Everyone has their favourite tools for getting the job done. In this post, I want to share some of my favourite pieces of software and how I use them.

For Presentations

I start with an abstract or outline with a simple markdown editor like MacDown (OS). Markdown gives me enough formatting to play with structure and messaging. When I’m happy with this, I use Keynote to prepare the slides. Magic Move transition is the killer app for presentations.

I have an account with The Noun Project for imagery, and use Inkscape (OS) to format and edit the icons. I also rely heavily on another image editor, Gimp (OS). I feel Gimp has more versatility than Inkspace, particularly with photo editing.

For Reading

I like to read books in the real world, but when using my Kindle, I use Calibre to manage my e-books. Refind is super helpful for saving links to find later while I use Pocket to save links to read offline. Feedly plays a big role helping me manage my RSS feeds and plugs straight into Pocket.

My normal workflow looks like this. During short commutes, I browse through Feedly and save interesting articles to Pocket. I   sync the Pocket app before I head to an airport, or hop on a train with limited connectivity. I also save interesting reading material via Refind and Pocket when I’m at a computer.

For Writing

When I started my blog in in 2004 (more than a decade!), I chose WordPress out of all the blogging platforms. I’m very happy with my choice. WordPress outgrew its competition such as Movable Type, Typepad, JRoller, and LiveJournal. I started to use  Hemingway Editor this year for writing, and rely on Flickr (CC) for imagery. ImageOptim is my go-tool for optimising images for the web.

I use Twitter’s native mobile applications and then Tweetdeck for the laptop. I used Tweetdeck long before Twitter acquired them. 

I make heavy use of the Mac/iOS Notes apps to capture ideas and write drafts because it syncs so well across devices. It’s simple enough to jot ideas down where I am and expand on them when I find time to write.

For Everyday Use

I happily use KeePassX as my password generator and manager, syncing to my devices. It syncs well with KeePass Touch on the phone and provides enough usability for me. I also like the control it gives me by not trusting a third party to store this in the cloud. I rely heavily on Google Docs/Sheets for general office administration. I then switch to OpenOffice when I need to work with documents or spreadsheets offline.

Skype and Slack play and almost daily role with me. I use a combination of Stickies and Trello for my personal backlog.


Everyone has their favourite tools that make them effective. These are the ones that I draw upon all the time. What are your favourite tools that you use on a regular basis?