I’ve been using a combination of the iPhone Notes app, Textedit, Evernote, Google Calendar, iA Writer and Tumblr to write, make notes, save articles and make references. While this ‘suite’ of apps has come about mostly unconsciously and without much care or loyalty to the respective developers, I’m finding it oddly difficult to ‘give them up’ and make (hopefully) more productive choices.
After a bit of looking around and testing recently, I ended up settling on this core four for most of my conscious writing and note taking activity:
Ulysses: For writing anything of length and for blogging drafts. What attracted me to Ulysses was the slick integration of Markdown shortcuts and the clean and pleasant writing environment in general. Word and Pages look positively archaic compared to this.
Remember The Milk: For use as one simple to do list app, with no fuss and bother or confusion with other uses.
Day One: For meeting notes and quick notes and references, which tend to get lost in either my Notes or Textedit apps, or just never transcribed when I use notebooks.
Evernote: Pretty much for saving articles, favourites and documents. A references store, not a place for personal creation or authoring.
All four also have iPhone and MacOS versions and cloud sync which were other essential features.
After 3 weeks of use… I’ve still not actually switched my activity. It’s proving so hard to cement the new cognitive paths of thinking ‘I’ll write a quick post, or ‘I must remember to do X’ or ‘I need to make a note’. I keep writing straight into the Tumblr web interface which is really buggy, I keep forgetting to add my to do’s to my dedicated list, and after every meeting I remember that I forgot to use Day One.
A great example of how entrenched systems and methods get, even when they’re not good, or even actually frustrating. I’m keen to break through though. Another four weeks of trying at least.