The Ultimate Collection of Productivity & Office Software for Mac

This post is for all you workaholics who use a Mac for your full-time career. From to-do lists and digital clutter organizers to word processors and time trackers, we’ve compiled a list of all the applications you’ll need to stay productive and efficient at work.

Below you’ll find over 100 free and premium applications that will either fit right into your current workflow or revolutionize the way you get things done. Let’s take a look!

To Do:

Anxiety – Anxiety is a super-lightweight To-do list application for Mac OS X Leopard that synchronizes with iCal and Mail. Its aim is to provide a streamlined, easily accessible interface to add and check off your tasks, while remaining poised to melt into the background at a moments notice.



Backboard – I love my Mac and my Backpack Account. Both together gives me not only the power to write my notes and tasks down, but more important to write them down EASILY!

CheckOff – Check Off is a quick to-do list that sits in your Mac’s menu bar. Simply click the check mark and your personal to-do list will drop down. Read on or just download now!

Chipt – A Backpack Dashboard Widget. Add and edit notes on any of your pages. Notes support most of the same formatting Backpack does. When adding a note the contents of your clipboard are inserted automatically.

EasyTask Manager – Our personal task manager. Very clean and easy to use User Interface. EasyTask Manager supports the GTD (Getting Things Done) method. Mainly for the home/office user who doesn’t need to share or collaborate with a team.

EtreTask – EtreTask is a small, fast, easy-to-use to-do list manager. It is designed not to get in your way. It will never have as many “features” as its competitors, but we feel that is a good thing.

MySlips – A very simple and, in particular, speedy and intuitive way to create slips in order to flesh out and sort your thoughts. In doing so, not even one single program should stand in your way.

OmniFocus – OmniFocus is designed to quickly capture your thoughts and allow you to store, manage, and process them into actionable to-do items. Perfect for the Getting Things Done system, but flexible enough for any task management style, OmniFocus helps you work smarter by giving you powerful tools for staying on top of all the things you need to do.



OneThingToday – There are lots of ways to get things done. With OneThingToday you simply assign a single task or project to each day. This helps you focus on one major goal each day, avoiding the distraction of other pending tasks or ongoing projects.

Pluto – Pluto menubar is an easy-to-use tool for the management of your events, tasks, projects and notes in the most effective and productive way possible.

Remember – Remember is a to-do list application, focused on being straightforward and non- disruptive. We don’t believe in clunky applications where task management itself becomes a task. Remember is a simple list of tasks, always available at your fingertips.

Remember the Task – Remember The Task is a light-weight Remember the Milk client that allows users to view pending tasks with due date and add, view and complete tasks.

SimpleList – Simple List is a straightforward to-do list application that doesn’t get in your way. It lets you create to-to lists in the most simple way. Download and use it, there is no learning curve!

Simple Task – One thing that other to-do lists don’t have is simplicity. SimpleTask for Mac brings both a beautiful interface and an unparalleled ease of use to your Mac.

Spark – A tiny todo manager with iCal and Mail syncing.

TaskCard – TaskCard is a simple and visual way to organize your thoughts and tasks into to-do lists. Like sticky notes on the desk, TaskCards can be posted and organized in different sizes and colors around your desktop to help you remember important things or keep lists for projects.

TaskMate – The to-do list made simple again. Just click to add, remove or complete tasks. Your completed tasks are easily accessible.

Task Paper – For Mac & iPhone users to make lists and stay organized. TaskPaper is a simple to-do list that’s surprisingly adept. Unlike standard organizers, TaskPaper gets out of your way so that you can get things done.

The Hit List – The Hit List is a simple, yet sophisticated application to manage the daily chaos of your modern life. Based on the simple concept of making lists, The Hit List lets you plan, forget, then act when the time is right.

The Hit List

The Hit List

Things – Task management has never been this easy. Simplicity, however, is not achieved at the expense of powerful features. Download your free trial today and start getting more things done with less effort.

Today – With Today you can keep track of what’s on your plate for any given day without keeping iCal open all the time. Today syncs with iCal and your life’s agenda so daily events & tasks are always available via one, convenient little interface.

What ToDo – What ToDo is a new task management application for MacOS X. Forget post-its stuck to the screen, no more ink scrawls on the palm of your hand — with What ToDo you’ll be organized, stay focused and get more done.

