I love a nerdy blogging trend. I don’t remember where I saw this first, but I know I read Matt Birchler’s post, Manuel Moreale’s post, and Chris Coyier’s post in my RSS feed. Robb Knight has a list of others who have shared their app defaults. Here are mine:

  • ✉️ Mail service: Fastmail
  • 📬 Mail client: Apple Mail
  • ✅ Tasks: Omnifocus (beta testing OF4)
  • 📰 RSS service: Feedly, although I really ought to move to Feedbin
  • 🗞️ RSS client: Reeder
  • ⌨️ Launcher: Alfred
  • ☁️ Cloud storage: iCloud and Dropbox
  • 📸 Camera: Usually my iPhone 15 Pro, but when purposefully shooting, I bring my Canon R6
  • 🌅 Photo editing and library: Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Apple Photos
  • 📆 Calendar: Fantastical, but if it weren’t for the quick even creation, I’d use Apple Calendar.
  • 🌐 Web browser: Safari for personal, 1 Chrome window for each active work projects. (John Siracusa is my browser window and tab collecting spirit animal. Right now I have 89 tabs open across five browser windows — and I’m still collecting links for this post.)
  • 🔖 Bookmarks: Pinboard for text, Eagle for interesting visuals (I highly recommend Eagle)
  • 🗄️ Backups: Time Machine and Backblaze on every Mac, Synology for cold storage (also backed up to a remote Mac), iCloud for iOS devices. (This is very overkill, but I lost 1TB of photos during my stint as a wedding photographer because multiple backup drives simultaneously died while I was away over Christmas vacation, so I’m hardcore about this now.)
  • 🎙️ Podcasts: Overcast
  • 🎶 Music: Apple Music
  • 🎹 DAW: Logic Pro
  • 🍿 Movie tracking: Letterboxd. I also share everything I watch on my own website
  • 🧑‍💻 Code editor: Nova, with occasional Visual Studio Code usage
  • 📝 Notes: Obsidian
  • ✍️ Writing: iA Writer
  • 🎨 Design: Figma for UI, Illustrator for some icons and logos, InDesign for print work, Apple Freeform for sketching
  • 🔐 Passwords: 1Password
  • 💸 Budgeting: YNAB (I can’t recommend YNAB enough. I hate talking about money, and YNAB has made planning and budgeting finances with my wife tolerable.)

A lot of software on this list hasn’t changed in many years — sometimes close to a decade. I am far more likely to change the physical hardware in my life than I am to change my software tools.

Additional software I’d like: Ulysses with backlinks. Notion without the fiddling.