5 Must-Have Mac Utilities to Boost Your Productivity

Mac utilities boost productivityWhenever I set up a new Mac, I have a routine. I start by following the usual setup steps in the OS X welcome screens, or installer, and then I download a set of essential utilities that I simply can’t work without. There are five of them; some of them I’ve used for years, and some I’ve only discovered recently, but these five must-have Mac utilities make my work much faster, smoother and more productive.

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6 thoughts on “5 Must-Have Mac Utilities to Boost Your Productivity

  1. Good article. I couldn’t use my Mac as well these days without a few other things installed, like Caffeine, PopClip, Growl, Default Folder, Onyx, Cookie (fantastic cookie and Flash-cookie culler) and maybe Mindful Mynah. (I also find that Macs Fan Control works better than the temperature module in iStat Menus.)

    I’d also add the Chrome browser (faster on my mini in 10.8 than Safari, with more useful plugins) and plugins like AdBlock Plus, Google Voice, Magic Actions for Youtube. And Fluid was well worth the $5 license – I use it to make Facebook and Gmail web-apps whose cookies are walled off from the rest of my browsing so I can’t as easily be tracked.

    I used to be a LaunchBar devotee but when I got my Mac mini in January 2013 I slowly added back apps to see what was really necessary, and I was surprised by how useful Spotlight had become in my jump from 10.6 to 10.8. It does most of the things I used Launchbar for (launching, search+Get Info, calculator) and is only slightly more cumbersome with other things (like opening Contacts to a specific name). I’ve got an up-to-date license for LaunchBar, but I just don’t need it as much. As for its templates, those are built into Chrome (or perhaps I have a plugin that gives it that functionality).

    • LaunchBar has some amazing features. I happen to have written a book about it, so I know it well. But they can me hard to find. There are others I use, but nothing as essential: AdBlock, Caffeine, and a few others.

      • I know you wrote a book about it, and I know a lot of the power features (I first bought the app in 2003), but I just never used them in the years decade I used (and loved) the app. After years of ‘handling’ files to copy and move them I’ve never felt comfortable using any key-command file manager features, for example. And my clipboard/snippet manager for many years now has been PTH Pasteboard (which Paul Haddad has seemingly abandoned now that he’s making gobs of money over at Tapbots).

  2. Good article. I couldn’t use my Mac as well these days without a few other things installed, like Caffeine, PopClip, Growl, Default Folder, Onyx, Cookie (fantastic cookie and Flash-cookie culler) and maybe Mindful Mynah. (I also find that Macs Fan Control works better than the temperature module in iStat Menus.)

    I’d also add the Chrome browser (faster on my mini in 10.8 than Safari, with more useful plugins) and plugins like AdBlock Plus, Google Voice, Magic Actions for Youtube. And Fluid was well worth the $5 license – I use it to make Facebook and Gmail web-apps whose cookies are walled off from the rest of my browsing so I can’t as easily be tracked.

    I used to be a LaunchBar devotee but when I got my Mac mini in January 2013 I slowly added back apps to see what was really necessary, and I was surprised by how useful Spotlight had become in my jump from 10.6 to 10.8. It does most of the things I used Launchbar for (launching, search+Get Info, calculator) and is only slightly more cumbersome with other things (like opening Contacts to a specific name). I’ve got an up-to-date license for LaunchBar, but I just don’t need it as much. As for its templates, those are built into Chrome (or perhaps I have a plugin that gives it that functionality).

    • LaunchBar has some amazing features. I happen to have written a book about it, so I know it well. But they can me hard to find. There are others I use, but nothing as essential: AdBlock, Caffeine, and a few others.

      • I know you wrote a book about it, and I know a lot of the power features (I first bought the app in 2003), but I just never used them in the years decade I used (and loved) the app. After years of ‘handling’ files to copy and move them I’ve never felt comfortable using any key-command file manager features, for example. And my clipboard/snippet manager for many years now has been PTH Pasteboard (which Paul Haddad has seemingly abandoned now that he’s making gobs of money over at Tapbots).

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