Our Daily Drivers: The Tools We Use

Show Notes

2024! This week, we're sharing the various tools we use day-to-day in our work and side projects. Let us know if you have any favorites on Twitter @buildandlearn_

  • CJ: working on a side project, https://buckets.cjav.dev
  • Colin: working on some fun docs projects at work
Learning: Sharing Our Tools in 2024

Tools by Category
  • Terminal
  • Editor
  • API tools/clients
  • Content Creation/Editing
  • Mac Helper Apps
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Email
CJ's Toolkit
Colin's Toolkit
  • iTerm2 as my main terminal
  • ohmyzsh with Dracula Theme
  • VSCode as a daily driver for code and markdown (also Dracula themed)
  • RapidAPI client (formerly Paw)
  • Descript for audio-editing
  • Screenflow for screencast video editing
  • Mac Workflow Apps
    • Cleanshot for screenshotting, annotations, and recording screen gifs
    • Raycast for moving around apps quickly
    • Magnet for window management
    • HandMirror for monitoring video
    • HiddenMe for hiding icons on desktop
  • Note Apps (too many lol)
    • Notion for work and podcast notes
    • Obsidian for 2nd brain, brainstorming
    • Textmate for scratchpads while working on a project
    • Apple Notes for personal on-the-go and collaborative notes for home
  • Fantastical for desktop calendars 
  • Apple Mail on phone for personal inboxes, Gmail app for work emails

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Full Transcripts

Colin: Welcome to Build Learn. My name is Colin.

CJ: And I'm CJ. And today we're going to share some of the tools we use to get things done. And this is the first episode we're recording in 2024. So we made it

Colin: Yeah, I figured getting into some tools is like a good way to chat about getting things done without worrying about resolutions and goals and all that kind of stuff.

CJ: totally. Yeah. I I can't remember when did we start like our first podcast recording? I think it was in the summer after a RailsConf or after a RubyConf, but I don't remember what year it was.

Colin: Yeah, August 2022 I think was like when that trailer went out. And so we're kind of going up against what is this? This is the 37th episode. And a little fun fact, but when, when podcasts kind of die, it's called pod fading and most podcasts don't live past their seventh episode. So you know, best laid intentions, people try to, try to do the thing. I've seen a lot of podcasts that only do like one or two episodes and then they're just done. So not too bad, 16 months, 37 episodes. We're still at it.

CJ: Yeah, I think one thing that has helped me this time around is having you to kind of keep me accountable. And like, I feel, I feel some like obligation in a way to show up when I know that like, Hey, you're going to be on the other end of the line. And so if you know, even on the days where I'm not feeling it, maybe or whatever, I'm like, it'll be fun to hang out. And so I think that's one key is like having a cohost and then another key for consistency. Is honestly just putting a recurring event on the calendar. Like if there's something there to remind you, like, Hey, there's a podcast episode that you're planning on recording and it can move around. Like we've probably changed the date and time that we record like three or four times

Colin: Right.

CJ: it doesn't always work on the day or the time that we plan, but it's, it's a calendar event that's there that we have to like move around or intentionally decide to delete it. And so that seems to be a pretty good

Colin: Totally.

CJ: consistency.

Colin: Yeah, it's tricky because like when we have a bunch of episodes. already recorded and in the can, there's a little bit more temptation to be like, well, we could skip this week cause we've got a few to fall back on. But then you end up using that buffer. And sometimes like, you know, if we have trips or someone's sick, you know, it's nice to have that buffer for the emergency fund of sorts. So it's good to, to rebuild that and just be consistent. So the magic of podcast editing, you're going to be hearing this a This is the first episode of 2024. So let's let's dig into it. What, what kinds of things are you working on right now?

CJ: tons of stuff at Kraftwerk. We are building out a bunch more integrations and things. But this last weekend I had tons of fun. I just sat down on like Sunday afternoon and had like my own little mini hackathon. As part of the new year, I think we always sit down and start to like, talk about our money and our finances. And a lot of it is around like tax planning and like starting to get all the docs together. And so Nicole and I often will like sit down kind of like reset and talk about budgeting again. And we learned that there is a button somewhere on YNAB that lets you say, like, start from scratch and like, we're going to try this again. So we kind of, she went through and reset all of our budgets. And now that Mint is shut down, I know we talked about this a couple episodes ago, but I was really missing just being able to go and look at, you know, just high level, what are the balances looking like? And there is a new API that Stripe released called Financial Connection Accounts. Which is a way that you can pull balances and transactions for lots of different institutions. And so I was like, Hey, I want to try that out. So I built this thing called buckets, which is, I kind of like think about managing my money as like just a bunch of buckets of money. And It's up and running and I was able to finally able to connect almost all of our accounts, which is like pretty sweet. And for those that we couldn't connect, I like manually added those. So super, super fun, little live tweeted hackathon from my couch on Sunday afternoon. But yeah, it was a blast. So

