My App Defaults

Recently, folks have been sharing their default apps in a bunch of different categories. (I’m told the podcast Hemispheric Views started this. I plan on listening soon.)

I’m a sucker for learning about other people’s workflows and seeing how I can make better use of my time, so this was right up my alley.

In recent years I have drastically simplified the amount of third party apps I use. I felt like I was on a hamster wheel of finding and using the latest mail client, RSS reader, to-do list, etc.

I still keep my ear to the ground about the hot new productivity app but I have to be really sure it’s sticking around before I swap away from the default Apple option. Apple’s apps don’t always have the latest flashy features but I generally expect them to be around for the next five years.

Without further adieu, here are my default apps:

📨 Mail Client

  • Apple Mail

📮 Mail Server

  • GSuite (Is it still called this? I’m considering switching to FastMail but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.)

📝 Notes

  • Apple Notes

✅ To-Do

  • Apple Reminders

📷 iPhone Photo Shooting

  • Apple Camera

🟦 Photo Management

  • iCloud Photos / Apple Photos

📆 Calendar

  • Fantastical

📁 Cloud File Storage

  • iCloud Drive


  • N/A (I used Feedbin after the death of Google Reader but I no longer use RSS much at all anymore.)

🙍🏻‍♂️ Contacts

  • Apple Contacts

🌐 Browser

  • Safari / Firefox / Chrome in that order.

💬 Chat

  • Apple Messages and one Slack

🔖 Bookmarks

  • N/A (I usually save links in Apple Reminders or Apple Notes, depending on the context.)

📑 Read It Later

  • Ephemera (This one is my app. It’s simple and unique. Check it out!)

📜 Word Processing

  • Apple Notes / TextEdit / Pages

📈 Spreadsheets

  • Numbers (I would use Excel in a heartbeat if I had any services spreadsheeting to do.)

📊 Presentations

  • N/A

🛒 Shopping Lists

  • Apple Reminders

🍴 Meal Planning

  • Mela

💰 Budgeting and Personal Finance

  • Copilot (I’m not convinced this is the app for me. It’s pretty but the Fidelity integration does not work. I’m fielding suggestions. Let me know!)

📰 News

  • Apple News

🎵 Music

  • Apple Music

🎤 Podcasts

  • Overcast

🔐 Password Management

  • 1Password (Thinking about switching to the native keychain implementation, but I’ve got my family on the 1Password family plan and it sounds like a pain in the butt for me to switch.)
Tim Bueno @timbueno