Information Collection:

DevonThink – Meet DEVONthink — designed to manage and keep in order all those disparate pieces of information so important to your work or studies.

Evernote – Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer, phone or device you use. For free.



Keeper – What if it were as easy to get stuff into your Mac as it is to find it with Spotlight? Enter Keeper, a light and accessible utility for managing your notes.

Soho notes – SOHO Notes is the premier digital note-taking application for your Mac. Use it to capture, organize, sync, and share all of your stuff including text notes, PDF’s, images, voice recordings, videos, forms, and web archives.

Thoughts – Thoughts is a really flexible note and information manager. A place where all your notes and files can be stored without any hassle

Together – Together lets you keep everything in one place. Text, documents, images, movies, sounds, web pages and bookmarks can all be dragged to Together for safe keeping, tagged, previewed, collected together in different ways and found again instantly.



VoodooPad – VoodooPad is a place to write down your notes and thoughts. Plant ideas, images, lists and anything else you need to keep track of and VoodooPad will grow with you, without getting in the way. You can even drag and drop folders, images, applications, or URLs into VoodooPad — they’re linked up just like on the web. And with powerful search, nothing will be lost or out of reach.

Yojimbo – Yojimbo makes keeping all the small (or even large) bits of information that pour in every day organized and accessible. It’s so simple, there is no learning curve. Yojimbo’s mechanism for collecting, storing and finding information is so natural and effortless, it will change your life, without changing the way you work.


Dashnote – Quickly and easily access your Simplenote account from your OS X dashboard. Stay organized with no effort. Let your notes automatically sync between multiple devices.

Stapler – Built to provide a simple, yet effective way to collect and manage thoughts and ideas. A brainstorming aid. A crossbreed app. It may not fit into any category, but it may well suit your needs.

JustNotes – A simple, beautiful and powerful notes app. The nice user interface lets you focus on the important things – taking notes. Completely free and syncs to SimpleNote for iPhone.



myRichTexts lite – myRichTexts lite is a cute and very simple-to-use rich text editor with document management built right in. So you don’t have to ever worry about your documents, text files, folders, or how to regain them, again – just focus on writing and hide everything – even Dock and Menu bar.

Notational Velocity – Notational Velocity is an application that stores and retrieves notes. It is an attempt to loosen the mental blockages to recording information and to scrape away the tartar of convention that handicaps its retrieval. The solution is by nature nonconformist.

Nottingham – In the spirit of Notational Velocity, Nottingham is an elegant notepad for Mac OS X. Designed to be lightweight and easy to use, it’s a breath of fresh air perfect for storing whatever is on your mind. Best of all, it keeps your data safe by syncing to your iPhone via Simplenote.

Quicknote – QuickNote is a combined notepad and clipboard manager, useful to quickly jot down ideas and todos, store quotes, code snippets or whatever.

Scribblet – A simple and elegant menu bar note and snippet manager.



Tinderbox – Tinderbox stores and organizes your notes, plans, and ideas. It can help you analyze and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals and web logs

Time Tracking and Optimization:

Active Timer – This small app monitors how much time you spend in each application, automatically.

Billings – Easily track time from any application using the convenient menubar timer. Or use global hot keys to start/stop timers. Any way you look at it, Billings makes it easy to track those valuable minutes.



Chronograph – Chronograph is a Mac OS X application which helps you to track time spent on various tasks and projects and generate reports.

Clockworks – For Mac users who sometimes forget. Clockwork is the desktop timer that will keep you ontime and in style. Unlike the alternatives, Clockwork packs its punch in a clean and easy-to-use interface that looks great on your desktop.

Fanurio – Fanurio is a time tracking and billing software application, highly appreciated by freelancers for its intuitive interface, flexible timer and ability to produce detailed invoices.

Flex Time – You’ve got loads of time. Spend it wisely. A versatile timer for your repetitive activities.

Harvest – Time is the most important asset for your business. Our intuitive and powerful reports will help you gain a better understanding of where time is going, so you can make smarter decisions for your business.

iBiz – For managing projects, tracking billable hours, creating invoices and viewing accounts at a glance, no other software offers the same features and ease of use.

Klok – Stop Working for Free. Your time is your product. Every minute you spend working that goes unaccounted for is like giving away your product for free. Tracking your time accurately is essential to staying profitable.



