One scarcely used features that’s often overlooked by many Mac users is the Dashboard.  The Dashboard brings subtle time savers to the front of your screen, allowing you to calculate, tweet, check the weather, and a whole lot more.  Windows users can add many of the same widgets to their desktop, accessing them quickly with Windows 7 Aero Shake.  So what’s in my Dashboard?


A pretty simple timer, 3-2-1 allows you to set a countdown clock that’ll bring forth the Dashboard and sound a notification.  It’s great if you’re cooking because the internet can sure be distracting.


Probably the handiest, the calculator widget saves me from having to open the calculator application and navigating around it.  Instead, the lower left hot corner will trigger my dashboard, bringing up a calculator without additional keystrokes.


Although I use iCal for all my heavy calendar duties, it’s nice to be able to check the numerical date of two Tuesdays from now.  It also shows any iCal events I’ve got scheduled for the day, all without opening a calendar application.


Super handy for writing, I find looking up words far easier in the dashboard widget than through spotlight or Google.  The dictionary bundled in OS X takes little room so there’s really no excuse to not include it.

Stop Dashboard

If you’re low on system memory, Stop Dashboard will kill the dock process, in turn killing the Dashboard.  Don’t worry, it won’t affect any open applications but will free up any memory being used by all your widgets.

iStat Pro

iStat manages a slew of your Mac’s statuses like CPU, memory, network connection, battery levels, system temperatures, and more.  It’s always nice to keep an eye on your setup and iStat will notify you if anything seems damagingly wrong.

Now it’s your turn.   What widgets do you find most useful?  If you’ve got something you think everyone should have, spread the word in the comments.  I’m certainly in need of anything that’ll make me more productive!