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?

AinsleyS's picture

Grad student, biology, Mac-based: Xnippets for...

Grad student, biology, Mac-based:

  • Xnippets for taking & storing notes
  • Notational Velocity for quick references (store hours, phone numbers, etc)
  • TextWrangler for wrangling HTML
  • Quicksilver (of course) for... quicksilvering
  • GraphicsConverter for image editing.

I would pretty much be dead without Xnippets. It's a taxonomist's dream come true. Also ashamed to admit I'm addicted to two-finger scrolling. It results in a lot of absurd, futile flailing when attempted on a PC.

Bonus fun app: FinchTV for viewing DNA chromatograms. It's free, fast, and the UI is just plain adorable.




An Oblique Strategy:
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