19 Apps That Made the Difference for Me (and My Team) in 2014

I use a lot of apps. Actually, more than a lot. I’m always downloading, using, and experimenting, trying to find the very best.

There are hundreds of thousands of possible apps to use, just for your mobile device. Throw in desktop and web applications and the number is nearly infinite.

These are the nineteen apps I used the most in 2014, the apps that help me run my business and maximize different aspects of my personal life. I was tempted to rank these, but I found I couldn’t. Instead I’ve listed them in alphabetical order.

  1. Bartender. I like my workspace clean and minimalist. Bartender helps me keep down the clutter by allowing me to determine what items display in my Mac menu bar.
  2. Carbon Copy Cloner. Like you, I can’t afford to lose what’s on my computer—so I get it off of my computer. To do that, I’ve been using Carbon Copy Cloner as one of my backup systems. It works invisibly in the background and gives me a bootable backup in case anything goes wrong.
  3. CoSchedule. Social media drives a significant amount of my blog traffic, so having an app that links them together is a big help. With CoSchedule I can coordinate Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn posts right from WordPress.
  4. DayOne Journal. I keep a journal, and so far I’ve found this is the best way to do it. Not only does it sync across platforms, it does cool stuff like capture weather and temperature for the day. It also lets me work in MultiMarkdown.
  5. Expensify. I never leave a restaurant with a receipt, thanks to Expensify. If you track business expenses I can’t imagine a better app to use.
  6. Evernote. Some apps are so helpful and do so much, it’s hard to imagine working without them. Evernote is like that for me. It’s my digital brain. It’s allowed me to go totally paperless. Even the note on the napkin finds a home in Evernote.
  7. Google Docs. My team started using Google Drive to store certain digital assets. It’s been a big win for us—but the biggest win has been with Google Docs. We do a lot of collaborative work, and GD allows us to track changes and work together on something until it’s ready for primetime.
  8. GoToWebinar. We use this for all of our live webinars now. So far it’s been totally reliable. We’ve had no hiccups. And the functionality is perfect. I love the control panel. We can have our full team on board, chat, and record everything.
  9. Keynote. I use Keynote for all my presentations, for webinars, and even overall graphic design. It’s intuitive, hyper-functional, and fun to use.
  10. Kindle. There’s nothing wrong with print books, but the Kindle app for desktop and mobile makes research in my library a cinch. The ability to keyword search the books I’m reading is a big help.
  11. MyFitnessPal. If you’ve ever tried LoseIt, this is better (in my opinion). In fact, it’s the best healthy lifestyle app I’ve ever used. The barcode reader almost always has what I’m looking for, and it even syncs up with my wireless bathroom scale to track my weight.
  12. Nozbe. This is my favorite task management program. I’ve tried other apps for task management, including Evernote, but Nozbe just works. It is fully GTD-compliant and with the recent updates is a joy to use. In a word, it is my “command center.” It keeps me organized and on task.
  13. 1Password. I use this app on all my devices to manage login information, passwords, and software licenses. I’ve also tried Dashlane and Lastpass, but while those have some functionality I prefer, they’re just too clunky and nonintuitive for me.
  14. ScreenFlow. This is what I use for all my major screencasting. In the Platform University context, for instance, we use it for our Member Makeovers. It’s perfect. You can capture what’s on screen, edit as needed, and export where you want.
  15. Scrivener (Mac) (Windows). While I use Google Docs for collaborative work, I use Scrivener for all my solo writing—blog, podcast notes, books, everything. It allows me to work in MultiMarkdown, has the best hierarchical file structure around, and lets me just focus on the words.
  16. Slack. I’ve raved here about Slack before. It’s the key communications tool for our team. It’s like Evernote—one of those apps you can’t imagine functioning without.
  17. Snagit. I use SnagIt to take screenshots because it also lets me annotate and share my notes easily. I don’t have to download and upload files—just share links. I can also share short screencasts.
  18. TweetDeck. I’ve been using TweetDeck as my main Twitter app for years now, but not exclusively. I’ve also used HootSuite, but thanks to some updates and streamlining I’m back to using TweetDeck—and loving it.
  19. Zoom. I recently explained why I love Zoom. After getting some pushback from a few readers, I added a comparison chart to show how it stacks up to similar apps. But here’s the bottom line for me: I love using it and so does my team. I’m no fan of conference calls, but I don’t mind Zooming.

I am always discovering new apps, but the truth is that life is too short to waste on half-baked programs.

The right tool is the difference between success and frustration. And these are the big difference maker apps for me and my team.

Question: What are your favorite apps right now?