Apps we used to digitalize our life (Apple/iOS)

I am a huge technology fan and is known by my friends and family as the “geek”. I still get calls from my mum which I usually answer first with “did you search on Google?” to close the topic. It’s too easy to call for someone and not learn right?

Back to the topic. I wanted our family to be as digital as possible and not rely on papers for archiving purpose and searching capabilities. This also unlocks the ability to share information way easier. Here are some of the apps/process we use.

Ecosystem: Apple

Let’s start by saying all these suggestions are based on Apple and iOS ecosystem for my wife and I. However, most of the apps I will suggest are also compatible with Windows and Android.

A task manager: Todoist

If you want to collaborate with you loved ones such as bills to pay, contractor to call, meeting with the bank, or simply share a grocery shopping list, you need a task manager!

I used to be a fan of Wunderlist and never have been able to fund a suitable replacement since it was bought by Windows. We currently settled with Todoist. You can create list for your own tasks, grocery shopping list, list of things to do in the flat … You can share each list with your loved-ones and anyone can mark it as completed. Todoist also allows for task attribution and due dates.

All of these features are free and you have apps for Android, Windows, Mac OS and also a web version. The only thing missing from the free version are reminders.

I plan to try with Microsoft To Do app, which replaces Wunderlist and also see if the stock app from Apple, Reminders.

Calendar from Apple

How do you make sure you can make an appointment at the physio of your loved one took the car to go shopping or see his parents? We use the calendar to mark our social gatherings with friends, when we plan to go see the family and also our work related events such as conference, afterworks etc … When we create a new entry, the default calendar is the shared one.

Below is a step-by-step guide to create a shared calendar with whomever your want.

If you want to setup this new calendar as default, you will need to go to Settings > Calendar and select it as below. Once done, when you create a new calendar entry, it will select by default your newly shared calendar.

Notes from Apple: bills and warranties

In the spirit to keep everything digital, we have been using since the last iOS version Apple Notes to share notes. We create a note for any item we purchase, saving the ticket and mentioning the product and month of purchase. This way we have a trace of our warranties as long as the cloud servers don’t melt!

As you can see we put in the title not the item purchased as well as month and year. In the note you can scan your ticket.

This also a great way to work on holiday ideas and plan on our side and share our picks with each other. You need to have an app to share notes!

Dropbox to share files

The last mandatory item in your shared digital life will be an app to share files. We have been using Dropbox since we met but it’s use as been minimal in the last 2-3 years. One key issue is my wife does not have as much free space as me.

I understand Apple has, or is soon going to, given the possibility to share folders and files from its Folder app! I am already paying a monthly cloud storage space to Apple for my iPhone and iPad backups, I am going to take a look at this in the next weeks.

I will not share an example of how we setup our folders as, 1) it’s a mess and 2), we need to find an alternative as we have storage issues.

Next steps

We recently purchased a NAS to upload all our movies and TV shows to be used anywhere with the Plex app. I plan to setup the NAS also to backup our devices and be a central music library. Unfortunately we can not use the NAS a central repository for pictures when using the stock app Photos from Apple.

Finally, I never took the time to look at Shortcuts and see how we can automate some easy tasks. I want to include into these routines our Sonos and Philips HUE setups.