My Privacy-focused Apps

Over the last few years, I've made a concerted effort to find open-source tools that focus on protecting user privacy.

It's an ongoing journey. As you'll see, I'm still working through replacing some applications (and even operating systems).

This post lists out the tools I'm currently using, both so I can keep track of it for myself and help other privacy-conscious folks find software that values their privacy!

Cross Platform Applications

These apps work on all my devices, which is a big reason why I love them!

  • Firefox - Web browser, replaces Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc.
  • Signal - Messaging, replaces SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.
  • Standard Notes - Writing, replaces Microsoft Word, Evernote, OneNote, etc.
  • Bitwarden - Password manager, replaces LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, etc.

Desktop/Laptop

  • Linux (Ubuntu) - Operating System, replaces Windows or MacOS
  • Thunderbird - Email Client, replaces Outlook and other email clients
  • VSCodium - Text editor, replaces VS Code, or any other developer-focused editors
  • Vim - Text editor, upgrades your ego, replaces all text editors (I'm still learning Vim so I rely on Codium a lot)
  • Krita - Drawing software, replaces Paint, etc.
  • GIMP - Image editor, replaces Photoshop, etc.
  • Inkscape - Vector software, replaces Illustrator, etc.
  • LibreOffice - Office software, replaces Microsoft Office, etc.
  • Audacity - Audio editing, replaces Garage Band, etc.

Mobile

What's Left To Replace

  • Android - I like the Librem 5 phone, but it's still a little soon for me to grab one. In the meantime, I'm planning to install LineageOS.
  • Goodreads - I don't need Amazon tracking my every read, but I haven't found a good replacement yet. I like Calibre, so I'll move there eventually, but it's not open source so that's a mark against it.
  • Google Maps - I've downloaded OsmAnd, but I don't naturally reach for it yet.
  • Moodpath - Tracks my anxiety/depression. I haven't found a good replacement yet.
  • Google Keyboard - The swipe technology is just too good and I haven't found a good replacement yet. They only send telemetrics, but still. It's Google.
  • Strava - Exercise tracking. I've downloaded OpenTracks, but I don't naturally reach for it yet (and I haven't gone running in ages).
  • YNAB - Budgeting software. I pay for it, so according to their privacy policy I should be okay. I'd love to move to an open source app, but I haven't found a good replacement yet.
  • Prey - Phone location software. I need to look into their privacy policy, because this is one I haven't thought about in ages. I don't know of any open source apps that will let you find your phone when you lose it.
  • Todoist - My todo software. I pay for it, so I'm less inclined to look elsewhere, but I do want to find a good open source version, especially if I can pay them to support it and provide a syncing mechanism.

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