Apps I’m Using 2023

Here’s a year-end list of my top apps from the last year.

As a Design Professional™ this is what we use now. I spend 8-10 hours a day staring at this app.
I use Slack all the time. It’s fine. The redesign is fine. You’ll get used to it.

I was recently convinced (shamed?) into switching to VS Code, finally leaving behind my beloved Sublime Text. It’s been a steep learning curve but I see why it’s popular. I still find myself dipping back into Sublime to do the basics like edit pesky .svg files.

This is the one and only task management app that has stuck with me. I’ve been a daily user for nearly a decade.
I’ve been using Vimcal for almost three years. It works seamlessly with Google calendars across my accounts, let’s me quickly create booking slots and allows me to see all my calendars in once place. The mobile app is nice too! Can’t say enough positive things.
I’ve been mourning the loss of Sparrow Mail ever since Google bought it and shut it down. I used Gmail in the browser, created site specific browsers and then used Shift for many years. I ditched all of that as soon as I got my hands on Mimestream. What a fantastic, essential piece of Mac software. I’m eagerly awaiting an iOS and iPadOS launch! If you like Gmail and great MacOS apps, you’ll like Mimestream.

This is the best screen capture tool I’ve ever used. It fully replaced Skitch and provided a host of functionality that I use daily. Screen capture with overlaid front-facing video to create Loom-like videos is fantastic!
I’m a heavy notion user across several teams. It’s great for documentation and light-weight project management. I’ve adopted it marginally for personal note-taking, but may seek a better solution (more on that below).

Have you ever wanted IFTTT but for which browser links open in? You want Choosy. I’ve been able to craft some cool flows that allow Google Meet links to open in Chrome even though I largely use Safari as my primary browser. It’s powerful!

Magnet •
This is my window manager of choice on MacOS. It’s simple and just works well for my brain.
I use Hazel to do simple things like sort and archive screenshots from my desktop, move certain kinds of downloaded items and organize scans captured with my Doxie. Fantastic all-round utility.

I used to track shows, movies and books in Things, but not any more. Sofa’s dedicated app and clever user interface gives me just the tools I need to organize and log what media I’m consuming. I also love the home screen widgets on iOS!

Ivory •
We all followed along with the slow downfall of the bird app. The community I cared about rebuilt itself on Mastodon, so I’m happy for such a robust and beautiful client across all Apple platforms.

Between the persistent browser tab and the frequency I open the iOS app, is this still a hobby? We’ll see.
This deserves a longer post at some point, but the Shaper3D iPadOS app has given me endless pleasure as I dive deeper into my 3D printing hobby. It’s a genius app that really has been thoughtfully designed for a touch interface.

What’s next

I didn’t mention it, but I also heavily use core Apple ecosystem apps like Mail, Reminders, Safari and Notes. I’m happy with most of these apps and use them both for personal and professional reasons. I’m eager to replace Mail with Mimestream but it’s not urgent.

I am looking to improve my notes experience and have started experimenting with Obsidian, Roam, and Reflect. We’ll see if anything sticks. Obsidian is promising, but the setup experience has me disappointed.

I haven’t used it yet, but I suspect I might end up using Linear at work in the next year. I’m excited to try it out.

Lastly, I’ve been keeping an eye on Raycast and might try that out as my default launcher on MacOS.

We’ll see if anything shifts in 2024!