I’ve recently made a couple changes in the tools that I use for work and thought I would mention them.
Sparrow is a new mail client that I have fallen in love with. It is clean and simple; just the way I like it. It is only $10 so much cheaper than what I had previously tried.
Speaking of mail, I also switched from using my own email server to using a Gmail mailbox. All me email addresses forward to it and I could not be happier. It is fast and I don’t see any of the spam in my inbox. Setting it up as an Exchange mailbox with push on my iPhone was also nice.
Alfred is a newish keyboard productivity tool that all the cool kids are using these days. I had used Quicksilver for a long time, but grew tired of its quirks and the fact that those quirks weren’t going to get fixed since it was no longer being actively developed. After that I just used the built in spotlight search in OSX which was generally fast enough, but I found myself wanting to send quick emails without having to grab for the mouse. So I’ve had Alfred for about a day and really like it. You can try it for free and get most of what you would want, but the paid version has some really nice features.
Evernote has become my tool to keep everything. I was using a smattering of tools, but I ran across a situation with client files that I needed something more. When I client sends me a file for use, I would put it in a specific folder. That file would then get checked into the repository and become part of the project. The problem is that there would sometimes be things that I needed to remember about that file. I would put a note for myself somewhere, but there was nothing that made me look at that note when it came time to use the file. Evernote solves this problem with the simple fact that I can attach files to notes. So now when a client sends me a file for use, I don’t even put it in the project, I just put it in Evernote and add whatever comments I need to to the file. So when it comes time to use the file, I don’t look in the files system, I look in Evernote. Now, obviously if a client sends me a huge file, I don’t put it in Evernote because it would take too long to upload and use too much of my monthly bandwidth. But I still create a note for the file and add a link back to the file on the file system (or the email that they originally sent to me). This scenario for Evernote is working well, but I also am in love with the idea that anything and everything is going into it and I can easily organize and search it (on the mac, iphone, and ipad). It works great. I would not call the interface pretty at all (almost ugly and somewhat clunky are more accurate), but the utility makes it easy for me to overlook that fact.
So that is what I am using these days, and I am very happy with all of them (until the next shiny new thing comes along that I can’t live without).