Dylan's Advent of Cool Nerd Things Day 6: Franz

Have you ever had that thing where you wake up in the morning, and you think you might have seen a message from somebody on your phone at 5am, but now you can’t see it? And you don’t know whether you dismissed the notification or dreamed the whole thing? And you check email, and WhatsApp, and Telegram, and Slack, and don’t find it, and so you assume you must have dreamed it and then a week later you find it in your LinkedIn inbox?

It’s kinda nice living in a world where it’s so easy to stay connected to people, but, well, gosh, things have gotten a bit out of hand. Right now I’m in 34 Slack workspaces, 5 Discord servers, 4 WhatsApp group chats, plus Twitter DMs, Facebook Messenger, Skype, LinkedIn messages, email… and when you’re an independent consultant like I am, you need to work with whatever channel your clients are using.

That’s where Franz comes in. It’s a Windows desktop app that pulls together basically ALL THE THINGS and gathers them into one place:


The free tier lets you add up to three services; paid subs give you more connected apps, plus cool things like the Franz Todo List. I’ve been running it for a couple of weeks, and recently activated the free trial to see how it copes with lots of connected apps - but so far I’ve been really, really impressed.

I’ve got to admit, there’s a point in the setup where I stopped and thought “hang on… I downloaded this random app from the internet and now I’m giving it credentials to send messages, as me, on basically every platform I use” - which is a little scary. But behind the scenes, I think it’s just pulling down the web interface versions of all those different services and wrapping them into a single desktop app with separate views for each service. Don’t quote me on that, but it would explain how they’ve managed to integrate things like WhatsApp that don’t really publish any kind of API.

Oh, and their SEO strapline made me giggle:

Franz* is a free messaging app /former emperor of Austria, that combines chat & messaging services into one application.

Check it out at https://meetfranz.com/

Part of #Nerdvent: Dylan's Advent of Cool Nerd Things 2020