Staff member
10 Mac Applications that I find extremely useful.
Some I use all the time, some occasionally, but they make life easier.


You can have a ton of menu bar drop downs from apps that clutter the menu bar. Bartender allows you to choose which ones you always want displayed, while the others are hidden, until you expand it revealing the rest of the drop downs. It also makes it easy to hide ones you really don't use.


Why Apple doesn't include a clipboard history built into the OS is beyond me. While I have used other clipboard history keepers in the paste, Pastebot has been my goto clipboard history saver. It really helps your work flows, allowing you to copy numerous separate selections into your clipboard and then easily paste back the ones you want. You can sync your clipboard history to your other Macs through iCloud. Pastebot remains in your menu bar with quick access to your clippings.


This has been on my Mac for years. While it has numerous built-in features to help auto-correct frequent typos and formatting, the customized text expanders saves you time. For example, when I type 'dd' it expands out to the current day and date. Make it easy to tag comments I make in journals, code notes, or any other text in which I want the current date and don't want to look it up or type it out. I have frequent command-line items I run and I create my own little short-code to expand those. Saves so much time. If I type 'myip' I have a shell script that will fetch my public IP address and print it out and replace the 'myip' that I just typed. You can also create text-expanders that fire off interactive window options, to allow you to easily fill out a frequent data set that you send to your customers, or have your custom signature available by just typing 'sig', regardless of the application your are in. I honestly don't use this application to the level and power it is capable of. Shame on me.


Another application that is great to help your stream line handling files on your computer. You can set it up to automatically clean-up your Desktop once a day or numerous times a day, distributing your files based on kind, name or many other options to have them land in the right spot. Since I taken frequent screen shots that would otherwise clutter my desktop, I have it nightly take my screen shots and store them into a separate folder under Documents. It allows me to have easy access to the screen shots on my desktop when I need them (that day), but disappear overnight. You can even integrate AppleScript and shell scripts into the smarts of your actions. I have a folder that when I drop certain types of files into it, it will automatically upload them through FTP to my server, in addition to renaming the files into all lowercase, removing spaces, and numbers before uploading them. It has other features that will automatically ask you if you want to delete files created by applications when you delete them, which can keep your system folders cleaner from years of once used applications.

Mail Act-On

If you like to remain King/Queen of your mail InBox, Mail Act-On has been helping me do that over the years. While yes you can use rules/filters to automatically send emails to specific mail folders, but maybe you really don't want it to happen semi-automatically. With Mail Act-On, which integrates into, gives you power to use key combinations to fire off more powerful filters to send emails to specific locations. Since I blur business with personal in my mail account, I can use command-b on an email to fire off a whole list of criteria to file that email in the proper locations so that I can act on properly. For personal, I setup command-p to fire off a different set of scripts and filters, integrated with AppleScript to make that magic happen. Other features of their entire MailSuite can also be useful, but Mail Act-On I've been using for years and are good at keeping it updated and releasing public betas when new OS versions come out, so you never miss a beat.


Many of us are faithful in using TimeMachine to backup our Macs to external drives. If you aren't, you should be. It runs in the background and it's there when you need it. But if you have a MacBook, hooking it up to an external drive or even a network drive, may be an after thought. Of course, what if you have a fire or tornado, or someone steal everything. Backblaze is an install and forget type backup application that backups your important data remotely. So if your laptop gets stolen, or a sinkhole devours your home and all it's contents, you don't have to stress that you lost your data. You can even have it not backup unless you are on certain access-points, or not to backup on certain access-points (like your mobile hotspot). I've been using Backblaze for years, and the cost is reasonable and as of this writing, doesn't have any space limits in the monthly cost.


My primarily computer I do everything on is my iMac. But when I do go mobile, I often feel that I have a brick in my hand if I don't have what I need. With SyncThing, I can setup what files I want to keep in sync between my two computers. It could be that code base I'm working on, or ssh keys that frequently get updated. It might be my desktop which often becomes more current files or images I'm working with. Regardless, I can have it sync the things I want and exclude what I don't need. So I never have to fret if I grab my computer and run, that I am missing an important file. While Dropbox and iCloud allow you to keep things in sync, they have space limits that a direct computer to computer sync don't have.


Over the years, I've used so many different remote screen control applications, from free VNC applications to different paid services. Of course getting to my own computer is an easier task than getting on other computers that aren't mine. Like I used to connect to my Grandmother's iMac remotely to help her, or connect to a computer at church, or even to get access to my iMac when I am remote. JumpDesktop has been a setup that has just worked flawlessly for me over the last few years. I can connect easily from my iPhone or from my iMac or MacBook, depending on my needs. Even though I use SyncThing to sync my MacBook and iMac, I still find it easier to screen share my iMac and do what I want to do there, when the Internet is good. But when it's not so good, or I'm using up my data-plan, SyncThing is there to save the day for those situations.


If you multiple computers on your desktop, switching between them is never as streamlined as being able to just drag your mouse over to the other computer and do what you need to do and then come back, regardless of the operating system. Software in the past has done this fairly well, but then was no longer supported. Logitech Flow, in my experience, doesn't flow very well. It's laggy and it seems more often than not when I get to the remote computer, I can't get back without jumping through some hurdles. Perhaps it's just my setup. But Barrier is an open-source stream lined application that runs on different operating systems and is honestly, the best virtual KVM type application I have ever used. In fact, it almost works too good. If you use multiple monitors, you know that dragging your mouse between them is a very fluid action. Moving to a second computer has never been a fluid action in the past. But with Barrier it is exactly that. It's so fun just to move the mouse over to the other computer and come back, because my mind is blown each time. The goal of the software is to keep it simple, so you get clipboard sharing, mouse and keyboard, and that's it. No file sharing drag and drop, etc. I'm okay with that. Setup is super simple and it seems like you can literally setup an infinite amount of computers to control. One day, I will drag out all my old computers and see how many I can get setup to control, I think it would be fun.


I've used MacUpdate for years, but with the release of OS 11, it was unsupported and they never updated. It was also a subscription service. MacUpdater (not to be confused with MacUpdate) is now my go to app that will keep the rest of my Mac App's updated (that you don't install through the App store) and while yes, most applications will notify you of any updates when you launch them, it can hinder your work flow and you often find yourself choosing "update later" and then that later never happens.

Do you use any of the Mac applications above? Do you have other apps that you would recommend? I'd love to hear.
A nice idea for a thread. :) Let’s see, 10 (general) apps I like:

1Password: Excellent manager for passwords, licences, bank account details, and more.

Camo Studio: Instead of buying an expensive webcam or DSLR, use this app to turn your phone into a high resolution webcam.

ClamXAV: Anti-virus software which seems to not be too intrusive or problematic…

Little Snitch: Working with the in-built firewall, use this to monitor and control your network traffic in more detail.

Mactracker: Great database with details of Apple hardware from over the years.

Micro Snitch: Monitor when your webcam or microphone is being accessed.

OmniFocus: Very powerful and flexible task management software.

Overlap: Compare time zones to find the best times for international meetings!

Postbox: A powerful E-Mail client, useful for work E-Mail

SubEthaEdit: An excellent text editor, with collaborative capabilities
My software is either Universal or Pure Silicon:

Diagnose: Etrecheck Pro donationware
FTP/SSH: CyberDuck donationware
Office replacement: LibreOffice - use the pull-down to choose Silicon version
Weather: Meteorologist -Universal in Finder menu pull-down!
Steam Radio stations: SomaFM on Mac App Store
Easy Mac OS hacking: TinkerTool
Other media video watching: VLC -make sure you get the Silicon version
Track links: WhatRoute
Last edited: