My Apps/Programs List - 2021 Revision


As I wrote recently, I’ve got one of those newfangled, fancy M1 Macs and here’s what I did when I opened it. This post is a deeper dive into why I selected the programs I did, as I revise My 2020 Apps/Programs List to work better within Apple’s walled garden, and better leverage my Synology NAS.

So below are the Mac-friendly programs & services that I use as of 2021:
  • Email Client = Apples’s native Mail program. Formerly Thunderbird (Windows/Mac/Linux), which I really wanted to like but it just hangs and errors out constantly. Plus, no mobile version.
  • Email Host = Synology MailPlus. Formerly self-hosted at Greengeeks but I’d like to take email into my own hands so I can batch process stuff better.
  • Calendar Client = BusyCal for Mac & iOS, which is one of the nicest calendars I’ve ever worked with. Formerly Lightening add-on for Thunderbird (Windows/Mac/Linux) but this just never worked right and cost me some critical client meetings this year.
  • Contacts Client = Apple’s native Mail program, which is decidedly “meh”. I may end up shelling out the fifty bucks for BusyContacts at some point, I dunno. Formerly CardBook add-on for Thunderbird (Windows/Mac/Linux) but dangit I could never get it to deduplicate and merge contacts properly.
  • Calendar & Contacts Host = Synology Contacts. Formerly The Good Cloud (running Nextcloud) but I’m canceling that annual membership. I still think The Good Cloud provides fantastic services! I just don’t need them anymore.
  • RSS Client = Newsblur. Formerly Thunderbird (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • RSS Host = Formerly Miniflux (self-hosted at Greengeeks), and…I’m not sure about a local replacement for this one yet. More research is needed.
  • Websites = Hugo static site generator for all remaining web properties, leveraging Homebrew on the Mac. Currently Textpattern & Wordpress (self-hosted at Greengeeks )
  • Webhost = Greengeeks is still my favorite, but I’m also going to try running this site off of my Raspberry Pi and see what happens ;)
  • Registrar = Formerly GoDaddy but I’ve wanted to get out from under my dependence on them for many reasons for a long time.
  • Filesharing = Synology Office & Synology Drive. Formerly The Good Cloud (running Nextcloud). Again I still think The Good Cloud & Nextcloud are terrific! I just want to keep things in-house if I can.
  • Image editor = Apple Photos, probably — now that it finally allows editing of RAW images! Though for more complex editing in layers GIMP (Windows/Mac/Linux) may remain my pick, we’ll see.
  • Music Player = Plex & iTunes. Formerly Clementine (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Video Player = Quicktime. Formerly VLC for local content, LBRY for online viewing (both Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Video editor = back to FinalCut Pro again. I may still use Davinci Resolve (Windows/Mac/Linux) for some projects, but I’m not doing anything cinematic these days so maybe not.
  • Video transcoder = Apple Compressor. Formerly Handbrake (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Stereo Audio editor = GarageBand. Formerly Audacity (Windows/Mac/Linux), which I will still install and keep handy because why not?
  • Multitrack Audio editor = GarageBand, again. Formerly ProTools.
  • Antivirus = probably still ClamAV (Windows/Mac/Linux) though I’ll need to look into this more.
  • Drive Burner = likely still Balena Etcher (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Screenshare = sticking with TeamViewer (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Text Editor = Now evaluating Bear, which is a notetaking app that works on MacOS & iOS and can handle plaintext as plaintext and (my favorite!) markdown. I’m still a huge fan of Atom (Windows/Mac/Linux) but there’s no way I know to use it on mobile that I know, which is a prime use case for me.
  • Office Suite = Synology Office again. Formerly Open Office (Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • Task/Project Manager = Keeping ToDoist (Windows/Mac/Linux/web/iOS)
  • Time Tracker = I don’t know that I need one of these anymore at all. Will likely still install Toggl (Window/Mac/web) and never use it :)
  • Podcatcher = Pocketcasts (Windows/Mac/web) is still the clear winner for me!
  • VPN = Synology VPN. Formerly NordVPN.
  • Password Manager = Probably soon to be BitWarden, I’m not sure yet. Currently Dashlane, but there’s a lot about their changes over the last year that I do not like.
  • Web Browsers = Staying with Firefox for my default, Brave as an alternate, and Chrome for social media & Google products only (Windows/Mac/Linux). No Safari, sorry.
  • Image Clipper = Techsmith Snagit. It just works better than anything else I know.
  • Screencaster = Techsmith Camtasia. Again, it is simply better for me.

The other big thing I’m changing with this new machine and new year is all my emails! If you send something to an old email, it may not work in 2021, though you’ll get an auto-response saying why and what to do instead. I’m always trying to pare this down, and this year I can make more drastic changes than ever before!

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