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The apps I use (updated)

Posted on Jan 11 2016 in Thoughts

I’m always interested in finding out what tools/apps other people use to get stuff done. In the spirit of sharing, here’s a list of current apps I use to work on Offscreen (by no means complete and in no particular order):

Simplenote
This clever, lightweight note-taking tool helps me capture thoughts and put ideas in order. Its power mainly lies in its ability to sync smoothly across all devices. I’m writing this very post in it and proof-read/edit it on my phone when I have a few spare minutes.

Dropmark
Through its Chrome plugin, I'm using Dropmark to save stuff I come across online during the week and want to feature in my weekly newsletter.

Zoho Invoice
My invoicing software, largely a remnant of my freelancer years. I still use it to invoice stockists, sponsors, etc. The last few updates have really improved the user experience. I particularly like this tool over others because it handles multiple currencies well. However, it doesn’t connect with my (Australian) bank account to reconcile transactions. Not hugely important to me at the moment though.

Google Drive
I never thought I’d be so reliant on a word processing app, but Google Docs has been indespensable for me since starting Offscreen. I create around 40-50 separate documents (one for each contributor) with every issue. Its collaboration and editing features make working with others on content simultaneously a breeze.

Gmail
I don’t use a native Mac app for my emails. I made the switch to using Gmail in my browser (Chrome) many years ago and still love it! (I have a paid account with Google, so no ads, more storage, custom domain name, etc.)

Receipt Bank
It’s my book-keeping app. I can either forward email receipts or upload photos of paper receipts (through my iPhone) and it does all the categorising, finding total amounts, tax, etc automatically. All I need to do is to export a spreadsheet at the end of the quarter and send it to my accountant.

Droplr
I use this little tool every day. It lives in my menu bar and I can drag’n drop anything onto its icon to either create a short-URL, upload a file or take a screenshot, and then make it available online. It’s been a super handy companion.

1Password
I have no idea how I’d survive the login mayhem without my trusty 1Password app. It stores all my secret words, and therefore it’s probably the most important piece of software on this machine.

Pocket
Oh yes, online content overwhelms me too. There is just too much I want to read, watch, listen to… I don’t get to read all the things I add to my Pocket app, but especially on long flights, I really enjoy catching up on interesting reads I’ve stored here.

Google Analytics
I occasionally check in with my analytics tool, but what can I say? I find it hard to get excited about statistics and numbers about my own website. I'm sure it can help me convert more users better, but who has the time to even figure out what half of it all means...

Campaign Monitor/MailChimp
Campaign Monitor was my go-to tool for email marketing, until I changed over to MailChimp. I like both of them equally and both have been big supporters of Offscreen. I decided to go with MailChimp because their creative branding/marketing suits Offscreen a bit better.

Adobe Suite
With Typekit, Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and even occasionally Bridge, I do use a lot of Adobe products for the visual part of the magazine. It’s easy to criticise them for making software that crashes often, but when I’m in the depth of a project, I realise again and again that these tools are immensely powerful and have matured a lot over the last decade or so.

Dropbox
Puts my files online.

Podio
Podio is an extremely versatile project management software. You can essentially build your own app setup and connect lots of different interfaces. It seemed overwhelming at first, but turned out to be exactly what I was looking for in order to build a searchable/filterable database of potential contributors for future issues.

Arq
I back up my data to a hard drive with Time Machine and then use Arq to push an additional backup to my Dropbox account.

Atom + CodeKit + Github + MAMP + Transmit
My tools for working on the Offscreen website.

Tweetbot
Still the most powerful Twitter app and happy to support indie software, too.

Jumpcut
Simple copy-and-paste tool that allows me to have a plain-text clipboard history.

aText
My go-to text replacement tool. I use this to create shortcuts for everything like shipping addresses, emojis, often-used URLs, standard replies, etc.

Fantastical
A little calendar menu app for quick access of my calendar. I use it for lack of decent alternatives. There are a few design issues that still confuse me after years of using it.

RightFont
Recently bought this font manager to manage my growing font library. It's a little slow sometimes, but very reliable. Would buy again!

Piezo
Some of my interviews I do through Skype. Piezo is a little audio recorder that works in the background and spits out a simple MP3 files after the interview is over.

Clocks
Another mini app that lives in my menu bar and allows me to check and calculate global times/timezones. Handy when working with contributors from all sorts of places.

Screeny
I don’t record a lot of screencasts, but when I do, Drew Wilson’s little app never lets me down!

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