Finding the best tool for the job makes all the difference for how easy, reliable, and enjoyable our work can be. User experience (UX) is often the difference between creating and frustrating.

These are my personal preferences, after 30+ years of computing β€” from my first ZX Spectrum, to a BBC Micro, Amiga, Atari, DOS PC, Windows 3.1, macOS 8, 9, X, Debian Linux, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, and hundreds of web and mobile apps.

If you want to do some of the things I do β€” or need me to help β€” these are some of the apps I use, and know well enough to recommend…

Kit List

I’ve recently discovered, like, and highly recommend kit.co β€” for creating and sharing your kit-lists. Here’s mine, so-far: kit.co/marcusquinn

Operating Systems

In order of experience:

  1. Mac
  2. Web Apps
  3. Windows
  4. Linux,* Ubuntu*, Kubuntu*
  5. iOS
  6. Android
  7. Rudder* Client Management
  8. Acronis Cyber Connect Protect

*Free (as-in freedom) Open-Source Software (FOSS)1

Software & Services

In approximate order of usage and recommendation:

Communications

Productivity

Security

  • Enpass (password manager & two-factor authentication)
  • Bitwarden* (password manager & two-factor authentication)
  • PrivateBin* (secure messaging across insecure platforms)
  • Authy (two-factor authentication when there’s no text code)
  • Cryptomator* (secure files on insecure storage)
  • Strongbox* (secure files on insecure storage)

Accounts

  • Quickfile (accounts – recommended for UK & GBP freelancers)
  • Xero (accounts – recommended for UK & international companies)
  • Quickbooks (accounts – recommended for US companies & freelancers)
  • Odoo* (accounts and other web apps – recommended for integrated operations)
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV (accounts & logistics)
  • Google Sheets (accounts & analysis)
  • Brandlight ERP* (ecommerce & client service organisations)
  • Stannp (print mailing)

Design

Development

Hosting

  • Hetzner (website & web app hosting, including network-level DDoS protection β€” €20 sign-up credit link)
  • Contabo (website & web app hosting, including network-level DDoS protection)
  • Scaleway (website & web app hosting, including network-level DDoS protection and affordable – Kubernetes)
  • Vultr (website & web app hosting β€” $100 sign-up credit)
  • Upcloud (website & web app hosting β€” $100 sign-up credit)
  • Digital Ocean (website & web app hosting, including managed Kubernetes – $100 sign-up credit)
  • Microsoft Azure (websites & databases)
  • Google Cloud Platform (translation & data-processing (AI))
  • Amazon AWS (when alternatives in the above don’t exist)
  • GitLab* & GitHub (code & project management)
  • Cloudron (€30 credit with code d28ae00540f92a76)
  • Backblaze B2 (file storage and backups β€” efficient alternative to Amazon S3)
  • iDrive e2 (file storage and backups β€” efficient alternative to Amazon S3)
  • Wasabi (file storage β€” efficient alternative to Amazon S3)
  • ODrive (file storage sync for popular providers)
  • Digital Press (Ghost* hosting)
  • Updown (website status & speed monitoring)
  • Tab Digital (Nextcloud*) (file storage & sharing)
  • Google Drive (file storage & sharing)
  • Dropbox (file storage & sharing)
  • Sync.com (file storage & sharing)
  • SparkleShare* (git-based file storage & sharing)
  • Paperspace (remote desktop clients)
  • iRedMail* (email servers)
  • Runcloud
  • Rancher
  • Grafana
  • Prometheus

Marketing

Analysis & Reporting

Domains & Network Management

  • Cloudflare (cost-price domains, hosting direction & security, good if you need collaborative assistance too)
  • Namesilo (lowest priced service I know, collaborative admin sharing, solid API, doesn’t support .co.uk domains yet for some reason)
  • Namecheap (good if you need collaborative assistance too)
  • Ionos 1&1 (covers some other domain extensions)
  • 101 Domain (every international domain extension imaginable)
  • Dot TK (free domains, in-part to promote awareness of the island of Tokelau)
  • Freenom (free & cost-price domains)
  • Marcaria (international domains and other international trademark registration and trust services others don’t cover)
  • Sedo (domain resale marketplace)
  • Dan (domain resale marketplace)
  • DNS Made Easy (fastest DNS service)
  • DNSimple (fastest managed DNS service)
  • BuddyNS (backup DNS)
  • Amazon AWS Route53 (alternative DNS)
  • DNSPerf (DNS performance & service comparison)
  • DNSFilter (DNS-level user protection)
  • BunnyCDN (fast and affordable Content Delivery Network for speeding up website access to audiences around the world)
  • X4B (firewall as a service for hosts that don’t have that)
  • Sercurius (test your website & web app for security best-practice)

Payment Processing

Banking

  • Wise.com (multi-currency-banking for lower exchange-rate costs)
  • Monzo (multi-currency payments to save on exchange costs)
  • Blockchain Exchange (the cheapest & safest way I know to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies)

Music & Audio

Video

Podcasts

Utilities

News

Federated Publishing

I’m sure there’s many more. These are just the highlights. Having the right tool for the job, created by those with a passion for enabling, inspiring, and sharing, really does the work we do a pleasure.


To follow my online adventures β€” with commentary on; creative technology, building a brand, ethical business, copywriting, ecommerce, blogging, SEO, data protection, privacy, and online security β€” find me on X.com…

  1. β†©οΈŽ

Free (as-in freedom) Open-Source Software (FOSS) – is an ethical way to provide software services for; transparency, security, freedom, privacy, data-ownership, collaboration, developer credit & promotion – and simply good online citizen karma in return for the countless community projects you already benefit from that form the foundations a free and inclusive internet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open-source_software