How to be enough & Little Snitch launches new major version

Finding a privacy-focused email service, Apple announces Design Award Finalists, Google's AI search setback, and a lot more in this week's issue of Creativerly.

How to be enough & Little Snitch launches new major version
Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash, Design by Creativerly

My name is Philipp and you are reading Creativerly, the weekly digest about creativity and productivity-boosting tools and resources, combined with useful insights, articles, and findings from the fields of design and tech. The newsletter built for the creative community.

Hey and welcome to Creativerly 276 👋

This week's post has been in my backlog for quite some time, but I decided that it is finally the right time to get it out there. I wrote about privacy-focused Gmail alternatives. Now, there are loads, and I mean loads of posts out there highlighting Gmail alternatives that are focusing on privacy, encryption, and keeping users' data secure. So, you are probably asking why I decided to write another post that basically does the same, right? Well, I had the post in my backlog for some time, and in the first place pretty much everything that sits in my backlog are posts and topics I am passionate about. Additionally, my backlog is packed with ideas I simply want to write about. No matter if there are already loads of posts about the same topic, I want to write my own views and my own opinions about those topics.

Therefore, I decided it is time to finish and publish it. So, here we are and it is out. Before you read it, you will find a disclaimer at the top of the post, which indicates that the whole post is still a write-in-progress (similar to my post about privacy-friendly Google Analytics alternatives), which means I will constantly update it whenever I find more services that fit the topic. Additonal sections with additional privacy-focused email services are already in the works and will get added to the post soon.

So, make sure to revisit it every now and then, if you want to read more about privacy-focused Gmail alternatives.

Say goodbye to Gmail - Find a privacy-focused email service

After my post about privacy-focused Google Analytics services became quite a success (I still update it regularly with new services and tools), I decided to expand on the idea of ‚de-googling‘ by gathering privacy-focused Gmail alternatives.

The Google Analytics alternatives blog post became one of the most popular post I have ever written. As more and more people are looking into ways to unbundle Google, it feels great to have created such a resource. However, people are not only searching for privacy-focused ways to get insights about the traffic happening on their websites. They are searching for alternatives for Google Search, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other products by the tech giant. Whenever I am talking about unbundling Google with friends and colleagues, a lot of them actually tried to unbundle Google, but the reason they have not fully commit to it, is Gmail. Therefore, I decided to create a similar resource focusing on those Gmail alternatives.

Let me tell you, there are great privacy-friendly Gmail alternatives. You found the right blog post to get an in-depth guide about popular services and Pps. While switching to a privacy-friendly Gmail alternative for your work email might be a little bit harder (but not impossible), a first step would be to move your personal email to a new provider, focusing on privacy, not spying on you, and not selling your data. So, when you are reading through this post, do it with a grain of salt. Most of the proposed solutions might not be fully suitable for the big corporation you are working for, but they definitely work for your personal email, for your side-projects, your newsletters, and casual email conversations.

Reasons speaking against Gmail

But, why would you actually migrate off of Gmail? Google makes money through advertising. Therefore, they have great interest in serving you tailored ads, since as they get more targeted to you and your interest, the more money Google makes. The one thing Google needs to create the most targeted ads is data. Thinking about the extensive usage of Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and other Google products of some users, the amount of data you are sharing withe with the company is a lot. In my opinion it is not a justified tradeoff, getting access to those free apps by providing loads of your data to Google.

The shocking amount of data Google is collecting got visualized once Apple introduced its privacy labels feature in 2021. Suddenly, people realized that in order to download Gmail and use its free services, they had to agree to the terms and conditions, which were allowing third-party advertisers to know you location, User ID, usage data, and a lot more. The App Store did a great job highlighting all the data Gmail and Goole are collecting. Looking way back, Gmail even used to scan users‘ emails to serve them tailored ads. This practice has been critiqued by privacy experts for quite some time, and fortunately Google decided to put an end to that method back in 2017.