Colin: have to go look up those tweets. I've definitely missed those, but it's a great name for what it is. I think people think of it as like envelopes or buckets and you know, everyone treats personal finance is personal. So everyone kind of treats it differently and everyone's looking for the one size fits all app right now. And it's like everyone kind of approaches and thinks about money differently. And yeah, that's, that's cool. Let's try pass that. Now I'll have to check that out. I know they were like starting to get into the more treasury type space.

CJ: Yeah, I think part of it was, well, yeah, there's other, there's like other providers that let you do this. I think FinCity or Teller and some others and Stripe is just one of them. And it's actually quite expensive. There's like, for some things it's 10 cents every API call. And so I'm like, that's kind of wild. Like, I don't think I want to do this or like, I don't think it makes financial sense if I'm, if, even if I'm just trying to pull people's balances for. You know, a family that might have 20 different accounts spread across different things. Like, it probably, it would be tough to get them to pay, you know, a monthly fee that would equal the cost just for the API. So, I don't know, it would be worth it to dig in and figure it out, but, yeah, it's been, it's been fun to build and I'm glad to have some North star metric that I can pull up now again. And yeah, so I guess if people are listening to this later, you should be able to go to buckets. cjav. dev if you want to get on the wait list and I'll reach out to you and try to try to show you what it's all about. So yeah, that's what we're, what we're working on. We're building.

Colin: Very cool. Yeah, you could I don't know if it makes sense to do, like, credits or make people put a card on file to pay for those transaction fees, but

CJ: Yeah, I thought about doing

Colin: open API credits.

CJ: exactly like cost plus, like you just pay as much as it costs me to make these API calls. And then like, yeah, exactly. But yeah,

Colin: the hard part.

CJ: yeah, I'd love to show it to you too. Cause I know that you've got like tons of experience and research done and in the finance app world. So,

Colin: Totally.

CJ: I have to carve out some

Colin: Very cool.

CJ: And,

Colin: so for me, I've been kind of tinkering around with the docs at Discord. That's mostly been my, my day to day. Got a big project that can't talk about quite yet, but I'll share in a few episodes once it's live and, uh, kind of pushed it out into the world. So, uh, found like we had this really strange thing, how we like generate our sidebar for our docs. And if any two pages had the same name. the sub menu would like unfold under both of them. And so we've avoided just using the same name of any two pages. But now I want like, for this new thing, I want an overview. And there's an overview under monetization, there's an overview under like the game SDK. So I finally figured out like how the sidebar gets generated, where I can go in there and figure out how to like not have that duplication. So we can have like a getting started guide. in a completely different area of the product than like the main getting started guide or different reference, different overview, things like that. So I think I've talked about it a lot, but just kind of been diving down that whole docs as code and technical writer rabbit holes of like the different philosophies around content. And kind of as part of that. I've binged listened to almost the whole backlog of the Write the Docs podcast which they don't do anymore. They have, I don't know for what reason they stopped in 2021 but there's a few really good nuggets in there. Some of the things I was dealing with. Specifically, which was like, how do you handle doing docs across multiple repos, multiple projects? If you want to like keep the docs close to the source code, or do you put it all the docs in one place and it's disconnected from the source, things like that, that They didn't have a definitive answer. It's like kind of a, one of those, it depends on company culture and stuff like that too. So

CJ: Yeah, when you're ready to launch this new secret stealth thing, will it be like a beta to start with, or are there people already kind of like in the beta right now?

Colin: yeah, we have some people using the current docs. They're kind of like private and then we're making them more public docs for something that we'll be able to talk about soon.

