My Default Apps at the End of 2023

Kev Quirk, Colin Walker, and other cool kids I follow online made it sound fun to share your “lifestack” as we approach the end of 2023.

So here’s mine: my digital “everyday carry” list of the tools and services I routinely use:

  • 📨 Mail Service: Proton Mail
  • 📮 Mail Client: Thunderbird (Desktop), Proton Mail App (Android), Proton Mail webmail (anywhere else)
  • 📝 Notes: Obsidian, Syncthing (for cross-device sync)
  • To-Do: Obsidian, physical notepad [not happy with this; want something more productive]
  • 📆 Calendar: Google Calendar (via Thunderbird on Desktop) [not happy with this; want something not-Google – still waiting on Proton Calendar getting good!]
  • 🙍🏻‍♂️ Contacts: Proton Mail
  • 📖 RSS Service: FreshRSS, selfhosted
  • 🗞️ RSS Client: FreshRSS (Desktop), FeedMe (Android)
  • ⌨️ Launcher: RayCast (MacOS), PowerToys Run (Windows)
  • ☁️ Cloud storage: ownCloud (selfhosted)
  • 🌅 Photo library: plain old directories! [would like: something selfhosted, mostly filesystem-driven, with Web interface]
  • 🌐 Web Browser: Firefox (everywhere)
  • 💬 Chat: Slack, WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram
  • 🔖 Bookmarks: Firefox (easy access), Wallabag (selfhosted, for long-term archiving)
  • 📚 Reading: dead tree format [my Kindle v2 died and I’m seeking a non-Amazon replacement; suggestions welcome], Calibre
  • 📜 Word Processing: Microsoft Word, Google Docs
  • 📈 Spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets
  • 📊 Presentations: reveal.js
  • 🛒 Shopping Lists: pen and paper
  • 💰 Personal Finance: Google Sheets
  • 🎵 Music: YouTube Music [not entirely happy with it; considering replacement]
  • 🎤 Podcasts: FreshRSS; experimenting with Pocket Casts
  • 🔐 Password Management: KeePassXC, Syncthing (for cross-device sync)
  • 🤦‍♂️ Social Media: Mastodon, selfhosted
  • 🔎 Search: DuckDuckGo
  • 🧮 Code Editor: Sublime Text
  • ⌨️ KVM: Barrier
  • 🗺️ Navigation: OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, Talkietoaster (Garmin Montana)
  • 📍 Location Tracking: uLogger
  • 🔗 Blog: WordPress, selfhosted


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  1. Julián Marcos (by email) Julián Marcos (by email) says:

    To-Do: Taskwarrior

    I would propose Taskwarrior as the To-Do tool, but It might be out of scope.

    I have used taskwarrior, and I am using it day to day, along with timewarrior, even though taskwarrior technically records the time worked on a task timewarrior does a better job at recording times.


    I also would propose one of the following from the awesome-selfhosted list, but I haven’t checked any of them if they work.
    Davis or Baïkal (I’d preffer Davis but I haven’t ran them soo)

    I am also not thinking about the web frontend, so yeah I might be missing the point anyways.

    Disclaimer: I haven’t ran them, nor tried to run them, I’m also on the thinking step of the change, but I’m using only one computer and can live using a local only program, when[2] and making my crontab run a few scripts to generate dynamic events like the DST change notices. So I am only worried about CalDav for syncing events to my phone, and if I need to make some list of events public, (like holidays (my own lists), or class trips and that type of things)

    I am happy for it to be published on the Web.

    I’m not too sure if you wanted sugestions about the To-Do and the Calendar.

  2. JTA JTA says:

    Re. eReaders, I have never quite got the knack of them (and still prefer hard copy), but given the amount of time I spent this year on sodding planes, I invested in a Kobo Libra 2 and it is definitely the most-usable ereader I’ve found after past experiments in Nooks and Kindles.

    * Supports a solid format range, including EPUB, EPUB2, EPUB3, PDF, Mobi, and apparently CBZ & CBR for comics
    * Pretty ergonomic-feeling: buttons on one side (though it’ll invert its screen either way), with a nice “lip” to brace your thumb with, and not too heavy
    * 32Gb capacity which sounds miserly, but ebooks are very space efficient
    * Decent organisational options & collection management
    * You can add custom screensavers; I still find it mad that Kindles don’t do this
    * You can hook it into Overdrive to directly interface with the inevitable slew of ebooks on offer from your public library
    * When reading, there’s a tap-to-bring-up menu which inter alia lets you slide forwards and backwards in the text to another page, and then offers a “back to page x” function for wherever you just came from, which is bloody handy if a book has lots of footnotes or you need to go back and check where Splodge the Butler claimed to have been at 5pm
    * USB-C charging, so fewer extra cables, and the battery life and energy saving options are good.
    * Backlit, with adjustable brightness and auto-tinting at night, which saves waking back up at 3am to put the light off
    * Also waterproof, which is theoretically a plus
    * Apparently it does audio, though I’ve never bothered to try

  3. Kyle Kyle says:

    This is a fascinating read, thanks for sharing! I am in the same boat as you with e-readers. I currently have a Kindle 3 which is still superb. I would love a backlight and other features at some point. Anything to get away from Amazon at that point would be great.

    Also, nice to see a fellow Calibre user! I’m a very big fan.

    As for music, though I strongly dislike Spotify’s approach to podcasting, it is far better than YouTube music. That’s assuming you want a streaming service.

  4. TYOMA! TYOMA! says:

    If you like being a SICKO like me, I highly recommend keeping your own music collection (provided you have the storage space for it)!! It feels very rewarding having your own curated selection of tunes :3 I use MusicBee personally to manage my music and it’s one of the most fully-featured music managers I’ve ever used. I still have Spotify/Youtube on hand for when people need to send me a playlist (or I need to send THEM a playlist) but generally prefer listening to my own little hoard. Also primarily use and Bandcamp for discovery these days…

    (I know you didn’t ask, but I feel a strong desire to push my mp3/flac hoarding agenda.)

    I should do a default apps post too!!! I always love seeing what softwares people use :3 Gives me more ideas for what I should have on hand too!

    1. Dan Q Dan Q says:

      Funny you should mention that; I was just earlier this morning thinking that I should get back to maintaining my own music collection and using streaming services just to help me discover new music. I’ve no shortage of storage space (I run a 48TB NAS) nor bandwidth (I’m on a 950MBit FTTP connection) so I could readily run my own streaming service for my music, just like I already do for films and TV series, and get access to my collection from anywhere. I played with Funkwhale briefly, but my music collection metadata… needs some work before that’s a suitable tool for me! I’ve been managing an MP3 collection since the 1990s and I’ve not always been consistent!

      Regardless, my collection’s out-of-date as I’ve come to depend on streaming services these last few years. I bought an album this week so that was something, but I’d have to buy a lot more to get my collection where I’d want it. Maybe I can get there.

  5. Katie Katie says:

    Instead of a notepad, what about bullet journaling?

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