The basic package of applications supplied with OS X is great for simple tasks and educational needs. However, when you’re using Macs as part of your business operations the basic package doesn’t quite hit the mark. This is perhaps a result of lack of features and Apple’s goal to make the software usable by anyone.
In this article I will propose SaaS alternatives to Numbers, Address Book, Calendar, AirDrop and FaceTime. These web-based alternatives offer an array of additional capabilities not found in your pre-installed OS X applications. Read on to find out more!
[Update] This post was originally posted on February 2nd 2012. It was updated on September 25th 2015 to add new business app alternatives.
In order to help improve password security, Apple just recently introduced iCloud Keychain in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. The service is designed is to sync passwords, credit card information, wifi passwords, and account login information across devices.
Though it appears to do those tasks relatively well, it is Apple’s first foray into this field, and there are several well-established contenders already. Today, we’ll compare and contrast iCloud Keychain to LastPass.
Your Mac already comes loaded with three functional calculators: the actual application “Calculator”, the Dashboard calculator and the Spotlight calculator (try typing an mathematical operation into Spotlight to see what I mean). However, all three of these lack certain advanced functionality that you may need.
In this roundup we’ll go through some of the best third party widgets and applications that give you greater calculation power on your Mac, as well as a handful that are great for converting all manner of different values.
Dear freelancer, listen up – this is important: You need to track your time and expenses. Nowhere is the axiom “time is money” more obviously true than in the life of a freelancer. If you don’t pay enough attention, you will find money dribbling away – in unbilled hours you spend on projects, and in the extras that you could be claiming (travel and other expenses). That’s where time-tracking software becomes useful.
I freelanced for a very long time before I ever used such an application, and my experience is that having one makes life a whole lot easier: I know where I’m spending my time; I’ve calculated hourly rates that work for me, so I know which projects are worth continuing with, and which I should set aside; and I’m easily able to generate good looking, professional invoices.
There are many different applications available for Mac users, as well as some great online options. I tried a few, before settling on Marketcircle’s Billings 3, which has been my time tracking app of choice for most of the past two years. Stunt Software released On The Job 3.0 a little over a year ago, and although it’s been mentioned a few times on Mac.AppStorm, we’ve never given it a proper review. So, with no further ado, join me after the jump, and I’ll tell you why I’m switching.
37signals are well known for their suite of productivity and collaboration web apps, designed to help people work efficiently and get things done. Although 37signals applications are designed primarily for use in the browser, a wide range of complimentary Mac and iPhone software has arisen in recent years.
This post will be offering a quick overview of each 37signals app: Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire and Highrise, before moving on to outline over 25 Mac and iPhone apps designed to work alongside them. You’ll be spoiled for choice!
Time management is a constant battle for most people in their day-to-day lives. It is a vital part of any workflow, even more so those in which billing is dependent on time worked. Several applications make it easy to log, calculate, and even create invoices based on the information collected.
Most of the applications can also manage tasks associated with a project and can even assign project to individual clients that have specific needs. A delicate task, time tracking is crucial, after all, this is how you earn your money.
Managing your personal finances is often somewhat of a pain, particularly if you’re suffering from a lack of funds to manage! Fortunately a variety of different applications are available for assisting with the process. Whether you’re trying to save a few extra dollars each month or have an enormous investment portfolio, there’s something for you.
These apps will assist with tracking your spending, paying bills on time, planning a simple budget, displaying detailed reports, and (in some cases) entering transactions on-the-go from your iPhone.
Running a freelance business requires you to be an expert at everything – from communicating with clients to meticulously tracking your time and expenses. Doing all this manually can be dramatically time consuming, and it’s easy to make mistakes – nobody is perfect. Fortunately there are a range of Mac applications which can lend a hand and assist in the day to day running and organizing of your business.
This overview will focus on two key areas:
- Invoicing, Accounting & Time Tracking – Tools to ensure that you’re on top of finances and invoicing, whilst devoting most of your time to work you enjoy
- Organization & Utilities – Applications for managing thoughts, research and speeding up the day-to-day use of your Mac