How I did on Resolution not to change apps

In December of 2018 I made a resolution to stick with all of my existing apps for 12 months. As promised, I’m reporting back on how I did.

December 2018 / December 2019

  • Apple Mail / No Change
  • Apple Notes / No Change
  • Apple Calendar / No Change
  • Pages / No Change
  • Numbers / No Change
  • Keynote / No Change
  • Safari / No Change
  • OmniFocus / Dropped OF—now using Asana for teams; Reminders for personal projects
  • OmniOutliner / No Change
  • Mindnode / No Change
  • Drafts / No Change—but I dropped the Pro subscription
  • Anylist / No Change
  • Ulysses / No Change
  • 1 Password / No Change
  • DevonThink / No Change
  • Google Enterprise and Drive / No Change
  • TextExpander / Dropped—replaced with Alfred Snippets
  • Copied / No Change
  • Overcast / Using Apple Podcast because the new car has Car Play
  • Feedly / Dropped
  • Logos Platinum Bible Software / No Change
  • PDF Expert / No Change
  • Scanbot / No Change
  • VPN Express / No Change
  • Word and Excel only and if absolutely necessary / No Change

So I think this earns an “A” or “A-“ since the only major change was dropping OF for Asana/Reminders because I have large teams and multi department projects. Changing to Apple’s Podcast because of a new SUV with Car Play I think is completely justifiable, if not absolutely necessary. Dropping TE and using Alfred was a change that eliminated a subscription so I can be “forgiven” for that. :slight_smile:

I’ve have found that my setup works fine and I have saved time and money by not switching apps. I have also become better at using the apps I have because I have dedicated a year mastering their details.

Of course, I’m not going to talk about how I did on my other New Year’s resolutions. :slight_smile:


What is it about the Apple podcasts CarPlay implementation that you prefer over the Overcast CarPlay app?

I actually like Overcast. I am merely assuming that the Apple podcast app will integrate more seamlessly with CarPlay. I have not actually tried Overcast with CarPlay. But, when the CarPlay screen comes on it shows maps, podcast, and music on the left column. I’m assuming, but again I have not tried, that you cannot replace the apps on that left column. My new SUV as a 1:1 ratio touchpad, not a touchscreen. I much prefer this arrangement because I never have to take my eyes off the road in order to manipulate the screen, which is set relatively high and far forward on the dash which is much much safer.

The CarPlay home screen is editable on your iPhone in Settings / General / CarPlay, and the much smaller icons on the left show the three most recently used applications.


I did not realize that CarPlay was editable on my phone, thanks! I’ll check it out. If I start using Overcast again my “grade” goes up. :slight_smile:

I can’t remember your initial resolution. Did you “test drive” any apps this year?

I linked to the original resolution in my post above. Yes, I did for several reasons try a few other apps. One of them was Notability because of all of the syncing problems I was having with Apple notes after upgrading to iOS 13. However, fortunately, the syncing problem with Apple notes has been resolved. Otherwise, I made a firm point of staying with the apps that I had listed in my original resolution. It has proven to be beneficial to me and as I said above time saving and money saving.


Thanks for sharing this and well done on you efforts (you get to go home early today! :wink: )

I’m interested in how this went mentally/emotionally. I can see some real benefits in not chopping and changing (as some people may do, I’m guessing… ) New shiny things have their initial dopamine hits but later cause anxiety because everything is spread across multiple apps.

Can you comment on mental clarity side of things?

Duh… Earth to neonate…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried the same app over and over only to return to my original app. I admire that you stuck to this.


“Duh… Earth to neonate” That made me laugh! :rofl: I guess I’m getting tired of fiddling and just want to get my work done as quickly and easily as possible. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the update, and I think you did better than me! I wasn’t too bad though:

I’ve gone back to Fantastical again, only because I like using it with Alfred to input items (it was finding I could write “cal todo…” to input reminders that clinched it).

A SetApp subscription led me into toying with PDFPen (and a few other apps), and although none of those stuck, I think the wavering should cost me a grade.

And, recently, I switched to Studio One from Logic. Now I’ve done it, the integration of Melodyne alone makes it a far better app for my needs… I’d known that before switching I would give myself a pass on this, but in honesty it was a rash decision!


That is a good question. As I think about it there are several emotional/mental benefits for me (I obviously can’t speak for others).

  • Fewer places to look and go to in order to find what I need and therefore fewer clicks—this reduces what I’ll call “background noise/stress”—the same reason I never watch cable “news”. :slight_smile:
  • I have fewer GUIs to deal with, fewer keyboard shortcuts to remember, fewer settings to set/reset, fewer app updates to deal with, fewer subscriptions., etc. All of this adds up to less mental energy, more time, and less expense. Thus, less background noise/stress.
  • Overall, Apple’s default apps integrate better across platforms, have greater compatibility and results in fewer broken apps when the OS is updated. Again, less “stuff” to deal with not directly related to my productivity.
  • It forces me to master the apps I use which in turn increases productivity.

I suppose this is an example of minimalism in the app ecosystem.

I hope that makes sense. :slight_smile:


I also dropped Feedly this year. Poor them! I like the company but couldn’t justify it.

Are you still doing RSS somehow? If so, what’s the setup?

No, I’ve decided that spending a lot of time on reading articles in readers of that sort is not the most productive use of my time. I’v decided to spend more time reading books related to my professional work as well as some of the great books of western literature. And of course I read the news and several periodicals. Obviously this is just my use case but apps like feedly was just one more thing to try to keep up with and probably not the best use of my time overall.

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I use borh Overcast and Apple Podcast with Carpplay, they both work fine.

Can you use Siri with Overcast in CarPlay?

Absolutely makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
We (I) can get caught up looking at how something new/different will improve our (my) lives or fill a specific gap. And I think the other factor is your last bullet point:

I need to spend some time of the holiday season sorting this stuff out too.

Thanks again

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It might depend on what you want to do but if you can set a Siri shortcut for an action in Overcast (Settings > Siri Shortcuts), you can call it by voice. There are a lot of available options:

As shown above, I have one set to resume playing whatever I was listening to in Overcast that I use in the vehicle a lot by shouting out “play Overcast.” Well, I used to use that a lot, but in iOS 13 I created an Automation in Shortcuts that fires when I plug into CarPlay since 99% of the time I want to listen to podcasts and with iOS’s whacky resume behavior you never know what will start playing when you plug-in:

Voice Boost and Smart Speed (also available in others, like Castro) are the reason I don’t simplify to the Podcasts app.

Thank you, that is very helpful and much appreciated! Have a blessed and Merry Christmas.

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If you try Siri tells you that Overcast hasn’t enabled support. However it’s easy enough to use via Carplay.