My favorite Mac Tools

Yes, yes, yes, lists are cheap blogging, I know. But the lists on blogs I’ve most profited from myself, have mostly been lists of applications. I’ve found quite a few gems through them that I now use daily. So when I set up my new MacBookPro a few weeks ago, I wrote down every application that I installed in the process. Here they are.
  • Chrome/Firefox 4 beta – I go back and forth between these two browsers and use the one which currently annoys me the least. 
  • Evernote – I’ve promoted this app enough already. I use it as my main knowledge base for all the articles and studies, I find on the web etc.
  • Notational Velocity – Basic note taking app which syncs with the cloud and works with SimpleNote on the iPhone/iPad. I’m writing this here in NV before copying it to the Squarespace editor in the browser. 
  • Caffeine – Keeps the MBP from falling asleep through presentations and movies. 
  • Dropbox – I store all my personal files in my Dropbox folder these days to keep a copy in the cloud.
  • iStat Menu – I can’t work on a computer without knowing what it’s doing. I need to be able to watch the processor and network activities, I really need to. 
  • Fuzzy Clock – Instead of telling me the exact time, this clock displays it to me like a person would tell it to me. “five to four,” “quarter past nine” etc. I prefer it that way as it gives me a better feeling for the time.
  • Alfred – I’ve used Quicksilver to quickly launch applications etc. until the development stopped. Alfred is a great replacement and does a lot more than just launching apps.
  • Mailplane – Yes, I live in Google Mail, too. Priority Inbox has spoiled me forever. Mailplane is basically a dedicated browser app for Gmail with some fine additional features.
  • Knox – I save all client files in encrypted disk images on my mac. Knox is a great tool to organize these images. 
  • Spotify – Please don’t ask me how to hack Spotify to work in Germany. I have no idea why it just works for me. 
  • 1password – Another must-have application for me. It saves all my passwords from web applications, all my license information from bought software (yes, I still buy software) and even generates strong passwords. 
  • Adobe Air – The Adobe framework, mostly used to run Tweetdeck these days.
  • Tweetdeck – I have tried other Twitter clients but the column view has spoiled me forever. I can’t and don’t want to go every new tweet in my timeline on a usual work day so I rely heavily on lists so I can take quick glances in between work sprints. 
  • Skitch – The perfect tool to take a quick snap of the screen. I find that I’m also using it a lot for little tasks like resizing images etc.
  • TextExpander – There are certain words and phrases, we have to type all the time like our email address or passwords. This tool lets you type short key combinations and replaces them by the longer phrases. 
  • Skype – Mostly used for instant messaging (not a big fan of telephone calls in general).
  • Things – It has taken them forever to develop a good syncing mechanism. So I switched to
  • Teux Deux – In my opinion, Teux Deux is the best to-do application if you spend a lot of your work time in front of a computer. The web app is free, very simply and beautifully designed and has just the right amount of features. I also use the iPhone app. 
  • Adium – The instant messaging application for everything else but Skype. Mostly Google Talk, MSN and Facebook Chat currently. 
  • Pastebot – Great combination of Mac/iPhone app that let’s you easily push clipboard content from one device to the other. No need to send emails etc. 
  • SmartSleep – Little system settings tool that let’s you define exactly when you macbook should go to hibernation and when it should just go to sleep when you close it. 
  • LittleSnapper – Great tool to take and organize snapshots of whole websites. 
  • Coda – My weapon of choice for everything web development related. 
  • DynaMite – Makes time-tracking with Mite much easier on Mac OS X. 
  • LittleSnitch – Which application is generating all that web traffic and which is phoning home? This tool will tell you in details. 
  • RescueTime – Never underestimate your own capability to guess completely wrong how much time you spend on what. This tool tracks exactly what you spend your time on while on your computer. Only use this if you’re ready to face the truth ;-)
  • Tunnelblick – Great VPN tool. Combine it with BlackVPN and you have the quickest way around “This content is not available in your country.” It is also great for securing your connecting in open Wifis. 
  • Watts – A great little tool for just one thing: getting the best from your macbook battery. It helps you to calibrate your battery correctly and in between, it’s just an unobtrusive battery icon in your menu bar. 

So what’s missing from this list that you couldn’t live without on your mac?