State of the Apps 2022
A list of all the apps and web services I find indispensable for my digital environment in optimizing it for my personal and work life.
Shamelessly inspired by the Cortex podcast and their yearly breakdown of what apps they use, I’ve found it helpful to tag along and document the tools I rely on at the moment, if anything, for my own reference.
The main factors I take into consideration when choosing an app for my set-up are:
- How well it satisfies the need I’m trying to fulfil
- How accessible it is from different devices (desktop client, web app, iOS app)
- Price vs Value
* All prices are set in US dollars unless otherwise specified.
Table of Contents:
- Reading & Writing
- Final Thoughts
Google Drive (work)
Even though I’ve always preferred Dropbox’s desktop client to Drive’s, Google Drive has the backbone of Google Workspace (formerly “Gsuite”), well fitted for corporate use.
Price: Business Starter $6 / user / month (workspace.google.com/pricing.html)
(Apple) Reminders (personal)
After years of relying on the minimalist, beautifully designed, Clear for my personal to-do lists, I was convinced to switch back to the native Apple Reminders app since it features more customization and accessibility options.
Spark (personal & work)
Although I don’t take full advantage of the app’s features on collaborative emailing or the “smart inbox”, Spark is still the most user-friendly email client I've found and is especially useful for the practice of the “inbox zero” productivity methodology.
Price: Freemium (sparkmailapp.com/pricing)
I'm convinced that Slack is the State of the Art for managing and centralizing the communication within a team with a common goal. Of course, I acknowledge that Slack is a double-edged sword concerning the common phrase we hear in the industry: "if everything is ASAP, then nothing is ASAP”. However, by setting some basic ground rules and customizing the environment for your team’s needs, you can get the most value out of it.
Price: Freemium (slack.com/pricing)
IV. Reading & Writing
Books, Graphic novels, and, especially, Audiobooks.
Long are the days when Adobe monopolized the vector design trade. Figma has made its mark on the industry, offering features that Illustrator, as an all-around over-bloated workhorse, didn’t have. Web-based, real-time collaboration, easy to share projects, comments, infinite canvas, a thriving community of template designs and plugin developers.
Price: $12 / editor / month (figma.com/pricing)
High-quality competitors have shown up on the scene of photo editing and manipulation. However, I haven’t had the opportunity to thoroughly explore much further for better alternatives yet; If you have any suggestions, I appreciate them: @Hello_Im_Boris! :)
Price: $20.99 / month (adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html)
VLC Media Player
Web & Download: videolan.org/vlc
CleanMyMac has had for many years my all-around favourite user experience and with the most pleasantly designed UI of any app ever. It makes a delightful experience of keeping your Mac running smooth.
Price: $39.95 one-time fee (macpaw.com/store/cleanmymac)
X. Final Thoughts
2021, year in review...
The most significant change for me regarding apps was starting to use Notion as a headquarters for organizing all my writings and notes that go above a quick scribble that I would take on Bear on my phone on the go.
Figma has been continuously growing as a community accessible to all designers and newcomers to the industry. As opposed to my general impression of Adobe XD, which would be on the other side of the spectrum, as one more app on the current inflexible pricing model of having to pay for just 1 app or for all the apps of the Adobe suite.
Financial platforms like Wise and Revolut are popularising digital finance as an entryway to more advanced, decentralized platforms. This path leads to fantastic art being created by digital artists who can now fund their work as NFTs instead of doing commissioned work up to the requirements of a traditional patron.
I look forward to seeing these technologies develop and thrive through 2022.
Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @Hello_Im_Boris!
The cover artwork has been made thanks to:
- App Store icon by iconfield
- Background image by Pawel Czerwinski
- Cindie Mono Typeface by Lewis McGuffie
All other text on the article, as in the rest of my website, is set on: