Setapp or Not?

As I was reviewing my growing list of software subscriptions, I remembered Setapp. I’ve been subscribed to Setapp since launch. I like the idea of “Netflix but for apps”. Access to a large and growing list of useful apps for ten bucks a month is pretty great.

But is it worth it to me? Let’s see.

Apps I regularly use

  • Forklift
  • Marked
  • Ulysses
  • BusyCal
  • Renamer
  • CleanMyMac
  • iStat Menus
  • Permute
  • TaskPaper
  • Sip
  • Flume
  • Squash
  • Timing

Apps I occasionally or might use

  • Aeon Timeline
  • Bartender
  • BetterTouchTool
  • Declutter
  • Downie
  • Gemini
  • Gifox
  • Merlin Project Express
  • Netspot
  • NotePlan
  • Numi
  • Paw
  • Screens
  • WiFi Explorer

I’d say that settles it. Nearly 30 apps I either use often or only need occasionally for $10 a month makes it a no-brainer. I don’t even need to do the math on how much just the regularly-used apps would cost me. Also, Setapp regularly adds new apps, so the value continues to increase over time.

After 3 days, I am completely enamored with Alien Skin Exposure’s catalog-less image handing. I keep photos in neatly-organized folders and Alien Skin just uses those directly. No importing, catalog files, etc. It’s liberating.

Fallback Tools

It’s fun to try new things. I experience a strong fear of missing out when it comes to gear and software, so I try almost everything. What if that other thing is better? I should try it!

The New Thing is always fun and interesting, and it some cases I decide that I no longer need the Old Thing and go all in.

Then it happens. I stumble over some missing feature or unanticipated side effect so decide to fall back to the thing I know. The Old Thing. Sometimes it’s only to get over the current hurdle, but most of the time I end up staying with my old standbys. My fallback tools.

Software examples are: BBEdit, Apple Notes, OmniFocus, Apple Mail, Tinderbox, DEVONthink, and Curio. For photography gear it’s a Leica M6, Fuji X100T, Tri-X, HC-110, and 5×7 RC paper.

I’m currently trying Capture One again for image management and editing. My fallback tool is Lightroom, so we’ll see what happens there.

Experimenting with new tools is my favorite meta hobby, but it’s good to know there are things I can always count on.

Luminar, Skylum, DAM – Skylum

It’s time: Re-think your post-processing workflow:

Have you ever seen an Apple TV remote? It has three buttons on it. Compare that to the old-fashioned, TV remote with 60 or more buttons. That’s the kind of direction we want to take at Skylum. Simple should remain simple.

I really like Skylar’s Luminar for editing photos and have been eagerly awaiting their DAM solution, but referencing the Apple TV remote in a positive way like that gives me pause. The Apple TV remote sucks. I get their point about simplicity, but simplicity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Adobe is trying the simple route with Lightroom CC and it’s useless to me. On the other hand, Luminar is a pretty simple editor and I find that it works great for many things.

What I want is a solid, full-featured DAM and editor at a reasonable, subscription-less price. I’m cheering for you, Skylum.

Why I miss title bars

Here’s how windows used to look. Guess where you click to drag the window:

That’s right! Now, guess where you click to drag this window currently open on my desktop:

Requires a lot of dexterity, but you’re correct. Now how about this one:

I just skipped to the chase with this one. I love Standard Notes so I’m not picking on them, but I would love to always have a consistent, obvious, uncluttered title bar that I can use to drag windows around in any app at any time.



MarsEdit 4.0

I don’t even remember when I first started using MarsEdit, but it was a long time ago. It’s been a reliable, easy, smart, useful way to post to blogs.

Version 4.0 has been released and it’s even better. Using MarsEdit is reason enough to stick with WordPress for my blogs (although it works great with too).


Eli Mellen mentioned Miniflux one too many times so I had to give it a go.

Miniflux is a bare-bones RSS reader that you host yourself. It uses SQLite for storage so it's super simple to install and run. I've imported many of my feeds into it and so far it's working great. It has very good keyboard support, which is important to me. It's fast, simple, and efficient.

Things I installed on a fresh iPhone (SE)

After weeks of flakiness with my iPhone SE, I decided to wipe it and start over. This always seems like a good idea at the time.

Every time I do this, I plan to install only the absolutely necessary non-stock apps. “Absolutely necessary” ends up meaning “apps I want to have” I guess. Here’s the list.

  • Omnifocus
  • Audible
  • Drafts
  • Dropbox
  • Carrot
  • 1Password
  • Watchlist
  • MoviePass
  • YNAB
  • Ulysses
  • Hello Weather
  • Orbi
  • Lyft
  • Halide
  • Nest
  • Bitmoji
  • Scanner Pro
  • Google Photoscan
  • Snapchat
  • Eero
  • Just Press Play
  • Nuzzel
  • Hue
  • Letterboxd
  • Day One
  • Basecamp
  • Signal
  • Light Meter
  • RingCentral
  • Google Photos
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Develop
  • Pedometer++
  • Workflow
  • Overcast
  • Google Authenticator
  • Instagram
  • Huntington
  • Waze
  • Twitter
  • Textexpander
  • DEVONthink

So much for any minimalist aspirations.

Keep It, by Reinvented Software

I’m going to need an Everything Bucket for my Everything Buckets.

The latest “Everything Bucket” is Keep It from Reinvented Software. Keep It is replacing Together, itself a fine tool for collecting things.

I’d settled on DEVONthink in recent years but lately have been looking for a simpler alternative. DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go are a powerful combination. Maybe too powerful. I have many hours into configuring sync between my Macs and iOS devices, and sometimes I feel like I still don’t understand DEVONthink’s sync system at all. Having too many options is not always desirable.

I’ve been running with EagleFiler for the past couple of weeks and it really is great at keeping track of a bunch of “stuff”. It’s especially good with email. I haven’t minded that there’s no EagleFiler for iOS because everything is just kept in folders in Dropbox. Still, having a similar UI on both platforms would be nice.

Keep It looks nice. Like EagleFiler, it keeps my files and folder structure intact, although the library’s folder is in iCloud’s ~/Library/Group Containers/… location. Still, any app with a “Show in Finder” option is good with me.

I’m planning to throw a subset of my “File Cabinet” at Keep It and see how it feels.

Update I don’t think Keep It is for me. While I like how it looks and it feels good, there are a few things I’m not sure I could live with…

  • No quick capture keyboard shortcut
  • No way to see un-filed items
  • No Markdown preview

I’ll keep an eye on it, but for now I’m sticking with my current tools.