Zvezdin Besarabov: How to organise your digital life in a privacy-preserving, machine-agnostic, and practical manner

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Zvezdin Besarabov held a talk at the Arch Conf 2020 last weekend where he shared what software he ended up using on his personal devices with after trying to find free software with a perfect balance between usability and privacy. He covers the GNU/Linux and the Android alternatives to less privacy-respecting commercial software for e-mail, calendar, contacts, task management, office applications, password management and cloud storage.

written by 윤채경 (Yoon Chae-kyung)  2020-09-12 - last edited 2020-10-12. © CC BY

The video is Copyright Arch Linux. License: Creative Commons Attribution.

"For a few years now I have been looking into how I can organise my digital workflow to be privacy-preserving yet practical enough that still allows me to integrate with society. I am looking for standard-compliant technologies which are cloud-first and end-to-end encrypted.

That is, if I lose a device of mine, I do not lose any piece of valuable data, and neither can anyone else access it. I have been experimenting with many FOSS alternatives to traditionally centralised systems, such as timetabling, tasks, personal archiving, emails, password managers.

In this talk I will present my top picks for FOSS projects which get the job done. I will put a particular focus on personal file management - efficient folder structures, cloud syncing, encryption, and cached access. Lastly, I will direct attention to killer features which you can contribute to and advance this field massively :)"

Zvezdin Besarabov

Zvezdin Besarabov recommends the following software to get privacy without compromising functionality

Purpose GNU/Linux alternative Android alternative
Email Thunderbird (OpenPGP+imap) FairEmail (from F-Droid) + OpenKeychain
Calendar Thunderbird (lightning) EteSync
Contacts Thunderbird (CardBook plug-in) Simple Contacts
Task management KOrganiser OpenTasks / Tasks.org
Office mailbox.org Office
Password Management KeePassXC Keepass2Android
Botnet storage / synchronization Rclone RCX

Zvezdin Besarabov dives into his personal folder management system for simpler cloud synchronization towards the end of the video.

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