CJ: Got it. Is it like a hosted set of docs, like they're going to be, or is it kind of like in the GitHub repos, or how does that work? Mm

Colin: That has been like the big struggle of like, do you keep the docs again, like with the, the GitHub repo, or do we put it in our like discord. com slash developers docs? And we do want them to be there. So they are going to be in the public docs. But it's one of those things. It's like, do people, when they find something on GitHub, do they expect the docs to be fully there? Or is it annoying? Like, would it be annoying for you to read the readme and then have to go to the docs? I don't think it's necessarily annoying. It's just, we have to pick one. And we have to make sure we support that. And so that we don't end up with like broken links and things like that.

CJ: Yeah, it's interesting. I don't know what the product is but the, yeah, depending on what is in the repo, like if the repo is a library that's using. An API or something, it's kind of tricky because you want to document how the library works in their GitHub repo, but you want to document how to use the library, maybe somewhere else or something like, yeah, they might be like two different things, which, yeah, it's, it's definitely a tricky balance to strike. And I've definitely. I've seen, you know extremes in both directions recently. Like people have like getting started and you just click this link and it brings you to some hosted docs page. That's nice and beautiful and searchable and whatever. And other times it's just like a giant read me with all the steps, you know? So

Colin: It's like a link to a random Apple notes on some developers phone or something.

CJ: Yeah. cool. Awesome. Yeah. It sounds like that's coming along. I I'm sure it's there's a lot of anticipation and excitement around launching too, and probably like maybe a little bit of a little bit of anxiety, but I'm, I'm I'm excited to see what you guys launch.

Colin: Yeah. It's going to be fun.

CJ: Awesome. Let's talk about tools. Tools are so fun. Yeah, it's like the, one of the, I don't know the things we like to nerd about,

Colin: Totally. Yeah. I figure, you know, a lot of podcasts do like a year in review. This will be more of our tools in review. So I broke these down into categories and we can kind of just go back and forth and kind of riff on them. If there's any other ones that come to mind, we can add those in. But yeah, I guess, I mean, it's almost like a, an Emmy award show or something, but let's do the first category is what terminal are you using these days?

CJ: terminal. So right now, and probably for the last year and a half or so, I've been using warp, which is I think they pitched themselves as an AI enabled. Terminal. They've got a few interesting features built in where you can use like a pound sign and then type out, you know, a request and it'll ship it off to GPT and then come back with some command that you can run. And I want to say it's written in rust so it's like pretty fast or whatever, but it is not as feature rich as some other terminals. So yeah, warp. How about you? What are you rocking for the terminal these days?

Colin: I am just rocking iTerm2, so a classic. I don't really I don't think I use most of the features, I just, very bare bones you know, I go in and replace the original terminal and the dock and all that stuff every time I have a new computer to set up. But yeah, pretty straightforward. And then, uh, I guess the next category would be, like, how we customize that. So I use Oh, my Z shell for the most part and love to use the Dracula theme, which we can, we'll, we'll post links to all of these things, but I use the Dracula theme, which I should know who designed this, but there's like a whole website for it, which is amazing. Just Dracula theme. com.

CJ: Yeah. I find that when I'm feeling particularly like like I want to procrastinate, I go and mess around with themes like my Vim theme and my terminal theme and whatever. So yeah, I'm also using Omai Zeesh with a custom theme that is forked from Sarah Drasner's Night Owl. And I th Yeah, it was, I think it was like the closest one I could find to stripy colors back in the day. And so then I just copied it and tried to make it feel on brand. And so, yeah, I've kind of just continued to use that as my, my default.

Colin: Yeah, I'll say like I used my main editor used to be textmate and that the themes that were in there when it like first came out have really like literally influenced like my future themes since I'm always like trying to find things like like what I had in textmate which yeah, kind of brings us to editors. What are you using as your main editor?

CJ: My go to right now is NeoVim, and I have been Actually, like this last few weeks, I've been experimenting with some new plugins to try to get things working even faster and smoother. So FZF, I was using FZF for my fuzzy finder, but I just installed telescope, which also uses FZF under the hood, but it gives you like a bunch of like previewing. So when you try to open up a new file or like if you're in a project and you basically. Command P or control P or whatever to fuzzy find a file. It'll give you like a type of head thing that you can type into. And then when it finds a result, like it'll preview the result that you're looking at in a second pane, which is pretty dope. And then I use a bunch of T POP things for Vim rails and comments and get with Vim fugitive using Vim tests to like run my tests directly from Vim. And then. Ale for linting co pilot, which is another T POP thing. And a couple of weeks ago, I installed this tool called Butterfish, which was written by a former Stripe. And this is kind of like the brushes that are built into VS code, where you can, from directly from Vim, you can say like write a Fibonacci function or something, and then it'll put it in line, or you can say like refactor or explain this or some really cool tools that are built directly into. Directly into your editor. So yeah. How about you? What are you rocking these days?

