Linkbag of Tools

In general I tend to have about three standard tools open all day, and don’t often fool around with the millions of ultra-focussed apps out there which only do one specific thing. But in the last week or two, a few of them have managed to catch my attention enough that I have to share.

Things

I’ve heard over and over about Getting Things Done, but it always seemed to me like a complicated brainwash system (somewhat reenforced by Wired’s article) I’d never stick to, even if I read the book. But lately I’ve had the feeling I’ve got about 200 todos a day, and quite a few have been falling under the table. That’s where Things comes in. It’s based on the GTD system, but you don’t need to know it to use this handy little tool. And that true hallmark of good software shines in Things–it’s easy enough to start using in 5 minutes (especially if you watch the well-done screencast), but open enough to use in a number of sophisticated ways, if you want to. In the end it’s just a place to save todos, but that’s not doing it justice. If you find yourself with too many things to remember to do, you should definitely check Things out. Sorry Bill, Mac only.

Isolator

And once you know what you have to do, how about getting focussed on doing it? Isolator does one simple thing: it blacks out all programs other than the one you’re currently using. No flashing chat crap in the background, no clutter of overlapping windows, nothing but what you’re working on and you. It’s worth a look.

Instapaper

I love the idea, but can’t quite decide if I’ll actually be using Instapaper.

We discover web content throughout the day, and sometimes, we don’t have time to read long articles right when we find them.

Instapaper allows you to easily save them for later, when you do have time, so you don’t just forget about them or skim through them.

No more explanation necessary, and the site itself is minimal enough you’ll be up and running in 20 seconds. I’ll probably wait to fall in love until I have an iPhone.

Business Cards

Certainly not software, and not exactly a tool, but I found some nice stuff to share. Not so relevant for me–my cards are designed and printed by others, but as a designer I can’t help but get a little warm & fuzzy about good cards. An article at Freelance Switch has some great examples, which led me to similar articles with more examples at FaveUp and Creative Bits. Inspired? Go make your own cards online in a nifty format with your own photos at Moo.