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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What's your personal productivity software stack?

Software you have installed on your machines to get stuff done.

Top comments (70)

emma profile image
Emma Goto 🍙

The number one most important software for me is Cold Turkey, which is a website/application blocker to stop me from mindlessly browsing the internet all day. I only wish there was a mobile version!

For programming I use VSCode and Firefox, for to-do lists and reminders I use TickTick and for all my bigger thoughts I put them into Trello (I love Trello!)

I've also just recently picked up Dropbox Paper for writing blog post drafts. I've tried Notion in the past but I wasn't too big of a fan of their content blocks system.

napoleon039 profile image
Nihar Raote • Edited

I considered Notion for my blog post drafts as well since I'd heard good things about it (and since it also supports markdown) but it wasn't for me. I might give Dropbox Paper a try. I currently use Laverna and recommend giving it a try.

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I wasn't too big of a fan of their content blocks system

I just moved to Notion for the new year 😭 They enticed me with a student plan and exporting to Markdown

attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson

Alternative to cold turkey: go fu#$ing work

flashblaze profile image
Neeraj Lagwankar

I think you would find this useful Digital Detox

arvindamirtaa profile image
Arvind Nedumaran

Just installed Cold Turkey! It's awesome! Just what I need.

jonathanspeek profile image
Jonathan Speek

Notion - documentation, organization, everything
Todoist - todo list
VS Code - code editor
iTerm2 - terminal
Figma - design tool
Brave - browser
Alfred - Spotlight replacement/automation
Flycut - clipboard mgmt
Spectacles - window mgmt
LastPass - password mgmt
Rocket - emoji picker
Vanilla - menu bar icon mgmt
Dato - time zones

yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar

I just use:

  • Notepad++ to organize ideas.
  • VSCode to write code.
  • CMDer to run code.


jimmymcbride profile image
Jimmy McBride

less is more that more. That is for sure.

xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

I highly recommend markdown in VSCode for organizing ideas the line movement/copy macros make for super easy adjustments, and markdown makes for nice lists and snippets.

jimmymcbride profile image
Jimmy McBride

VS Code, bash scripts and alias's, PG Admin, Postman, Slack, Brave. My productivity has also increased greatly since I switched to Linux (Manjaro Gnome edition FTW 🔥). I've been grudgingly trying to switch from nano to vim and I really want to put in the effort to get vim down really well so I can get the Vim emulator extension in VS Code. So that's a work in progress, atm.

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

LeechBlock NG is a must have on all my browsers.

Evolution is my email, calendar, todo list, and contact book. It's my favorite PIM to date. (I host my own Calendar and Todo lists on my personal instance of Nextcloud.)

Simplenote is how I track notes.

And, most recently (yesterday), I finished v2.0 of Timecard for keeping track of my time! I used v1.0 all through high school, and I've been meaning to rebuild it for years. I'll be adding Pomodoro features to it in the near future.

sergix profile image
Peyton McGinnis

Personal Nextcloud servers are the way to go! 🔥

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard • Edited

Most important ones:

  • The IDEs from JetBrains are my programming silver bullet (sorry, Fred Brooks!)
  • Dash, by Kapeli has changed the way I program by making documentation more usable
  • A recent finding This one is weird: I have been following the writings of DHH and Jason Fried since like forever, and was totally aligned with their values of calm, productive, asynchronous work environments. But somehow I was never curious to try out their software. When they launched Basecamp personal, I finally gave it a try and found out this was the product management tool that reflect those values that I have been missing for so long.

I also use Trello for simpler stuff like managing my recipes

maestromac profile image
Mac Siri

How are you finding Basecampe Personal? How are you using it?

I'd like to think that I would enjoy basecamp the same way I enjoy DHH and Jason Fried's ideology and approach to work but I'm having trouble switching to their product for day-to-day management.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel 🕵🏻‍♂️ Fayard

I am using for managing myself and two important personal projects.
It took some time to get used to it - like with everything new, right?

A tipping point for me was when I discovered and read the "How we work" section of the Basecamp Handbook. Every feature in basecamp makese sense when you have this context:

Basecamp Handbook: How we work

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utkarsh profile image
Utkarsh Talwar

Thanks for sharing! Been meaning to try Basecamp ever since they came up with the free personal plan a while back.

iranjith4 profile image
Ranjithkumar Matheswaran

I'm a great fan of using multiple productivity tools. After evaluating a lot of tools, here is the current set of tools that works great for me.

