays when you ‘swipe to complete’.

TeuxDeux — what deux yeux have teux deux teuxday?

Talking of other brilliant to-do list apps, I find myself increasingly turning to this app to focus on specific tasks that need to be done on a given day. Sometimes clearing the decks and getting to grips with what needs to be achieved in the next 8/12/24 hours is essential.

Evernote — write, capture, store notes about everything

A multi-purpose tool that I use every day. The Evernote browser plugin makes it very easy to add bookmarks, clippings, web pages, articles. I organise my notes into folders and keep tags to a minimum.

Pinterest — visual inspiration

I find Evernote to be brilliant for written notes but Pinterest wins when it comes to visuals. I keep various boards for inspiration. It’s a great tool for someone who can explain herself much better with pictures than words.

Feedly — updates from your favourite web sources

I much prefer to subscribe to an RSS feed than an email newsletter. Feedly makes it easy to be subscribed to lots of feeds and not feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of content. The design makes the content readable as well. I generally start here and then save articles either to Pocket to read later, or Evernote to keep as a useful resource.

Pocket — save for later

Pocket is where I save articles I want to read but don’t have time to look at right away. I use it a lot. It’s specifically designed for reading long form text on screen and it works beautifully. It’s also easy to save articles to Evernote which is essential for me. I generally open Pocket when I’m waiting in a line or travelling — the articles you save to it are immediately available offline which makes it perfect for tube or plane journeys.

There are loads more apps that I use but these ones have become a near permanent part of my digital life and genuinely help me focus, create, stay informed and better organised in both work and life.

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