Tools I use, 2022

Gmail is still my email service of choice. I now have my own domain, because my main email address was getting too much spam and phishing, etc. All of my email from any email address or forwarder comes here. I haven’t found anything that beats Gmail’s antispam and virus protection. After nearly a decade, Gmail retains the top slot on the 2020 list. I mainly use the regular Gmail client. On my MacBook I also use the Mail app, thanks to its Smart Mailboxes that allow me to see what’s arrived today, the past 7 days, and from the Beyond email domains. But on my phone, I almost exclusively use the Gmail client.

Dropbox: I have a Dropbox Pro account with a terabyte of space organized around the PARA method, which I’ve found to be indispensable.

Apple Photos: where I store all photos. I moved all my photos to Apple Cloud to sync with phones and laptop.

Feedly. What got me on to Feedly was its AI system for training articles. You can tag a set of 20 or more articles into a news board, and then tell Feedly to bring you articles from all your sources that are similar to the ones you’ve tagged.

Twitter gives me access to real-time events. I follow a lot of journalists (especially news editors), as well as global thinkers and influencers, mission agencies, activists, etc. I’ve tried a lot of Twitter clients but I mostly just use the main Twitter client on my iPhone, as well as (occasionally) Tweetbot. I’ve managed to curate my feeds (by carefully choosing who I follow and blocking all politicals) so that my news feed is pretty high-density data.

In addition to Twitter, I follow a lot of email newsletters. This is helpful because these come on a regular basis and are storable. If someone on Twitter is regularly providing high-value information, I usually look to see if they or someone they work for have an email newsletter. is where I bookmark URLs. I use an IFTTT link to make sure anything I “favorite” on Twitter or save in Feedly gets automatically stored to Pinboard. At the end of the week, producing the Roundup is largely a matter of going through the Pinboard entries since the last Roundup.

AWS Lightsail is where I host my sites and databases. It’s cheap and reliable and completely customizable.

Mailchimp has been my email newsletter manager of choice. I’ve tried other services and always come back to Mailchimp.

Adobe Indesign. What I use when I’m writing any reports or longer documents (e.g. the Outlook the Cluster Forecasts, etc). I have a subscription.

Zoom is what I use for nearly all online meetings.

Kindle: I love Amazon Kindle. I have hundreds of books/files in it. I actually use my Kindle App on iPhone/iPad far more than I do my actual Kindle, at this point. In 20202021, I’ve been using the Kindle to get samples and buying books in paper form, because I get less distracted (no notifications in a paper book).

Tripit maintains my travel calendar automatically. Anytime I purchase a flight, Tripit (which monitors my Gmail account) automatically sucks the flight data in and gives me a nice itinerary. It syncs to the iPhone/iPad app as well, so that’s always up to date, and shares the itinerary with my wife, so she has quick access to my schedule.

Spotify: what I use to play streaming music (radio); I’ve tuned some channels for instrumental music that plays during work. I shifted completely from Pandora to Spotify, and we have a family pro account. I love Spotify.

Apple’s Keychain. I used to use Lastpass, but since I became a Mac-only user, I use the one built in to Apple products.

Safari/Chrome. I’m pretty browser agnostic these days, but since I’m a Mac user, I tend to use Safari most.