How I’m Getting Stuff Done in 2023

Back in January of 2021 I posted about the Tools I use to Get Stuff Done. Since then I have continued to make choices and decisions in order to slim down and reduce the number of devices and tools that I use.

Below is my updated list of devices and tools that help me manage my personal life along with some rational to support the decision.

Devices

  • 13″ MacBook Pro (2016): I had all intention of replacing this machine with the 13” M2 MacBook Air in the summer of 2022 when it was released. For some reason I simply never got around to making the purchase. I made the decision last month to sell this device and not replace it. Since then I have been part of the iPadOS / iOS only crew.
  • 11” iPad Pro (3rd Generation): In the past month, the 11” iPad Pro (currently running iPadOS 17 Public Beta 4) has become my main personal device. It has proven itself to be more than capable of handling all of the tasks I have thrown at it to date. I’ve really enjoyed using iPadOS on a regular basis and look forward to how Apple will continue to enhance the operating system.
  • iPhone 12: I’m still using my iPhone 12 (currently running iOS 17 Public Beta 4). I’ll be upgrading to one of the iPhone 15 models (likely the 15 Pro Max) when they are released later this year. I’ve been very happy with the iPhone 12 and how it has held up for the last three years, but I am really looking forward to USB-C on the new models.

When I wrote my 2021 post I had yet to be offered and/or accept my current role with Microsoft. Since then I have taken a look at using the Microsoft ecosystem to merge my personal and professional life. I ended up moving back to the Apple ecosystem as using the Microsoft tools for my personal life simply did not work out. I do continue to use Microsoft ecosystem in my day to day work life.

Communication

  • Apple Mail: I’ve switched back to Apple Mail for all of my personal email accounts. I simply could not get behind the design changes that Readdle made to the latest versions of their Spark email client. I use Outlook on my Microsoft Surface Book 3 as it is just easier to stay within the Microsoft ecosystem for work.
  • Apple Calendar: Apple Calendar continues to be more than capable of handling my personal scheduling and sharing needs.
  • Apple Contacts: I still haven’t found a compelling reason to move to anything else.
  • Apple Messages: Nothing has changed here. Most (if not all) of my family and friends are still using Apple iPhones. Using Messages continues to make the most sense to easily stay connected with them.

Productivity

  • Apple Notes: While I’m still waiting for Apple to add Markdown support (which may never happen), I have been more than satisfied to continue using Apple Notes for my personal needs. I use OneNote on my Microsoft Surface Book 3 for work related information.
  • Apple Reminders: Reminders has proven itself to be a great task manager. I simply do not need all of the bells and whistles of other solutions.
  • Apple iCloud Drive: iCloud Drive continues to be more than capable of handling my cloud storage needs. I did try to use OneDrive for a bit when I started at Microsoft, but moved back to iCloud after a few months. I use OneDrive for storing my work related files which allows me to stay compliant with company policies.

Reading

  • YouVersion Bible: I’m still using the YouVersion Bible app. This application continues to help me stick with my reading plan each year. January 1st marked the start of year thirteen. God continues to do amazing things and I love being a part of his larger plan.
  • Kindle Paperwhite: I’m still using this device to read a number of different books on a daily basis. I’m thinking it may be time for an upgrade, but for now the device continues to do what I need it to.

Entertainment

  • Apple Podcasts: I continue to be a bit of a podcast addict, but I have been able to slim down from over 30 to 16. Christianity and Personal Development are the two categories I spend most of my time listening to these days.
  • Apple Music: Nothing has changed here. Most people I know continue to ride the Spotify bandwagon. Apple Music has all the features I need. I simply wish there was a free way to export Spotify playlists and import them into Apple Music.

Social & Sharing

Netflix’s Social Dilemma continues to influence how I use and interact with social media. I recently decided to remove the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone which dropped my daily average usage in Apple Screen Time by nearly 60%. This was a real revelation when I saw how much I was on my devices.

  • Facebook: I’m almost never on Facebook these days with the exception of listing items for sale on Marketplace. If we are friends you can still reach out, but don’t get upset when it takes an extended period of time for me to get back to you.
  • Twitter: I honestly do not post much on Twitter. I’ve continue to use the service for career purposes and still primarily follow technologists in the cloud computing space.
  • Instagram: Nothing has changed with my usage of the service. I post infrequently, but you’re likely to see photos of my lifted F150.

If you want to discuss any of these apps or suggest alternatives, post a comment below.

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