Favorite Things

Some might consider this a “Using” page, a “Recommendations page” or something equivalent. Simply put, it’s a list of the tools and things I find incredibly useful and intriguing. Most of them are things I either use on a daily basis or couldn’t get along without. They’re things I love and have no reservations in recommending others use.

Some are underappreciated, unknown, and deserve wider adoption. I hope you find the list useful and may find your next favorite thing while browsing them.

Electronics

Daily Tools

Home

Kitchen

Software

  • LaTeX – a document preparation system
  • MikTeX – my specific implementation of LaTeX
  • WinEdt – my preferred text editor
  • Calibre – a spectacular database tool for storing, sorting, and maintaining e-books
  • OneNote – a wonderful note taking tool that’s integrated into my email, do do lists, etc.

Services

Android Apps

  • InoReader – I love this reader and it’s got functionality like OPML subscriptions that Feed.ly  didn’t have
  • Antenna Pod – my favorite new podcatcher; it does almost everything I could want including the ability to listen at higher speeds than 1x.
  • Office Lens – great for capturing documents (a digital scanner in photo format)Nuzzel – awesome algorithmic news feeds based on my Twitter and Facebook accounts
  • IFTTT
  • URL forwarder – for posting to my website on mobile
  • Memrise
  • GoodReads – how can any reader do without this?
  • Waze – the de rigueur traffic app for living in Los Angeles
  • Pushbullet – an app that mirrors my phone to my computer desktop; it allows for notifications, texts, and phone calls to pop up on my computer as well as sending data to my other connected devices.
  • Timehop – while I still use this, I’ve mostly replaced it with an on this day app for my own website.
  • Balto Spped Reading – Uses rapid serial visual presentation to improve reading speed. Great for reading newspaper/magazine articles and fiction. This particular app is one of the few that can handle the DRM on Kindle books properly.

Website Tools

  • WordPress.org
  • WithKnown – while I still have several installs which I love, I’ve moved more of my day-to-day use to
  • WordPress
  • Indieweb.org 

Bookmarklets

  • Reading.am – marking items as “I’m reading right now” which also gets backed up to my website
  • Spritzlet– for using rapid serial visual presentation for speed reading web articles
  • Huffduffer – A site for bookmarking audio for both discovery and for creating podcast feeds for easy subscription. I REALLY love Huffduffer!
  • Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress – I’ve created a few dozen bookmarklets that allow me to quickly post content to my website. I’m not sure how I lived without it before.

Inspiration

This page was primarily inspired by a few posts I’d written about “What I’m Using” which in turn were inspired by LifeHacker, Supersite for Windows, and The Actor’s Studio among others. I’ve recently come across some conversation on the general topic, some of which is influenced by the Now movement.

Below are some of these more recent sources:

I suspect I may still do annual(ish) posts like the others, but it seems interesting/useful to have a shorter aggregated page for readers to have a quicker list view of these items. In some sense, portions of the longer posts are now chunked out in my Now page which is updated a few times a month.

Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links to online stores, but my goal is truly to help others rather than make a profit. The pittance I make on the site from these links generally doesn’t even cover hosting costs. If I didn’t purchase a product with my own money, it won’t be listed here. Absolutely none of these recommendations are paid placements. Manufacturers and marketers are highly discouraged from contacting me about paid placements. Readers are encouraged and welcome to share with me what they’re using. I love recommendations for awesome things.

Last updated: 3/15/2019

Favorite Things was originally published on Chris Aldrich

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