Colin: Yeah, I, well before I do that, I think the, I forgot about the copilot brushes. I don't know why I haven't, they're like in my editor when I'm in there day to day. But there's some handy ones in there and I totally forgot about this. So yeah, I'm running VS Code. It's something that we use at work, but also just kinda. I think I had used, I went from like textmate to sublime to eventually Adam and now firmly in the VS code land. Not, you know, writing, I use it for Markdown. I have some good Markdown extensions for that. Including one that I'll link that's more of like a grammar spelling one. Which has been nice because there's some really cool ones out there for doing like very intense styling for like your, you can create a style guide for your company. But and that's like veil. sh would be one of those, but it was a little too restrictive for us. And so now I use I don't actually know how to pronounce it, but it's L A T E X. How do you pronounce that? Latex. I think it's actually pronounced differently, but I've heard it pronounced differently. That also could be the French folks that I was working with. And so yeah, VS code also has the Dracula theme. So my terminal and my editor match which is always fun.

CJ: nice. Yeah. You got the the matching pants and jacket. Yeah, I, uh, I think my, yeah, I can't remember. I think my editor is like slightly different than than the terminal, but I do like it when it matches. So that's cool. Do you find yourself using the built in terminal? That's like part of VS code when you're. Doing terminal stuff or do you like jump back to iterm two? Nice

Colin: both. So I'll use the terminal and VS code the way that we build stuff at discord. We use something called coder. So we have like remote instances that we're building in. And so I'm actually remote connected in VS code to that instance and using that. And then sometimes I, I think of my terminal as my local machine and then the terminal and VS code as. The remote machine. So some people I think use iTerm to do remote connections into their coder instance, and then, you know, now you have to know like which terminal is your remote instance and which one's your local one. I'm sure there's some cool tricks out there to like change the theme based on which one you're connected to and all that kind of stuff, but I like to keep it. pretty easy and just use VS Code for the remote stuff.

CJ: That's a, so that's, I guess that's the editor's category. Should we jump over to API tools and clients?

Colin: Let's do it.

CJ: All right. Next category. What are you using these days for like a, yeah, API client.

Colin: So, I mostly use what's now called just the RapidAPI app. It used to be PAW. So, I don't know if, I think this is Mac specific. They might have had a Windows version. But I was always a fan of Paw and they got bought by RapidAPI, so now it's the RapidAPI icon in my doc, but Very similar to Postman, very similar to Insomnia, things like that

CJ: never heard of PA. I need to check this out. Okay.

Colin: yeah,

CJ: Awesome. Yeah. The I've been using Postman late, like most recently, but before I used insomnia, uh, and the thing that I, that kind of like sold me on Postman is that a lot of API companies will have a Postman collection that you can download and install. And so, yeah, I just started saving those off and kind of building, building like a. A portfolio of different, uh, collection of collections and each collection is like a company. And then each of those companies has like lots of different API endpoints in these directories and syncing that back to my Postman account. So that if I open up on a different machine, it's kind of like pre saved all my stuff for dev. So yeah, I think I'm pretty, pretty solidly sold on Postman these days, but we'll definitely need to check out Paw.

Colin: Yeah, I, there's something about the, how polished Paw is, like, I want to use Postman, I, but it's just, it feels a little clumsy. To me, or from a design perspective, it's a little bit less so, and I don't know, I don't use it that much, but it's nice to have like some collections that I can like rerun and so forth, so,

CJ: Next category, content creation and editing.

Colin: yeah, so podcasting, video, what, what kinds of things are you using for all of that?

CJ: I, yeah, I've collapsed all of that content creation stuff down into Descript. So I'm using Descript for podcasting, using Descript for video, screencasting, vertical shorts, TikToks, all the things are now happening in Descript for me. Yeah, it, uh, I like that it consolidated and removed all of the different import export steps. What about you? What's yeah, what are you using these days for that content stuff? ScreenFlow,

Colin: Um, I don't really, I think Descript is my go to now. I'm not yet got to the point in the screencasting course where I'm like doing too much other video stuff. Usually my go to is Webflow for, for videos, not Webflow Screenflow. Yeah for like kind of screen recording. Surprisingly, I do like Loom, but I don't currently have a subscription for that in terms of just like. Talking to the camera and recording your screen and being able to get comments and stuff on it is like in line in the timeline is probably the biggest advantage. But yeah, I think for the most part, Descript has become the kind of a Swiss army knife of, of content creation these days.

