Weekly Poll: How Many Menu Bar Apps Do You Run?

Last week we published an article that got a lot of meaningful discussion going about menu bar apps. In it we outlined the all too common problem of the overflowing menu bar for MacBook users and discussed whether or not the best solution to the problem was to tell users that they are being overzealous or present developers with the request to give us more control over whether a given app appears in the menu or dock.

Today we’re following that up with a poll that simply asks how many third party menu bar apps you typically run at any given time. Are you picky about what earns a spot in your menu bar or are you a menu bar app addict who simply can’t get enough? We want to know!

After you vote, leave a comment below and let us know which menu bar apps you currently have open. Don’t cheat and take the time to open or close any, just take a gander at the top of your screen and give an honest account of what’s currently up there. Which are your favorites? Which do you think you could live without?


  • Philip Hallstrom

    ByteController (for itunes), Billings, Some POS WD hard drive thing that has to be there, Dropbox, Expandrive, Shovebox, JumpCut, LittleIpsum

    I’ve always thought it would be cool to see a directory showing what icons were for what apps… I see them in screenshots/screencasts and always wonder what folks are willing to run all the time…

  • Brian

    I currently have running: Dropbox, Quicksilver, TextExpander, ClipMenu, Fantastical, QuickNotes.

  • Jon Samp

    My favorite one open is ClipMenu. It’s free and takes care of all of my copying and pasting. This is definitely a feature that OSX should have, but since it doesn’t this app really does the trick.
    Also, I really love F.lux. It changes the color of my screen in the evening to more of a golden color, definitely making my MBP’s screen easier on my eyes. It is kind of a “set-it-and-forget-it” app, but I couldn’t live without it. I have shown it to multiple friends who also really love it. It’s a subtle-but-killer app.

    I also have Translate Tab, which is kind of nice from time to time, but honestly it is just taking space. The design of the app is great, but the tab it opens is huge, and covers what seems like a third of my screen. Without much real estate on my 13″ MBP, I could probably lose that one.

  • Joe P

    Producteev, Evernote, Twitter for Mac, Dropbox.
    Sometimes Caffeine

  • Brendan

    Heres a link (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/16068833/Screenshots/0qavy8ledipe.png), in order, TVshows, Dropbox, Grabbox, Wi-fi sync (for ipod), the others

  • zlawell

    Fantastical, Twitterrific, Alfred, TextEdit, Alarms, MenuWeather, TotalFinder, Little Snitch, Sophos AV, MenuPop, Growl and Caffeine. I suppose I could do without:
    Twitterrific, Alfred, TextEdit, TotalFinder and Growl. I’m old school, from the days when my Mac booted and I knew exactly which extensions were loading, one by one they’d load up row by row across the screen. Those were the days,NOT!!

    • zlawell

      TextEdit s/b TE TextExpander

  • http://zhengxingzhi.com remaerd

    I have 6 apps running on menu bar. And I can choose 3~6 and 6~10 at the same time. This is not really accurate.

  • http://item-9.com Jason Pelker

    Why isn’t there an easy way to hide these apps based on usage, like in Windows? (Ugh, did I just say that?)

  • Jeremy

    11-15 right now. I love my menubar apps. :)

  • Alan

    Does it count if we hide the menu bar icon? I use Alfred, Skedaddle, and BetterSnapTool ALL the time, but I disabled the menu bar icons. Aside from those two, I have Time Machine on most of the time.

    I’ll have Evernote, Caffeine, Dropbox, Adium, and Twitter open when I need them.

  • Alec

    Dropbox, GeekTool, Process Monitor, Caffeine (though it’s often unactivated).

  • http://seanhasablog.com Sean

    Cloud, Dropbox, Bowtie, and Caffeine. I’ll sometimes have Droplr open as well.

    • http://seanhasablog.com Sean

      Forgot about nvALT!

  • J. John

    Dropbox, Evernote, Time Machine, Bluetooth, Battery, Clock.

  • Julia

    TextExpander
    Delibar
    Twitter
    Pathfinder
    Dropbox
    Papers
    Evernote
    Fantastical
    Little Snapper
    Caffeine

    All get used pretty much daily from the menubar. For various reasons, with these apps, I prefer to have menubar access, though most apps I access through LaunchBar.

