Joe’s 2019 Favorites

- 5 min -
Joe Buhlig

This past year I made numerous changes to my workflows and the tools I use to get my work done. And those tools are ones I love talking about. Thus, I needed to put this together.

Note: This article contains affiliate links. That means that if you click one of these links and subsequently make a purchase, I will earn a commission. You pay nothing extra; any commission I earn comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I only recommend tools that I find genuinely helpful and useful. I ask that if don’t feel the same way about them, please do not spend any money on these products.


  • SetApp

    SetApp is easily one of my top favorites from the year. There are so many times I find myself opening SetApp and typing random keywords to see if there is a new app that solves a problem I’m dealing with. And it continues to amaze me how many times there is a solution right there waiting for me. This is evident in the large number of apps I have downloaded from SetApp.

  • ProtonMail

    A few months ago I decided to make good on my inferences and leave Gmail. And when I did that, I chose ProtonMail as my replacement. It was a bit unnerving at first, but I can tell you it has been mentally liberating to know my messages aren’t being read and used in advertising analytics.

  • Learn OmniFocus

    I’m not sure if this should be under “services” or not but it certainly feels like a service. Learn OmniFocus is run by my good friend Tim Stringer and he does a fantastic job of inspiring me to improve and develop my OmniFocus systems.

  • Namecheap

    This year I made public a somewhat unpopular opinion I’ve been developing around my dislike for Hover as a domain registrar. You can read my article about it, but I made the move to Namecheap as a replacement and have been loving the change so far.

  • ConvertKit

    If you’ve recently subscribed to my newsletter, The Weekly Impulse, you should have received a follow-up email welcoming you to the newsletter and sharing some of the most popular articles here on the blog. That process is made possible by ConvertKit. I’ve tried a number of services for sending my email newsletter and I have to say that ConvertKit has been the easiest to work with.

  • Pinboard

    I’ve long wanted a good way to keep track of websites I want to remember and frankly the read it later services I’ve used for these in the past aren’t made for archiving. But Pinboard is!

  • ProtonVPN

    At this point, most people are aware of how important a personal VPN is for keeping your data private. And my VPN of choice is ProtonVPN. It’s simple. And it lets me connect to servers (including Tor servers) all over the world, which is nice for spoofing websites into thinking I’m in a different country.

  • NextDNS

    NextDNS is my way of fighting back against all the trackers out there. It’s a way of blocking ads, trackers, and malicious websites at the domain level. No browser plugins required.


  • OmniFocus

    It would be insincere of me to have a list of favorites and not include OmniFocus. Obviously, I’m a big fan.

  • MailMate

    Let’s be serious. Markdown and email were made for each other. Thanks, MailMate for making this possible. Also, Send Later is amazing.

  • Jekyll

    This blog is generated with Jekyll. And the more I use it and the more I build out, the more I realize this is exactly the software I want for my blog.

  • TextExpander

    There are a number of companies encroaching on Smile Software’s territory here with TextExpander. But in my opinion, no one comes close to functionality in TextExpander. It has easily become a required tool in my toolkit.


  • Peak Design Everyday Backpack

    I have needed a new backpack for a couple of years now. And when Peak Design came out with v2 of their Everyday line of bags, I pulled the trigger on their Everyday Backpack. I’m working on a review of this as a non-photographer, but I can tell you I’m loving it.

  • TWSBI Diamond 580

    A list of Joe’s Favorites is not complete without a fountain pen on the list. And TWSBI tops the list of my favorite pens. This is my daily journaling pen and my go-to when I need to write anything long-form.

  • Leuchtturm1917

    And if this list needs a pen, it also needs a notebook. And Leuchtturm1917 notebooks have been my exclusive choice for a few years now.

  • Das Keyboard

    2019 was the year I became addicted to mechanical keyboards. And so far my favorite is this Das Keyboard with some custom keycaps that accommodate Dvorak.


  • SoFi

    Readers of my newsletter know this already, but my wife and I made the switch to using an online-only bank this past year. I did a lot of research on it and came out with SoFi. I have to admit that I was nervous about the process at first, but it’s proven to be a real success in my eyes.

  • Novo

    When I switched our personal bank accounts to SoFi, I also started researching online only business accounts. That’s when I discovered Novo. I’m loving Novo. It connects to pretty much every system I use in my business and makes life easy as a business owner.

  • Transferwise

    It’s not uncommon for me to need to send money to someone outside the United States. And the process of converting dollars into something else can often get expensive. Enter Transferwise. They have some of the cheapest prices I’ve seen and made the whole process seamless.


  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

    Out of all the books I read in 2019, Digital Minimalism was my favorite. Cal Newport has a way of connecting dots that I truly appreciate and connect with. If you want to understand how to appropriately engage with your digital world, this is a must.

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear

    A close second to Digital Minimalism is James Clear’s Atomic Habits. This book showed me the power and process of building effective habits into my lifestyle. Again, this is a must.