Lumina – Lumina is focused to show you a simple way to track your time. The concept of Lumina is based on three columns: Projects, Tasks and Durations. Projects: A project is a bundle of tasks. Tasks: A tasks is a bundle of durations Durations: A duration is the smallest brick to calculate your total time.

Mino – Minco is a lightweight application for tracking your daily invested work time on your Mac. The seamlessly iCal integration allows you to add tasks easily in any application supporting iCal within your Mac environment.

MyMacTime – myMacTime is designed for anyone who wants to keep track of the time spent working on specific tasks with little effort. myMacTime is easy to use and very flexible.

Office Time – With no learning curve, and powerful features that adapt to your style of working, you’ll be an expert user almost immediately. There’s hundreds of little touches, suggested by our growing base of dedicated users.

On the Job – On The Job is an application designed to help you track your time and expenses, and bill your clients by easily and quickly creating professional invoices. On The Job is straightforward and easy to use letting you focus on what’s important.

ProfitTrain – Simple invoicing and time tracking for OS X.

Pomodoro – Pomodoro Desktop is a desktop application for Time Management on your Mac OSX. It is a simple but effective way to manage your (coding) time, and it’s based on the Pomodoro technique.

Project Calculator – Project Calculator is a time tracking tool for the Mac. It is specially designed for freelancers and small organizations.

RatRace – RatRace has been designed with three clear goals in mind. RatRace will help you to: keep track of the time you spend with as little effort as possible, improve your awareness of how and when you spend your time and improve your estimating and projecting skills.

RescueTime – Automated time tracking and management.

Slife – With Slife Web and Slife Teams, we make businesses and individuals more efficient by helping them understand how they spend their computer time. By automatically analyzing the real-time stream of computer interactions, our software platform makes it easy to keep track of how much time you and your team spend on projects, applications, web sites and documents.



TimeBoxed – TimeBoxed is a timer application, for Mac OS X. It focuses on one thing: running a timer, and doing it well.

Timenet – Time is Money. Track it wisely. TimeNet’s powerful timer always makes sure you’re billing for every second. Visual reports show where time is spent.

Timeout – It is very easy to fall into bad habits when using a computer for hours on end. You care about what you are doing, so can sometimes push yourself too far, or over-strain yourself. The human body isn’t built to sit in one position for endless hours, gripping a mouse or typing on the keyboard. Dejal Time Out is here to help. It will gently remind you to take a break on a regular basis.

Timepost – Timepost provides a simple, easy to use and effective way to post your tracked time to many of the top web-based time tracking services.

TimeTable – TimeTable reads and filters iCal calendar data and calculates the hours spent in the events.

TimeTaskMaster – Time Task Master provides Countdowns, Alarms, Stopwatches, Stop-clocks and How longs for Mac OS in a stylish single package.

Vitamin-R – Vitamin-R is a collection of tools and techniques designed to overcome the biggest productivity challenges facing today’s creative professionals: managing attention and maintaining motivation.



All In One:

Daylite – Daylite is a business productivity manager designed to help you manage your business and your team. More than just a CRM, Daylite can be used to manage your company’s projects, sales, contacts, tasks, appointments, meetings, notes, and email.

Bento – What’s your passion? Selling products, building client relationships, booking your band, organizing volunteers, running marathons, collecting coins? Whatever it is, Bento can help you do it better – the fast, fun, and easy way!



Pagico – Keep track of everything: projects, notes, tasks, events, files and more.

Soho Organizer – Tasks, Calendars, Contacts, & Notes. SOHO Organizer is a powerful productivity suite consisting of three applications that work harmoniously together: SOHO Organizer, SOHO Notes, and SOHO Print Essentials.

Mind Mapping and Outlining:

Curio – Mindmapping software for Mac. Curio 6 now features integrated tables, figure stencils, index cards, custom flag icons, new mind map line styles and branch colors, plus tons of additional enhancements and improvements.



Freemind – FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool.

MindCAD – Organize your ideas using a tool that complements the way you think. Drag in text and images from Safari, Word, the Desktop and most other OS X applications. Place them anywhere on multiple worksheets within a single document.

MindJet – Help your team collaborate and generate big ideas.

MindNode – MindNode Pro and MindNode are elegant and simple-to-use mindmapping applications for the Macintosh that help to visually: 1. collect, classify and structure ideas. 2. organize, study and solve problems.

