It’s now my turn to tell you about all the amazing apps I’ve found and kept using to this day, after years of reviewing tons of wonderful software for Mac.Appstorm. Some of these won’t surprise you; in fact, they might have been repeated several times by other authors that have posted in this series. However, I hope you get some cool ideas as to how you could use some of these apps, or perhaps pick up a few new apps that you hadn’t heard of.
I’ve broken these apps down into categories of what I generally do with them. Hopefully that’ll make this easier to read and relate to. Let’s do this!
I have to admit I wasn’t really a fan of Alfred until a few weeks ago, when I decided to get into it after I read Pedro Lobo’s Alfred articles. Now I have Alfred with the Powerpack and workflows for everything: creating a reminder, rebooting into my Boot Camp partition, creating new notes in Evernote, and a long etc.
The other features of this launcher are of course a huge plus as well, I have a bunch of custom sites setup to be launched with a keyboard shortcut, and the clipboard and snippets integration have completely replaced a bunch of apps I used in the past like CopyLess and SnipEdges. Nowadays, I couldn’t use my Mac without it.
I’m a hardcore Evernote user, I’ve been a fan for years and have notes on everything from long overdue to-do lists, to a huge catalog of audio notes for songwriting. It works for me as an immense archive with neat organization, and the newest Mac update has made it even more of a delight to use.
However, there are times when I’m concentrated on work and I don’t have time to open up the app and set up my new note with tags, corresponding notebook, format and more. That’s where apps like Scrawl and Noteworthy come in. They’re simple little menu bar note apps that let me scribble things quickly without getting too distracted. Neither of them are perfect, but they work as a temporary storage place for my notes so that they can later be moved over and organized in Evernote.
Entertainment and Procrastination
I love Spotify. Not only does it let me stream music from the web, but it has also replaced iTunes as my library music player, since it also gives me access to the music in my hard drive. The in-app plugins make it even better, giving the app integration with services like Last.fm and sites like Pitchfork. Really, I only open iTunes nowadays to download podcasts, transfer new music and sync my iOS devices.
As far as social networks go, Tweetbot is by far the best Twitter app I’ve used. It’s pretty, very easy to navigate, supports Tweet Marker, integrates well with its iPhone counterpart, and it even lets me send articles to Readability right from the app. It’s a dream come true and totally worth the money. For interacting with Instagram, I use Carousel, which gives me a very native-like glance at my feed.
Work, Work, Work
For writing, there’s nothing else like Byword for me. It’s fast and easy to get started working on it, it provides a very clean and pretty writing environment for keeping distractions away. Markdown, exporting, line and paragraph focus, those are all just a few more goodies that make Byword one of my favorite apps.
On those days where I’m dreading work and putting it off with procrastination, I use Eggscellent. It’s a task/time-tracking app that makes you productive through time intervals of breaks and hard work, similarly to the Pomodoro Technique.
- TicToc: A simple menu bar app that tracks the time you spend on given tasks. It’s useful when I’m not working with Eggscellent and would like to just know how much time I’m spending writing or watching my YouTube feed.
- Seashore: A pretty basic image editor based on GIMP. It’s very easy and fast to work with, and it fills my ocassional image editing needs.
- Broom: I have an old low-end Macbook, and as a poor college student, I’m always hurting for HDD space. Broom lets me easily see which files or folders are taking up large amounts of space, so that I can delete them or move them over to a DVD (no, not even an external HDD).
- JiTouch: This app extends the functionality of the trackpad by giving you customizable gestures for pretty much anything. I almost exclusively use it in my web browser for switching and closing tabs, but just with those two things, it’s something I couldn’t live without.
- F.lux: It lowers the intensity of your screen’s glow at night so that you don’t strain your eyes or get into weird sleep cycles. Some people can’t stand it, but I find it quite soothing.
- Chocolat: The perfect text editor. It’s a shame I don’t have much of a need for it, since I love using this app.
As I’ve mentioned previously, the best tool is the one that doesn’t get in your way. Some of you may find my picks inadequate, but for the moment, all of them are working out great in my workflow. In a few months, who knows? I tend to switch most apps pretty quickly, with only a few being mainstays in my computer (Evernote and Byword, for example). But what about you? What do you think of my picks, and where would you differ? Let me know in the comments!