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 280 👋

You probably realized that I struggled a bit to keep my usual publishing schedule as of recently. Most of my latest posts went out with a one day delay, which is still fine, but it also tells me that my planning is a bit off. I am not really sure what is the cause for that. I assume it is a combination of packed working days, other projects, the incredible heat that makes me a bit sluggish, and the fact that there are so many topics and ideas I would like to write about, which makes it hard to pick what to write next.

While I would like to get back to my previous publishing schedule and sorting out any planning issues, the most important thing for me is to actually get my writings out there and published. I still keep my consistent writing habit, I write every single week, and in the end this is all what matters to me.

I really enjoyed writing this week's post, which is already the third part of my series Tiny macOS utility apps I love. In the third part, I focused on simple and lightweight note-taking, text companion, and writing apps.

Enjoy reading!

Tiny macOS utility apps I love - Part 3

Whenever productivity nerds and gurus, as well as note-taking and personal knowledge management enthusiasts talk about note-taking apps, most of them feel complex, bloated with features, and they have a steep learning curve to get started. Additionally, a lot of those apps are forcing a specific system onto you, a specific way to organize and structure your notes. It does not feel like that those kind of apps are a good fit in case you simply want to write. While in fact, there are loads of users who just want to do that. They do not want to build up a knowledge base, link and reference notes, tag everything, and follow a system.

Most of the time, users simply would like to capture a thought, an idea, a quick todo, a link, or anything else. For those use cases, all that you need is a tiny, simple, lightweight text companion.

While I kept the first two editions of Tiny macOS apps I love (read here part 1 and part 2) a bit more broad, I focused in the third edition on simple and lightweight note-taking apps. There are loads of those simple text companions, but I decided to pick three that really stand out to me. I really like that all of those three apps allow for super quick and easy capture of text. This is especially something where a lot of those powerful note-taking apps are lacking experience.

Therefore, enjoy this selection of three awesome text companions and note-taking apps for macOS.


Tot by The Iconfactory (the team who also built Linea Sketch and xScope among other apps) is a lovely designed, tiny, simple, and lightweight text companion, that is not only available for macOS, but allows you to sync your notes across iOS and watchOS too. Tot gives you access to everything you need to collect and edit text without any hassle. What I really love about Tot is the clear focus on being opinionated software. Tot is not competing with all those fancy note-taking, writing, and PKM apps out there. It features a single window design, super simple formatting controls, and a distraction-free interface. With Tot, there is no more hunting for that chunk of text.

A quite unique approach of Tot is that it is limited to seven notes in total, which are indicated by the colored dots on top of Tot's window. You can use those seven notes as categories, projects, text documents, or any other way to structure and organize your text chunks. Each note gives you access to a blank page. On that page you can then start to jot down anything that comes to your mind. Since Tot has full support for rich or plain text and even automatically translates text to markdown for handy use on the web, you can use headings to even further structure your text within a note. Each note or text document in Tot has a different color, so you can easily distinguish between them. All you have to do to jot down text is selecting one of the colored dots, and then enter your text. Simple as that. A very simple and subtle status bar at the bottom of Tot's window gives you information about the number of lines, words, and characters within your note, as well as two buttons which you can use to share the text or switch between rich and plain text input.

Since Tot has support for Apple Shortcuts, you can create actions that let Tot store and retrieve text, which makes it a great scratchpad for your workflows, allowing for super fast and easy input. Thanks to iCloud, you can seamless sync your text across iOS and macOS, so no matter where you capture your thoughts, you can get back to them no matter which device you are on.

I am a huge fan of Tot's lucid interface, it is gorgeous, with some lovely details. Since each text document has its own color, even the keyboard within the iOS version adapts its color. Besides that, the app also supports light and dark mode, so you can choose your preference.

Tot will not replace your current note-taking app, but that is not its goal anyway. It is a lovely text companion that you can use for fast, simple, and friction-less text input. It can easily act as an addition or extension of your current note-taking workflows.

You can download Tot for free on macOS to give it a try. The iOS version costs $20 in case you would like to get access to iCloud sync and take your notes with you wherever you are. There is also a watchOS app available for $1.99.

Read the whole post and find out about the other two apps here:

Tiny macOS utility apps I love – Part 3
Tiny macOS utility apps I love is back with Part 3, focusing on simple, lightweight, and minimal note-taking and text companion apps.

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Fresh Updates & News

Multi is joining OpenAI

Last week, I stumbled across quite interesting news. Multi, the company that built an app to streamline multiplayer collaboration across different apps, announced that it will join OpenAI. In an announcement post, the team stated that they recently increasingly asked themselves how they should work with computers, rather than just on or using computers. They came to the conclusion that this idea includes AI.

Based on that, they announced that the Multi team is joining OpenAI, and that they will sunset the app on July 24, 2024.

Tot free for macOS and 50% for iOS

The Iconfactory is currently running a summer sale for Tot, a lovely, simple, and streamlined text editor for notes, to-dos, and much more. Tot features a single window design, combined with simple formatting controls, which give you the possibility to write down that important piece of text in no time.

The macOS version of Tot is free, and you can grab the iOS version for 50% off until July 8 as part of this summer sale. For more information about the app itself, head over to

Kinopio is now open source

Kinopio recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, and as part of that, Pirijan, its designer and developer, announced that the source code of Kinopio is now public. This means anyone can run Kinopio on their own computer, make changes, and share improvements. In case you are planing to contribute, make sure to read the contributor docs provided by Kinopio first. introduces Sites just introduced Sites, a simple and easy way to turn your profile into a personal website. Just create a profile, choose or create a template, and publish a beautiful, and personalized website. To get started, you can use Sites for free with access to templates, Site OS (which is a new workspace with infinite customization), and a unique subdomain. The Plus Plan costs you $6 per site per month (or $60 per year) and gives you access to a custom domain, custom meta tags, and allows you to remove the watermark.

Mental Wealth

Why UX designers should create object maps (and how to start) – “Your product is alive and well, the user interface seems flawless—you've rounded all the corners, perfected the colors, and optimized the layout—and yet, people still struggle to use it. The problem must be something more foundational, but how do you find it and how do you fix it?”

Breaking Up With Capitalism – ““It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism,” wrote Mark Fisher in his 2009 book Capitalist Realism. This sense pervades our culture like a dense fog, helping to create the societal ethos that leaves our extractive economic system to its untroubled functioning—“metabolizing and absorbing anything with which it comes into contact,” as Fisher put it.”

The Interfaces With Which We Think – “The concepts in modern operating systems — apps, windows, desktops, notifications, and so on — have so permeated our understanding of personal computing that it’s hard to imagine anything else, let alone believe there could be anything better.”

Principles of Emotional Regulation – “More than three thousand years ago, Aristotle wrote: “To feel our feelings at the right time, on the right occasion, towards the right people, for the right purpose, and in the right manner, is to feel the best amount of them, which is the mean amount—and the best amount is, of course, the mark of virtue.” From the irritation of a slow internet connection to the anxiety we feel before a job interview, every day brings all sorts of hurdles that can affect our productivity, relationships, and well-being. How we manage our emotions in the face of these challenges can have an outsized impact on our lives.”

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Loops, Audienceful, and Mailcoach introduce a new era of email marketing software, that is beautifully designed, privacy-focused, and feature-rich. If you are done with Mailchimp and looking for a modern and powerful alternative, check out The new wave of email marketing software, in which I introduce the three mentioned tools.

❯ Quick Bits

Till next time! 👋‌‌‌‌

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