Question

What apps are on your homescreen, dock, and taskbar?

We talk a lot about the software we love and tools we use for work. What apps are so crucial you keep them on your homescreen or dock? And especially on mobile, do you change out your homescreen apps over the weekend or while on holiday?

Mentioned
#Alfred #Notion #Spotify #Screen
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ignition_tom's avatar
2 years ago

Literally no apps on my home screen. I've put them all into one folder onto the 2nd tab and just use the iphone search to access apps I need. The dock has phone, browser, music, podcasts. that is it.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ignition_tom )
2 years ago

Nice and clean!

Using the default apps for browser, music, and podcasts?

1 point
ignition_tom's avatar
@ignition_tom (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

No, I use chrome for browser (but admittedly safari is pretty good on iphone, Im just comfortable on chrome)

Deezer for music (high quality!)

Breaker for podcasts

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @ignition_tom )
2 years ago

Ohh Deezer—been a while since I've seen that around. Think that may have been the first streaming app I tried.

1 point
optemization's avatar
2 years ago

on macOS, i don't like using sidebars and docks. I pull up everything with shortcuts or Alfred. I have special shortcuts for:

  1. Pastebot: clipboard
  2. Cleanshot: screenshots/casts
  3. Toggl: time tracking
  4. Fantastical: calendar
  5. 1Password: passwords and autofill
3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @optemization )
2 years ago

Interesting! So you keep the dock hidden all the time, and don't edit the apps in the dock by default? I usually keep the dock small or hidden on MacBook-sized screens at any rate, though I love the old animation when you hover over icons, so keep that around for old times' sake.

Shortcuts make a lot of sense. I use Option+Cmd+S to open my "scratchpad" txt file for writing in iA Writer, and that's likely the shortcut I hit the most. Then I use Alfred to open everything else. Haven't added app-specific shortcuts for other stuff though. Did you add those with Alfred?

1 point
optemization's avatar
@optemization (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Did you add those with Alfred?

No just the native shortcuts that apps offer but I will installing something like Keysmith for custom ones!

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @optemization )
2 years ago

Ohh that looks handy, I may have to try Keysmith as well!

1 point
maguay's avatar
2 years ago

A few favorites on my phone homescreen:

Halide for shooting manual focus photos.

4 writing apps, which is overkill: Notion for notes/projects/etc, Tot for quick notes, iA Writer and Ulysses to pick back up on writing work on the go.

Things for personal tasks.

1Password for logins.

A folder of work tools with Slack, Airtable, Google Docs, et al, and another folder of personal apps with banking, ridesharing, food delivery, and such.

1 point
bencapiche's avatar
2 years ago

On macOS:
- Dock: not much, just Chrome, Slack, and Spotify - anything else I either open through a doc I'm working on or with Spotlight Search shortcut. Usually keep this hidden and small off to the left.
- Menubar: a lot more going on here; SkipTunes, Wallcat, 1Password, Magnet, Boom3D, One Switch, sometimes Setapp and iStat Menus (for CPU/GPU, Memory, Disks, Battery, and Time). I use Bartender to hide icons to keep most of those out of the way until I need them, though.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @bencapiche )
2 years ago

Ahh, cool to see a detailed list of menubar apps!

I hadn't seen One Switch before—that's a nifty idea, like an iOS control center for macOS.

With Boom3D, I used to use that when watching movies on the MacBook then would turn it off other times. Do you use it for all of your audio playback, or just when needing to boost the volume beyond the defaults?

1 point
bencapiche's avatar
@bencapiche (replying to @maguay )
2 years ago

Yeah, One Switch is pretty cool! Little things like Hide Desktop and Screen Clean are really small handy toggles to have. I thought the new Big Sur Control Center would replace it, but it's not quite the same.

I happen to use Boom3D all the time, but it's a little unstable, I think? Not sure how to quite describe it, but it seems like sound randomly bounces between BoomAudio, MacBook Pro Speakers, and External Headphones as a source when I have it activated, depending the app I have running. It's a weird thing but I really dig the equalizer for music and ability to boost beyond default max volume for movies.

If you haven't checked out SetApp before, it's pretty great and where I've downloaded a bunch of the apps I mentioned from.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @bencapiche )
2 years ago

Ahh interesting, that sounds similar to my experience with Boom, which is why I only turned it on for specific scenarios.

I've tried SetApp, but already had licenses or subscriptions for the core apps I'd have used from the bundle, so never ended up using it full time. I should check it out again though.

1 point
poirpom's avatar
2 years ago

Hi there,

First contribution here on Capiche, glad to jump in.