Google's business is not apps, it is data. While you would expect from such a company to take privacy measures to ensure users's data stays safe and secure, Google has moved in the opposite direction. In July, 2023, Google updated its privacy policy to explicitly allow scraping publicly available information from websites to train its AI models and build products like Google Translate, Bard, and Cloud AI capabilities. With the updated policy, Google gets broad rights to collect data from any public-facing website. Although Google states it will only use "public available information", the policy lacks in clarity how copyrighted material will be excluded from the collected data. As a result, loads of websites have policies banning data collection for training AI systems. When it comes to such data scraping, you can not prioritize AI development over user privacy. Except you are Google, it seems like.

Since Email is crucial for communicating, it serves as a hub for sensitive data. A popular email provider like Gmail backed by a company like Google, which is utilizing user data to train its algorithms and AI models, should protect that sensitive data instead of abusing it.

Therefore, you will find a selection of privacy-focused and end-to-end encrypted email services down below.

Read the whole post here:

Say goodbye to Gmail - Find a privacy-focused email service
Gmail is a data scraping nightmare. If you are looking for privacy-focused, secure email check out this post gathering the most powerful and secure Gmail alternatives.

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Fresh Updates & News

Capacities Mobile App 2.0, better AI models, and quick tips

With the newest Capacities update, the team introduced the final iteration of the mobile app beta to all Believers and Pro users. After this iteration, the mobile app will get submitted to the App Store/Play Store for general availability. Although this new version is way more mobile-friendly, and features more intuitive mobile UX, it still feels rough at certain edges.


In the newest update, Craft shared their vision on which they will work on moving forward: since Craft is a database under the hood, and blocks are records inside that database, moving forward, Craft will start to surface structured data capabilities this enables. Besides that, Craft announced its Affiliate Program, as well as a Summer Sale, giving you the chance to grab a 30% discount for all new Plus, Family, Team, and Business subscriptions or upgrades.

Apple Design Award Finalist

Apple just announced this year's Apple Design Award finalists across the categories Delight and Fun, Inclusivitiy, Innovation, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Spatial Computing.

Little Snitch 6

Little Snitch is a powerful network monitor that shows you where your Mac connects to on the internet. I am very excited about their new major update, Little Snitch 6. This new update brings a variety of new and powerful advancements and features like DNS encryption, convenient access to blocklists, a redesigned interactive traffic chart, a versatile new Control Center in the menu bar, and a lot more.

In case you purchased a Little Snitch license after January 1, 2024, your license is already valid for Little Snitch 6. If you own a license purchased before that date, you can grab a license for Little Snitch 6 at a reduced price.

Mental Wealth

Joy Triggers: How to Find Happiness on Demand – “In a world that often feels like it’s moving at breakneck speed, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of everyday stress and distractions, and forget about the simple pleasures that can brighten our days. But the key to happiness lies in the small, seemingly insignificant moments that make up our lives.”

Google's AI search setback – “Over the weekend, the AI Overviews that Google announced at its developer conference made international headlines — but not for the reasons the company hoped for.”

How to be enough – “Recently, psychologist Maytal Eyal has observed what she calls an “epidemic of self-hatred.” Both within her work as a therapist and in her wider community, Eyal noticed how the weight of self-criticism and self-loathing wears on people’s souls. “It’s become sort of normalized,” she says. “And when people feel that way, they want to buy products to self-improve.” A consequence of the cultural obsession with self-improvement is the hyperfixation on the self.”

The untapped potential of system thinking in modern design – “In the design world, there's an inconvenient truth that every product has a shelf life. Whatever product you've poured your heart into designing, there's a time when that version will no longer be relevant. This end date is inevitable and based on many uncontrollable factors, such as technological advances, innovation, or evolving aesthetic tastes.”

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In case you are on the lookout for privacy-focused, end-to-encrypted, and open source note-taking apps that give you the possibility to safeguard your notes, I published a new blog post for you at Productive Privacy called 'Take Note – Safeguard yout notes with these 7 prviacy-focused note-taking apps'. Check it out.

❯ Quick Bits

Till next time! 👋‌‌‌‌

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