CJ: hmm. Yeah, I sent my first Descript quick recording, which is kind of like a loom the other day. And there weren't comments on it or anything, but there were a couple of integrations in loom that I preferred where like loom will tell you, okay, your loom has been watched one or three times or something, or you got these comments or these reactions on your loom that are features I'm sure Descript will launch. Soon if they haven't already, but yeah, it's nice to just collapse it all down into one tool. So,

Colin: Totally. And less subscriptions for the, the buckets of money that you're,

CJ: exactly one

Colin: your budgeting apps.

CJ: Cool.

Colin: I think the next category, let's do kind of Mac helper apps. So these are like, I'm thinking apps that help you move around windows, menu bar apps spotlight replacements, those kinds of things. What, what do you use?

CJ: I have been using Ray cast recently. In place of spotlight slash Alfred slash whatever. And it's okay. I, I feel like I, I don't know, I don't use it as much as I could for sure. I feel like I'm, you know, using less than 1 percent of the tools that are in there. I'm also using key caster. What else? Yeah, I, I don't actually use a tool to manage my windows, which probably sounds like a serial killer type situation, but no, yeah, I just, I don't ever full screen or like I avoid full screening anything and like. I just manually adjust the sizes of my windows. I would say that most of the time I stretch the windows to be full size, but if I'm on a call like we are now, then I will put the camera or like the person's face underneath where the camera is and then I'll kind of like slide the other windows around. But otherwise, Almost all the time. I have everything full screen, which I should probably just get some window manager that makes that happen for me. But yeah, do it the Neanderthal way.

Colin: you've lived this long without one, you know, it does take some learning to, to get used to it. So,

CJ: So what, yeah, like, what are you using to, to manage windows?

Colin: I think I use, so I use magnet right now and my, like, really the only. use I use it for is there's a hot key that will make whatever window I'm in be half of my screen on one side. And then the other one I can push the other arrow and it'll do half the other side of the screen. So I'll usually do that with like docs and an editor or terminal and a docks if I'm like playing around with some, some other site you know, that kind of thing. So it's mostly for half and half sometimes like I've seen some people get pretty fancy or it's like bottom left quadrant and top quadrant. And when you have more screens, I'd like to only work with one screen. So I don't really have to worry about like throwing things to multiple screens and stuff like that. So I also use Raycast, but I use it literally the same way only to launch things. I think I found Alfred and Raycast have better index for finding things. Like, sometimes in Spotlight, you'll type in the thing you're looking for and it just doesn't find it fast. Granted, I also haven't really used Spotlight in years, so maybe it's been fixed. But love, like, how Raycast looks. So, that's, that's the one for me. I have some little particular ones. I have one called Hand Mirror that literally just shows me what my camera sees. So it's my little like green room pre check like all of that. So like when we're on a call right now, I can obviously see it, but you can pop it open and switch cameras and just see it without having to like broadcast your camera. They have a feature where you can pay and monitor your audio, but it's really just like, is audio coming through or not. What I actually want if anyone out there has heard of this scene, this wants to build this, it's on my list of things to build is I want it like a, a DB like decibel audio monitor in my menu bar. So that I can see like if our levels are just too low. I have like a monitor in front of me, like a hardware thing, but it, it goes green, yellow, red for like if I'm peaking and things, but it doesn't tell me how. you know, how quiet or how, how loud I am. So just because different software treats audio a little bit differently. Being able to kind of be consistent, obviously we use Descript, so it's like studio sound and stuff fixes a lot of that for us. But yeah, so that's another one.

CJ: Yeah. Hand mirror sounds cool. I usually open up photo booth and like, you know, whatever, check my makeup and make sure that I'm looking fresh before going on, but or, and also Descript has like They're a little monitor and I think ScreenFlow has a monitor too, but hand mirror sounds useful. Another one that I forgot to mention that we've got to drop in here is Orlando built this tool called Dash Cam. That is kind of like a dash cam in your car where it's always recording your screen. And at any point you can say, you can go back and say like, Oh, I want to look at the last two hours of my screen. So it's kind of like, you know, if you've got a camera in your car as you're driving, you see an accident, but you don't think to like push the record button before you, the accident happens. So this is like recording kind of like all the time. And so kind of, kind of a neat tool. So yeah, if you're interested, go check that out.

