Every year towards the end of December I evaluate the apps that I’ve been using and what I will use for the next year. I find that writing this out helps me better evaluate the apps that best fit my workflows. Once I complete my evaluation, I summarize it in a post on this blog.
Another reason for this post is that visitors are always asking me which apps I use for specific tasks. To keep from repeating myself over and over, here’s the list of apps that I use.
- MacBook Pro early–2015 13” (soon to be replaced with a MacBook Air M1/8gb)
- iPhone 11
- iPad 5th Generation (which I rarely use these days)
- Apple Watch 44 mm Series 4
Table of Contents
Safari – Safari is my browser of choice. I use Wipr with Safari to block ads, trackers, cryptocurrency miners, and other annoyances.
As we all know some websites don’t play nice with Safari. In those situations I use Firefox.
Fastmail – I’ve been using Fastmail for email ever since I left Gmail over 6 years ago. I also use it for calendar, and contacts.
Fastmail has an iOS app, that I use, but none for the Mac so I use the Fastmate app which is a native Fastmail-wrapper.
Messages – Messages is how I communicate with family and friends.
Calendar and Tasks
Fantastical 3 – Fantastical is my calendar and task app. It integrates perfectly with my Fastmail calendar appointments and events and Apple Reminders tasks.
Reeder – Reeder is what I use for my Feedly RSS feeds. Anything that I want to read I save to Instapaper for reading later.
Twitter – Twitter is for news and the feeds for apps that I use.
Drafts 5 – I’ve been using Drafts for several years. It’s the launching-off point for text for me. I use the actions to copy it, share it, or deep link into other apps and services.
iA Writer – iA Writer is my current writing app of choice. For preview I use Marked 2 side by side with iA Writer. Everything that I write goes through Grammarly for proofreading grammar and spelling.
Apple Notes – Notes that I want to keep long-term go in the Notes app.
Utilities / Productivity
Bitwarden – Gotta have a password manager.
Alfred – Alfred is Spotlight on steroids. I’d be lost without it.
Keyboard Maestro – Keyboard Maestro is another app that I can’t live without it. I use it for keyboard shortcuts, launching apps, opening files and folders and automating actions. It has a learning curve but once you start to get the hang of it you can do amazing things. I’ve written about Keyboard Maestro here.
PopClip – I use PopClip to manage what I do with selected text. I’ve written about PopClip here.
Hazel – Hazel watches whatever folders I tell it to, automatically organizing my files according to the rules that I’ve created.
Yoink – Yoink speeds and up my workflow by simplifying drag and drop. I’ve written about Yoink here.
Dropzone – Dropzone makes it easy to copy or move files to my favorite folders, open applications and uploading files to the Internet right from your menu bar.
App Cleaner – AppCleaner is my app uninstaller. I use it because it deletes all the junk that gets left behind when you drag the app icon to the trash.
Moom – I use Moom for window management.
Witch – Witch is my app switcher.
Bartender 4 – Bartender is the app I use to organize my menu bar. I’ve written about it here.
ScreenFloat – ScreenFloat is my app for taking screenshots and storing them.
TunnelBear VPN – TunnelBear is my VPN for security on public WiFi and for web browsing privacy.
PCalc – PCalc is my stock calculator replacement. I use it for its additional features and customization.
My 2021 Essential iOS Apps