Phone

Regarding phone use, I have the same approach @ignition_tom has: absolutely nothing on my home screen. Quick access to search box > type a couple of letter > BOUM, you get what you need. Bonus: the 8 most recently used apps appear right under the search box. So your daily apps are just there.

home-screen.jpg

Don't even hide the single folder. It's there, no big deal, quite handy even: gives me quick access to a few apps.

Computer

Dock

Nothing in the dock, always hidden. Same approach as @optemization: Everything I need access to, I do it through (the one and only and almighty and tremendously powerful) Alfred.

Years go by, and I learn new ways of using Alfred everyday. It's powerful, always there, always fast. I paid a license years ago and I don't regret it. Worth every penny.

This is the weirdest thing with Alfred: I was kind of shy in the beginning, using it as a simple launcher. But then I slowly taught myself (and I still do) to use it differently. And it's amazing.

I'm no dev at all, so each new step, each new little task I learn, may seem ridiculous, but slowly saves me seconds, kind of goes as fast as my brain (the best feeling ever regarding software).

Taskbar

Nothing in it, except clock and, when needed, the dropbox appears (only when it syncs). Everything is hidden thanks to bartender (as many people do).

😅 That's about it!.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @poirpom )
2 years ago

Hey @poirpom, welcome! Excited you're here.

That's an incredible homescreen—love how clean it is, and the single folder is clever. Do you think you'll revisit it now that iOS 14 supports widgets?

I'm with you on using search by default, though in my case I started doing it on the Mac, and ended up leaning on search on the phone as I never took the time to organize all the sub-home screens. And ... it works. I should take the time to clean things up, but then again, our devices and software should just work and not require us to babysit them.

2 points
poirpom's avatar
@poirpom (replying to @maguay )
almost 2 years ago

Regarding iOS 14 widgets, I tried for the last few days. They... annoy me, even with things I might find handy (quick access to the last music I listened to for example).

I don't like being distracted. I perfectly understand widgets might be handy – I get it, I really do. But not for me. My phone is a tool. I unlock it for a reason. I need access to data or an app to do something: send or answer a message, listen to music or podcast, count the kilometers when I go for a bike ride, check my bank account, etc. But, when that's info isn't needed, I don't want it in the way.

You have a good point regarding "babysitting" devices. I bothered myself to create a single folder on my phone for 2 reasons:

  1. keep my screen peaceful. Avoid, as mush as I can, aggressive colors. I still want to try going further, going black and white on my screen with accessibility features, to see how it goes.
  2. To "not babysit" my device. Apart for the apps on the first page of the folder, everything else is as I put them in the folder, in no particular order. The search box (and my memory) does the job of finding
1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @poirpom )
almost 2 years ago

Interesting, yeah that makes sense. I actually think widgets would be more interesting if I didn't have an Apple Watch—that already has reduced how much I glance at my phone for tiny bits of info like next task/event, current weather, etc. And then, to your point, that leave the more detailed tasks for actually opening the phone, where you'll need the full app anyhow.

One place I'd imagine your homescreen setup helping is with distraction. One trick I've done to help keep me from opening distracting apps (esp. social media) without thinking is to either hide the one layer deep within a folder where you don't see the icon by default, or delete the app and use the web app instead. Just that extra bit of friction helps keep me from wasting a minute opening a social network when I already know what would be there.

1 point
poirpom's avatar
@poirpom (replying to @maguay )
almost 2 years ago

Jumping back in as I stumbled upon a nice post from apps and tips : you can actually hide apps from your home screen and place them in your app library (last screen on the right). An easy way to keep your home screen light and peaceful without loosing visual access to your apps. On top of that, even if you search for an app inside the app library, you can manage apps the same way you would if it was on your home screen (e.g. deleting it).

That way, i was able, in a couple of minutes, to hide most of the apps in the app library. My single home folder is even lighter now.

1 point
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @poirpom )
almost 2 years ago

@poirpom The wild thing is you can even hide full screens of apps—so you could have a set of work apps and widgets organized on one home screen, then hide it over the weekend or while on vacation.

Somehow hiding apps and homescreens makes apps feel a bit more like websites. It's like you're preloading a site so it's there when you need it, but just like a website it can be fully hidden when you aren't using it. It's an interesting, search-driven future, where homescreens may eventually feel like the old web directories as Yahoo! started out that then were old news once Google came out.

I still haven't put the time into customizing it, but there are a lot of possibilities now to tweak things without as many hacks.

2 points
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