The year 2020 hasn't been what we had expected. A lot of lifestyle changes we had to adapt due to the pandemic (CCP Virus). Cities and entire nations went into lockdown disrupting our way of life. Some people lost their jobs while others have prospered due to these unforeseen circumstances. As we have all started to move away from commuting to the office and started working remotely or setting up a side hustle. The SAAS sector has boomed in 2020. I've compiled a list of the SAAS products I've used and adopted as part of my workflow.

Project management

There are so many project management tools out there and the list is endless, some of the most popular names are Trello, Asana, Monday.com, Jira and ClickUp. At the core majority of these tools are very similar to what they do and all include a Kanban board. It really depends on what works for you and your team.

ClickUp

I've used a number of project management tools over the years and have gone through a lot of these in search of something that works for me. ClickUp is generous with its free tier and gives you enough room to grow into their paid plans. Personally it's my favourite tool so far in this category.

Note taking apps

For years I've been using Evernote initially it was great when they launched and in recent years they have been adding limitations to the free version making it basically unusable. Even upgrading to the premium version at £60 a year is a bit expensive.

Nimbus note

In Q4 2020 I've migrated all my notes over to Nimbus note (teams plan) and this will be my primary note-taking app for all my notes. Drafting all my blog posts including this one. A few features that really stood out for me is having workspaces, making notes public and having the ability to use CNAME e.g. notes.yourdomain.com. When I made the switch it was only a one-time fee now I believe they have switched to a subscription model.

Alternative – Notion

This is a very popular note-taking app that many uses and highly recommend amongst the productivity geeks. This would be the next one I'd migrate to if Nimbus Notes doesn't work out.

Design tools

Adobe creative cloud

This is a must for anyone that works in the creative space. Adobe is the industry leader in multiple areas including photography, design, video editing and motion graphics to name a few. This is an essential tool and something I'd find extremely hard to replace. The main tools I rely on are Lightroom, Photoshop, illustrator, premiere pro and after-effects.

Glorify app

Is an alternative to tools like Canva. Glorify it's mainly focused on e-commerce and allows you to put together product images super quick. if that's for the product page or something for socials. It also has a really good one clicks background remover and easy to add drop Shadows. It's great for those colleagues who are not savvy with Photoshop.

Artboard Studio

Is another recent addition to my tool kit. It's great for creating branded product mock-ups whether it's product packaging, UX designers and more. Something to get mock-ups done quick and isn't that bad. One of my impulse buys that i don't regret.

Hosting and server management

Over the years I've been frustrated by shared hosting lack of speed and slow performance from WordPress. I've tested multiple platforms Google Cloud, AWS, Lightsail and Digital Ocean, but always end up hitting a wall when it comes to making adjustments with PHP or logging into SSH and all that stuff. My current set up is Bunnyshell+Digital Ocean.

Bunnyshell

Bunnyshell is a server management platform similar to server pilot basically this allows you to manage and deploy multiple applications on a single server. This is great as this has allowed me to move away from shared hosting and spin up a droplet or instance really easily, make changes to PHP settings within the interface.

Digital Ocean

This is a good option for those who want the flexibility to scale up or down a droplet. It's competitively priced with a good amount of locations to spin up an application.

Alternative Cloudways

Cloudways is absolutely fantastic can't really fault the ease of use of their platform. The highlight of Cloudways is that they are a one-stop solution. It easily lets you deploy applications and lets you choose your server provider e.g. Digital ocean, Vultur and AWS to name a few. Well worth checking out but can become costly when you go for higher tier servers.

WordPress Plugins

There are tons of wordpress plugins i use. Lets stick to some of the paid ones in this post.

Shortpixel

Is one of my favourite plugins this takes out all the compression hassel and optimize images so i dont have to worry about it. Hate to admit but it saves me a lot of time.

WPvivid

I've been searching for a WordPress backup tool for some time and decided to take the plunge with this one on black Friday. Personally, I'm not a fan of annual subscriptions and this was a one-time fee before they switched to a subscription model in Jan 2021. This tool is great as it allows me to schedule weekly backups to Amazon S3 and OneDrive. It's probably worth mentioning that if you're on a shared hosting plan this plugin may not work too well compared to other back up plugins. WPvivid seems to use a little more resources than other plugins like all in one backup.

Link Shortener

Link Shorteners are ideal for branded links. For example you may see Amazon links as amzn.to or Twitter links as t.co

Vexly.io

Brand, track, and share your short links, engage with your users on a different level with advance analytics. Full disclosure I started Vexly in 2021 as I needed a solution that had all the features I needed. Get 30% OFF when you use “LiNoormohamed2021” it's a recurring discount.