  • Anthony

    I have the following Menu Bar Apps set to launch at every boot (via an Applescript to control both launch timing and launch order; I created it about 2 years ago and it’s worked well, with a few tweaks):

    Library Books
    Weather HD
    SimpleClipBoard
    F.lux
    Evernote (where would I be without it)
    ClamXav Sentry
    Dockstar (okay, this mightn’t be a true one; but when there’s new mail, it shows up)
    Hazel (where would I be without it (surely less organized))
    Radium (personally, the best internet radio app for my needs)

    Beyond the 3rd party apps, I have Time Machine, MobileMe’s Sync Now, Date & Time’s Clock, Applescript’s Script menu and Spotlight showing. I have tried to work with less; but have found it hard. Would I like to be able to hide some of the applications, yes; but how? I know I can turn of Hazel’s and also MobileMe’s Sync Now; but others, like ClamXav Sentry or F.lux, those are the ones I don’t know how to.

    I’m curious to see what others have in their Menu Bar.

  • http://twitter.com/the_risingtide Matt

    I’ve got 13 total, 9 third-party:
    BetterTouchTool (maps keyboard shortcuts to your trackpad)
    Synergy (iTunes controller)
    I Love Stars (rate iTunes songs, disappears when not playing)
    Appigo Sync (sync iCal todos with Appigo ToDo app)
    F.lux (at night warms up your screen to be less harshly lit)
    SlimBatteryMonitor (slim replacement for Apple’s version, disappears when full)
    Caffeine (suspend Energy Saver settings)
    iStatMenus (I have a RAM bar and CPU graph)
    Fuzzy Clock (displays time in plain English)

    Apple:
    Time Machine
    Volume
    Wifi
    Spotlight

    Picture (SlimBatteryMonitor is invisible because I’m all charged): http://cl.ly/2h3s3W1Q2O272n232j3O

  • John

    Dropbox, F.lux, Tune.Instructor, and of course Time Machine are constantly open. Caffeine when needed.

  • n.o

    I have eight :D

    * flux and dropbox (not optional, i’d remove them if I could).
    * sparrow
    * coversutra
    * degrees
    * fantastical
    * time machine
    * fuzzyclock

  • Nathan

    - Dropbox
    - Cloud
    - Twitter (official)—although that’s in my dock as well, and I could turn the menu bar icon off, except my dock is hidden and I want the notifications.
    - Library Books
    - Sparrow—same deal as with Twitter.
    - Caffeine
    - F.lux—I really wish I could run this one as faceless, but it’s really indispensable, so I just have to deal with it.
    - Facebook Notifications
    - Volume (OS X)
    - iStat menus—I have the temperature, CPU, memory and network usage together, all of them at less than the default width.
    - AirPort (OS X)
    - Time Machine (OS X)
    - iStat Menus—battery meter, set up to take up as little width as possible.
    - Language input (OS X)
    - Date and time—set up with iStat to be the same as the OS X default.
    - Fast user switching—icon only
    - Spotlight

    I pretty much don’t add anything else. I actually got rid of the Evernote one too—I tend to do all my clipping in Safari. I’ve got enough space for perhaps one or two more—which I plan on using one for iChat when I upgrade to Lion—but beyond that, they start getting hidden by things like TextWrangler.

    • Nathan

      Oh, and my favourites are probably Cloud, F.lux and Caffeine. Facebook notifications used to be brilliant when it worked properly, and it meant I could use Facebook without getting distracted on the actual site.

      I probably couldn’t do without any of those three, or the iStat battery and network usage. The OS X battery icon is just too big.

      (My menubar: http://cl.ly/ATSW)

  • DeVoorman

    Twitter, Caffeine, Sparrow, SMC Fan, Moom, Menumeter, battery and time and date goes to geektool next to the dock.

  • Tortellini

    ClipMenu, Moom, QuitAllApps, Dropbox, Skype, TypeIt4Me, Caffeine, Midnight, Skitch, iCurrencyPlus

  • Zheng

    Dropbox, CloudApp, ChronoSlider

    That’s all I need :-)

  • Christian

    I currently have running and showing QuickCal, Twitter and Dropbox. Usually I also have Cloudapp running … and a bunch of apps which which are “menubar apps” but I have their icons hidden (Cinch, SmartSleep, Growl, BusyCalAlarm).

