Why go looking for something else when Apple gave me all this stuff included in the price of my machine? So yeah, I tend to use the built-in default for most things.

I have this thought constantly when I’m trying out new apps that I think will solve a problem I’m having or will make a workflow better. Most of the time, the cost of an app or subscription doesn’t justify the often minuscule improvement a non-default app provides.

Thought it would be fun to take part in this! Thought I’m not sure my list is much fun considering I mostly just use default apps unless I feel like I have a good reason not to.

One of the reasons I find myself reading a bunch of these lists is I’m not entirely satisfied with Apple Notes. I like its simplicity. I like its quick note feature. I like that it’s the default app on all my devices and it’s integrated nicely with MacOS and iOS.

But notes aren’t as portable as I’d like them to be. I have a shortcut that converts Apple Notes to markdown, so I’m not that worried about it, but it would be nice to have my notes in a more future-proofed open format.

I feel like I’ve tried almost every app at this point, but every app has made me feel like I’ve had to compromise in some other way. I’ve tried all the usual suspects, but I wonder if anyone out there has any suggestions?

(EDIT: oops forgot Raycast)

📨 Mail Client: Apple Mail
📮 Mail Server: iCloud
📝 Notes: Apple Notes
✅ To-Do: Todoist (I run my entire life, work and personal, in Todoist. To call it my “To-do” app doesn’t really do it justice!)
🟦 Photo Management: Apple Photos
📆 Calendar: Apple Calendar
📁 Cloud File Storage: iCloud
📖 RSS: NetNewsWire
🙍🏻‍♂️ Contacts: Apple Contacts
🌐 Browser: Safari
📑 Read It Later: Todoist
🍴 Meal Planning: LoseIt!
💰 Budgeting and Personal Finance: Intuit Mint
🎵 Music: Apple Music
🎤 Podcasts: Apple Podcasts
🔐 Password Management: Apple Passwords
🚀 Launcher: Raycast

Monaspace is a family of monospaced fonts with some interesting features. The fonts are sized to be interchangeable, and they have something called “texture healing.” With monospaced fonts, wide (w, m) and narrow (i,l) letters are the same width, but texture healing widens the wide letters when they’re adjacent to a narrow letter while maintaining equal spacing.

I’m not sure I actually love any of these enough to switch from my usual fonts, but the tech behind them is super interesting.

I had previously written them off as “cheating”, telling myself that I ought to be able to read the printed version, if only I was more disciplined. Now audiobooks are the only option for me, and I love them. I play them at 1.5x speed, and I have “read” more books in the last year than I have in total since primary school. Information used to be imprisoned, but now I can access it easily. It used to be frustrating thinking about how much knowledge was being held hostage inside the books I’d never be able to get through, but now I can “read” that information anywhere.

I took me a while to “get into” audiobooks. I always put off trying them because I thought they wouldn’t be as nice a reading experience as reading a book (whether physical or digital) but I was definitely wrong. I have a bit of a commute to work by car, and I used to listen almost exclusively to music. But sometimes listening to music in the car isn’t a great experience either with all the exterior noise, so I gave them a try and realized how great they can be. Not every book really works as an audiobook though. I really enjoy listening to fiction with audiobooks, but non-fiction is a bit of a frustrating experience, especially if there are lots of tables and figures referenced. Also being able to use my commute time to “read” and adjust the speed means I can get through a ton of books I wouldn’t be able to get through if I were only reading regular books.

Thoughts on growing out of pop punk music from the early 2000s.

I Hope You’ve Had The Time of Your Life

I’ve always felt like Green Day has been trying to re-capture the magic of American Idiot for almost 20 years now.

Their newest single The American Dream Is Killing Me doesn’t do much to convince me otherwise.

The most egregious attempt at trying to make the American Idiot lightning strike twice was 21st Century Breakdown.  And to be clear, this isn’t a slight against the album at all.  In many ways it’s actually a much better album that American Idiot.

But you can’t cross the same river twice.  There will never be another American Idiot.  Not just for Green Day, but for anyone.  The influence a piece of art has, and the impact it makes, has as much to do with the work itself as it does with the time it was released.

(Not) Feeling This

Though out of all the pop-punk bands in the world, the band that I think I may be most disappointed with is Blink-182.

Mark and Tom are still mediocre at their instruments.  And I know how elitist and judgemental it sounds, but if you’ve been playing for over thirty years you’d think you’d want to try something besides power chords and root note bass lines.  It just blows my mind that people can spend that much time doing something and never be curious enough to try anything new.

Though the most disappointing thing is that they actually ventured out and wrote new and more challenging music when blink was broken up.  Whether or not you enjoyed Angels and Airwaves, at least Tom was doing something different.  Boxcar racer, while still very clearly a blink-esque band, at least went places blink wasn’t going to go. (If it’s not already obvious, I didn’t think much of blink-lite +44).

Also maybe at a certain point the jerk off humour gets a little stale?