I sync most of my documents with Google Drive and all my code repositories are in Github.

For task management, my company uses Jira and so adhering with it for my work tasks. I personally use Asana for managing all my side projects and creative projects.

I use Oh my Zsh with iTerm as my Terminal.

All my notes go in iCloud Notes, which syncs seamlessly between all my devices. I browse using Safari (Recently switched and I feel its faster than other browsers. Also seamlessly syncs all tabs between all my devices)

Git GUI - Github Desktop, Github Mobile (via iOS Testflight)

I use Magnet as my window management tool which helps me to arrange the windows on the big screen I use (28 Inch 4K monitor)

IDEs - As an iOS developer I should be using Xcode the most. Other than Xcode, I use VS Code.

robbyrussell profile image
Robby Russell 🐘🚂

Thanks for recommending @ohmyzsh!

katafrakt profile image
Paweł Świątkowski

Thanks for mentioning Magnet. I didn't know it and since I'm forced to work on Mac now, this is something I might use while yearning for i3 ;)

xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

As a Java dev mainly I hold tight to JetBrains IDEA (IntelliJ), for Python scripting I keep PyCharm, and for everything else I am moving to VSCode from Notepad++. When it comes to taking notes, I am in the process of adopting markdown in VSCode. There is also Oracle SQL Developer for database queries, and SoapUI for SOAP interactions.

katafrakt profile image
Paweł Świątkowski

The biggest single win for me productivity-wise was switching project-wide search from silver-searcher to ripgrep. Man, it's fast...

Also, I'd recommend using bat instead of cat to read files in the terminal, as it has syntax highlighting, paging etc.

jeferson_sb profile image
Jeferson Brito

In my daily basis I use :

  • VS Code for coding
  • Brave for web browsing
  • Adobe XD for Designing UI's
  • Microsoft To Do for short tasks
  • Notion / Onenote for taking notes
  • Cmder for console
  • Insomnia for API testing
jasperhorn profile image

Far from all I use, but the biggest gamechanger for me was using taiga to manage my personal projects. They have limited free use, but I installed it on an SBC at home to avoid the limits.

(Similarly, I run gitea as a personal centralized git server for projects that I don't want to open source. It really helps me switch between computers smoothly.)

attkinsonjakob profile image
Jakob Attkinson

Windows user here...

  • Windows terminal (new alternative to ConEmu)
  • Listary (windows alternative for Alfred...ish)
  • Notion for taking notes
  • ActivityWatch (open source that records what you do so that you can know how you've spent your time)
  • Brave browser for work and Vivaldi browser for personal use
  • Discord for IM and screen sharing (pair programming)
  • Jetbrains suite as IDE (I also use their GUI for GIT)
  • ViewLog (real time log file monitor)

Other tools I chose to use to improve my dev work are Rollbar & NewRelic

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

I can certainly see that, then. I've only really just set up the mobile app but not used it since I use the webapp on Mac and Chromebook. The Mac desktop app is also okay, but it's easier in just Chrome.

The main thing I liked was that file lists (though I think they called that databases...) have their own pages, too, so like I could have a page for Blog with its own content and files under it for each post.

Though I saw last night that Dropbox structures folders that way now, too, with a folder description, pins, and then the list of files. And I saw that I have 4gb being used for the files from the 2017 Humble Bundle April Fool's Day joke, so I apparently don't use my Dropbox space well 😅

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utkarsh profile image
Utkarsh Talwar

Notion is much more than a note-taking app tho. The whole content block system does take some getting used to. But yeah, I can see how it can be too complex/confusing/overwhelming for some folks.
The mobile app was pretty slow when I first downloaded it. It's better now, and I think they're working on better offline support as well. Let's see. 😃

khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic

I use Brave for my every day surfing.

Figma for design.

VS Code for my IDE.

I keep my tasks for personal projects on GitHub repos. I never was able to find value in other task managers. This is one that just works for me.

I keep trying different note software, and always end back where I started. Nothing. It just does not stick with me.

I use ZSH, and a ton of plugins to make my command line friendlier and more informative.

katnel20 profile image
Katie Nelson

From a Windows point of view:
Chrome (my go-to browser)
Visual Studio (for C# coding)
SQL Workbench (for MySQL)
7-zip (for compression)
Notepad++ (for opening files)
Postman (for REST API testing)