My Thoughts

Services and tools I’m grateful for

Over the last couple of years a lot of services came and a big number of them have gone mainstream. Gaining users’ trust and having lots of them requires quality of service, support and usable and intuitive design. Here’s a list of my favorite services, apps and websites I’ve grown to use and enjoy.

Spotify

Gone are the days with browsing the web for songs and searching for new albums from your favorite bands. Spotify brings a lot to the table. My favorite features are the big and diverse selection of music, the possibility to stream on all devices and save for offline listening (very useful while on a mobile network at the gym or on the run) and most importantly - the music discovery, which has allowed me to enjoy a lot of bands, songs and music genres.

Evernote

At first it was distracting with all the menus, options and possibilities. It took a while to get used to. Now I’m using it every day for notes, ideas and even for book and course notes. It has the concept of Notebooks and notes. You can have as many as you like of both. The web version features distraction free writing mode. Can be used for todo lists as well.

Trello

Project management software done right. The clean and intuitive interface makes it accessible to every user. From tracking big corporate projects to your own reading list, anything is possible.

Slack

Slack is simply the best communication tool for teams. It’s a chat platform for teams, where the possibilities are endless. At Codemotion we’re using it for everyday communication and for sharing ideas, tasks, articles, books and images. The simple interface allows you to do just that without any distractions. Different channels can be created for different purposes. It has trello, github and bitbucket integration, which results in having everything in one place.

Clear

Simple and colorful todo app with inspirational quotes (when you complete all tasks in a list). Everything is just a drag or a tap away. The sounds add a pleasant personality and definitely make for a better user experience. Permanently on my Macbook’s dock and my iPhone’s home screen.

Pocket

I’ve tried almost everything to keep a list of useful content on the web and articles/books/videos I want to see later. Pocket gets the job done really well. Simple interface with three sections - home (stuff on the see-later list), favorites and archived items. Saving a link is as simple as cmd+S or even better - clicking on the Safari/Chrome extension.

Shazam

Music discovery done well. The app is simple enough and gives correct results 99.9% of the time. It’s available for all mobile platforms as well as OSX and Windows.

Khan Academy

Great website with lots and lots of knowledge presented in video format and interactive challenges. Covers almost everything from mathematics, physics and chemistry to economics, computer science and history of art. Really well made and accessible. There are badges and gamification, which, combined with the knowledge you acquire, gets you hooked. Available on the web, iPhone and iPad.

Duolingo

Nice platform for learning a new language. Just select the one you know and choose from the pretty decent list of languages you want to learn. Short lessons in the form of a games. There is a progression tree and rewards. Seeing your progress is quite motivating.

Primer

Simple enough and yet so much information in this one. Well presented content marketing, PR and search advertising lessons with examples and interactive challenges. I can’t recommend it enough.

TaxiMe

Bulgarian startup which solves a real pain. Ordering a taxi has never been a pleasurable experience. This app gets your current location + desired drop location and finds you a taxi reasonably fast (1-5 minutes maximum). There is a scoring system for drivers, which results in a better service and happier customers.

Conclusion

Thanks to everyone involved in these projects. They’ve made my life more structured and interesting.

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