  • abc905

    Currently: Os Tracker, Wrap around, Concentrate, Isolator, gfxCardStatus, Anxiety, PocketCloud, Alfred, Tracks, smcFanControl, ClipMenu, AllBookMarks, CloudApp, Yoink, Caffeine, Display Rotation, and fuzzy clock. (17 third party/23 total)

  • yugushen

    10 third-party apps: I Love Stars, Dropbox, TextExpander, Adium, Alarms, Apptivate, FastScripts, QuickCursor, Arq, iStat Menus (network, memory, cpu, battery, time)

    3 system menubar items: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Input Source.

  • serbmana

    I have 3 third party menubar apps – Dropbox, DayOne & iStat (Network, CPU, Memory, Battery).

    The rest are system (VPN, WiFi, Volume, Date/Time) or hidden (Alfred, Evernote, Growl).

  • http://mozgovvert.com Mozgovvert

    Dropbox
    Sparrow
    Delibar
    ReadNow
    Wakoopa Tracker
    Caffeine
    F.lux
    DayOne

  • http://dev0.de murphy

    I have 15 open.

    - tunesart
    - skype
    - itsy
    - adium
    - dropbox
    - skitch
    - gfxcardstatus
    - cloudapp
    - hamachi
    - facebook notifier
    - timemachine
    - air display
    - vpn icon
    - wifi icon
    - battery icon

  • blawbair

    # Third Party

    * Dropbox + SpiderOak + SugarSync – Backup and sync
    * TextExpander – Expands text
    * CoverSutra – Mainly for scrobbling iTunes tracks to Last.fm
    * ClipMenu – Clipboard manager
    * F.lux – Makes colors easier on the eyes
    * DayOne – Diary
    * Twitterrific – Twitter client
    * Sparrow – Mail client

    # System

    Wi-Fi, Battery, Clock, Spotlight

    Screenshot: http://cl.ly/ASbu

  • Michael

    I have SMC Fan Control, Clusters, Geektool, Smart Reporter, Time Machine, MobileMe Sync, Lock Screen, Spaces, Power icon, Airport, sound, date/time, user and Spotlight. All are normal items and take over 1/3 of my bar.

  • Maxwell

    I bet I’m the only one who uses DiskSpace – a PPC app running in emulation, discontinued since 2005, which simply displays the free space on my hard disk. Best menu bar app ever.

  • Phil

    Cloudapp, ColorSnapper, Flux, LittleSnapper – it’s better to keep it to a minimum

  • Stu K

    Dropbox, Typinator, PasteBot, Clipper, Hazel, Evernote, Fantastical, Sophos, Box.net, swackett

  • http://pgdahl.dk Peter

    Right this moment, I have these apps in the menubar:

    Skype
    Dropbox
    Todo
    Aurora
    Pomodoro
    Hazel
    Transmit
    Evernote
    TextExpander
    Backblaze

    Most of them are always running, but some aren’t always (Skype, Todo, Pomodoro) and there are a few others apps sometimes in my menubar like Twitter, Little Snapper, TextSoap)

  • Joresch

    #3rd-Party
    Dropbox
    Delibar
    gfxCardStatus
    BTT
    Sparrow
    CoverSutra
    Twitter
    Alfred
    Fantastical
    SlimBatteryMonitor
    DropIn
    Screens
    Transmit
    Facebook
    Radium
    Tunnelblick

    #system
    TimeMachine
    Bluetooth
    Sound
    Clock (analog)
    Users
    WiFi

  • Daniel

    Dropbox and Alfred. That’s pretty much it.

  • Thomas W.

    I have found a interesting Website about this topic.
    http://macmenubars.com/

  • Kristan

    Aaah yes. Another “my menu bar is longer than your menu bar” post. Ok.. I’ll whip mine out too…

    Dropbox
    Evernote
    QuickCal
    Codebox
    Dropplr
    Default Folder X
    Hands Off
    Radium
    IStat Menus 3
    Automaton (= ClipMenu+TextExpander+Hazel … check it out!)
    Skype

    .. ‘sabout it.

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