Mindmap – ConceptDraw MINDMAP is a powerful business and personal productivity software application that provides visual organization and access to information for individuals and organizations.

myThoughts – Introducing a new level of freedom in the use of Mind Mapping Software, allowing you to create Unique, Meaningful, Brain Friendly Mind Maps.



NovaMind – NovaMind is quick to learn and easy to use. With NovaMind, you can beat information overload…forever! Click the button to the right to download your copy now.

OmniOutliner – An amazingly flexible program for creating, collecting, and organizing information. Use OmniOutliner’s document structure to brainstorm new ideas, drill out specifics, and line up the steps needed to get everything done.

Xmind – XMind is the world’s coolest brainstorming and mind
mapping software and the best way to share your ideas.

Misc. Productivity Apps:

Blast – Blast keeps track of the files you’ve been using on your computer and gives you super easy and lightning fast access to them.

Concentrate – Concentrate helps you work and study more productively by eliminating distractions.



Think – Let’s limit our attention to one application—any application—at any time. Let’s make it easy to change focus when we have to. Let’s allow ourselves to bring other apps up quickly if we need them, but put them out of sight again just as quickly.

Office Suites:

iWork – Documents. Spreadsheets. Presentations. The Mac way.



Microsoft Office – Office 2008 for Mac is the best option for Mac users who share documents at home, work, or at school. It comes packed with powerful features for creating artful documents, dynamic spreadsheets, and effective presentations.

Neo Office – NeoOffice is a full-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs) for Mac OS X. We have created an office suite that is adapted to the unique needs of Mac users by taking the features in Oracle’s office suite and adding improvements.

Open Office –’s Mission Statement is: To create, as a community, the leading international office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and an XML-based file format.

Word Processing:

Bean – Bean is a small, easy-to-use word processor (or more precisely, a rich text editor), designed to make writing convenient, efficient and comfortable. Bean is Open Source, fully Cocoa, and is available free of charge!



Fraise – Fraise is a free text editor for Mac OS X Leopard 10.6 which is both easy to use and powerful. It is designed to neither confuse newcomers nor disappoint advanced users.

jDarkRoom – A simple full-screen text editor.

MarinerWrite – Mariner Write is a powerful, yet streamlined word processor for Mac OS X. Boasting an elegant interface, as well as hundreds of intuitive features such as the ability to read Microsoft Word documents and produce customizable headers, footers, endnotes, and footnotes, Mariner Write has everything you need to turn out great-looking documents.

myWritings – Everybody knows Word and everybody ‘knows’ what a word processor should do. But nobody really needs Word all the time or its cluttered interface and of course not its speed. And everybody has unique demands and needs. But we all share some commonalities.

Nisus Writer Pro – Nisus Writer Pro is an innovative word processor built for everyone. Fast, easy to use, yet with all the power you need. Write your “to do” lists, lesson plans, thesis, or the book you always wanted to write, all with simplicity and style.

NovoEdit – NovoEdit is an extremely fast, plain text editor built on the latest Mac OS X technologies. It fully supports Snow Leopard and works seamlessly with the 64-bit environment. It supports all of the most popular (and less popular) file types, so no matter what you’re doing, be it casually typing or coding your own applications and websites, NovoEdit will open, edit, and save your files.

PageHand – Designed exclusively for Mac OS X. Uses PDF as its file format; anyone can read your documents perfectly, fonts and all. Places all controls outside the text area; no dialog boxes or inspectors cover up your work. Categorizes your fonts for you, so you don’t have to scroll through a long list every time you select a font.



Selenium – Selenium is the all-in-one research application for your Mac. Whether you’re a student, professional researcher, or just someone with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Selenium is for you. By bringing together a browser, PDF manager, outliner, word processor, and bibliography manager in one window, Selenium ensures that you’ll never need to switch between several applications to conduct research on the Web – or try to get them to work together.

Ulysses – Whether you’re a blogger, a poet or a published novelist: Ulysses 2.0 is the *definitive* package for all your creative writing needs. Brainstorm, draft, revise, submit; distraction-free and fully focused. No strings nor styles attached.

WriteIt – WriteIt! 4 is a lightweight, easy to use text editor for Mac OSX. It’s been designed to make text editing fast and and easy thing to do.

WriteRoom – For Mac & iPhone users to write without distractions. WriteRoom is a full screen writing environment. Unlike the cluttered word processors you’re used to, WriteRoom lets you focus on writing.



