What Little Things Have Brought You Joy?

I will start. A month or so ago I automated my 23-year old garage door opener for about $40 with a Meross Smart Garage Door device. Yesterday, using a dummy switch via Homebridge, I was able to automate my garage door closing when I leave in the morning and opening when I return home in the afternoon without having to verify that opening or closing the garage door was what I really wanted to do. Such a simple thing, but it made me happy. What can I say.


I guess software / apps / services are included in this question. One of my best apps / services I bought was Plex lifefime license. I paid at 50% discounted rate a few years back. Now I am recording my favourite movies / TV shows onto my Synology NAS. Not going to watch every recorded show immediately but at least I know I’ve got them and can watch them whenever I want to


I had an extra motion sensor from a Ring security kit we bought at Costco a while back. I also had a small Amazon color changing light that bought for the kids and they never used.

I took 30 minutes one day on a whim to set things up. Now, if it’s after 10pm and before 6:30 am and the sensor catches motion in our bedroom, it turns on the light to a very, very dim setting in our water closet. Every time I don’t wake up because my wife turned on the bathroom light at 3am, my subconscious self is surely delighted.


There are so many wonderous Mac apps etc that have brought me joy.

The latest are from people in here.

So many of you have helped me immensely!!!

I was informed Grammarly had a more simple app; that it is free!

Another guy mentioned how to block spam calls and I think only one has gotten through in about a week! Amazing.

Just about everything Mac brings me joy (except when things go wrong, of course). I’d go stir-crazy without these products, devices. Great way to spend my retirement (in addition to selling vintage Nancy Drew books on etsy and Ebay)!

Oh, and everything MacSparky! How much this man has taught me!



Actually that probably doesn’t count as a little thing now that I think about it…


Every time I tell Siri to turn on our Caseta- controlled kitchen lights while carrying multiple plates or bowls in to the sink, I’m thrilled. (Unless Siri doesn’t work. Then I’m miserable.)

Not tech related, but we moved to a new house, then all our appliances started breaking. First it was annoying, and now it’s just become an opportunity for improvement. Our new coffee grinder and coffee maker, along with the local roaster I found, makes really good, flavourful coffee each morning. I can actually taste the difference from one bean to another. And it’s delightful. We only order single origin now, and I get a couple new kinds every month. Even if the flavour isn’t to my exact preference, it’s delightful.


The photo widget on my main screen. There is nothing like seeing a cherished memory pop up. And then losing a half hour looking at how much my kids have grown in 6 years. :sob::sob::sob::sob::sob::sob:


The little thing that still brings me joy a week later is macOS 12.3 fixing my iCloud bug after 842 days. iCloud drive is incredible when you’ve been without it for so long. Stuff just… whoosh… syncs!

But in all seriousness, the thing that brings me joy while I work from home full time is my NanoLeaf Canvas. The Canvas product seems to be on the way out in favour of newer versions, but I recently expanded from the original 9 to 13 panels so they stretch the length of my new desk. (Yes, I need to re-hang that picture.) I have set up a bunch of colours I enjoy to just randomly hit each tile at a reasonable pace. Sometimes when I’m in the mood I turn on one of the sound-activated ones and pump up the HomePod minis.


My latest display, a Samsung Smart Monitor M7 32’’ that substituted my fried LG UK850 gave me joy and was delivered in less than a day (!). The screen is worse than the awesome LG display but it’s noticiable bigger (good for my tired eyes) and for the price I expected a worse thing and turns out it comes packaged with features: works perfectly as a USB-C charger for my MBP, has Airplay, Bluetooth even works as a standalone dumb computer with keyboard and mice (can access Google Docs or MS Office 365 without the computer) and also includes the features of a Smart TV with YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video and so on. I would now buy one of the new Studio Displays, of course, but now I cannot justify replacing a perfectly fine monitor.


Sticking to Mac related joyful things, I had one such moment happen just yesterday.

When I started working from home, I began using my Mac to play music, via Airplay to my stereo receiver. And I wanted a way to quickly start/stop the music for meetings and calls. So I dug out my old Griffen PowerMate, only to discover it was no longer supported, and hadn’t been for several macOS versions.

I was sad.

So I looked around for a replacement. And I purchased one of these. Not quite as stylish, nor as functional.

And then I learned that it did not control the sound volume when using Airplay.

Saddened once again.

Then I learned the device is programmable. But still, I could not get it to work as I wanted.

