It seems en vogue to write a quick list of what you use in your search for a more productive lifestyle. In this blog post I write about six apps that I use on a daily basis. They are not for everyone, I know – but they make my life a hell of a lot easier as we go in to the year. Whilst I am not trying to push these apps on to you, this post is more of a mark in the sand – a reference for 2023 – for me to look back on.

logo design theory
Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - Endel Logo 2019 600x600 1


Billed as a “Personalised soundscapes to help you focus, relax, and sleep. Backed by neuroscience.” I admit I was drawn to this.

Sound has a direct impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. It has the power to affect our sleep, mood, concentration levels, blood pressure, and more.

Endel takes everything we know about sound and combines it with cutting-edge technology. The result is real-time, personalised soundscapes, designed to help you relax, focus, and sleep.

Drawing on the Apple Health app – linked to my Smartwatch – it will create a soundscape that will help me focus and relax.

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - fantastical ios glyph


Events. Tasks. Meetings. And, I have the free version.

I wanted something that had the functionality of a calendar yet could help keep me semi-organised, as opposed to setting a deadline on everything. Fantastical works great in that it collaborates with Apple Reminders. So, I have the note taking functionality of Apple Reminders and it shows up on my main dashboard on my mobile, Fantastical – all in one place.

No matter what device I’m using, Fantastical will give me the view I want. I can see a quick overview of my calendar with the Fantastical DayTicker and Calendar views, and browse comprehensive full screen views of my day, week, month, quarter, or year when I need more detail.

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - Notion app logo


Notion is a collaboration platform with modified markdown support that integrates kanban boards, tasks, wikis, and databases.

The company is an all-in-one workspace for note-taking, knowledge and data management, and project and task management. It is also a file management tool offering a unified workspace, allowing users to comment on ongoing projects, participate in discussions, and receive feedback.

In addition to cross-platform apps, it can be accessed via most web browsers.

I use Notion to draft proposals and as a work space for me and my clients

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - mimestream review

Mimestream [Beta]

A native macOS email client for Gmail.

Mimestream is currently in Beta, but it is great – it is a bit like what would happen if Apple Mail and Gmail married.

As a native app written in Swift, Mimestream leverages the full power of macOS to deliver a lightning-fast and instantly familiar experience. Instead of using the IMAP protocol, Mimestream utilises the Gmail API to enable an enhanced set of features that let you work with ease.

It is very lightweight and fast. Mimestream is built for speed, and only uses a minimal amount of disk space to cache recent messages.

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - calendly brand mark color 1


Calendly takes the busywork of scheduling off your to-do list so you can get more done. Thousands of teams across the globe use Calendly to make millions of 1-click meetings every week. Coordinate, connect, and nurture relationships all in one meeting lifecycle platform.

I use it as my one point of access – people book a time with me and then I get in contact with them. It saves me worrying about prank calls in the day time when I am out and about; it offers peace of mind about what I am doing, when.

review of ios shortcuts

iOS Shortcuts

Bit of a cheat this – but, it is most people’s gateway in to programming scripts.

A shortcut is a quick way to get one or more tasks done with your apps. The Shortcuts app lets you create your own shortcuts with multiple steps. For example, I built a “Morning Agenda” shortcut that grabs the news, my daily to-do list, the weather forecast and gives me multiple options what to listen to afterwards. Including Endel…

Summing Up

There you go. Six apps that I use on a daily basis. The hardware to run them is all in the Apple ecosystem – Mac mini, iPhone – although I do not have an Apple Watch, I have a Garmin Smart Watch to help with Endel. I thought I would write these apps as a way of sharing my office life – there is not the show and tell of office life being a freelancer and I am acutely aware of that. If you recommend any apps, or you think I have missed of a corker, please feel free to leave a comment below, in the comments section.

Freelance Web Designer Harrogate - marapr6479 2

Post written by: Andrew Backhouse

Andrew Backhouse from Harrogate crafts distinctive websites and logos for Harrogate Businesses and individuals. Check his diverse portfolio and read client praises. Enjoyed the post? Leave a comment or contact Andrew to collaborate.

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