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Cassidy Williams
Cassidy Williams

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The Productivity apps I use in 2022

I often get asked what my favorite tools are and how I use them to get my work done, and I'm writing this both to answer that question, and also for me to just paste a link to this post next time I'm asked. Efficiency!

This post will not cover my code editor(s), terminals, or other developer tools. This is just a list of the tools I use daily to get my tasks done!

All of these tools you can use for free, and a couple have paid upgrades. That being said, you don't need to pay money to use them to the fullest, if you don't want to! Also, all of them work across operating systems. I use both a PC and a Mac, so that's important to me.

Obsidian

Website

I take notes with Obsidian, write blogs with Obsidian (like this one), keep track of projects with Obsidian, plan classes with Obsidian... I'm alllllll in on Obsidian.

It's a local-first markdown editor. I love that I can keep everything local to my machine (so I don't have any slow load times), and just write markdown without anything getting in my way. Beyond that, they have an open plugin + theming setup, and you can pay for syncing across devices as well. I made a theme for it, if you want to check it out!

Centered

Website

When I use Centered, I get more work done, simply put. I was a little slow to get into it, but now I can't imagine getting all that I want done without it, honestly. I often have trouble focusing throughout the day when I have a lot to do, and Centered helps a ton with that.

Centered is a flow state to-do app. It's kind of hard to explain in one sentence, because it does so much while being pretty simple, too. Long story short, you plop in your to-do list for the day/session/whatever, each task has a certain amount of time assigned to it, and then you hit start. It'll play some music designed to help you focus, and it has a coach that speaks to you about how much time is left in your current task, gives you breaks, and pokes you when you're distracted. I made a group in it if you'd ever like to flow with me!

Cron

Website

Cron is a keyboard shortcut-powered calendar app. I've tried a bunch of calendar apps over the years, and Cron is my current favorite. It lets you quickly use keyboard commands to see your teammate's calendars, share availability, view multiple timezones, and create events.

Update from the Cron team: anyone who signs up in the 24 hours after this was posted will get an instant invite skipping the waitlist (as fast as Cron can send them)!

todometer

Website

This is a shameless plug, but I use todometer for task management, and... I built todometer.

todometer is a meter-based to-do list for your desktop. I use this to keep track of things that I'd like to get done throughout a given day or week, without the restrictions of a flow state session. I made it because I am motivated by progress bars, and sometimes I just need a simple list prominently on my desktop of what I need to get done. Plus, it's local-only, so you don't have to worry about loading times. Here is the repository if you'd like to see how I built it (full disclosure: I want to maintain it more, but I've got other things to do, so if you make an issue, I'll get to it... someday).

That's it!

I've tried a lot of different tools over the years, and this is just my current "stack." I do think that it's worth reassessing your tools fairly regularly. I used to use other ones, like Bear, and Notion, and Vimcal, etc, and they all worked for me at the time, but figuring out what you like and don't like about your "stack" is super helpful for upgrading how you work over time.

It's not just the applications, it's the dedication to them that really make them work for me. If something is scheduled on my calendar, whether it's flow time or dedicated time to one specific task, I follow it. If I put a task in todometer, I have to get it done that day.

If you don't commit yourself to your tools, they are just extra overhead to getting things done, and the tasks get overwhelming as they pile up. Keep that in mind as you hunt for tools that might work for you!

Until next time!

Top comments (34)

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geekstress profile image
Cindy Bahl

Thanks for this list!
I know about Obsidian and use the free version. But admit to still not having taken the time to learn it more to get more out of it.

QUESTION - For Centered - I see they have both a 'free' and 'paid' version. With some apps, like Obsidian, you can still get a great deal with the 'free' version and what you need. With other apps, often the free is more of a taste but isn't worth using unless doing the 'paid' version. Is Centered's free version robust enough? (And I say this even after looking at their website list of what both offer.)

Thanks for letting us know about todometer! And thanks for creating it! I'll check it out.

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cassidoo profile image
Cassidy Williams

Great question, you can totally use Centered for free and get the full experience you might want!

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camco profile image
Camco

Great list!

I haven't yet tried Obsidian, but I am a huge notion fan, and about a year ago discovered coda.io

It was a game changer for me and took my organization to another level. It's looks very similar to Obsidian. Which means I'm definitely going to have a look!

That so for the list;

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rossveth profile image
Rossveth Lopez

Thanks for sharing this! I agree with Notion loading times, that's why I haven't fully utilized it. But I still use it for project management. I use Obsidian too for the rest and am curious how you handle projects there. Would love to use Obsidian for everything. Do you use any plugins?

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cassidoo profile image
Cassidy Williams

You might like the Kanban plugin for Obsidian!

I personally use Templater and Dataview the most, but also the Tag Wrangler for organizing things!

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rossveth profile image
Rossveth Lopez

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Will check these out!

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juanlanteri profile image
Juan Lanteri

Thank you for sharing your list!

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hebros profile image
Kalin Georgiev • Edited

Thanks for sharing it! You can check logseq.com as it is a really nice companion tool to Obsidian.

One thing I would add to this list is nighteye.app to enable dark mode on nearly any website on the web.

Last but not least I would add blockzilla.app that helps me remove all promoted tweets and sponsored posts across social media. It is especially helpful for LinkedIn.

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James Schleigher

Thanks for sharing an interesting post! Will try out the todometer soon! I like to use task management software to manage my tasks as well. I have yet to try many tools, but so far, I like Todoist and Quire.

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drunkensponge profile image
Marco

Started using todometer today, and its really nice! I was always somehow „overwhelmed“ from apps like Todoist etc., even though they‘re not really complicated or anything those apps never felt focussed enough on the main reason why I‘m using some tasks app - quickly taking random tasks per day that I need to finish (or maybe not).
I dont want to catergorize every task or spend more time writing and structurizing it down than the actual execution of the task would take (yeah thats probably a bit exaggerated, but at least it feels like that…).
So props to Todometer, works pretty good for me! :)

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cassidoo profile image
Cassidy Williams

Thank you! I agree completely with the way you think. I'm glad you like it!!

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drmikecrowe

Obsidian, all the way. I found it worth supporting them by paying for sync. I like having my work Mac sync'd with my home linux and having it available on my android phone (yeah, not a very homogeneous setup, I get it). Given how much I code in vs-code, live in Github and write in Markdown, Obsidian became a no-brainer.

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happping_min profile image
Min

Thank you Cassidy for a great collection of tools.
I am using Obsidian as well but the rest are new to me.
All looks very interesting I want to try too!
I like the idea of your todometer! I've been thinking about this kind of idea a few days ago, some visualization of today's productivity can be encouragable. Good job!

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psypher1 profile image
James 'Dante' Midzi • Edited

Obsidian user! I also practically live in Obsidian. 😅
I'll have a look at your theme..

I use taskito for my todos.

I'll have a look at the ones you've shared. Thanks

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Really curious about Obsidian

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psypher1 profile image
James 'Dante' Midzi

You should give it try... it's features make it such that I don't need that many other apps

Nick Milo has this great playlist that helped me figure my way around it
youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3NaIVg...

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athifbinu profile image
Athif binu

Tanks for the valuable information

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aymanesarrar profile image
aymanesarrar

good share, thank you cassidy

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Saurabh Sharma

I'm also writing a similar-ish post but on VS Code 😂🙈

post sneak peek

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Kartik Garg

Thanks for valuable information about productivity apps for 2022. I read your information. Nice info.

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Flavius Mihaies • Edited

Thank you! I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. PS: Am a bit partial to Notion but seems Obsedian does a great job too!

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Photostockeditor

Good!!