Recently, with Universal Control, I am using my iPad to run Music, with the output still Airplayed to my stereo. And yesterday, just by accident (one of our cats rubbed against it), I discovered that this device will control Music on the iPad. Furthermore, the programming works and I can control the volume and play/pause Music using this device. It now does exactly what I bought it to do!

And that brought me joy. :slight_smile:

And it seems that there are now drivers for the Griffin PowerMate. Alas, every January we do a purge of things we no longer use. And in January 2021 the PowerMate was part of that purge.


Love this question, @Lampornis.

I’m with @jeremy on the photo widget. I recently uploaded all of my Flickr photos and old iPhotos libraries to iCloud and it truly does bring me joy to see all these old memories.

I also created a “Sabbath” focus mode for my phone so that only notifications from family and neighbors come in on the Sabbath. And I’ve added “Good Day” and “Good Evening” scenes to get the lights just how I want them beyond the “Good Morning” and “Good Night” scenes. We setup a reminder to train our dog each day and now when the alarm goes off he starts wiggling and getting excited for impending treats (whether or not the alarm is actually for his training). I’ve also sometimes been zooming into meetings with my phone and my computer so that I can use the phone to display a timer or some other thing in a separate window.


Having to work remotely on a Citrix Windows 10 environment I so far got a lot of joy from figuring out ways to automate things via Keyboard Maestro, Hazel and BetterTouchTool :blush: … I managed to partially automate my log in process from the Touch Bar (I Miss that from newer Mac Laptops :smirk:) in the morning e.g. and also built a macro for creating a new OneNote note with calendar information, put the window on the right and navigate to the Skype meeting.
Nothing too complicated and being sensitive with client data of course, but those little improvements brought me joy :blush:.


This is a great question. Several things have brought me Joy with a Mac recently.

One thing is to organize easy access to my favorite forums such as this one. Now I have my favorite forum links stored in a Safari folder and I can just click on the folder in my favorites and all the forums show up at once easily.

Another thing is that I finally jumped into HomeKit automation. I bought a few Meross Lights and plugs and I set up some basic automation and scenes and they work flawlessly. This was quite fun to get working.

And when you say “little things” I am guessing we might also include physical size also - so my most recent item is my massively cool new Mac Studio (“little” compared to a Mac Pro Ha Ha! :smile:) (Max Chip) . In this case I believe Apple got it exactly right and created something many customers might love for many years to come.


Imma go with “betas.”

It seems like software betas have become more common in the past few years (or at least I’ve gotten better at getting into them), and wow is it ever nice to be able to contribute to the design/development process.

That little bit of agency makes me feel way more fulfilled when using an app, somehow.


In no particular order:

  1. A used 2020 iPhone SE that I bought last month to replace my old 2016 SE. It’s still comfortable in my hand (and pockets), but oh boy is it more powerful! So much so that I’m now using it a lot more than I did the old phone, and even using it for many tasks that I’d previously given to my old iPad Mini.

  2. NextDNS — at a stroke this has massively reduced the amount of junk I’m inflicted with online across all my devices.

  3. Keyboard Maestro, Hazel & DEVONthink — these three between them save me so much time and energy every day, particularly so after taking a couple of MacSparky courses and really understanding how to get the most out of them.

  4. GraphicConverter, ImageOptim & Permute — while I don’t use these as often, they are a godsend for processing graphics. (Permute also comes into play for audio conversions.)

  5. Audio Hijack, Loopback, SoundSource, Fission — I do DJ-ing and broadcasting, and I’d be lost without Rogue Amoeba’s tools.

  6. Vivaldi — I can honestly say that this is the first browser in a long time that I enjoy using, thanks to its customisation features and its keyboard shortcuts.

  7. Okay, not that little, but my Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard and R-Go HE large vertical mouse both deserve a mention. I used to suffer terribly with callouses and the early signs of RSI before I switched over to these two, I wish I’d bought them years ago, so much more comfortable to use.


Same here! Loving how it doesn’t look fancy but still has a ton of power under the hood.


After hearing Craig Hockenberry on the podcast talk about Tot and Tot Pocket I bought them and installed them on my Mac, iPhone and iPad. This is the little app I’ve been looking for since I bought the original iPod Touch. It allows me to make quick notes (data tracking, really) during the day without any friction. Over the years I’ve bought many notes and text apps, too many to count; some came close but all failed on the friction score. I still use Notes for capturing information but Tot is tots the best!

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My puppy (20 chars )


Mention puppy, must pay tax (puppy pic).


I thought of another regular piece of tech that brings me joy, @SaneBlackHole. I use that instead of unsubscribing and every time I do, I feel a little freer and very smug.

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