I’m constantly changing the apps I use. I like to experiment with what works. But I also like to play with new toys. I tend to experiment and chat about new apps I’m trying, but in reality, I have a few core apps that I tend to stick to.
I like to take inventory now and then as it helps me clean up my system and see how things change over time. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it highlights the main apps and utilities I use daily.
I wrote about some of my experiments at the bottom.
- Readwise Reader - RSS, YouTube subscriptions, Newsletters, Read Later.
- Readwise - Highlights and notes.
- Kindle - Digital book reading.
- Audible - Digital book listening.
- Overcast - Podcasts.
- Apple Music - Music.
- Micro.blog - My favorite community. I use the official app.
- Things 3 - Tasks and life organization.
- Apple Notes - Personal notes.
- Apple Calendar - Personal calendar (with work calendar visible).
- Raindrop - Bookmarks and highlights.
- Safari - Personal browser.
- Setapp - One subscription for hundreds of apps for Mac and iOS.
- Bartender - Cleans up my Mac menu bar.
- Dato - Shows my calendar in the menu bar.
- Sip - For grabbing colors.
- CleanMyMac X - Keep my Mac clean.
- Cleanshot X - Screenshots.
- BetterSnapTool - Window management.
- Streaks - Habit tracking and reminders.
Website and Social
- Micro.blog - Hosts my website.
- Ulysses - I write posts and send them directly to Micro.blog.
- MarsEdit 5 - For the occasional website update.
- Mastodon - Micro.blog feeds into my @[email protected] account.
- Ivory - My preferred Mastodon client (the only one I tried).
- Grammarly - Grammar and spelling.
- Outlook - Email, calendar, and work tasks.
- Microsoft Office - Documents and other necessary junk.
- Microsoft Teams - Team communication. Project organization and files.
- Microsoft OneNote - Project notes.
- Microsoft Editor - Grammar and spelling.
- Azure DevOps - Project tasks.
- Balsamic Mockups - Wireframes and simple documentation.
- Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio - Code!
- Timeular - Where I track my time for client work.
- Bing Chat - Helps me troubleshoot, research, and create images.
I tried using Blot for my website. I was writing in Obsidian and posting to Blot, where it would immediately appear on my blog. It was awesome, but I’ll stick with ￼Micro.blog￼ for simplicity.
I tried Obsidian for all of my writing. I still prefer Ulysses, and I think it’s more about the organization of notes and distractions that become available in Obsidian that sways me back to Ulysses.
I tried Logseq for work notes, and it works great for getting things down and creating tasks throughout the day. My biggest grip is that I usually must share notes with my team. Taking light notes in OneNote and immediately updating the documentation for our project works best in the long run. Tasks immediately go into Azure DevOps and are assigned to team members or Microsoft To-Do (accessed through Outlook) for personal work tasks.
I experimented with a Rocketbook notebook. It didn’t stick. Not a problem with the notebook itself. When I get busy, I struggle to do anything analog, although that seems like it should be the best time to use analog. :( The Rocketbook reminded me of writing on my iPad with the Apple Pencil, which reminded me that I could do that by just taping my iPad Lock Screen and starting to write. I still jot down thoughts this way.
I also experimented with dropping my RSS feeds altogether. That didn’t go well because I spent more time jumping to various sites to keep up with things. I returned to RSS, tried Inoreader for a minute, and thought about returning to Feedbin, but ultimately just added my RSS feeds and newsletters to the Readwise Reader app. Now everything is in one place. Readwise Reader is growing on me, and it is complex but has some great features.