Every year we end up trying out new services, solutions, communities, chat rooms, groups, apps, and other forms of technology that, by the year’s end, may be contributing more noise than signal to our day-to-day.

Perhaps I’m about idealistic, but I think that the majority of us are concerned with making sure that we have the tools that we need to get our work done and nothing more, nothing less (with the occasional game or book for entertainment and/or educational purposes, of course :).

But you get the idea of what I mean: We start off with the best of intentions in getting only what we need in order to get our work done and end up with a plethora of extraneous things that we don’t necessarily need distributed across our various devices.

Then again, maybe I’m the only one who’s suffered from this. But not likely. Here’s a run down of the things that I’m looking to employ day-to-day for both productivity and entertainment.

Productivity and Entertainment

Regardless, whatever the case, now’s a great time to look at your current set of tools (where tools are referred to as the things that you use to get stuff done), identify what’s working for you what’s not working, and perhaps even look for something to fill a goal that’s not working out for you.

For me personally, I’m looking to finally streamline my development environment into something that’s a little more advanced and a little more robust as some of the previous tools that I’ve used. Although I’m highlighting a number of these things in my Software category each week or so, I thought it might be worth sharing what I’m planning to begin using headed into 2015 and to see what each of your are sharing as well.

PHPStorm

A current project running in PHPStorm.

So here’s what I’m planning to begin using (and updates throughout the year as the success progresses or regresses):

  • PHPStorm. Believe it or not, I do have a list of reasons that I’ve avoided using this up to this point. That’s beyond the point of this point, but I do think that it’s finally at a point where I can use it day-to-day.
  • Things. I’ve tried Reminders for a long time, but I’ve come back to Things in recent months and have been more than happy with it.
  • Dispatch. This is the email client that I’ve been using for the past few weeks. For those of you who know me, you know that I’m a big fan of GTD and this particular client works hand-in-hand with that particular methodology as well as does Things so they work together well (it even integrates with it!)

And for fun:

  • Lumosity. I played this for months on end early last year, but got out of the habit as life happened. I’m looking to be more consistent about it for for no other reason that improving my scores against myself.
  • Living Earth. I’ve recently talked about this, so that post covers all there is to know, really.
  • Sim City: Build It. I grew up playing Sim City and as much as some of the negative reviews that this game has gotten, they are far outweighed by their positive reviews. I’ve been playing for a few weeks and love it. The imposed time limits make it impossible to get completely absorbed and to subtract from getting actual work done so I’m really enjoying it.

But that’s me. What are some of the things you’re looking to begin incorporating this year?

Category:
Notes

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Good stuff. I use PHPStorm every day and love it!

    OmniFocus user for now, but am looking forward to Things update soon!

    • PHPStorm’s UI used to be the #1 thing that kept me from using it, but it’s been refined enough such that I think I can finally get back into it.

      As far as Things is concerned, it seems they and OmniFocus are continual contenders!

  2. Definitely curious to see how you feel about PHPStorm. I’ve used Sublime Text for a while, and played around with PHPStorm briefly, but it seemed like a tool I had to learn to get the most out of it, and felt I would progress more if I spent more time learning about actual programming than a programming tool.

    •  I’ve used Sublime Text for a while, and played around with PHPStorm briefly, but it seemed like a tool I had to learn to get the most out of it, and felt I would progress more if I spent more time learning about actual programming than a programming tool

      I used to feel the same until the latest version, then it seemed a bit simpler. Plus, all of the integrated tooling makes it a hard sale not to try (though I don’t fault your reasoning for using something simpler is the very least).

  3. What brain-tasks are you using Luminosity to train on? Things that are important to you for work, or things you feel you’re weak at — which probably are things you DON’T need for work.

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