The Apps We Use: Phillip Gruneich


I’m a brand-new Mac user, so to speak, as my MacBook Pro found its home barely 2 years ago. I’ve quickly grown quite an addiction to Mac apps. In the real world, I’m a born and raised in Brazil copywriter for an advertisement agency, so I’m always surrounded by creative people.

So, here’s the apps I use to get my work done on the Mac in my day-to-day work. Remember, this is not a magical workflow: my belief is that productivity comes from the person, not from the apps they use to achieve it. These applications help with my workflow, and I hope they can help you out to reach your goals as they do mine.

Ulysses III / Byword

It would be unfair to only list one application for my writing tasks, like this one. I’ve been using Byword  for quite a while and I love it. I’m not as adept to using iA Writer  as I often flinch with applications that give you no Preferences, yet I admire it for its Focus Mode and blue cursor.

Partially for the hype, but maybe also for its features, I’ve been using Ulysses  for my most recent articles. I still can’t decide if I’ll stick to it or return to Byword; only time will tell that and it would be unreal to tell you a verdict at the moment.


ReadKit / Reeder

Every thursday, I publish the This Week in Mac Apps News and Deals and to collect the best selection of articles, news and deals, I must keep track of many RSS feeds. I’m on the praying team, hoping that Reeder  finds a reasonable solution to the Google Reader dilemma as they’ve promised. There’s no better RSS reader out there in my opinion.

ReadKit  is a great client if you use more than one service to read articles later. Mostly, I use Pocket  to filter the most interesting articles I find on the Web for later reference when curating what goes on the weekly news post, and then read them later inside ReadKit.

LittleSnapper / Preview

I love LittleSnapper . It is not just a storage place for screenshots, but also a fantastic way to organize all sorts of images. I won’t deny that I often use it for its well-known features for screen-shoting. Don’t miss its embed web browser, either: it saves my life when I write for Web.AppStorm.

As I’ve pointed out in LittleSnapper’s review, its biggest flaw is the absence of a direct tool for resizing your screenshots. Preview covers that and, actually, is probably the best application that comes with your Mac. If you don’t already love Preview, you should dig a bit deeper and see how useful it can be.


If I could choose only a single application to include in this list, it would be Launchbar. I use it to append text, save ideas, navigate through everything, check my Pinboard bookmarks, and so much more. If I listed everything I do with Launchbar, our editor would chop this whole paragraph off.

The truth is that I miss Launchbar. I’ve been using Alfred 2  since its release for an upcoming article also featuring Pedro Lobo, an experienced Alfred user, where we exchange launchers and try to adapt to our workflows. Alfred 2 is a beautiful application, but Launchbar has the place in my heart.


You only notice how necessary a utility is when it becomes such a strong habit that working without it is simply uncomfortable. This is my experience with Moom . When I’m on a different computer, I certainly miss Launchbar, but I mostly miss how Moom makes it easy to manage my windows with my carefully selection of hotkeys.


I’m not a ‘Getting Things Done’ kind of guy, I’m more of a ‘Just Do The Damn Thing’ one, so the relevancy of a task manager is dubious in my workflow. Yet, I love how 2Do  manages everything I need, from the articles for AppStorm to my expired bills. I even have an recurrent alarm to take the garbage out at 7 pm.

With so many options, why did I pick 2Do? Because it has most of the features the most well-known task managers have for almost half the price. The funny part is that I’ve bought it on productivity week, as it was the first task manager to go on sale, if I had waited a few more hours I could have gotten Things  or The Hit List . Still, I don’t regret for a single moment on choosing 2Do, as it works for my needs.


I have a particular interest in finding solutions to problems, which draws me towards applications since each one is created to fill a gap, to fix something. One of my hobbies is designing app concepts, mainily aiming to improve user interfaces in ways that could solve my virtual issues.

My tool of choice for that is Sketch , being a feature-rich vector editor with only the things you need for this kind of activity. It still crashes a lot, bugs a lot, drives me crazy and you may not be very happy with it at the moment. However, its potential and usefulness makes me keep hanging there, dedicated to an application that has still a lot to move forward. And I’ll be following.

What else?

I try to keep a minimal amount of applications on my Mac, so I’m regularly deleting stuff I find no further use for. A few of the following applications are brand-new into my workflow or old veterans that found their places into my hall of fame, though, and they’re not getting deleted anytime soon.

  •  CloudApp – After a quarrel with Droplr, I’ve simply moved across the street. It’s a great way to share files, even though I’m still adapting to it.
  • 1Password – I’m another fan of the “confidential information manager”, because calling it a “password manager” is kind of incorrect, considering all the features of this application.
  • Dropbox – I’m no fan of iCloud, and still believe that it is a service with a lot of improvements left to be added before it’s usable. That makes Dropbox the home of my most important files.
  •  Transmit – Brand-new to this FTP world (just got my own domain, yippie!), this application has already left a great impression on me.

Basically, this is what keeps me working on the Mac. Is that the best I could use? Definitely not, but it works. Should I change anything? What is missing in my workflow? That’s up to you to comment.