I’m addicted to finding the “best” productivity app for me and I’m quitting cold turkey

Productivity Apps
Productivity Apps

Update on May 3, 2024

This post no longer applies because I have done some soul searching and took time away from all Productivity subreddits/discord servers, etc and determined that my iPad is my main productivity machine and I only need tasks on my iPad while I need notes and project tasks/notes on all devices. You can read my full thoughts here.

Original Written on April 22, 2024:

This may not be the case for everyone but for me, I realized that I am addicted to finding the “best” productivity app for me. I get an endorphin boost when I think I’ve found it only for it to drop a few hours later or the next day and then be stuck in a loop.

I am pretty sure I have undiagnosed inattentive ADHD which doesn’t help as that means I am always chasing that endorphin boost. Especially one weeks, like this one, where I was tired for one reason or another all week even when trying to get enough sleep.

I realized I do this because of those endorphins and the fact that it is just my husband and I and I’m working to be able to afford to do more out of the house but (for now) we can’t.  So, I’m bored. There are not many video games I like out there so I am working, doing side projects, hanging out with my husband, and replaying games for days on end. This fact also doesn’t help the endorphin flow.

I’ve been exercising more (by walking) to try and get them flowing in a healthy way and now I am doing another change to help get a healthier lifestyle. I am going to stop thinking about what apps I’m using when. I decided I am going to stick with the following apps and do my best to stop thinking about what other people are using. I’m going to stay in the Obsidian Discord Server and Forum but I am staying off of Reddit as much as possible and I’m going to stay away from productivity youtube as much as possible. I’m hoping all these steps will help me stick with something long-term. I am marrying the apps I listed below and making a commitment. I will treat them like I treat my husband.

I know that sounds ridiculous but unless I do that and write it down like this for the world to read, I won’t hold myself accountable. So, here I am. Holding myself accountable. The apps listed below are ones I am sticking with and I am going to keep using from here until the apps die or become useless.

Productivity Apps I’m Using

Todoist – view my full thoughts on App Seeker

My primary computer right now is a M3 Max Macbook Pro 14″ and it is a work computer. Layoffs have been happening in the IT world like crazy. I got this job after being laid off so I never count it out as a possibility. Which means, I could leave this position at any moment.

The ability to have my tasks on my phone, Mac, iPad, and PC is useful. I don’t have to worry about what I will do when/if I leave this position because I can just pick up where I left off on the web, on the PC or wherever I want.

It also syncs to their cloud so I don’t have to worry about factory resetting any of my devices and local files being lost. It isn’t something I do often but with this being a work PC, you never know. So, I try to keep from storing local files on it.

Spark Email – full thoughts coming soon to App Seeker

Again, cross platform. Biggest pluses, I can sign into 1 account and the rest of my accounts are signed in and I can read an email and delete it on my desktop and it removes the notification from my iPhone AND iPad. I don’t have to worry about clearing out all the useless notifications in my notification center.

No, I don’t pay for it. I don’t find the integrations worth it since I can copy links to emails on PC and Mac just fine and it allows for snoozing out of the box so I don’t have to worry about needing a task for emails. The rest of the integrations are not worth it to me.

Obsidian – view my full thoughts on App Seeker

Ultimately, I choose Obsidian over UpNote, OneNote, and Apple Notes because it is a local-first app and the Obsidian Sync solution is end-to-end encrypted so I don’t have to worry about prying eyes on my notes. While I don’t have TONS of private information, I do have some so I want to keep it private. I keep wanting to move to other apps but Obsidian is just where my heart and brain lies. I’m not worried about losing files because as long as 1 devices is on airplane mode, it will not sync so I can consider that device a backup. Though I also make separate backups to my 2TB External SSD for good measure (always recommended).

Obsidian is just a fantastic app. Yes, it has a steep learning curve but it is worth it.

Apple Notes/Freeform – view my full thoughts on App Seeker

I use Apple Notes/Freeform to help learn math and teach my husband College Algebra so he can clep out of the tests. I also use it to make one-off handwritten notes that I don’t need long term or to brainstorm stuff I eventually want to add to Obsidian.

Notion – view my full thoughts on App Seeker

It shouldn’t be surprising that I am using Notion, considering App Seeker is created in Notion and hosted online with NoteHost. It is a fantastic app and the databases are the killer feature. Notion is basically where I can create a template and reuse it and quickly get something up and share it with the world super easily. I don’t keep anything productive in here except my job applications whenever I do apply for jobs. It makes it simple to keep on track with all of them and see a calendar view, gallery view, list view, etc. of the same entries in the database.

1Password – view my full thoughts on App Seeker

I consider this a productivity app because it helps me stay productive by taking 1 thing off my mind, remembering my passwords or any private notes that I don’t want to keep in plain text files on my computer. Mostly, though, 1Password is used for passwords. I use it because of the interface and how easy it is to use and especially because it can save the social logins when you “sign in with” Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc. to websites.

VSCode

Visual Studio Code is my first programming productivity app. I consider it a productivity app because it is how I am productive at work and at home with my personal projects. As a Full Stack Engineer, I am using VSCode every day at my job and at home. I have tried the JetBrains products and they are good but since VSCode is so widely used and I have used it for so long, I choose to stick with what I know.

Google Chrome – view my full thoughts on App Seeker

I have tried Arc and while I love it, it has some downfalls. The biggest one being one I just added (not sure why it wasn’t there before):

You can’t have separate windows with different tabs in each. Each window has the same tabs with the same areas and everything so if you want to play a youtube video on one monitor (if you have more than one) and then browse on a second monitor, you have to use a different browser.

I don’t get why this is a thing. I know at least 1 person who has reported this to their devs and requested this be a “feature”. Every other browser can have multiple windows or move tabs to a completely separate window so they are the only tab open but, for some reason, Arc hasn’t allowed this.

Edge, FireFox, and other browsers are good as well but they just don’t fit with what I like. I know my browsing is spied on regardless so I don’t care about trying to use Brave and hide my browsing. I just browse how I want to browse. Chrome also has the most extensions available so I don’t have to worry about if something is available. More often than not, it is.


These are my productivity apps. These are written in stone and I am married to them. This will not change anytime in the future. I may test out other apps for App Seeker though I will not change from these apps anytime in the near future.

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