Writer – is a simple word processor. (Now at 1.4.3.) It’s designed to get your first draft banged out and on its way to the editing table. Which is a perfect complement to NaNoWriMo, if you’re into that sort of thing.

WrongRoom – A free WriteRoom clone.


BC Spreadsheet – This is a fairly basic spreadsheet program, designed more for the average user than for doing extensive calculations, although nothing necessarily precludes heavy use. It supports nearly all of the features I have personally used including cutting & pasting, insertion & deletion of rows and columns, a customizable appearace, basic graphing, and it uses fairly standard parsing of formulas including recognition of ranges of cells and several formulas. Oh yeah, and it’s totally free.

MarinerCalc – Mariner Calc starts faster, uses less disk space and memory than any other competitor on the Macintosh platform. With nearly 150 built-in functions, as well as, charts, named ranges, split and freeze window panes, print preview, find, sorting, auto-sum, protected worksheets, and cell borders, Mariner Calc enables you to turn data into information with powerful tools to analyze, communicate, and share results.

Tables – With Tables you can not only organise data but also do calculations and comparisons with it. Add, sum or multiply numbers or process data by using various functions. Data can represent numbers in addition to dates, percentage rates or amounts. Tables offer extensive options to format the data. Format them as currency, as an amount, as percentage rates, scientifically or with different date formats.



What Did We Miss?

The huge list above has just about exhausted my mental library of productivity and office applications. Help us out by listing any that come to mind that didn’t make the list.

Also be sure to share which of the apps above you’ve tried and what you thought of them so other readers can learn from your advice.


Add Yours
  • On the backboard app you say you love you backpack account? It doesn’t make sense

  • I would add Freckle to the time tracking list. I’ve been using it for some time now and have to say it’s an absolute refreshment ;)

    • Freckle is web based, these are Mac desktop applications.

  • Does any one know of a program that would work like Freedom – only permanently? Sort of like a whitelist control for the internet and programs… not parental software that requires a subscription – but like a way to always “be production” by never allowing these time wasters?

    Just a thought.

  • Great collection!

    What did we miss…
    What about Eon for Time Tracking by Fuel Collective. Great program.

  • “As you become more experienced with DEVONthink and its easy, intuitive interface ”

    haha, quite nasty from you guys ;)

    • The interface is from dinosaurs age :-p

  • gedit
    (yes, it’s real, not a fink or darwin port)

    • Scrivener definitely deserves a place in there!

    • Another thumbs up for Scrivener!

    • Absolutely Scrivener!!!! Great app.

  • Awesome list! TY!

  • This is a great list, but it’s missing Scrivener there

  • Great list! Portfolio management application, ProFolio, would be good, too!

  • What a gigantic list! Good work.

    Thanks for pointing out JustNote, I am now have a free desktop app that sync with SimpleNote in iPhone and iPad.

    From the list I found, Things has better support and update than THL (it’s a favor ware, live with it!). Billings works perfectly with my business. Bento also have help my small business tracking clients, inventor and projects.

  • You missed NoteBook by Circus Ponies Software.

  • Personally I think VoodooPad should be in the Notes category. Currently I am switching from Notational Velocity to VoodooPad since it can auto link to other pages fluently.

    Also the softwares from Ironic Software is missed, such as Yep( and Leap( I use Yep to collect PDFs and also other documents because Open Meta tags work nice with Spotlight.

  • Great list, I would remove the HitList though, not because it’s not great, it’s still the greatest list app IMHO but it’s still in beta more than a year after the first release.

    It is still listed as a buy of 49$ and no word by the developper when we will ever see the app loose the beta part. The only meaningfull activity since october 2009 has been to change the beta expired date. Buying an app for 49$ should give you the right to use it as long as you want, right now it’s still a risk to have the app just stop working past the expiring date.

    There haven’t been an official news on the part of the developper to reassure the users theat the app is not dead so I would advice not to buy the app right now.

  • This list is just toooo long…
    We don’t need all of them, just the best softwares

  • As far as a timer and staying on task I like using Concentrate.

  • Disclaimer: I am the author.

    For storing notes are documents look at ooSooM. ooSooM is free and can be downloaded here:

  • I’ll second the posters that Scrivener should have been in there… Best word processor I’ve used for creative writing, hands down.

    Great list!

    • Scrivener! Yess!

  • A lot of good resources here, but we could do with a condensed list – maybe you could do another post on just the essentials? Thanks though, I’ll be trying some of these out

  • Hey, I love you guys do this, but I think it is somewhat worthless when there isn’t a screenshot for all the apps you list here. Other than that, thanks.

  • Disclaimer: I am the author.

    For the all in one category have a look at ContaxCRM. ContaxCRM is a Single User (SQLite) or Multi-User (MySQL) Contact Relationship Management package that runs on Mac OSX and MS Windows.

    Build Relationships. Discover the Benefits. Effective CRM.

    •Single User with Local Database or Multi User with MySQL
    •Contacts: Customers, Prospects, Suppliers, Personal, Member and Network
    •Drive Sales through Improved Customer Care
    •iCal and Email and Twitter Integration
    •See Everything Relating to your Contacts.
    •Enhance and Record Communications
    •Accurate and Complete and Secure Contact Records

    Check it out at

  • Disclaimer: I am the author.

    For the Word Processing / Text Editing Category have a look at JustWrite. It’s Cross Platform and available free from the address below. It’s similar to WriteRoom.

  • You missed delegate and Projector from app4mac. Two great apps.

  • I think in a list such as this which features applications that may well be used in a business environment, it’s worth considering a Security category.

    I’d vote Truecrypt for whole disk encryption and either R10Cipher or cuteCipher for File and Text encryption for an individual or scaled up to large enterprises with features such as Key Management. Disclaimer, I am the author of R10Cipher and cuteCipher:

  • TextWrangler: free and powerful text editor

    TimeTracker: free time tracking software

  • It would be great if you listed prices, suggested retail would be fine, so we can get an idea of cost.

    Definitely thumbs up on OmniFocus — great for getting thoughts organized. I like Evernote on my iPad, but didn’t find it as useful on my Mac.

    When I know what I want to write, and it’s more than a paragraph, I use MacSpeech Dictate and speak the words. This is definitely “productivity”, and it should work with most of the word processing apps listed here.

    Microsoft Office still has so many frustrating things about the interface, but the other word processing apps listed are about the same. I tend to use Pages a lot because it lets me consider page layout and design as I’m writing.

  • I really really need a Digital Asset Management (DAM) software. But one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and has a great mac interface. Haven’t seen you review any here yet. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

  • Joshua,
    Wow! What a great roundup. I use a few of these. Evernote, RememberTheMilk, and a few others.
    Great job!

  • Great list. Readers are adding more, as one would expect.

    I would add Tinderbox ( to the list of mindmapping programs. A bit strange, interface-wise, but incredibly powerful.

  • MindMeister is a favourite for mind mapping. Great for collaboration!

  • I didn’t see BusyCal on here. It works great as a combination to-do list/calendar. One glance and I know what I need to do and where I need to be. I find it much simpler and easier than the GTD systems like OmniFocus (which I like, but use for writing notes). After trying a bunch of systems and software, BusyCal is the one that sticks.

  • Seems to be missing Journler, too.

    Which I suppose could be in your info-organiser/notebook grouping…

  • I love the Hit List. I use it all the time, but I haven’t heard from the developer in quite some time. Any word?

  • Great list! Only thing I personally miss is Isolator. Its a great app for keeping focus on a single task. Clean, simple and lightweight!

  • Don’t forget freshbooks! Its free, its awesome!



  • Another useful app is MYStuff:

    It lets you keep track of the receipts and warranty info on the things you buy, handy for a warranty or insurance claim that can save you big bucks down the line.

    You can also store PDFs of the manuals with the records of what you buy, so when you forget how to use that obscure function of the multi-function center you bought a year ago, you won’t be searching around for the manual.

  • I wish I had known about most of these when I first got my Mac two years ago. I was looking for something similar to Microsoft Office for it (but preferably free) and one day, I stumbled upon Open Office. Been using it ever since. Nice to see these other cool tools.

  • Word Processing: Mellel is definitely missing here.

    I second the mentions of Circus Ponies Notebook and Shovebox.

  • Wow, a frankly outstanding list, and with all the suggestions in the comments, it just keeps growing! Definitely one to bookmark=)

    I also cast my vote for the inclusion of Scrivener. If you have the urge to do any creative writing at all, it’s the perfect companion. WriteRoom is good for just getting stuff down on (screen), i’m glad to see it included here.

