My default apps in 2023

I saw Tracy’s post on her default apps and felt like this was a cool idea! I try to give preference to libre software − although to me, independent is more important than open-source, which is why you often see me praise The Storygraph or Obsidian. My work computer is on Windows, though, so I end up looking for software that exists on both Windows (11) and Linux (Mint), and my phone is on Android, where I try to get apps from F-droid without trying too hard. Also, I love trying new apps, so this will probably be out of date in a month or two…

My default apps in 2023

📨 Mail Client: FastMail is indie, has no ads, and is safer-than-most without being fully privacy oriented. I was looking for an independent email client that had a web version and a decent mobile app and I’m really happy with this one.

📮 Mail Server: Whatever my friend set up for me when he helped me create my domains, I guess − through OVH.

📝 Notes: Obsidian all the way.

To-Do: I was using Todoist even before it got an Obsidian integration!

📷 Photo Management: Nextcloud with Les Pas. I have my own cloud and create one album per month. Duplicate or bad photos go to the trash. What I’ll remember fondly in 10 years when looking at photos goes into the album. Everything else, ie. high quality photos that don’t hold emotional value, goes on Wikimedia Commons and then gets trashed, so that I can revisit them and they can be used but I can focus on photos of my loved ones or of really special events.

📆 Calendar: FastMail, synced through DAVx5 with Google Calendar for my phone. On my phone, I also got the ToDo Agenda app for a homepage widget.

📁 Cloud File Storage: Nextcloud

📖 RSS: Inoreader. I really like being able to create my own curated RSS feeds, and the YouTube integration, which means I never open YouTube for discovery, I just look at what my fave creators have recently posted.

🙍🏻‍♂️ Contacts: Obsidian.

🌐 Browser: Firefox all the way.

💬 Chat: Through Beeper, I federate my messages from Discord, WhatsApp, Instagram, Signal, Telegram, SMS, Matrix and Messenger. It’s pretty cool. My preference, in order, is Signal > WhatsApp > Email > SMS > everything else. One thing that makes me happy with Beeper is that I don’t have to open the god-forsaken apps that Discord and Telegram are. I hate them!

🔖 Bookmarks: depends on what you mean by bookmarks. Long-form reading notes go into Obsidian (although I sometimes post them on my blog if they’re worth it), some stuff goes into my website as a « Like », and the frequently-used resources go into my Firefox bookmarks.

📑 Read It Later: Starred on Inoreader or, if text-only, sent to my e-reader via Push to Kindle.

📜 Word Processing: Obsidian.

📈 Spreadsheets: Excel. LibreOffice Calc makes me want to die, unfortunately.

📊 Presentations: PowerPoint for the same reason.

🛒 Shopping Lists: Todoist.

🍴 Meal Planning: Obsidian… well, I barely meal plan, but my recipes go in there.

💰 Personal Finance: I used to rely a lot on You Need a Budget but it’s been broken for me for a few months and I haven’t found a satisfying alternative yet.

📰 News: Inoreader. In terms of mainstream media I have a subscription to Médiapart and Libération. I also read the Portail des médias indépendants, and got the 15€ per year BNF access to Europresse for Le Monde and others (a lifesaver for Wikipedia references). I also have an on-and-off relationship with L’Équipe. I’ve talked about all this in this post: Improving our relationship to news.

🎵 Music: Bandcamp, Resonate, but more often than anything else, a good old CD player in my living room!

🎤 Podcasts: Podcast Addict.

🔐 Password Management: Bitwarden

More stuff

🔍 Search: Kagi has been really good to me recently.

Keyboard: AZERTY norme AFNOR is so, so much better than regular AZERTY!

⌨️ Blogging:, which is very usable on mobile web too, with all the Indieweb plugins.

🐘 Mastodon : Tusky.

📄 PDF reader: FoxIt Reader.

Habit tracker: Loop (on Android through F-droid, no computer or web version)

🩸 Hormonal cycle tracker: Clue. I’m really not attached to it, though − I need exactly two features, Drip is missing one and Clue is trying to upsell me a thousand, and they’re the only two that don’t aggressively gender me in the feminine and/or really focus on pregnancy. So, for now, Clue.

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