How I Use the Web

Recently people have been asking how I use the web. Not sure why, but thought I’d write it down.

I use the web to get better at things I’m bad at. These are the apps that help me. All are free (some with paid options).

Things that are important to me are health, finances, productivity, reading, writing, thinking, and self reflection.

Health
Meal Tracking – My Fitness Pal. I’ve tried a few and they have the best food database. Easy to log, create custom foods, and repeat common foods. At the end of each day they tell you “If you ate like this every day, you would weight X”, which is a nice reminder (although it never goes down).

Exercise – I use Sworkit in the mornings I’m too busy (or too lazy) for a real workout to give me a quick routine based on what I want to focus on and how much time I have. When I do have time to run, Runkeeper is the best. Also since I live a pretty sedentary lifestyle (hopefully this will change it), I also use Moves. It’s a beautiful pedometer – helps me remember to get out and move a bit more.

Sleep – Sleep Timer is amazing. Developed by the prodigies at Azumio, Sleep Timer gradually sounds an alarm when you’re in a lighter sleep so you wake up more naturally as opposed to being interrupted by an alarm during REM sleep. Also provides metrics on sleep patterns – average sleep time, duration, efficiency, and more. Really cool stuff.

Productivity
Task Management – Asana. It is the best, and I’ve tried them a bunch of them. It’s light, fast, and easy to use. Downside is their mobile app sucks right now. Mobile is for smaller on the go tasks(essentially chores), so in its place I use Todoist. It keeps Asana clean, and when I get a free moment I’ll just run through a few Todoist tasks to feel good about myself.

Calendar – Google Calendar is my default web calendar and is viewed on the phone through Sunrise. Although as of late I’ve been trying out Tempo, and it’s not half bad — Sunrise looks better, but Tempo can auto dial conference call passcodes. Which is pretty nice.

Reading
News – I have a pretty long list of blogs and news sites that I keep in Google Reader. I’ve spent years building this list, and it is my primary source of news consumption. That’s why I was slightly annoyed about Google Reader getting axed.

Curated – Quibb, Svbtle, and Medium, in that order. Save all the good articles in Pocket for reference. Questions/discussions are directed to Quora/Branch.

Books – I have an enormous backlog of things to read on my Amazon Wish List. I pick a book from there every once in a while (a long while) and throw it on the Kindle.

Finance
Personal – I use Mint to keep track of all personal expenses. Really easy to use, integrates well with banks, and nice graphs. The best feature is budgets — easy to set and stay within my limits every month.

Work – I use Xpenser to keep track of work related expense (mainly purchases and time).

Writing
Draft. It’s easy to use and version control is really nice. I can quickly jot down some thoughts – edit, edit, edit – and then go back to see how my thoughts have progressed. Plus it just looks and feels great. Once I’m done, I copy and publish with WordPress.

Thinking
I’m always jotting down ideas and thoughts on my phone. I need Evernote for that. Easy to use and syncs across all devices. I take all of my ideas/observations from the week, cut the crappy ones (so almost all of it), and then save in a Google Doc for long term tracking.

Self Improvement
Vocab – I try to learn new words on a regular basis. I use Evernote Clearly to read on the web and save words I don’t know with highlighter. The ones I actually want to learn go into StudyBlue. It’s just flash cards — easy to use and they have a nice mobile app so I can quiz myself on the go.

Goals & Progress – I write down a single goal in Google Docs every week and then at the end of the week mark it either red (0%), yellow (somewhat done), or green (100% complete). The same for the month and the year. Daily habits that I’m trying to form go in Lift.

Journal – I like to keep a trail of my thoughts for self reflection, and that’s done in Penzu. I don’t love it, but at this point I’m too invested in it to change.

Communication
Calls – Skype is still the predominant method. I hate it, but I have to use it. Google Voice for phone calls, and Viber for international calls.

Join.me for screen sharing. UberConference for conference calls.

Storage – Drive, Dropbox, and Box.

Other: Sublime, S3, Heroku, Chrome, Twitter, Pandora, Cloudtab, Google Dictionary, Honey, Buffer, Bitly.

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