Apps and web services that I use for personal productivity.
Things 3 - For personal/work planning and tracking.
- A beautiful, simple and powerful to-do app to manage tasks and projects.
- Requires a one-time upfront investment (~INR 5K) and works only on Mac and iOS.
Matter - For all short-form content consumption. The best app that I have paid for.
- Allows saving links for later, reading newsletters and following writers directly from the app.
- Parses web pages and renders them in a reader view. Supports highlighting, note taking, and listening to articles. Highlights sync with Readwise and popular apps (e.g. Notion, Obsidian).
- Now also offers podcast and YouTube video transcriptions.
- Costs $8 (~INR 640 per month) but is totally worth it.
Obsidian - For all forms of note-taking and personal knowledge management.
- Steph Ango’s ‘File over app’ philosophy inspired me to adopt it. Notes are markdown files that reside locally.
- Extremely low switching cost - the import from other apps (Apple Notes/Notion etc.) functionality is ridiculously good. One of the best first run experiences that I have gone through.
- Requires you to be a tech purist to understand and appreciate it. Community contributed plug-ins make it incredibly powerful and customizable.
- Free to use.
Arc - Work browser.
- Arc (by The Browser Company) is reimagining how a web browser should work. It is Chromium based and easily imports from Chrome in one-click.
- Beautifully designed with a vertical sidebar; optimised to solve the multiple tabs problem through better bookmarking and archiving.
- Offers a lot of customizations. New features launch every week. Their release videos are something to look forward to.
- Free to use. There is a learning curve.
- The mobile app is not great and syncing across devices is not seamless—still some time before it becomes my go-to personal browser.
GPT-4 - Personal assistant.
- GPT-4 is far superior than GPT-3.5.
- The custom instructions and plug-ins turbocharge it to deliver highly nuanced and helpful frameworks/suggestions.
- Supports media (PDFs and images). Does amazingly well at data analysis tasks—writes immaculate python scripts for automation/scripting based on simple text instructions.
- Costs $20 (~INR 1600 per month). Good investment if you have figured how to make it work for you.
Freedom - For managing screen-time and increasing focus.
- Blocks apps/websites across your devices and browsers. Uses VPN.
- The Locked Mode functionality makes it impossible to bypass.
- Costs $3.33 (~INR 280) per month for the yearly subscription.
Otter.ai - Speech to text AI assistant.
- Converts voice notes to text. 80-90% accurate.
- Great for recording and transcribing meetings (and simplifying the process of sending minutes).