My Life Tech Stack
The Apps for Making the Most of Content Consumption and Writing
As a full-time content marketer and writer on the side, staying organized and writing regularly is a must. With that non-stopping pressure, I’m always seeking tools to make things easier and obstacle-free.
With an eagerness to try new things, I’ve dealt with Shiny Object Syndrome multiple times; which is the tendency to get distracted by new things rather than staying focused on what you already have.
After a while, I can say I have overcome it and now have nine apps I use almost every day for different purposes:
- Personal Knowledge Management
In a sea of different apps, here are the nine I keep always at hand:
Use it for project and task management.
When I realized that keeping my to-do list in my second brain wasn’t the best option, I decided to put my detective hat on and search for the best task management app. That’s when I came across Todoist.
Whether I need to manage projects (from marketing campaigns to grocery lists) or a routine, Todoist is the app I use. You can review projects, tasks, due dates, and sub-tasks and divide each project into sections.
In the mission of not making it overwhelming, I decided to work with only two boards: Work and Personal, where I add the corresponding tasks and due dates.
I can access it through my computer or phone (plus, I use their iOS Widget). This app is great and free!
Use it for quick and easy habit tracking.
Tracking my habits is no longer a chore but a source of motivation for me. After trying a bunch of apps, last year I came across Everyday, an habit tracking app with a colorful and simple interface, quick and easy to use. I love that you can see your progress at a glance.
I have Everyday as my browser home screen on my computer, and I keep their widget on my phone home screen as well. So, no matter if I’m sitting on my laptop or on the go, my habit tracker is always reminding me of the activities I haven´t done yet.
I track nine main activities:
- Wake up on time: 7:30 am
- Writing: 1 hour a day
- Twitt: 1 twitt a day
- Reply on Twitter: 1 reply a day
- Read an article: From my Reader app pile
- Watch one episode from a Masterclass class
- Journaling: No matter how much
- Read: 30 minutes
- Post an article: every other week
The free version lets you track up to three habits, whereas the Premium version, which is $29.99 USD per year, has no limits.
Use it for tracking my content performance.
Okay, this is one of the most basic apps, but definitely necessary. I track my habits and spend time creating content so it’s no surprise that I keep track of my content performance.
This is what my tracker looks like minus the data. Seeing that the months where I’m more consistent have better results than others is great for keeping myself motivated.
I have a similar sheet for tracking my finances.
Personal Knowledge Management
Use it for keeping all my reading in one place.
Reader is a read-it-later app built by Readwise. It’s not out yet but I’m happy to say that I was invited to become a beta tester and the app is GOOD!
It works as a read-it-later and web highlighter. Through a web extension I send everything I want to read in the future to Reader: Websites, emails, and PDFs; and can make highlights and notes from the app or directly from any website.
Each note and highlight is automatically imported to Readwise and my second brain.
I’m so far loving it. There’s more coming in the future but I don’t want to spoil anything. I used Instapaper before but after trying Reader I’m never going back.
Use it for getting the most out of what I read.
Readwise is for getting more from your reading. The concept is simple: You synchronize your highlights from Kindle, Apple Books, Instapaper, Pocket, Medium, Goodreads, or send twitts; and Readwise sends you a daily email with a selection of your highlights for you to review.
By reviewing your highlights every day and adding notes and/or tags, you’ll retain more and stop forgetting all the details from books/articles/twitts you read. I also sync my Readwise highlights to my second brain, so I can use them while creating content. That was a game-changer for me.
There are two versions and price ranges: Lite and Full. Lite is $4.49 per month and Full is $7.99 per month and lets you tag and take notes on your highlights, export them, share them and test your knowledge on them. Definitely worth it for creating a content library and learning along the way. I love it.
Use it for note-taking and storing
This is the third note-taking app I’ve tried and my favorite so far. I love that it invites me to expand on my ideas instead of just saving them. It’s my own cozy space to browse through my favorite quotes, highlights, and notes and include my own thoughts and ideas.
I feel powerful in maintaining a library of thoughts and information. The feeling of knowing there is a place with different kinds of interesting and useful data to me is great. There’s so much power in good notes.
Obsidian describes itself as a “powerful knowledge base on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files”. I love this description they use: “A second brain for you, forever”.
It’s an amazing tool for collecting and connecting information. I use it for storing and organizing information through the P.A.R.A method, a digital filing method developed by productivity expert Tiago Forte. It stands for Projects, Areas of responsibility, Resources, and Archive.
Once I built my second brain in Obsidian I couldn’t believe I’d been working and writing for so long without it. It’s definitely a game-changer.
Use it for simple and secure access to all your content
Google Drive does not need an explanation or introduction. I love having access to my documents through my phone and computer, wherever I am.
My files are also organized following the P.A.R.A method. It helps with structure and organization, making it easy to manage.
Every article draft and the final version is stored in Google Drive. It’s where my content lives. Simple and effective.
Use it for making your writing clear and effective
As someone who writes in their second language, I need a tool to make sure my texts are clear, engaging, and polished. I use Grammarly’s free version, which makes basic writing corrections in terms of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Its Chrome extension corrects my writing no matter where I do it: the Office Suite, apps, or websites.
What can I say, it saves me from potentially embarrassing mistakes.
Use it for improving your writing style
I keep this text editor in my favorites for fast access. Once you paste a text it tells you how easy it is to read and shows you where you can make improvements. It also highlights sentences that are difficult to read and words that have a better alternative.
You need to be careful when working with it though, it may show changes you have thought about and don’t want to make. I use it when I have a final draft to see if there are some improvements I haven’t thought about.
After using these tools for a while I feel confident in my systems. Through working with efficient tools and keeping a clear work structure, my outcomes are getting better and better.
I have learned that apps should make your life and work easier, not more complex. This sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get tempted with shiny new apps. I’m happy to finally have found my nine essentials!