43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Open Thread: What's your killer app?

The other day I was talking with someone about the novel and non-obvious ways that people use Excel in their work and home life. Gotta say, I've personally seen some pretty amazing stuff happen when people take a favorite app, get really good at it, then bend it to their will. (And Excel is perfect for this.)

This tracks to Danny's Life Hack concept by which the alpha geeks were achieving lofty heights of productivity partly by mastering 1-3 "killer apps" -- then using them to solve most of their information and functional problems in fairly novel ways.

So my question for you: What's your killer app? Is there one place where 80% or more of your activity takes place (by choice)? Vim? Excel? Perl? Firefox? Post-it Notes? What's yours and when did you realize you'd become a badass at using it?

Nick's picture

Well now, it's not one...

Well now, it's not one of the cheaper apps but I have to put in a good word for BBEdit. I use it for pretty much everything that has a text form. It's an application that really improves with the time you spend learning and customising it.

I love textMate too of course, and I find it much 'prettier' for want of a better description, but I just haven't been able to use it as my primary app over BBEdit who's pure text manipulating power always shines through.

Block Edit mode in SubEthaEdit is also a little gem I can't live without, but luckily that is part of the older 'free' version.

And finally, and I don't know how well this fits into the 'app' thing, I love to bits OS X's inbuilt dictionary service that appears in most contextual menus when I have some text highlighted. This leads me to my main (and pretty much only) gripe with Firefox, it doesn't integreate this OS X feature and that niggles me quite a lot!




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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