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When you spend most of your work day in front of a Mac’s screen, you develop a system for being productive. Fortunately, there is an abundance of apps available for OS X that fill very specific needs and help keep you and your computer running efficiently. Some of the utilities that I use on a daily basis are rather expensive, such as 1Password.

However, I use dozens of utilities as part of my workflow that cost five bucks or less. Here are some of my favorites.

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A lot of us are going to make New Year’s resolutions this year, but most of us are going to find it hard to keep them. Whether we fall back into bad habits or don’t really commit to our resolutions in the first place, a lot of us end up feeling pretty disappointed in ourselves and more than a little disenchanted with the whole New Year’s resolution process.

But just like every year, the start of 2013 is a clean slate, a chance to start over. If you haven’t managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions in the past, you’re not alone, but with some help 2013 may be the year you succeed. We’ve gathered together some great apps to keep you on the path to resolution success, and with some planning and a bit of work on your part, 2013 may be the start of a whole new you.

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With content being distributed nowadays through many ways like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and the rest of the sea of social networks, RSS has become kind of unnecessarily complicated. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really feel compelled anymore to open my RSS reader just to find dozens of new items that I will eventually see throughout the day in another place like my Twitter timeline.

However, there’s still a few sites out there that I don’t want to miss out on. That’s how I came across a few simple RSS notifiers that work with the Notification Center to give you almost immediate updates through RSS, without the need of using a big reader app like Reeder or NetNewsWire. I’ve put together some of them here, want to check them out?

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If you’re like me, you should have noticed that Mac screens are really bright. This is especially obvious on my early–2007 iMac where, even during the day, I set the screen brightness to the minimum. Since I’m already at the minimum, at night, it is definitely too much bright.

Staring in front of a computer screen that bright is a bad thing for your sleep. OS X provides a built-in but often underused way to adapt your monitor, called the Night Vision Mode: simply press Cmd-Option-Ctrl-8 to invert screen colors. If you’d like to experience more subtle ways to manipulate your screen brightness, read on to find out some clever apps.

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GeekTool is a small, yet remarkably powerful application that some neglect because of it’s steep learning curve. Thankfully for uniquely useful apps like GeekTool, there is always a community of users that make the app even better — and in this case simpler.

From basic to exceedingly complex, the following is an assortment of very useful, powerful and fun Geeklets and scripts that can help you get started with GeekTool. From weather, power consumption and productiveness to social, music and Internet, there are plenty of great Geeklets to try and enjoy. Just remember not to use too many Geeklets at once; your RAM will thank you.

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More indie developers are showing up on the games market, and with that we’re seeing more and more retro-inspired and 8-bit style games available. While their graphics may not look like much at first glance, these games can pack a surprising visual punch. Often partnered with invented gameplay and exciting soundtracks, these games can be a nice change from the mainstream console games we’re more used to.

That said, it’s not always easy to find the good stuff for the Mac. It’s no secret game developers have long shied away from the Mac, and we’ve often had a long wait for ports, if developers even ever got around to us. That’s all changing with a new generation of game developers who value their Mac fans and are producing OS X releases earlier and more frequently. We’ve pulled together six retro-inspired games for the Mac, both old and new, that you may not have played yet and should really give a look. (more…)

FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is the standard way of transferring files between your computer and your server, whether it be shared or dedicated. One of the nice things about FTP is the fact that you can view and edit the entire file structure of your website or file server remotely, without ever touching your server. In order to do this, you’ll need an FTP client. FTP clients allow you to connect your Mac to your remote server via the Internet.

While FTP clients are pretty basic applications, they’re not all created equally. Some feature different price-tags, feature lists and other important differences. There’s a number of well known paid FTP apps for the Mac, but what if you just want to upload a couple files and don’t want to spend a ton to do it? That’s why we’ve thrown together a list of the best free FTP clients for Mac OS X. At the end of the article, we’ll also show you a few paid alternatives which are sure to fit the needs of the power user, if you outgrown the free FTP options.

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Gone are the days of pocket notebooks, or journals that people threw their many emotions and adventures into, or little metal-bound notepads that bear many lists, from wishes to tasks. A new era is upon us, the age of digitalisation. With it, traditional scribblers are called to conform to the rules of modern note-taking, journaling, and really, writing anything at all down. Because in this age of high-definition displays and shiny new phones that appear on the shelves of our favourite electronics store every few months, there’s not time to pull out the little notebook when the smartphone is right there.

This isn’t a mobile blog though, so where am I going with this elaborate point? Well, the Mac has applications for all these things too. Whether it be for journaling or jotting down a quick thought, the Mac App Store is full of solutions to help you make these tasks easier. It’s definitely a big market, and if the developer knows what he’s doing, a New and Noteworthy app can end up being your daily tool. Let’s take a look at the best ones there are for putting your thoughts in the safe confines of your Mac’s hard drive, or iCloud, or just some other cloud. (more…)

Thanksgiving is already here, and as a thank you to all of our wondeful readers, we have prepared a special post with a few apps that the Mac.Appstorm staff is thankful for. Hopefully you’ll pick up a few new apps here, or at least some cool ideas for using apps that you already use. Here are the 20 apps that the Appstorm Crew is thankful for.
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Outliners are handy for a lot of different things: task lists, outlining longer manuscripts, or note taking to name a few. For some users, bullet list functions available in your standard work processor or note taking app are all you need, while other users prefer the functions provided by dedicated outlining apps.

If you are—or think you might be—in the latter category, read on to for a review of three of the top outlining apps. We’ve taken Scribe, Tree, and OmniOutliner Standard for a run and compared their features in-depth, so you can find the best Mac outlining app for your needs.

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