Colin: Nice. That's kind of like how like the modern consoles are like recording a buffer of like the last 30 seconds and so you can have like your achievement of like whatever, whatever cool gaming moment you had you can still get a video of it without having to know that you wanted to record it.

CJ: right, cool.

Colin: magnet, raycast I think one other one would be like, in the same kind of category as like screenshotting, so I use CleanShot, which I think they have a free version, but the, I pay for it, it's, it's, I think for you, I know what you use, it's like the most modern version of Skitch, um, it's very nice, because I can record Like capture areas, I can do scrolling capture, I can do timers, I can record the screen as a GIF or a video, you can annotate on it. And it has a really cool UI for like the screenshots don't end up in my desktop. They end up in like floating on my screen so I can just drag them into whatever I'm using them. Like throw them into Discord or whatever, throw them into a GitHub PR and then if I want them to be saved to my computer, I hit save and it'll save it. Cause I used to notoriously have like a million screenshots on my desktop or in another folder somewhere.

CJ: I feel seen because that's my life, my desktop. No one ever sees my desktop, including me. Cause it's just littered with like 5, 000 screenshots.

Colin: Yeah. Well, do you use an app to hide your desktop? That's another, that's one I actually do.

CJ: Any app that is up is hiding my desktop from me.

Colin: So I use an app called hidden me, which literally shows and hides my desktop icons. So instead of having to like go clean it up before I do a screencast, I just hide all desktop icons and we're good to go. Yes.

CJ: which I've been using since, like, I don't know, 2013 or 14 or something. And it's this, like, free thing. I think it came out of Evernote. And I worked with this guy, John, at MyVR, who is a huge Evernote fan. And his, like, entire life was run out of Evernote. And he fought, like, he, adhered very, very closely to the get things done, like life framework and like used Evernote really, really uh, intensely. And so he was a big fan of Skitch. And so I picked it up and then just never stopped using it. And anytime I need to annotate, I just pop in there and point arrows and draw squares and that's it. So but I have

Colin: one of their longest running customers at this point.

CJ: I've heard great things about clean shot though. And every time I tell people that I'm using sketch, they suggest clean shot. So I'd need to give it a shot.

Colin: Hey, I mean, if it, if it's not broken, don't

CJ: yeah, I love the idea of recording like scrolling stuff or like just certain regions of the screen. My flow is like, I'll do like command shift three. Screen grab, command space, open sketch, paste, and then draw an arrow to a thing. Command shift V, like, or then I'll like command shift 4 again, re screen grab sketch itself, and then paste it into whatever, like, app I'm using to like send the screenshot. So that I'm never, like, I'm always basically just using the clipboard. Like I'm just into

Colin: you're using the default Apple clipboard.

CJ: Yes. Yes. Straight through the Apple clipboard. Yeah, exactly.

Colin: Yeah. Clean shot is a little aggressive in that you have to go disable the default native screenshotting. Like all of the, you can still use the keys, but you're literally turning off the Apple screenshotting. And this is like takes over. So it. Yeah, it's just very different, but also it's not free, right? So, Skitch, there's pros and cons there, and I think screenshotting a screenshot on a Mac doesn't, like, make a copy of a copy worse, like, like a photocopier, whereas, like, I don't know what it is about some of the mobile apps, but, like, when people screenshot things from Instagram and then re upload it, each one gets progressively worse because it's compressed and compressed and compressed.

CJ: Yeah. Yeah. The other thing that is super annoying about sketch is that when you go to close it, every time it's like, are you sure you want to discard this thing? I'm like, I never, ever, ever want to save it. Like ever. Don't ask me this ever again. And there's no way to tell it to do that. And so every single time I go to close it, I have to like get my mouse and go navigate over and click the button. That's like, no, I don't care. Discard. So,

Colin: Yeah. I think we have a list of apps here that we should talk to about sponsoring the show in the future

CJ: oh yes. Right. And maybe was that,

Colin: They're like, oh we don't really use Raycast, but

CJ: Ah, ah, ah, ah,

Colin: I will figure out what the other 99 percent of the features do if you'd like to sponsor

CJ: Right. Yeah. Yeah.

Colin: All right. So the next Emmy awarding category, we have notes apps. What are you using for notes these days? Work notes, personal notes.

