17 Things on My Computer That You Need Too

How did I live without any of the things on the list? I have no idea. Some are work, some are play, but most of these software/applets/what-have-yous get put to good use every single day in my Grueling Productivity Routine. Enjoy — and do share your own top-secret-way-classified productivity tips!

1. Chrome (browser)

2. Remember the Milk (to do lists, life-planning)

3. Jumpcut (dead simple productivity haxx)

4. Adium (IM client)

5. Growl (super customizable pop-up notifications)

6. Spotify (on-demand music)

7. Fluid (productivity haxx, make any website its own app-like thing)

8. Picasa (image editing & organization)

9. Skitch (screenshots, image capture)

10. Rockmelt (social browser)

11. Google Voice (VoIP/free calling & sexting service)

12. Notational Velocity w/ Simplenote (cloud-synced text editor, list factory)

13. Ommwriter (for when you really, really need to focus but ran out of Adderall)

14. Instapaper (save interesting stories for later, offline even!)

15. Dropbox (back up to the cloud)

16. F.lux (eyestrain helper-outer)

17. This Google+ plugin that makes +1s look like a Mario 1up

* Some of these are Mac exclusive, but if you turn the internet upside down and shake it, you can probably find a Windows equivalent

If you still feel out to virtual sea, check out Get Sh*t Done: 5 Productivity Posts to Pull Your Life Together, because we are clearly your biggest advocate.


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Taylor has written 136 articles for us.


  1. did you intentionally list google voice as a “free calling & sexting service”? because i really hope so.

  2. Oh god life without “Remember the Milk” is a pain in my butt! Cause I forget like i’ve been drinking all night! These other apps I must try!

  3. Oh my goodness, I didn’t know about Flux, and having now gone to the website, it sounds like the greatest thing ever. Thank you so much!

      • I have been using it in evening-times for only a few hours now, yet I am already 100% sold and am NEVER GOING BACK.

        • i downloaded it this morning and wasn’t really noticing a difference. then i turned it off 5 minutes ago and HELLO, it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to my eyes.

          • OMG F.lux! F.lux! Installed less than a minute ago and already indispensable! My eyelids unwrinkled from wrinkles I didn’t even notice were there till they relaxed!

  4. Thank god this post popped up because I was in serious danger of doing something productive*, whereas now I can be distracted by shiny things that I can pretend will solve all my productivity problems.

    So I just installed flux this second and it has made everything pinkish, like it’s 1996 and the green pin is bent on the VGA socket of my 14″ CRT monitor with attractive beige plastic surround. Is 1996 a new time of day that no-one told me about?

    *this is a lie.

  5. Ommwriter is my favourite, it’s so serene and peaceful. Also, on a similar note, write or die is good, but in a more threatening and terrifying way.

    • That application sounds hardcore… It would probably leave me in tears. But if I ever go back to school, I will definitely have to keep it in mind.

  6. wow. ommwriter is perfect for all the things i have to write tonight that i have been putting off for days. thanks!

  7. I just downloaded Jumpcut! It’s perfect for those long HTML codes I can’t quite remember off the top of my head.

  8. Ok, I’ll finally give Remember the Milk a try, though I may be addicted to evernote for everything non list related and the chrome app makes it so easy to update the notes whenever you want.

    Also, that kitten is so ridiculously cute. No app or program on a computer will help you focus if there’s an adorable kitten playing on the keyboard.

    • seriously, that’s exactly the kind of stuff i use it for. i have to collect 15+ links and chunks of text at a time almost every day for work and this was a total lifesaver. (propz to my bizoss for tipping me off to it!)

  9. oh those good old days, when my swedish friends installed spotify on my computer and those folks didn’t recognize I was using it from a non-member country for several months.
    now we don’t even have grooveshark anymore. no grooveshark!

    also, I can highly recommend dropbox and writing important documents like say, your thesis, in said folder.
    minus 100.000 heart attacks!

  10. Thanks for the list! Now I won’t have to find out about dropbox or remember the milk from my 16 year old cousins.

  11. Just downloaded flux and want to cry, my eyes thank you so much.
    Also just downloaded Cold Turkey and blocked myself from tumblr for a week, THIS WAS A BAD DECISION OH MY GOD I HAVE TO DO WORK NOW

  12. About this :

    “* Some of these are Mac exclusive, but if you turn the internet upside down and shake it, you can probably find a Windows equivalent”

    y’all non-Mac-users might want to give alternativeto.net a try.

  13. Total newb question, but why does your Gmail look SO MUCH COOLER than mine? Do want! Also, great recommendations, Taylor. :)

  14. try workflowy.com if you are a compulsive list-maker such as myself (though to be honest, I mostly stick to my little moleskine notebook )

  15. Hi Taylor,

    Thanks for sharing your list, lots of good tools! F.lux is one we’re going to have a second look at.

    We’re very happy that you’ve found OmmWriter helpful, and to be on your list.

    Thanks to Laneia, Kat, Frankie, and Paula for the kind words, and for being part of the OmmWriter family! Everyone else, if you haven’t already, you’re most welcome to come join a peaceful writing experience.

    Best regards,

    The OmmWriter Crew

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