It’s a good thing you aren’t doing anything important right now because this is a pretty good Drop Everything roundup, If I do say so myself. I have a nice mix of productivity and social apps, and a good game for balance.
Today is a beautiful app for creating habits. You can add a task like “exercise” or “read for 30 minutes,” then pick a wide variety of reminder periods ranging from “every day” to “three times a week,” a few specific days, and more.
Part of the benefit over using a calendar or typical task app is that you can ‘check in’ when you follow through, then see your progress and whether you’re meeting to your goals. You get one reminder for free.
A $5 in-app purchase unlocks unlimited reminders and a few other perks. I made the purchase and I’m a happy user.
Trello is a unique approach to organizing projects and tasks, as well as collaborating, using a cards and lists metaphor based on Agile methodologies.
Task priorities center more around an in-the-moment workflow, and it’s easy to reorganize if plans change. You can assign tasks, share related files, and have conversations about a task in its related card, which keeps correspondence and decisions alongside the task instead of (hopefully) buried elsewhere in an inbox.
Trello is free to use and also has paid plans with extra perks for individuals and teams, starting at $5/month or $45/year.
Anchor is a new social network based entirely around sharing up to two minutes of spoken word. It works a lot like Twitter—you can post, reply, and essentially re-share someone else’s post, which are called “waves.” I find it interesting because of some clever removal of the typical frictions for this medium.
For example, to record, simply tap the record button, hold your iPhone up to your ear, and start talking. Recording ends when you move it away. Also, if you start playing a wave from your timeline through the earpiece, speaker, or headphones, the app will continue playing other waves in your timeline until you tell it to stop. Kinda fun, and I’m on there as @chartier.
Legend is a simple, focused app for making GIFs of animated text. Grab an interesting photo, type your inspirational message, pick some effects and an animation, and you have a fun GIF that can help get your message across in a more attention-grabbing way. It’s $2, no IAPs.
Weebly is a hosted website service similar to Squarespace and perhaps WordPress.com. While it supports a core set of blogging features, its strengths are in drag-and-drop web layout for normal folks like me, ecommerce, and a really good mobile app.
Unlike Squarespace and WordPress.com, Weebly’s iPhone and iPad app doesn’t feel like an afterthought; it shares many of the features of Weebly’s web editor, including a good number (but not all) of its drag-and-drop content blocks and the ability to create and manage pages and products, in addition to blog posts.
I like Weebly so much that, when I switched from personal consulting to building my new collective to take on larger projects, I moved my site off Squarespace for Weebly. Service starts with a free plan, with paid plans that offer more features. Bit & Pen is on the Starter plan for now at about $3/month.
As one who slings words for a living, I use Clips on a nearly daily basis to make some copy and paste tasks not just easier on iOS, but easier than working on my Mac.
At its core, Clips is a clipboard utility for copying multiple things and keeping them at quick arm’s reach for later. It also has a keyboard that can make things interesting. My biggest use case is that I often want to copy three things from an article: the title, link, and selected text to quote it. Clips has these great copy templates you can customize, so with a single tap of the share sheet in most apps, I can grab those three things, perfectly formatted in Markdown, typically for use in Ulysses.
Clips is free with a $2 IAP to unlock a couple perks like sync.
There are a lot of great iOS games out there that are actually fun, have a story, are superbly made, and aren’t tainted by IAPs. Crashlands is my current jam.
It’s part Zelda, part Minecraft, with a dash of humor, a healthy dose of a scifi story that’s in the ballpark of chuckle-funny (though somewhat generic), and a whole lot of polish and style. You have to run around on an alien planet, fight bizarre and funny creatures, collect materials, craft a good variety of items, make friends with some zany locals, all in a quest to repair your courier ship and finish making a vital delivery. If nothing else, the company that made Crashlands is A) in St. Louis, Missouri, and B) called “Butterscotch Shenanigans.” That greatness alone is worth at least $1 of the well-worth-it $5.
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