Your Critical Apps and Services (Non-Apple)

I was recently thinking that apart from Apple which apps and services I rely on daily basics. I know MS won’t be going away anytime soon but there are others which are not on firm ground.

What are your apps and services if they’re to go away tomorrow, you will be in a world of pain.

Mine are :

Blog Post about it


Nice idea for a thread! Mine would be:

JetBrains IDEs
Adobe Creative Cloud

Same list except Todoist for Omnifocus and if only Superhuman had iCloud support! Using Spark instead for now :expressionless:

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  • Affinity
  • Pixelmator
  • Procreate
  • Bear
  • 1Password
  • Strava
  • Garmin


  • 2Do
  • Agenda
  • UpNote
  • Pixelmator
  • Affinity
  • SimpleMind

Assuming MS and Apple apps and services didn’t go away, I would be inconvenienced but not necessarily in a world of pain. Here is my list:

  • 1PW (I’d switch to Keychain)
  • Ulysses or Scrivener (I’d use Pages and Word)
  • DEVONthink (I’d export everything to Finder)
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  • Obsidian
  • Drafts
  • Scrivener
    (And I absolutely need MS Office)

I’d miss these but could find substitutes:

  • Bitwarden
  • Fantastical

1 Password is the only app that would leave me in a world of pain. Pocket Casts, Spotify, GMail, and Reeder would be irritating to lose.

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Synology Drive

There are quite a few - but Devonthink fills the top 10 by itself because there truly is no replacement for it.

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Thinking about it, there isn’t a ton that would really leave me in a world of pain, most would simply be inconvenient. Some would be very inconvenient, but there are decent alternatives and I’d manage.

My list is:

  • Omnifocus
  • Garmin (watch + software)
  • PhpStorm
  • Tableplus
  • Overcast
  • 1Password (ripe for disruption, IMO).
  • Linux (I build websites, and that’s a whole lot less fun when hosting on Windows).

I use a bunch of other stuff: Adobe’s software, CaptureOne, iTerm, DevonTHINK, Obsidian, NetNewsWire, but either they’re more of a “nice to have” than mission-critical, (DevonTHINK, Obsidian), or there are alternatives that I could get used to, (NNW, iTerm, Adobe).

Even most of the stuff on the main list above could be replaced. I could get a Wahoo or Apple watch to replace my Garmin, there are IDEs that could replace PhpStorm, Database viewers to replace Tableplus, (although they mostly suck or are $$$), and podcast players that I could get by with, (and be annoyed by), if Overcast went away. Heck, I am already annoyed by 1Password, I just haven’t found a better alternative. I guess that leaves Linux as the one truly irreplaceable thing in my app stack.

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  • Emacs
  • mutt
  • Devonthink
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I like your list. Superhuman is great, but the price is steep.

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@Yaakov - what do you see as the benefits of SuperHuman?

If you are a google fan, you will love Superhuman email system. I am not a fan of google, so it’s not a fit.

Not sure what you mean

I don’t like Gmail; I use Microoft Office 365 email

I used Google Search until AI hit–>now I use Perplexity as my first-line search in most situations

How do those related to Superhuman email?

There are only three apps in my digital armamentarium for which I wouldn’t be able to find a ready substitute:

  1. Readwise Reader. It’s the only app of its kind that handles highlighting and note-taking for both PDFs and epubs.

  2. DXO Photolab + Lightroom Classic + Photoshop

  3. DevonTHINK

And maybe Drafts?

I’m up to my elbows in Excel every day, but if I absolutely had to, I could make do with another spreadsheet program. Ditto Word. Ditto Obsidian.

I don’t want to call anyone out here, but as long as you regularly back up your passwords by exporting them as plaintext .json or .csv files (I do both to ensure max compatibility) and storing them in a encrypted folder, having to switch password managers doesn’t need to be more than a minor annoyance.


I don’t know of any other app on any platform that does what Drafts does or comes close to matching its feature set.

It’s one of the apps that keeps me using Apple devices. If it disappeared, there’s nothing to replace it with. I’d just have to live without it. Which I could, I just wouldn’t want to.

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I thought about it…would things hurt, potentially. But we are power users, we can make anything work!

Everything is fixable, the most hurt would probably come from:

  1. Zapier
  2. Pocket/Matter/Feedly
  3. Omnifocus
  4. 1Password
  5. Craft

I can probably come back from everything else, but Zapier connects to my Pocket/Feedly/Omnifocus and there’s a daily workflow that I depend on, if that broke…I would be in serious serious trouble.