I recently posted my collection of “Must Have iPad Apps“, and I thought I’d do the same thing for my favorite Mac apps. Here’s a list of the tools, programs, helper apps that I couldn’t make it through a day without.
- Caffeine – This is the first thing I download and install when I rebuild my computer. This small menu item keeps your screen from auto-dimming, no matter how long you are away from your computer. This is really helpful when watching videos, presenting, or generally doing things on your computer where you’re not wanting the auto-dim function to kick in.
- LockTight – One of the most annoying oversights the MacOS has, at least for business users, is the lack of a similar function to the Windows ctrl-alt-delete screen lock function.
- Evernote – As I mentioned in my iPad post, Evernote has gotten a lot of press. All of it is deserved. It’s a fantastic, multi-platform note and content capture app.
- Things – Again, as mentioned in the iPad post, Things is my to-do list keeper. It’s a fantastic Mac program that has has rock solid iPhone and iPad clients.
- Dropbox – OK, one last iPad post reference… Dropbox is fantastic for Finder integrated file syncing to the cloud. Drop a file in your Dropbox folder and it syncs to any other device you want to view your Dropbox from. Great even if you just want to back up important files or access them across multiple computers.
- 1Password – It took me a long time to get into using a program that stores all my passwords for Web sites in one spot, but now I don’t know how I’d live without it. Generally, 1Password allows you to store passwords for all your sites behind a single login password. Visit a Web site, plug in your password to login, and when you submit the login form, 1Password prompts you to save the credentials. Next time you visit, 1Password asks you if you want auto-fill the form. And even better – you can create truly unique, complex passwords for each site you visit and not have to remember them! It’s a program that once you get used to using, it’s impossible to surf without it.
- JumpCut – Like 1Password, I never saw the benefit in using a “multiple clipboard” app until I finally tried out JumpCut on a lark. Now I’m addicted. Very, very helpful.
- Google Chrome – A truly solid, super fast, and nicely designed modern Web browser. I rarely get into Safari any more. While a ton of tabs can be a real drain on the system (Chrome treats each tab as a separate program), overall it’s amazing to see what happens when you build modern software from scratch.
- Adium – If you use Instant Messenger programs at all, you probably have an account on more than one. Adium allows you to use Windows Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, GTalk, and others all through one program. Very handy.
- Postbox – Based on Mozilla Thunderbird, this email app is a fantastic alternative to Mac Mail. I use Postbox for my personal mail so I can turn it off during the work day and ignore it all together.
- ecto – My desktop blogging app of choice. That’s what I’m writing this post in!
- AppZapper – A handy program uninstall program that gets rid of more than just dragging an app to the trash.
- HandBrake – Rip DVDs to Mac/iPhone/iPad friendly format.
And you? What are your must-have Mac apps?