For all of its strengths, Apple’s macOS could benefit from key improvements, whether it’s tweaking the software’s poor window management or upgrading Spotlight’s search capabilities. Luckily, there’s a healthy developer community to help fill the void.

While nobody’s needs are exactly the same, these apps have capabilities that will improve your daily experience. I upgraded to a MacBook Pro earlier this year and started from scratch, rather than restoring from backup, so I could enjoy that new computer smell. But I soon realized that I sorely missed apps I regularly rely on to get work done.

What’s funny is my favorite apps haven’t changed much over the past several years. That’s a testament to the quality of these apps—they fill a specific need and fill it well. Once you use Bartender, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.


The more apps you download, the more icons show up in your menu bar. It’s an eyesore seeing so many icons in such a small space. Bartender gives you control over what does and doesn’t show up in the menu bar; you can hide and rearrange icons with one click, keeping your menu bar clean of clutter. [Link]


Alfred is a powerful replacement for Apple’s built-in Spotlight. But it’s so much more than that. The app also supports customizable search filters, clipboard history, snippets and auto-expansion, and workflows, the latter of which allows you to replace repetitive tasks with keywords. Alfred will save you time and supercharge your search. [Link]


Keeping your desktop free of clutter is easier said than done. Unclutter is a convenient three-in-one app that makes it simple to organize files, jot down notes, and copy text. Having these three tools readily available will save you time and boost your productivity. [Link]


If I had to choose only one app to download, it would be BetterSnapTool. Out of the window management tools I’ve used (Magnet being one of them), BetterSnapTool performs the best, and its customization features are the icing on the cake. If you want to quickly manage your windows, BetterSnapTool is a must-have tool. [Link]


Whether you have a library of ROMS (that you already own!) sitting on your computer is your pejorative. In the event you do, there’s no better way to add, browse, and organize them than with OpenEmu. The emulator features a sleek design, controller support, and plenty of advanced features, including save states and support for systems like Atari 2600 and Nintendo 64. [Link]


What’s taking up all that space on your computer? DaisyDisk will tell you. The app is a powerful tool that will help you remove old junk, including files, documents, and more. It’s great for deleting apps, too, because it gets rid of everything that’s left behind. [Link]


If you’re looking for a powerful image editor, look no further than Pixelmator Pro. The software offers powerful tools for retouching photos, creating graphics, and drawing vectors. It also supports machine learning for repairing, cloning, and more. If you don’t want to pay a monthly subscription for Adobe Photoshop, Pixelmator Pro is a powerful alternative. [Link]


There is no shortage of to-do apps, but Things 3 is a cut above because of its powerful features and clean design. In fact, it’s so well designed that it looks like something that was created in-house by Apple. You can create projects, areas, to-dos, deadlines, and more. It’s pricey at $50, but it’s well worth it. [Link]