Blog by Daniel Hauck. Sysadmin, Developer, Blogger.

What do you use for managing todos? What do you use to cut your videos? What do you use to write? – These are only a few of the questions, I get asked daily via Instagram, YouTube and so on. This inspired me, to start this series, which will be called, “Let’s work”. Of course, the name is inspired by the Let’s Play community 😉

Let’s work

The series will consist of tools and methods, which I use to get stuff done. So I will cover things like writing, video editing, password management, note taking, todo management and much more.

In this first post, I want to share with you, how a tool can become part of my toolchain and which points matter to me.

Compatibility

As I use a bunch of different devices, compatibility is a huge point. For my daily job I use a MacBook Pro 13 Inch, my smartphone of choice is a Samsung Galaxy S7 Plus I got an iPad Pro 9.7 mostly for organization and a lot of other todos. Plus some sparely used Windows 10 Desktop system.

Daniel Hauck - Android and iOS - Let's Work

Most of managing myself happen on the iPad, so here I plan out my week, plan todos, take notes and read a lot. But when I am on the run and get an idea or a task, I want to write it down, and even I don’t have the iPad with me. Same goes with notes stuff.

So the first point of choosing an App is to check, is it available at least for Mac, Android, and iOS.

Less is more

When I have to conquer a new kind of task, which I don’t have a tool for in my tool belt, I am looking for a tool, that does exactly this job. Not more, not less.

Most tools that claim, they can do everything for you, fail. They fail because of complexity. I don’t want a tool that manages my todos, organizes my notes and brushes my teeth. You need to focus on your task and not on maintaining an overcomplicated app.

Get an Application that does on thing, and does one thing great.

Integrations

Like mentioned before I want simple apps. But I want to get the most out of them, and this can be easily accomplished with integrations.

Most modern apps have APIs so that they can interact with each other. My favorite todo app Todoist has a lot of them. You could also start to write your integrations. So as everything starts as a task, this is where I am searching for combinations. If I add a task, maybe I want to have an Evernote note generated into a particular notebook.

Integrations can save you a lot of time. But also try to keep them simple and understandable.

If there is no integration between app X and app Y, you can still take a look at IFTTT or Zapier. In many cases, they can build the missing link for you.

Daniel Hauck - IFTT - Let's Work

To close the integrations part, I want to give you a quick example, how IFTTT helps me save time on content production:

Whenever I add a task in my todo list in the project hauck.io with the label blog, IFTTT runs two applets:

  1. Create an Evernote note in the notebook hauck.io named “Article – {{ Todo Title }}”
  2. Create a Google Drive Folder in the directory blog for media I want to use in the blog post.

So I have everything to start working on a new blog post, without getting a chance to drop the pictures somewhere.

Cost

Compared to a ton of people, I have the opinion; good software can cost money. But I don’t have and the endless amount to spend on apps, so this becomes a factor too. When I sum up all the costs of subscriptions on software I have, I should be around 250 $ per year, excluded one time payments, like for final cut and Camtasia.

Most apps offer a free account plus a pro or premium account with additional features. In most cases, I start with the free account, and only when I need it, or it saves me time, I upgrade to premium.

So an app has to have a price that’s worth it. If it’s like 20 $ per year, it doesn’t hurt me too much. But when it’s like 10 $ per month for something that only saves me 10 minutes per month, I won’t pay that amount of money.

Different I act with startups, that have good ideas. When I discover a new app, that has potential, and the have a good roadmap and don’t want to bill me 100 $ a year for something that isn’t ready yet, I am more likely to pay, just to give them support.

Conclusion

So, in the end, it’s a combination of multiple factors, how I choose an app. Maybe I could give you some directions, how to choose tools. If you like the article, please share it and don’t forget to subscribe to my social channels or sign up to my newsletter.

In the next part, we will talk about task management, stay tuned!


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