My Productivity Setup

Productivity apps are something that I love to look through and test out. I have used a multitude of different apps throughout the years and this last year, I started my professional career as a Full Stack Software Engineer and I went through my setup with a fine tooth comb to find the perfect setup for me.

Note: One thing I want to make everyone aware of, just because this works for me, does not mean it will work for you.

Note-Taking App of Choice: UpNote

The main app I use is called UpNote. It is one of the 3 applications I use almost every day. When I wake up the first thing I do is open up Things 3 and the second thing I do is open up UpNote. I create a daily note from a template and keep all of my notes each day from there.

I use UpNote to draft these blog posts before publishing them to the website. It’s typing experience is better than any app I’ve used thus far and the support from Thomas (the developer who is the most public facing) is phenomenal. The interface is clean and it supports markdown so if the app ever does go under, I can go back to Blog Title: Obsidian Review (LINK TO BLOG POST). So I don’t need to worry about the application.

Note: To see my full thoughts on UpNote, check out my Blog Title: UpNote Review (LINK TO BLOG POST). This is just going to be a brief overview on the application.

I use UpNote primarily on my 2017 10.5” 256GB Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad Pro with the 1st generation Apple Pencil. I have a Windows laptop for work but it doesn’t have enough RAM in it to run my work applications as well as my personal applications (Todoist/Microsoft To DoDiscord, UpNote, & Reddit via Microsoft Edge) so I have to use my iPad at work to get access to anything. I also have a Windows desktop at home for gaming that I rarely turn on because I am primarily a Nintendo Switch gamer. In case you were wondering my games of choice are: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Zelda: Breath of the Wild & Tears of the Kingdom, Pokemon, & Splatoon.

You can customize a lot of different things in the app, like the accent color, the collapsable section colors, quote section colors and the order of the formatting at the bottom when you are typing a note. I have requested an RGB color picker be added to anywhere you can choose colors so that the app can be even more unique to your personal preference. There are a few colors now spanning the spectrum but it couldn’t hurt to add more.

Tags & Note books work virtually the same so I don’t use tags for anything in my notes. I used to use them for a read later type organization but I do not save things in UpNote anymore, I use Todoist.

Task Management App of Choice: Todoist

I recently posted reviews on Todoist and Things 3. In those reviews, I stated how I recommend Things 3 and how I do not recommend Todoist. I have used both for over a month and one thing (pun intended) I failed to mention is the fact that Things 3 does not have very many accessibility features.

I need those accessibility features because my eyes prescription changed and what I used to consider fine is now blurry to me. So the only feature I need is text resizing or screen zooming. Things 3 does not have this option. In Things 3, when you try to zoom in on any device whether it is a Mac computer, iPad or iPhone it does not zoom at all. So, I can’t use Things 3 no matter how much I prefer the app. I can’t use an app I cannot see.

So, since I have switched to Todoist, I have the ability to use it on any device and from the web. I have since factory reset my iPhone and that seems to have resolved my lag issues. I tested and I don’t seem to have any lag anymore. So, that makes the app usable on my iPhone. 

Todoist does have a few pros with it, the app icon is customizable and so is the theme. It can be usable on any device or on the web, it has location based reminders, priorities, filters and labels, floating time zones and collaboration with team members or your family, whomever also has a Todoist account. All of these things you do not get with Things 3. This is how I have my Todoist set up:

As you can see, I use dark mode on my Todoist setup. I have all of my projects on the left and with filters I have a “home” view where I can see tasks I need to do at home and “work” view to see tasks I need to do at work, plus what I need to do Tomorrow or Overdue.

My Today view is grouped by Priority so I can see what I need to do first and go from top to bottom to get everything done today.

Habit Tracker of Choice: HabitMinder & WaterMinder

A few years ago, the creators of WaterMinder and HabitMinder gave lifetime subscriptions away on Reddit. I was able to snatch it up. I use WaterMinder daily to track my water intake and HabitMinder I attempt to use daily but I end up checking every other day (even though I have a daily reminder on Todoist to check it every day).

This is how I have each one set up starting with WaterMinder:

As you can see, I failed today for my water intake. I do try to fill up the Unicorn (favorite mythical creature). I have my most used cups saved under the plus and it raises the total amount depending on how many calories I burn each day. It goes up by 4oz for every 100 calories I burn.

This is how my HabitMinder is setup:

The best thing about HabitMinder is the fact that you can track statistics of your habits over time. I really need to check this app more often cause mine are horrible:

You can give each habit a specific icon and color so you can easily glance at the watch app, watch complication, or Home Screen widget (or even the Home Screen of the app) and check off something without reading it. The app itself knows what it does and it does it well. I am obsessed and so glad I was able to get a lifetime subscription for free. Even if I didn’t though, I would be a paid subscriber because these apps are that good (even if I fail to check them often… that’s on me not the app 😂)

So, that is my entire productivity setup. I use Todoist for Task Management and UpNote for Notes, HabitMinder for tracking my habits and WaterMinder for tracking my water intake. It is a pretty simple setup that works well for me. Thanks for reading!



, , , , , ,