  • First of all, great list! Having compiled some of those myself, I know how much work they cause.

    I second the commenters who want to add Mellel and Scrivener to the list – they are absolutely wonderful applications. Mellel for professional writing, eg. for a thesis, and Scrivener for creative writing.

    Other than that: I’d love to have some more information for each application in the list that is not just the developers official description. With 100+ apps it’s difficult to try them all, but a sentence or two about the usability and how the app compares to others in its field would be helpful. But like I said – to raise awareness about the multitude of apps out there, this list is amazing.

    Thank you.

  • – EagleFiler is a strong and reliable Information Collection app
    – Curio from Zengobi is mentioned in the category Mind Mapping and Outlining but it also applies to many of the other categories.

  • Now let’s see one for PC’s! Or if someone knows of one, a link would be great! I see tons of “Awesome Free Mac Apps” but very rarely PC equivalent lists.

  • Thanks for this amazing resource. Notational Velocity is probably in my top 3. I would also add LaunchBar. I feel naked without it. Productivity soars when you’re fingers stray on the keyboard. Thanks again!

  • You missed TrackTime ( for the time tracking applications. It monitors what applications, websites and projects you are working on. And there’s a 15% off sale on at the moment.

  • You missed Scrivener. Best writing program around.

  • Skitch! Skitch is the greatest productivity tool ever. Doesn’t really fit into a category, though.

  • I would add:

    For me all of them are must haves in any basic mac set up.

  • CopyWrite by Bartas Technologies is missing. This is an amazing project management tool for everybody that writes! The company also develops an app called Transcriva, which is tailored to writing down conversations either live or recorden ones.

  • Time Tracking and Optimization:

    Menubar Countdown –


    Shovebox –

    Great list! Discovered Blast through this post.

  • Searching for a “daily record” type app.
    Basically what my old daytimer planner was. I just need to keep a detailed list of everything that occurred today, be able to search/sort it/find things later, etc.

    I have “things” for to do lists, ical for scheduling etc etc. But have not found anything to replace my paper dayplanner for keep a daily record.
    Hoping I missed something!
    Your input greatly appreciated.

  • Any recommendation on project management (e.g., MS Project) software?

    I’ve used the demo for OmniPlan and loved it, but can’t get my company to switch and I can’t personally afford it for as little as I need to use such software. (At most, I have to put a project plan into proposals once a quarter, then I don’t touch them again. $37.50+ a use is a bit pricier than I can stomach.)

  • Developer here: MYStuff is currently on sale for $15 (48% off) until the end of August. Just use promo code BACKTOSCHOOL2010 at checkout for the discount.

  • You missed my favorite productivity app: Personal Brain —

    I use it every day, and couldn’t imagine my life without it.

  • What about contact managing (or sorting) applications?

  • Klok is one of my favorites and I use it quite a bit. Thanks for this list!

  • i can’t live with my snapscan scanner powered by paperless

  • you forgot for example…




  • In the to-do section, I would add Alarms (

    It’s a real gem, the app I’ve been waiting for ages : simple, sleek and very well integrated in the system.

  • Mind Blowing huge list of apps for my Macbook Pro :P Whow.. tell me one thing. How long it takes for you to complete this article ? :) Kind of curious :D Let me download the few that i am gonna use to increase my productivity.



  • XMIND is amazing. And the free version is very feature packed. I use it all the time.

    It also came into this “best productivity” list , which only featured 11 products covering all of productivity across mac & pc

  • “wonderlist” is also a very good, and free / beautiful todo list for the mac !

  • Your article is useful for me. It is a good article.

  • What year was this posted again? I was cleaning up my bookmarks and decided to look at this again. I’d add Day One to the list. A great app for tracking what you do with your time. It’s like a personal twitter.

  • Nice and huge list, I must say. You might also consider Replicon Time tracking software, very easy to use and handle multiple projects.

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  • Thank you so much for this post. I’m a teacher. To get kids’ attention, I use pictures in my presentations (mind maps mostly). I like to convert stories and books and add pictures to every topic and dialogue.
    I create my presentations in mind map program (for example I use Conceptdraw MindMap and then show it to kids via Skype (this tool must be installed on teacher’s computer as well).
    Big deal for those who need to make presentations remotely is Skype.