This year (2019) was supposed to be a year of action. I wanted to do things. Not that I was not doing things before but this year just happens to be one of those years when things could make or break. And to make myself more productive, I took the whole thing head-on. I had to write more. From writing proposals, to writing papers, to simply keeping track of my own weekly to-dos, this year I decided to use all the things I could to become more of a writing creature. Given the magnitude of the task, the right tool was required. No more Google Keep and OneNote. Evernote lost my trust after all the security breaches (the most recent one in June 2019) and their odd updates since last year. So here are the apps/tools I used and an evaluation of the things after almost 7 months of 2019:
I started using Notion last year when I saw their gorgeous website. While I started to work/note/do everything in the Notion app, I realised that it was too much of a hassle. I mean, I am sure Notion works like a charm for some people and I understand why: it is customizable, it includes Kanban, Calendar, Notes and literally every thing you might want to extract out of it. And that – I found – was also the problem. The truth is, when I am writing, I just want to write. And this led me to two different apps…
I love Standard Notes. I love the fact that they are pro-privacy and that if you are not a “PRO” user, you do not get a lesser app. You – in fact – receive an app which is just as secure and simple to use. I have – however – upgraded my app to an Extended User account but that is because I find the app’s convenience and malleability not a distraction. On the contrary, this app is one of the best and most secure apps I have ever used.
Writemonkey is Standard Notes’ more quirky cousin. Writemonkey is the app I use when I just have to write. The app has additions like “sound effects” and has many many good extensions. And I find the full screen effect calming almost. This app lets you set Pomodoro timing slots. I could go on. Basically, if Standard Notes is the app I use to make everything searchable and to file my notes for a seminar, Writemonkey is the notes app I use for writing a piece of fiction.
… and the one I have found myself using a lot surprisingly,
There is nothing more simple than writing your ToDo list in a .txt file on your desktop and updating it every day or week. The idea came from an academic saying on a blog I follow that he simply uses a Word doc. to list his goals and track his writing/research. Since then, I thought, why not make it simpler? If there is one Notes app that has helped me get organized this year, this would be this one. Just the simplicity of it is amazing.