Favorites no.1 – products that excel at their promise

I live a pretty minimalist lifestyle and that includes the way I evaluate different tools I use to get my work done. Don’t get me wrong, I love trying out new products and services. In fact I probably sign up for 1-2 new products every week, very few of them I keep around though.

Here’s the first list of my favorite products that have stuck around and why.

Tempo

Over the years I’ve used most of the email clients out there – Apple’s Mail app, Gmail in the browser, Google Inbox, Airmail, Polymail. I don’t send a ton of email, practice inbox-zero and use the archive button heavily which means that I don’t really benefit from a lot of the advanced features that most of these clients offer. What I really needed was an email application that presents itself as rarely as possible and when it does it works with you to be closed as soon as possible, all through an aesthetically distraction free user experience.

That’s what Tempo does for me.

I absolutely dig the monochromatic design and I receive “You’ve got mail” notification only twice per day. I still open it more frequently than that though, however the fact that “less notifications” is an opt-out rather than an opt-in makes wonders. I also tend to treat my inbox as a todo list and Tempo allows to mark any email as a todo, which moves it out of the Inbox to be dealt with later, nice!

I’ve used it in beta close to 3 months now and will become a paying customer when they the officially launch.

Get Tempo at https://www.yourtempo.co

Now by zeit.co

I’ve kept my eye on the product offering from Zeit, the company behind their deployment tool called “now” for the last couple of years. They are obsessed with building accessible developer friendly tools around abstracting cloud computing. And it shows, from the onboarding experience on their site to the CLI tools and convenient dashboards you get access to upon sign up.

So what’s “now”? It’s predominantly a CLI tool which when run in a directory makes the contents of it - for example a web app, accessible from a URL. It sets up SSL and deploys that across different providers (AWS and Google Cloud) to be accessible from every corner of the world. But don’t be fooled by this crazy abstraction level – it is still possible to heavily configure it to your needs.

What excites me the most about Zeit’s offering is the abstraction around serverless functions. By default any file in api directory becomes a serverless function. For example if you have a file api/get-user.py , running now exposes that as a serverless function. Hitting mysite.com/api/get-user would invoke that function which is almost impossible to out-scale.

I also love their pricing for serverless functions. It’s as cheap as running an API Gateway and a Lambda function on AWS natively.

▲ my-site/ now
> Deploying ~/ACME/my-site under acme
> Using project my-site
> https://my-site-7q03y4pi5.now.sh/ [v2]
> Ready! Deployment complete - https://my-site.acme.now.sh [in clipboard]
▲ my-site/ 

Get it now ;) at https://zeit.co

Forestry

When it comes to creating modern static websites Forestry takes the first place as my absolute favorite content management tool. JAMstack (Javascript, APIs and Markup) is the not-so-new cool kid on the block for modern web applications and Forestry makes it easy to handle the markdown component of it. What’s best though - it is all source controlled in git. Every time you update the content in Forestry – that is write a blog post or upload images, it commits those changes into markdown files in your git repository.

For example this blog is a static website generated by https://gohugo.io framework and hooking it to Forestry as a CMS (content management system) was easy as allowing Forestry access to the git repository hosting the site.

It’s editor looks nice, is free of distractions and can also run a preview server internally which exposes a blazing fast preview for the updates about to be committed, neat! Of course the content of this blog is written and managed in Forestry 😎.

Get Forestry at https://forestry.io


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