Apps and Software I Use (2014)

I have been asked a lot recently about the software and apps I currently use. I thought it would be a good idea to list them here for all to see and read. So, as of the start of 2014 here is a difinitive list of apps and software I use currently.

Mac Desktop

Web Browser:

Safari with a few plugins and bookmarks:

Whilst it isn't a web browser, I have included 1Password into this section. Since it has heavy integration with the web browser. Quite simply the best password app you can buy.

Photo Editing/Processing:

This is a difficult one, I have always used Aperture. But I have recently decided to split this task with iPhoto:

  • Aperture: Used for dedicated photoshoots i.e. scenery, HDR etc.
  • iPhoto: Used for all those personal photos you take on the iPhone during the day.

Backup

I have touched on my backup flow in a previous article. In essence my backups are split into the following categories:

Software Development

I am not really an active developer, but I am actively learning. For this I use Apple's XCode.

Document Management

I used to use DevonThink, but I have been appalled by their customer service recently. Add to this fact unless you are prepared to store your files into their database, it is somewhat of a pointless application.

I wrote an article about how I am now handling my data using only a handful of folders. This is working very well, especially using Alfred or Spotlight to search for the relevant files again. It is a really simple, elegant and future proof way of doing it.

Task Management

This is done via OmniFocus, nothing else has come quite close. It isn't the easiest of apps to get into but there are some very good screencasts by David Sparks that should get you into it.

Accounting

Currently undertaken in iBank 5. It has been somewhat of an annoying app until they added direct access service. This has allowed iBank to play nicely with my UK accounts.

Music

iTunes remains my main music app, though I have added Spotify into the mix. I still find Spotify's app to be pretty crap so I am likely to ditch this again in the near future.

I do use iTunes Match which will get even better with the release of iTunes Radio for the UK soon.

Writing

This is a generic category so I have broken it up further:

  • Journal: I am not a big Journal writer. To be honest I find the concept weird. However, the only app that has got me to somewhat Journal is [DayOne][30]. It is a pretty awesome app, I use it for recording some personal data as well as work journaling.
  • Text Editing: I use a combination of Drafts and Byword here. Drafts is a little more useful due to it's workflows. I can append to Dropbox text files, start text messages and emails from it. I actually probably don't use it as much as I should! I am in a concerted effort to try and move to 100% text files including at work - this is going to be a huge feet!

  • Large DocumentsLatex

  • PDFs: [PDF Pen Pro][] for eidting and creating PDFs as wells as OCR.

E-mail

I have moved away from GMail, yes I am one of those people that believes Google is evil! I have now moved my e-mail business to Fastmail. I still access this through Mail.app, though I am not really a fan of this. Fastmails web interface is really nice, so I may move to this full time.

Social

I use the following, but wanted to split this section up to give some of my feedback and direction:

  • Facebook: I've used this since it was launched. It used to be pretty good when you were in University, but now its just turned into a lack of privacy riddled crap hole. I had close to 1000 'friends' on there at one point. I then went through and deleted anyone I didn't actualy speak to or keep in contact with. The result, less that 100 friends remained. Research suggests it has hit its peak and is on a decline. I'd tend to agree with this. Facebook has also created seperate apps that hang off the Facebook 'experience'. In short in the next 12 months of so I expect to bin this junk.
  • Twitter: I have added software developers and companies I want to follow as well as key personallites and news outlets. As far as using it to communicate I have no idea who thought Twitter was a good idea - its full of idiots.
  • LinkedIn: I use this for my professional CV online. Whilst LinkedIn is ok it is basically full of recruitment consultants. They just so happen to be the most annoying people (beyond twitter idiots) on the face of the planet. Not sure how someone with an English degree can recruit for the Oil and Gas Sector. The fact they are still trying to recruit me for manual labour when I have a Doctorate and I work for an oil supermajor pretty much sums it up! This has led to my next personal project of setting up my own online CV.

Podcasting

Downcast is my app of choice. Used on iOS and OSX to cater for all my podcasting needs - fully synched so it is great.

iOS

There are not really any surprises on iOS, I am pretty much using the iOS equivalents of the above apps and services. For RSS reading I am using ReederTweetbot for Twitter and Instapaper for my read later

If any of you can think of anymore improvements or you have an suggestions feel free to leave a comment.