Sure, Spotlight has gotten pretty good with age, but Alfred is to Spotlight what something awesome is to something far less awesome (sorry, I’m feeling short of quippy analogies). Almost every interaction I have with my Mac starts with option-spacebar (Alfred’s keyboard shortcut). Alfred is where I launch all my apps, check the weather, do math calculations, start Web searches, find folders and files…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
I have twin six-year-old boys. Therefore, my brain is a pile of mush. Over the years I’ve used every to do app from Things to Asana, Due to Clear, and found each to have their relative strengths and weaknesses. However, the clear winner for me for the past couple of years is Todoist. It works on iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, in your browser, etc. It syncs seamlessly. It supports collaboration. It works as well for projects as small tasks. Plus, I love its design minimalism.
It doesn’t matter whether what I’m writing is going to wind up in a Google doc, blog post or email, I always start in Focused (formerly known as Typed), my favorite distraction-free writing and markdown app. Typewriter Mode is a game-changer. It exports to a variety of formats including, natch, RTF and HTML. Focused also lets you select your preferred typeface, column width (including responsive layouts), and theme (I like the dark mode). The Zen Mode—a soundtrack for your work—is a little goofy, but I confess that I’ve used it on more than one occasion.