CJ: Yep. I, I have been using notion more and more and more, and now I'm, I'm pretty firmly into notion for a lot of stuff. I would say, yeah, 99 percent is now in notion. We use notion at work. And so I have kind of like personal profile and work profile that I'm jumping between all day long. And Yeah. That's where we write we like write a bunch of meeting notes in there. We run projects. Through there, we run this podcast through there. I have a, like an ideas board that I've got running in their personal journaling. Yeah, like basically everything's a notion. Yeah, I have never been like a huge fan of Apple notes and. I've been kind of a obsidian curious or, you know, one of those other like note taking, like intentionally dedicated apps that are like just for note taking, but I've never, yeah, never spent time to like invest in one of those. I guess they're called like knowledge. What is it? Like

Colin: Yeah. Like second brain or knowledge

CJ: Yeah, yeah,

Colin: type apps.

CJ: Right. What about you? Note, note taking stuff.

Colin: Yeah. So I use too many. I think this is another one of those like attention deficit things, but a notion for work and podcast notes like yourself. I do use obsidian for like longer form notes. Like it's where I put my idea app ideas when I like want to flush out an app idea and sometimes I'll just leave it there and then might come back to it.

CJ: Mm hmm.

Colin: and then I have a strange thing where like I mentioned text me earlier, I still put text me on all my computers. It is not worked on to my knowledge anymore. But what's really cool about it compared to almost anything else out there. It's like when you open text me, you can open as many windows as you want. And they're super fast. So like I use it as like a scratch pad for like, I even like use markdown bullet lists, like format in text mate just to like make myself focus a little bit. Or like leave myself a note that I leave on my screen when I close my computer for the day and it's just in text mate. And so when I work through those, I will close them. I'm basically using that as like a to do list, which is kind of strange because it's not that. But it works for me. I usually end up with a whole bunch of text made notes saved to my desktop, just like my screenshots. And then finally I do, I've started using Apple Notes. It's actually really good. if you want to share notes with someone without the heaviness of Notion and things. So like, collaborative grocery lists or like, I remember like for Chanel we had like a surprise party and it was like, I was like, just add a list of all of the friends that you would want to hang out with. And I was like, trying to be vague add them to this list and then like, who is this person and how do I get in touch with them and things like that. So it's really nice because You can add to it. We've done it for trips with friends too. Like this is the itinerary. When I was over overseas, I was kind of like updating my itinerary, like this is like, I made it, I got on the plane, things like that. So Chanel could actually see as like, my trip was progressing, like, kind of, kind of like a safety check-in, but also just like knowing where I was without doing like a creepy find my friends or something like that. So,

CJ: That is, yeah, I could definitely see the value in, in sharing or collaborating that way. We use any list and we have like a shared grocery list on there and that has worked really well for us. But yeah, my brother. Was doing standup for a little while and he would write all his jokes in his Apple notes on his phone. And he had been writing jokes for like years in these Apple notes and something happened and he lost it all. And so, yeah, since then I've been like a little bit scared to, to use it or like depend on it too much. But I thought it totally like synced to your iCloud and everything, but.

Colin: I think it does, but there's like the magic there that I don't know that you could go find the file. Like, I don't know how that works. Like, it's in iCloud somewhere, but I'm sure it syncs to your, your, like, mobile backups and stuff too if you do that.

CJ: Mm hmm. Mm

Colin: I think, I feel like Apple Notes kind of did what Evernote was trying to do, but the tech was not quite there yet. When, I mean, Evernote was like a darling of the Notes space for so long and it's just like launching it took Too long. If you want to put something into a note, took too long. I used to use it as, like, screenshots, images, text, everything went into Evernote. And I think my account's still alive. I'd have to check that out. But, yeah, that's notes. I think we kind of round to the final two core categories that I think everybody has, which is calendar and email. And this is kind of timely because Things like hey email and hey calendar

CJ: Mm hmm.

Colin: Being pretty popular these days from 37signals. What are you using for calendar? And what are you using for email these days?

CJ: I use default just like the browser versions of Google calendar and Gmail for everything. Pretty boring, but it works. I would say like the one interesting thing, maybe if people haven't done this already, as you can turn on hotkeys or like keyboard shortcuts in your Gmail, there's like a setting and then you can, you can navigate around like crazy fast with just like with keys. And so One of like, I would say like one of my productivity hacks is like go into Gmail and then use like J and K to move up and down through the list and then X to like mark them as read or not read or like, I'm going to delete these. And then you can use E to archive it. And so you can just kind of, I don't know, work through pretty quickly. Yeah, exactly.

