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3 apps for Mac that will supercharge your productivity

by Brandon Russell | April 21, 2018April 21, 2018 6:00 am PST

The apps we use are crucial to our workflow. Chrome is the go-to for browsing the web, while creatives count on Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop platforms to get projects done. The nice thing is there are so many terrific apps for Mac out there, whether you want to track deliveries or replace macOS’ Spotlight.

Over the years, I’ve curated a fairly small arsenal of apps that I rely on everyday. Trello is awesome for tracking projects, while DaisyDisk helps me cut down the clutter. But those I can live without. The three listed below? No way. Not having these apps would be like asking me not to breath; it simply can’t be done.

BetterSnapTool

This is one of those things I can’t believe isn’t a core part of macOS. (A similar experience, however, is available in Windows.)

If you’re constantly resizing windows to fit on your display, BetterSnapTool makes the process infinitely easier. And it’s fully customizable, making it that much better to use.

To use BetterSnapTool, you can either press a keyboard shortcut or drag a window to a certain section of your display to instantly snap and resize it a predetermined area. You can snap to the top, left, right, bottom, and you can also snap in quarters, halves, and thirds.

Think of BetterSnapTool like the iPad’s SplitView feature, but much more robust. When you’re working on a laptop, screen real estate is at a premium. I love it for organizing windows when I have a lot of applications open at once, like Chrome and Mail. You’ll never have to manually resize your windows again. ($3.99)

Bartender

There’s something so calming about having a clean menu bar. When I’m overwhelmed with apps, spaces, and windows, Bartender allows me to control what’s displayed in the menu bar, bringing some much needed tranquility to the chaos of work. That’s no hyperbole; I truly appreciate Bartender’s capabilities.

Bartender has been legendary in the Mac community for years, and it was recently optimized to better fit the aesthetics of macOS High Sierra. Now, the Bartender Bar displays in the menu bar, rather than popping out a menu. It’s much cleaner than older version and makes it look like a core part of Apple’s software.

You can easily hide menu bar apps, organize them, and move them to Bartender Items. It’s pretty straightforward in its capabilities, but hugely useful when your menu bar becomes overcrowded. I’m all about minimalism on my desktop, which is why Bartender has become such a crucial part of my everyday workflow. ($15)

Unclutter

Speaking of keeping things clean, the whole point of Unclutter is to keep your desktop free of clutter. Nobody likes their desktop to be like an episode of Hoarders, with folders, files, and images everywhere. I’ve been using Unclutter for months now and can’t help feel lost when it’s not there.

Unclutter works by offering three panels: Clipboard, Files, and Notes. The Clipboard panel shows a history of everything you’ve copied, from URLs to images; Files provides a handy place to store folders and files; Notes is great for jotting down a few quick thoughts.

What’s cool about Unclutter is it disappears when you don’t need it. Just move your mouse to the very top of the screen and Unclutter will appear. The app has a few handy customization options, too, giving you greater control over how the app behaves. Once you use it, you won’t be able to live without it. ($9.99)


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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