About Me

Tools and Apps To Make My (And Your) Life Easier

My life is busy. I don’t wear this as a badge of honor. It’s a weakness, a flaw. Over time, though, I’ve managed to discover some tools (programs and apps) that help my life run more smoothly. I use these programs and apps every day. Maybe they’ll help you too.

Byword – I write almost everything in ByWord. It’s sleek and minimalist. Using Markdown language, it’s only me and the text. I can worry about formatting later. When I get brainstorm, I have to get the words out quickly or risk losing them. ByWord let’s me do that. Plus, I can save a document to Dropbox and have access to it on my MacBookPro and/or iPad.

Scrivener – Well, I do almost all my writing in ByWord. Big projects – those with lots of references, resources, and chapters – get worked out in Scrivener. It’s great for keeping it all together in one place.

Google Drive – I’ve only recently started using Google Drive. It’s perfect for collaborating and – in my case – when you’re writing for someone else. The interface is smooth and you can upload and download all kinds of documents – graphics, powerpoint, and text. moving forward I can see Google Drive becoming more and more useful for me.

Workflowy – Worflowy is my brain. Everything is in it – ideas, to-do’s, projects, everything. Like ByWord it’s cloud based, so I have access to it everywhere

Reeder – I subscribe to 100’s of blogs and newspapers. Reeder feeds them to one place (syncing with my Google Reader).

Flipboard – If you have an iPad or iPad Mini, you MUST have Flipboard. Just downoad it now and thank me later.

Buffer App – I schedule my tweets through Buffer. It looks like I’m using Twitter and Facebook all day. I’m not. My Tweets and status changes are all in the que and ready for the day by 6:00am with a few exceptions.

Hootsuite – Facebook updates, LinkedIn post, and tweets for my personal and The Vine Church account goes through Hootsuite. It’s a wonderful company. I use them so much and rave about them so much they sent me a t-shirt and some stickers a while back. That cemented my loyalty.

Readability – Articles and blog post I want to spend more time with find their way to Readability. It just makes reading comfortable.

Evernote – Evernote serves, mainly, as my repository for brainstorming and electronic filing. Each of my sermons and writing projects for the next 4 months are stored in Evernote. As I find things that I might need, use, or find interesting, I file them away in Evernote. However, Worflowy (should I one day move to a paid account) will likely take it’s place.

Evernote Clearly – Web articles are too busy (ads, comments, etc…). Evernote Clearly is a web extension that “clears” away the gunk and junk and provides a clear reading experience. You can also clip articles directly in Evernote.

Spotify – Spotify is a music app that allows you to make your own playlist and keep them. In addition, you can listen to playlist created by others. This is A LOT of fun. Spotify has a free function (with commercials) or you can pay for a membership ($9.99 / months) which allows you to download playlist and listen on your smartphone or tablet.

Dropbox – This is essentially a hard drive in the sky. At The Vine this is the primary way we store information. Simple and easy.

Day One – As part of my daily spiritual formation, I’m reading The One Year Bible Compact Edition NIV .Each day, after reading, I quickly jot down some thoughts, ideas, and prayer using Day One. It’s a little pricey for me ($9.99), but I’ve found it worth it. The reminders are great and I’ve never journaled this regularly before.

My Fitness Pal – I LOVE this app. I’ve not found a better way to track my daily calorie intake as well as keep a diary of exercise and fitness goals. You should be using this. Nearly every food, whether from a restaurant or grocery store is logged in. You’ll know exactly what you’re eating all the time. Plus, it syncs with the iPhone app, so there’s no excuse. The next time you’re at Whataburger about to download a #6 into your gut, you’ll know that’s more than half the calories you’ll need that day.

Go ahead and give some or all of these apps a try. With a wife, two kids, a blog, a church to love, book reviews, and writing projects, I’ve found these helpful.

What other great Apps are out there? What have I missed? Share in the comments section below.


  • Thanks Sean. A couple of them even work on PC’s!! 😉

    I’m giving workflowy a go based on your recommendation. I’m hopeless at keeping a “to do” list and usually don’t remember everything I was supposed to do in the day until an hour before I’m due home. Hoping this helps!!

  • Sam Souder

    Hey Sean! I couldn’t find “Buffer” on the app store – suggestions?

  • Belinda Zoet

    Great suggestions Sean. Now I need a time machine to go back about 10 years to catch up with technology….

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