Colin: for email.

CJ: Right. Yeah. And then yeah, Google calendar, just Google calendar itself works pretty well. How about you?

Colin: Nice. Are you using like Chrome personas to be able to switch between those?

CJ: Yes. Yeah. So I, okay. So yeah, so I have my personal Gmail calendar, which is like my life stuff. And on there I'll share things like, Oh, my son has swimming lessons today or we've got to I don't know, pay this bill or we're going to a wedding or whatever. And then I'll share my personal calendar with my work calendar and vice versa. So that if I, yeah, if I'm like looking at my work calendar in my work persona, then it'll just see like, Oh, you're busy on your personal calendar for a certain amount of time. And I'll know like, okay, that's because the kids have, you know, soccer that day or something. But. Yeah, just kind of switching between those two different personas. Yeah, before you get to yours, did you see that Notion released a calendar too? I think it was like this week.

Colin: Yeah, is that a calendar block or is it a calendar feature in Notion cuz I'm in your Notion right now So I can't really tell

CJ: I think it's like a completely separate,

Colin: cuz calendar view has been a thing for a while.

CJ: yeah, no, it is like a, a whole new thing. Yeah, so Jay Z, um, this guy worked at that Stripe now, is now at Notion, and I know worked on this, like launching this new calendar thing, which is.

Colin: very cool so now Notion's trying to become the Everything app which I mean for a lot of Notion stuff like I think calendar will make sense for people

CJ: The, yeah, the productivity in Notion is great. I'm excited to see where they take that. So,

Colin: Yeah. So for me, I also use the standard Gmail and Google calendar for the most part on desktop. I also use fantastic cow. So what's kind of cool about that is I have all my Google accounts logged into and you can create a profile so I can switch between Reno collective discord personal, or I want to see all of my calendars overlaid, which is like, you know, Insanity.

CJ: yeah,

Colin: and what's, it's fast. I mean, I think my discord one's my default one when I like create events and things like that. And I mean, I get away with probably doing the exact same thing and Google persona profiles too. But I, I am a sucker for very well designed Mac apps and fantastic. How is that? That's why I use pod. That's why I like things like clean shot. And then Gmail. I use main gmail. I have a pretty crazy customization to gmail that I don't think will translate to audio But maybe i'll i'll try to find a link to where I found it like over a decade ago But my email has like a main feed and then like an urgent Delegated, scheduled, like side feed so I can move emails into these little buckets just with like, with icons so I'll maybe we'll put a screenshot in the show notes for the first time. I think I think we can do that. I don't know if show notes support images, but we'll find out. Yeah, so I use that. And then on my phone, I'm using like the default mail app for all of my personal and Reno collective email. And then I use the Gmail. For work so that if I get it and I only have notifications on my work email cause we use discord for almost everything. So I, if I get an email, it's like probably something I need to read. But we don't get, we had like a few emails a day at most. And usually that's more like DevRel inbound stuff than specific stuff. So

CJ: Got it. Yeah, I do the same on on mobile for sure. Yeah, I love that you can switch between the different Gmail profiles pretty smoothly too. Like that, that just, it works so cleanly. So

Colin: Yeah. Separation of concerns.

CJ: yes, exactly. Exactly.

Colin: Very cool. I think that's our winners for our personal app awards for the

CJ: Yes.

Colin: The things that we use, the things that command our time and attention, that's the real winners right there.

CJ: Exactly. Yep.

Colin: Yeah, if you love the show and want to share what apps you use, you can tweet at us. We don't talk a lot about our Twitter and our You know, giving reviews for the show. But if you want to help other people find the show, you can review us on Spotify, Apple podcasts, whatever podcasting app you're using. We're going to start getting back into tweeting and doing some audiograms and just trying to pull the community together a little bit. There are, there are dozens of us, CJ, dozens of us.

CJ: Nice. All right. That's all for this episode. You can head over to buildandlearn. dev to check out the show notes and the links and all the resources and yeah, we'll see you next time.

Colin: Bye friends. All audio, artwork, episode descriptions and notes are property of CJ Avilla, Colin Loretz, for Build and Learn, and published with permission by Transistor, Inc. Broadcast by