20 Jun 2019

Linux productivity: Why it’s needed and the top 10 apps

People choose Linux for a variety of reasons, be it as hobby machines, trying out new things, or due to professional requirements. It's becoming easier than ever to use a Linux OS, with positive news coming out every day, such as Chromebooks being able to run Linux apps and new Linux distributions coming out weekly.

All of this is leading to more Linux adoption across the world, from offices to home computers.

In this article, we will cover why increasing productivity on your Linux machine is important, along with the Top 10 apps to do so.

More productivity equals more adoption

For the absolute majority of desktop computer users, computers solve a problem. It's very rarely a hobby to use a desktop computer.

The problem with Linux growth has always been the hobbyist element of it. The only people for whom Linux has actually made sense as a work machine are developers. It makes sense that developers would adopt an OS that makes their work much easier and is basically an environment designed for their work.

The more productive Linux machines can become, the more people will adopt them. More people start to use Linux, and therefore there’s more growth around the whole ecosystem.

For home Linux users, our top 10 Linux productivity list is designed to show the apps available and increase your day-to-day efficiency. For developers, we hope you take some inspiration as to what's out there and how to build apps that directly increase productivity.

Top 10 Linux productivity apps

1. Manage your command lines better with Xiki

Many people use Linux due to the ease of access to the console and running commands by default, without setting anything else up. The process, however, can be less than user-friendly and intimidating to most Linux beginners.

What Xiki does is makes the process of managing your command line consoles much easier. It runs in a text editor, anywhere on your machine, so you can edit any of the pieces of your commands. The outputs become editable, so you can edit any of them versus simply typing a new command as a response to a read-only output.

2. Manage and encrypt your personal information with Osmo

Osmo is an app that lets users manage basic personal information — calendar, to-do lists, contact book, and notes — all from one app. You can back up and encrypt all of your data. You can do everything Osmo provides purely through the keyboard or set up a customizable GUI if you wish.

The app goes further than simply giving users a chance to manage personal information. There are also many great functions. For instance, you can set up alerts or reminders for tasks as sounds or commands. The calendar lets you type daily notes, and the note manager lets you set up a password to access specific files.

Osmo is a great overall tool for managing information.

3. Perform an advanced file search with Catfish

(image from OMGUbuntu)
Catfish does just that; it lets you search any file (hidden or not) by its name within your computer. You can also set up much more advanced search functions with some Python.

4. Track time spent on projects with Hubstaff

For many reasons, it's good to know how much time you spend on specific projects. This is important for personal projects, as well as when working with clients or having someone work for you.

Hubstaff is an advanced time tracking application that lets you do much more than simply track time. You get advanced data, can send detailed invoices within a few clicks and break down work hours by projects and tasks. If you have any staff, you can see their hours worked, as well as pay your staff automatically after accepting their hours. You can even use it with Hubstaff Tasks, an Agile project management tool, for seamless time and project tracking.

The reason why Hubstaff beats many other Linux time tracking applications is the fact that it works across different operating systems and also as a web application. This makes it possible for bigger teams with different setups and functions to adopt one time tracking tool. Hubstaff has a Linux time tracking desktop app that works on all major Linux distributions.

5. AutoKey all the repetitive text and set up hotkeys

Ever find yourself copying the same text or typing up the same content over and over again? Email responses, signatures or command lines, you name it.

AutoKey lets you set up two types of shortcuts. First, you can submit a full text within a shorter version of it, such as "sgn" for signature in any online discussions. The opportunities with this function alone are endless. Ever need to share common info on online chat rooms or give any specific information in emails? This app lets you do that in a few buttons.

Second, AutoKey lets you set up hotkeys to do different stuff, such as open Chrome by clicking Windows+c.

6. Make it easy to access the terminal with Guake

Guake is an amazing Linux app that makes it extremely easy to access the terminal. All you have to do is set up a shortcut, and you have your terminal.

The reason why Guake makes this list is the fact that it's designed with the user in mind. Not only is it visually appealing, it literally changes the experience of using Linux.  Because it takes a few clicks to run the console, it can distract you from your workflow. With Guake, you just click a hotkey and your console slides from the top to the middle of your screen so you can run the command and get back to what you were doing.

7. Create personal notes in a Wiki style with Zim

Zim takes note-keeping to the next level. The application basically allows you to create your own Wiki with your notes. But instead of being on the web, it’s hosted on your computer and only accessible to you (unless you share the file).

Every page you create with Zim gets saved with the Wiki markup on top of it. This is great if you're working on long documents. The application is generally useful for any type of brainstorming or heavy studying as you can refer to other entries within the text.  There's also a function to import other articles from the web so you can use them as a base for a new entry.

8. Brainstorm and plan with Freeplane mind map

Mind maps are great. They let you visualize complex flowcharts, thoughts, and plans. Mind maps help people categorize their ideas into subcategories and understand how they relate to each other.

Freeplane has team collaboration functions built-in, which are great if you need to share complex info with multiple people. The other benefit of Freeplane is the fact that it can run on anything that has Java installed, and as a portable application that's installed on a USB drive.

9. Create art with Krita Desktop

Krita is an open source painting program that’s made by artists to make art tools free and available for anyone. The software is supposed to be used for concept art as well as for illustrations and comics, but it's basically an alternative to Adobe PhotoShop, one of many.

It works on different operating systems, and Krita has a Linux version also.

10. Restore old computers or troubleshoot new ones with Mcelog

Mcelog is an amazing software for advanced hardware error handling. Once you run Mcelog, it shows you if your hardware has issues and shows you the types of issue it is: corrected error or uncorrected error.

The software is perfect if you're rebuilding old PCs, build custom computers or need to check if anything is wrong with your hardware for any other reason.

What are your best Linux apps?

This guest article was provided by Dave Nevogt of Hubstaff

Dave Nevogt has created several million-dollar companies, and is the co-founder and the current CEO of Hubstaff, a time tracking app that runs on any device including Linux with employee productivity monitoring, payroll and many other powerful capabilities.

1 comment:

  1. I would have included LibreOffice, only because sometimes?...you want to type up a letter, or work on a spreadsheet and NOT have to connect to the cloud to do it!