Design apps, email apps, green apps, and more. 
The Last 2 Weeks.

A fortnightly roundup of product design, email, and climate news.
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It’s almost Halloween. While we fill up on candy, our inboxes fill up with “No tricks, just treats!” subject lines. We make fun of it every year, but the emails keep coming. We can do better, and I know some are. Carin Slater has a great thread on this very topic. What are some of the more creative subject lines you’ve seen for holiday emails?

In this issue: Apps! I’m always trying out new apps trying to displace tech giants and thought I’d share some of my favorites. I’d love to hear about yours too, reply to this email!

Halloween playing cards.

artwork by Kirbie Koonse

Product Design


My team uses Jira to organize product sprints and tasks, but I think we all feel the same about Jira. Linear is breath of fresh air. It’s fast, easy to understand, and has a UI I enjoy looking at. It doesn't do anything notable that Jira doesn't, it's just a pleasure to use whereas Jira is not. Even though I’m supposed to use Jira, I secretly use Linear.


The perfect to-do app doesn’t exist, but I’ve stuck with Height for a while now. It has a generous free plan, just enough features, and a dash of whimsey. Helpful for anything that doesn’t fit into Linear or Jira.


I signed up for Cron because it built Calendly into a calendar app, but I keep using it because it has moments of delight sprinkled throughout. Dark mode, a command bar, a plethora of keyboard shortcuts, and meeting notifications that are actually helpful, just to name a few.


I’m no power-user, but this year a friend gave me a tour of Notion and I quickly organized my entire life in it. Job interviews, meeting notes, house projects, blog posts, travel itineraries, gift lists. Notion is incredibly flexible and I’m sure I’m barely scratching the surface. I wrote this newsletter in Notion 😉. Oh and they acquired Cron (above).



Crewdle is a peer-to-peer video-conferencing platform without data farms, reducing the environmental impact of meetings compared to apps like Zoom and Google Meet. Crewdle also displays your impact as you use it, which is a nice touch.

Micro Analytics

Micro Analytics is a website analytics tool with a very small footprint, no cookies, requires very little data consumption, and is powered by renewable energy. It’s also a nice way to break away from Google. I use it on both of my sites.


Images, videos, and JavaScript account for most of a typical web page’s weight. I use a lot of images in my work and optimize them all before publishing. ImageOptim is my tool of choice since it’s so straight-forward.


GTmetrix measures a website’s performance (speed), shows where a site is slow, and suggests ways to improve it. Simple to use, nothing to install or configure, and suggestions that make sense. Good for periodic site check-ups.

Tab for a cause

Tab for a cause is a browser plugin that raises money for charity every time you open a new browser tab. New charities are always joining, and there’s always a healthy amount of climate-related ones to choose from. I'm currently doing Tab for Trees, which supports the Eden Reforestation Project.


The media often says “in a blow to environmentalists” as if we’re the only ones who live on Planet Earth. - Jamie Henn

I'd really love to hear what apps you’ve been enjoying, reply to this email or hit me up on Twitter. I'm a big fan of small, focused apps that do one or two things really, really well.

Happy Halloween to those who celebrate. See you in November ✌️

- Ted