I keep my most-used apps on the lower half of my home screen so they’re easier to get to.
Curating a list of apps that I use every single day was harder than I thought it was going to be. There are many many apps that I use almost every single day, but there are exactly ten that I can say I use literally every single day.
And so I don’t perjure myself in the event this blog post is ever presented as evidence in an iPhone-usage court of law, I ultimately used the criteria that in the last 30 days I’ve used the apps listed below at least 29 times.
And just so this isn’t another random listicle polluting the internet, I’ve also included links to some helpful guides I’ve personally used to really get the most out of each one of these apps. Enjoy!
My master password is 👆🖨. Get it?
I feel like I’ve gushed at length about 1Password but it’s become an integral part of my life. Full stop. It’s important for maintaining secure and unique passwords, and it’s an incredible tool for that purpose. Where 1Password truly become daily game-changing software for me, was when I started tapping into features like one-time passwords, storing numbers like SSNs and birthdays, and even tracking details like expiration dates for memberships, passports and driver licenses. There’s a bunch of other non-password stuff you can do with it too.
- Choosing a better master password [1password blog]
- What else can you store in 1Password? [1password blog]
- Use Watchtower to find passwords you need to change [1password blog]
- Use 1Password as an authenticator for sites with two-factor authentication [1password blog]
This search engine of choice is a blog post for another day.
I surf the web every day 🏄♂️. And I use Safari for that. I wrote an entire post about some of the reasons I use Safari and some tips for getting started if you’re using another browser right now.
- Why I use Apple Safari - And Some Tips for Getting Started [this blog]
- Best Safari Extensions of 2019 (I agree with most of these) [iMore]
- The Power User’s Guide to Safari [Lifehacker]
This blog post started in Drafts before I knew it was gonna be a blog post. Initially, I started making a little list in Drafts about apps I really love and enjoy using every day. And now we’re here. Basically, I capture everything from my entire brain in Drafts and then see where it goes from there. Sometimes my drafts get deleted, and sometimes they evolve into something useful or dare I say, important? Drafts has become an every day must-use app for me.
- Getting Started with Drafts Screencasts [Drafts website]
- Drafts Actions [Drafts website]
- How I use Drafts on iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch [The Sweet Setup]
I love the little icons I can choose for every tag. Look at that Cobalt color scheme too 😍
The best way I can describe Bear is that it’s sort of like Evernote? It’s a system for storing notes and text in Markdown. I can add pdfs and stuff like that to it too, but that’s a more rare use case for me. Some example entries include “Stuff I Want to Get for our Kitchen” and “Printer Cartridge Models”. I’ll also use Bear to draft important emails occasionally. The search within Bear is nice and quick, and it has a useful tagging system to keep things organized too.
And while it might seem contradictory to use Drafts and Bear together, lots of my Drafts end up as notes in Bear eventually. Bear is where I keep reference material that I want to keep around and check back on often.
- Why I finally replaced Evernote with Bear [The Verge]
- The Super Big List of Tips for working with tags and Bear notes [Bear app website]
I clearly don’t get out much
Day One might be the most beautifully-crafted software I’ve ever owned. I mean it. I genuinely love using it every day. And I think if I didn’t enjoy using the app so much, I never would have established a daily journaling habit that’s lasted for a full year now. The app just gets out of the way in an extremely elegant way.
Every day I find a new little delightful surprise when I use the app, like the ability to automatically import my instagram posts, or something more subtle like looking at all of my blog post entries on a map. I look forward to adding whatever’s on my mind into Day One each day.
Day One Resources
- Day One in Depth - This is a course that I took that’s really well done. It’s $29 and while the video overviews of the software are nice, I could have figured all that out on my own. The most helpful takeaway from the course for me was all the different ways and ideas for using Day One each day. I’d definitely recommend it. [The Sweet Setup]
- Day One Journal Series - [Day One website]
Yes I lay out my clothes for the following day every single night. Leave me alone.
I use Reminders to remind me to do things. That may sound pretty obvious, but Reminders isn’t a Todo app for me. I literally tell Siri to “remind me to tell Jackie about what happened at work today” or “Remind me to change the laundry in 45 minutes”. It’s a little utility to remind me to do things that won’t take long to do, or I can’t do right now, and that I also don’t want to forget. I use Reminders to remind. Imagine that.
I haven’t taken a deep dive into the new iOS 13 Reminders app yet, but I’m not sure a lot of the extra stuff that’s been added will be for me. Some of it even seems ahem … heavily inspired 😒 … by my next favorite daily app.
Things is my actual Todo app. It’s also very good software and feels incredibly solidly built. I’m pretty sure I’ve used every todo app on the planet. Yes, even that one. And while there are many apps that have way more features than Things, and are seemingly more powerful, the relative simplicity of it is what I like most about it.
Things is powerful in all the right places, and beautifully basic everywhere else. Omnifocus felt like sitting in the cockpit of a helicopter. Google Keep was like riding a unicycle. And Things feels like a finely tuned supercar. I can get in and “just drive”.
- All The Things - Productivity Course - This is another course that I purchased and can highly recommend. There are a few parts of Things that I had a hard time matching to exactly the way I work, and this course helped me figure out some ways to make the app work similarly to the way that I do. [The Sweet Setup]
- Creating Repeating Todos - This wasn’t terribly intuitive to me at first, but now that I understand it I love the way repeating tasks work in Things. [Things website]
- Keyboard Shortcuts for Mac - A major selling points for me on Things is that I can control the entire app without touching my trackpad or mouse. Woohoo!
I’ve used Streaks off and on for a number of years and have recently added it back to my arsenal. I’ve always liked the idea and implementation of the app. It’s like a habit tracker where you log certain activities that you want to do on a regular basis. In the past the app has been overwhelming to use because any day I’d break a streak and have to start over at zero again, I’d feel a major sense of failure.
The good news is that recently (in the last six months or so) something clicked and I realized that every time I started to use Streaks in the past, I’d also add 5 new habits that I wanted to add to my life. This time I’ve started with some basic habits that are high on my priority list and I don’t intend to add anything new until everything I’m tracking now is routinely happening every single day without question.
I have Streaks for brushing my teeth twice per day, not eating after 8:00pm, weighing myself, writing, and praying. Nothing major, but they’re all little things that I know will have a very positive impact on my life over time. This time around Streaks has “stuck” much better and doesn’t have the attached guilt if I need to start over sometimes.
I know that Apple Watches are all the rage these days. I’ve owned two of them, and from a technological and fashion perspective they’re far superior to anything that Fitbit makes. BUT, and this is a very personal but, I really do like the simplicity of FitBit.
I own the Fitbit Flex 2 and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Fitbit makes it anymore. WHAT A SHAME. I love it because it doesn’t even have a screen. At the time I bought it I paid around 60 bucks. It tracks all my activity and sleep, but doesn’t have the ability to interrupt my day with notifications.
Also, if it breaks at some point, it was inexpensive enough that I’m not going to be bent out of shape about it. The fact that it doesn’t have a screen makes it almost indestructible though. And sure, there are tradeoffs, and again, if my biggest priority were “best tech gadget” then the Apple Watch would win by a country mile, but there’s still something really charming about the simplicity of FitBit which is why I haven’t given it up quite yet.
MAKE ANOTHER SCREENLESS FIT BIT, YOU COWARDS!!
That’s It. That’s the List.
What are the apps that you use every single day? What can add to my future app list that I haven’t already? FEED MY APP HUNGER.