Using Apps that get out of the way

I realised the other day that the apps I’m using these days are doing a good job of getting out of the way and letting me get on with my day. I wrote this prompted by this post from Craig Mod about a similar subject of apps. It’s taken me years to settle on certain types of apps but I’m comfortable to talk about them here now that I’m content with them.

The to do app

I struggle with to do apps, you’ll know this if you follow me but I’ve gotten to know Todoist now well enough that it gets out of the way. For me the most important things a to do app does is

  • Syncs well across iOS and macOS
  • Allows me to quickly add a new item with or without a due date
  • Has a free running today view where I can just add items like a note
  • Allows me to organise into projects that are quick to access and change
  • The developers work on their app regularly and take on board the community feedback
  • Support accessibility features, the most important for me being adopting the system font sizes

For me Todoist ticks all of these items off on my list. Now I’m settled into a setup it gets out of the way and lets me just see a list of items that I need to get done or be reminded of.

Tracking habits

Tracking habits is something I’ve wrestled with but after lots of testing I’ve settled on Henry Habits. It’s brought some form of gamification to habit tracking for me.


I don’t need anything fancy but I did need a nice widget so I swapped Apple for Fantastical. The only reason I use it is because I can set the widget to dark mode independently of the system setting.


I just use Apple Mail, nothing wrong with it for me again gets out of the way.


I write in Markdown using iA Writer, I can write on iOS or macOS and pushing to my blog.


I went back and forth but settled on Apple Music again, it shows both the music I bought and the music I’ve added from the streaming service.

Note taking

Apple notes for almost everything but I recently started using Tot for an ongoing list that I make day to day.

Social Media

I’m not a huge user of social media these days to be honest but the only way I can use a light app is with Tweetbot.

Podcast creation

I have Logic Pro installed but I just always fallback to GarageBand, I don’t need much just the ability to edit one or two tracks and bounce it back out.