I always find it interesting to look at what applications others are using with their devices as I almost always find some app that looks interesting for me to add to my workflow. Today we’re going to go over the applications I use on my iPad to get work done.
Notes and Research
This year I’ve been on a bit of a journey with the note taking applications I use. Specifically I used Obsidian, then switched to Craft because Obsidian looked like it would have poor iPad support. Then Obsidian changed course with a stellar mobile application and I came back. So the backbone of my notes setup is Obsidian.
I just released a video course on using Obsidian if you’ve been interested in how the application works.
Obsidian is where all my personal writing and notes go. If I’m reading something and want to record some information for later I start a new note in Obsidian. Article summaries end up in my
Notes folder and atomic thoughts or ideas end up in my
Tags folder. I’ve done a longer video on explaining my
#tagnote system if you want to dig deeper into that.
Content comes at me through a few applications. I use Unread for RSS and generally clear my feed out daily. If I find an article that I really want to dig deeper into it almost always ends up in DEVONthink To Go where I can link to it for later. This makes DEVONthink To Go my read it later service.
My other big content consumption application is YouTube. I watch many videos a day on YouTube about taking notes, or task managers…and pretty much every lunch I watch Lowko talk about Starcraft. If a video is especially good I end up sending it to Downie on macOS so that I can have a copy of the video stored permanently in my DEVONthink To Go database.
On the video production front I use LumaFusion to produce 99% of my YouTube videos. I do own Final Cut Pro and I have used it for a few videos, but LumaFusion feels so much easier to use and I love usin my iPad far more than I like using macOS.
In a recent update to LumaFusion they added audio units (AUv3) plugins. This means that where I used to export audio and run it through Brusfri, I can now use Brusfri directly inside LumaFusion to cut static out of my audio.
For my thumbnails I use three applications. My thumbnails are started in Canva. While I’m okay at design, coming up with something from scratch is beyond me so Canva gives me a solid template to work with.
If I’m taking photos for the thumbnail I often end up tweaking them in Darkroom before I integrate them into the final product in Canva.
Finally, I don’t like how Canva compresses images so once I’ve saved an image to my iPad I end up bringing it into Affinity Photo so that I can export it with more control. Here I can see if a
.jpg file is the best option for my thumbnail. I can strip any extra metadata and choose the compression level to use with it. I often end up cutting 25% of the image size without any obvious drop in quality by running them through Affinity Photo.
The final piece of software I use is Filmic Pro and Filmic Remote. While I used to take my 90D off my desk mount, that’s become a hassle with it wired into my streaming setup and being used as a web camera. Instead I’ve been secretly using my iPhane 13 Mini for b-roll for the last number of weeks. It will be my full time phone as of Oct 14th when my daughter gets her birthday present, my old SE2. Filmic Pro gives me far more control over the image I’m shooting which means I can get interested focus effects or blur the backlights on a keyboard.
Filmic Remote is used when I want an extra angle for talking head videos. I can set my phone up and then use my iPad as a view finder to make sure the shot is framed properly.
I’m currently using Things 3 for my task manager, but expect to get more videos on task management as I’m starting to look around again to see what other options are out there.
Things has been a stellar iPad citizen for a long time. They have some of the best keyboard support available. They are light with their “overdue” notices and are well integrated with my email client Spark.
The only part of my task workflow I don’t manage in Things 3 is my content calendar. I like a Kanban board for managing content and since I write in Obsidian I can link directly to the files I’m writing by using the Obsidian Kanban plugin.
For email I use Spark. I don’t love it, but I hate it least of all email clients I’ve tried. It integrates with Things 3 well and is available cross-platform so I don’t have to change email clients on macOS.
To manage my business expenses I use numbers, in fact I use the the same basic Numbers sheet I’ve used for 10 years still. Every few years my accountant and I make an adjustment to it, but overall it’s the exact same setup I’ve been using forever.
The final bit of office work I do regularly is convert USD to CDN for my taxes. Soulver makes this easy to handle so I keep using it happily. I love the basic formulas available in it.
My main iPad entertainment application is YouTube. I’ll watch cool outdoor videos or running videos or Starcraft videos.
Next it’s likely a tie between Netflix and Disney+. I’ve been enjoying Final Space lately on Netflix, and Disney+ has the whole Marvel franchise along with many other excellent movies I enjoy.
I’ve only just started using Apple TV with the release of Foundation. I’ve read the books and enjoyed them but I’ve never been so deep in them that the current take on the concept feels like it misses any marks for me. So far, I’ve enjoyed it. I get Apple TV via their bundled subspcription and have it because it saves me money once I’m paying for a bunch of stuff my family wants. I don’t think I’d pay for it as a stand alone service.
On the social front I’m really only on Twitter and Discord. I use Tweetbot for Twitter and have no idea how anyone uses the web or native version because they’re terrible ad filled eyesores. Plus Tweetbot lets me mute so many things which cleans up much of the terrible content that is on Twitter.
I use the standard Discord app for Discord and don’t ever remember using the web to interact with it. In fact, I really don’t like web apps at all. Native apps are so much better even on macOS.
My regular apps round out with 1Password to manage all the passwords for my family. My 11-year-old even knows how to use it to save passwords and sign into the few things she needs to deal with. 1Password is excellent.
That’s it..well almost. I guess I do use Messages to communicate with family and friends. My wife and I also have a shared note for each child that is used when one of them is truly sick and we need to track temperature or medication times. This way either one of us can see what has been given even if we can’t ask each other questions. It also allows either one of us to visit the doctor and have all the information we need.
Now that’s it.