Patrick Rhone and Myke Hurley host a podcast called Enough on the 70Decibels podcast network. Within the show they have a regular segment called "How Bare Is Your Air" in which they interview a guest and see their responses if they were theoretically given a baseline MacBook Air with 64 GB of SSD space.
Recently I have been thinking of resetting my iPhone and start from new. That's when it dawned on me — I have more apps on my iPhone than I do on my MacBook Air. So during my commute home one day, I started thinking about the apps that I need. Out of all the apps that exist on my iPhone, a large part of it consists of convenience apps while a very few are actually necessary to perform my everyday functions.
So I decided to list down the apps that I believe are necessary to my life and my workflow. Note that I am not trying to minimize my lifestyle or get rid of distractions — this is my current lifestyle and the apps that I need to sustain it.
This is list is in no particular order.
There are several reasons why I chose Goodreader as an essential app. The first being multiple Dropbox account support. I currently have two Dropbox accounts — my personal Pro account and my free account which only contains Gridwriter posts logs and settings. Not only can I gain read/write access for my personal account, but I can also view the logs on the site in order to find errors that have occurred which prevent the Pelican engine from publishing to the site.
On top of that, I also have FTP access if I wanted to view any files on my Linode server that aren't in a Dropbox directory.
Wait there's more. Having a daughter that's 3 years old requires me to have Disney movies on hand. I'm not a big fan of having iTunes sync music or movies onto my phone, so I load my ripped DVDs into my Goodreader folder from the Apps tab.
Lastly, Goodreader will also download files from the internet. So whenever there is a PDF that I come across that I might want to view later, I just use the "Open with..." command from Safari in order to open that PDF into Goodreader.
This decision was pretty difficult as it was a toss up between Writing Kit and Byword. As much as I love Writing Kit and its in-app browser, Byword can kill two birds with one stone. Since I shared the folder on my Gridwriter Dropbox account to my personal account, I can write and publish by having Byword point to my personal account. Also by pointing Byword to the root of my Dropbox account, I can also navigate to the folder where I have notes to gain read/write access.
This is obviously a no-brainer. Without OmniFocus, I'd be lost in life. OmniFocus provides me with a clear and concise view of my day and what I need to get done in order to avoid bottlenecks in the future.
It's no secret that I'm a big believer in 1Password. The ability to use 1Password's in-app browser in order to access password-protected sites prevents me from having to copy and paste the credentials into Safari. I have all my passwords in there. In fact, after installing Dropbox onto my Air, the next app I install will always be 1Password. I have a lot of trust placed in 1Password, so this app is very important to me.
If 1Password is the most vital app on my phone, then TextExpander is the second. A lot of the apps, both necessary and convenient, utilize TextExpander. While it does provide a lot of luxury, the amount of dependence that I have on this service almost makes it vital.
This app gives me to ultimate level of comfort. I can log into my Linode server via SSH wherever there is a connection. What also makes this app great is its TextExpander support. Nothing is worse than having to type out a long
bash command only to find out that you had a typo somewhere in the middle. With its TextExpander support, I don't have to worry about that. Restart the Apache server? 4 keystrokes. Check which processes are running? 4 keystrokes. Change the ownership and group of a file? 4 keystrokes.
As much as I bitch and moan about this app, this app is a must for me. I'm too simple of a person to mentally maintain a financial budget, and I need all the assistance that I can get. I do have to admit, with the recent updates to their iOS and OS X clients, the stability issues that I had with this app are almost completely resolved. Without this app, I'd buy too many apps and coffee toys.
I'm sure many of you will agree that to calm your Twitter urges, Tweetbot is the way to go. This app is also a luxury app since I can just use the web app if I wanted to go completely minimal — but the difference of experiences is so vast that I just have to include it as a necessity for my lifestyle.
I'm trying not to think or speculate on the potential hellhole Twitter may become — happy thoughts only
I have dabbled with many different note-taking approaches and apps — but this one just keeps coming back. There are a few things that I seek in a note-taking app, and Notesy has them all covered. From in-document searching, TextExpander Support, Dropbox Integration, Solarized, and Inconsolata — Notesy makes taking notes speedy and pleasant.
Last but not least, Downcast — my source of entertainment. Downcast would provide me with enough listening pleasure to keep me sane whenever I would think about why on Earth I chose to go minimal on my phone.
Things To Note
While this was a fun little exercise, I noticed a couple interesting tidbits after looking over the apps:
- Only two of the tens apps that I viewed as vital for my lifestyle involve entertainment. There are a couple things that can be drawn from that.
- I like to work
- I'm no fun
- Six of the ten apps integrate with Dropbox
- Four of the ten apps either are or involve TextExpander
- Six (seven if you include OmniFocus) of the ten apps play a part in the production of Gridwriter.
- None of the apps are free.