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The Top 10 Mac Apps I can't live without.

April 20, 2021

The Apple Mac is certainly a powerful computer but what makes it even more powerful is the range and quality of the applications available for it.

Here are the top ten apps I just can't live without!

1) 1Password (https://1password.com/)

1Password is a password manager that not only works on Apple Mac devices but iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows meaning that your passwords go where you go. You only need to remember your 1Password Master password.

What's even more useful is 1Password will create passwords for you, and will warn you if you have used passwords on other sites or if those passwords have been compromised.

1Password App Interface Screenshot

2) Hazel (https://www.noodlesoft.com/)

Hazel sits quietly in the background watching the folders you tell it to, automatically organising your files according to whatever rules you create. For example, I have a rule that monitors my desktop and moves any files to the location that I really should be saving them to, our Network Attached Storage device, which is backed up. Images that are saved are automatically renamed using our standard naming format. This makes things so much easier to find later on.

Hazel for Mac Interface Screenshot

3) Alfred (https://www.alfredapp.com/)

Alfred is what Apple Finder should be. Launch applications and find files on your Mac or on the web. Search the web, perform calculations, check your spelling and control your system and applications all from one command line.

Alfred Search Box

4) Bartender (https://www.macbartender.com/)

Bartender has one simple job to tidy up the menu bar, and it does it very well.

It seems like every app now wants to add itself to your menu bar. In all fairness, it is usually to show you the status of something or provide quick access, but it gets messy.

Bartender gives you back control. It lets you decide what you want to show and under what circumstances. For example, I don't really want to see the status of the battery on my MacBook Pro while it's plugged in or fully charged, but I probably do want to know its status before it becomes a problem. Bartender allows me to do that.

Bartender Battery Settings

5) TextExpander (https://textexpander.com)

TextExpander let you instantly insert snippets of text from a repository of emails, boilerplate and other content as you type - using a quick search or abbreviation.

Such a simple idea, but a real lifesaver in so many ways. The real win is you can insert variables. These can be predefined such as a day of the week, time of the day, or you can use your own. For Example, 

"Hi %fill:name%, We are swamped at the moment, but I can fit you in on %fill:day% if that works for you. Book your appointment online using our booking system."

When you trigger the snippet, it will ask you to complete the "Name" and "Day" variables and automatically place the whole snippet into your message. Boom! 

Textexander for Mac Screenshot

6) CleanMyMac X (https://macpaw.com/cleanmymac)

CleanMyMac X is that tool that keeps your Mac running smoothly. In the words of MacPaw, "It cleans megatons of junk and makes your computer run faster."

We love this on its own, but all the other tools included with CleanMyMac X, like the performance monitor and malware remover, make it our number one tool for keeping our Mac running smoothly. 

The CleanMyMac X Interface shown on an iMac

7) DropBox (https://www.dropbox.com/)

DropBox is a Cloud-based storage service. Store all your files and folders safely in the cloud and synchronise them to your computer, SmartPhone and tablet. Share with family, friends and coworkers safely and securely.

Dropbox Interface Screenshot

8) BackBlaze (https://www.backblaze.com/)

I've tried lots of backup solutions but BackBlaze wins hands down and does so for two very simple reasons. The first is its ease of set up. Download, Open, Install - Done! The second, it's quiet. I mean it sits chugging away in the background and you don't hear a peep from it. In fact, you often completely forget it's there. You open it up and yup, it's there. Backing up your life without any fuss or fanfare. Just the way we like it.

The BackBlaze interface shown on a MacBook Pro.

9) Skitch (https://evernote.com/products/skitch)

Now I'm are sure that Skitch is capable of so much more than I use it for, but in my defence, I'm as creative as a paper clip and struggle to draw a straight line with a ruler. That said, this is where Skitch comes in. It allows me to take screenshots and annotate them. Really useful when trying to get the point across.

Skitch Application interface

10) PopClip (https://pilotmoon.com/popclip/)

PopClip appears when you select text with your mouse on your Mac. Instantly copy and paste and access actions. For example, see an interesting article, simply select it and you get the option to send it to your note-taking app. Amazon Order number? Select it and send it straight to your parcel tracking app.

PopClip application interface

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