My favorite Digital Products of 2020
Yes, the last year even had some good parts.
I know it‘s been a while since the last issue of Inside Digital Product. But this year has been a roller coaster ride for all of us.
After the COVID situation has settled in Germany a lot of work has waited for me. As a partner in an agency, a lot of demand was uncovered especially in the third and fourth quarter.
To wrap 2020 up, I thought it‘d be a nice idea to list those products that I‘ve enjoyed the most over this period. Looking back to something positive is desperately needed.
Enjoying writing even more with Ulysses
I wouldn‘t have thought that I enjoy an iPad with an attached keyboard that much. It‘s the perfect tool that lets me focus on content production. The writing tool of my choice since spring is Ulysses. Overall it‘s a markdown based writing app that does two things especially well.
First, the writing experience itself is a joy. Secondly, I appreciate the text organization features. Usually, I‘m not good at keeping things in structure. But Ulysses helps me by contextualizing my written words. I can highly recommend this app.
A CMS that I actually like
Most projects I‘m involved with is the development of custom web-based software. From time to time there‘s a need of creating marketing pages. This is where my inner struggle starts. In the last years, I had issues in finding the right Content Management System. Most of them seem to have a lot of legacies and don‘t fit into my mental models. This is when I discovered Statamic through Justin Jackson on a Podcast episode.
What should I say? It‘s just a joy to use and get started with. Three things appealed to me the most:
Flexible content modeling is a first-class citizen. Your website needs to understand the concept of a team member or real estate listing. Just define the properties and you‘re ready to go.
Templating is easy and well documented. It follows the best practices that we all know. There‘s no need to relearn things.
No database needed. Yes, that‘s right. Everything can be saved in files. This means that no database administration and huge content migrations are necessary. This decreases the operations burden for smaller projects.
Over the Moon
Most of my news consumption happens through my phone. I still use an RSS reader and read on Twitter through Tweetbot. These apps build a great experience around each platform.
As much as I like the Indie Hackers community. A great smartphone app especially for reading posts was missing. But Levi is about to change it. He builds Moon. It‘s an IH client that is currently in private beta.
The app reassembles so many things that I enjoy about digital products. It solves a personal pain point that I have. It has a personality and gets the job done instead of being polished right away. Moon is opened several times a day on my phone. And I‘m looking forward to the next future updates.
What to expect in 2021?
I‘ve just written my personal review about 2020. One development is pretty clear and will sustain throughout the year. Although we all enjoy digital products many traditional businesses are just about to get started in this field. I‘ve seen so many interesting ideas and concepts that are far off from tools like Ulysses. Industries are about to change it‘ll take a while for them to accomplish this. But SMBs are about to bring lots of new solutions and products to the market. Analog processes still want to find a digital space. This is what keeps me exciting about this field.
Now up to you. What were your favorite digital products of the last year? If you want to let me know just leave a comment.
Last but not least a tiny sidenote. I probably won‘t make a regular schedule for the newsletter in the foreseeable future. Whenever some sharable thoughts come to my mind I‘ll make sure to write them down.
That‘s it for now.
Please stay safe and see you sooner or later.
PS: You want even more insights about digital products? Follow me on Twitter @DennisKluge_. I regularly post about the things I learned during my work on digital products.