My Favorite Mac Utilities

I have experimented with a number of different utilities.  I’m going to list some of them hMacBookProere, and then invite you to please add your preferred utilities that I haven’t tried yet, and why you like them.

The following are not in any particular order

My favorite go-to browser is Chrome, though I do keep a number of others around for testing Web applications

Speaking of Google, I love Google Photos.  Its ability to search without tagging is amazing.

My favorite calendar these days is BusyCal, though I flirt with Fantastical, which I know many people like a lot. And some of the time I just bring up, though Kiwi (see below) will bring up its equivalent.

That brings me to BusyContacts, which is by far the best contact manager I’ve seen.

For Mail I use gmail, but lately I’ve been using Kiwi, which is essentially a desktop version of gmail.

Possibly my most important utility is Evernote.  I have over 3,000 notes, and I evernote use it every day, many times a day.

A good contender for second most important is DropBox.  I keep 2/3 of my files on DropBox so that I can access them from any machine.  It also makes yet another automatic, offsite backup.

Speaking of backups, after some experimentation, I’ve settled on Backblaze.  Unlimited storage for $5/month, and it is wicked fast.

I struggle with To-Do lists and have not loved any of them.  When the music stopped I ended up with 2Do, but I can’t say I love it.  It does coordinate with ToodleDo which is very good.    Still looking for a killer, simple todo list.

I live on Skype and Slack

I’ve not settled on one program for interactive conference calls,  so I generally go with whatever the other person wants.  GoToMeeting and BlueJeans are good, but there arpostmane many contenders.

For web development, PostMan is indispensable

I’ve been struggling with a good web page highlighter, so far I’m using Yellow Highlighter for Chrome though I confess I’m still not happy.

This brings me to Chrome Extensions.  The ones I actually use are 1Password Manager (the best, in my opinion), AdBlock, Augury (for Angular), DropBox  Evernote clipper , Google Dictionary, Google Docs, HootSuite Hootlet, InstaPaper, and Zoom.

To switch among speakers and microphones I use AudioSwitcher (Mac App Store) Not perfect but very good.  Be sure to set the preferences.

For capturing images, I use SnagIt.  And for screen captures / video I use Camtasia.  Both great.  (caveat, I get them free through the MVP program)

I won’t go into more developer tools here (Xamarin Studio, etc.) but I do need to mention Reflector, which lets you show your live phone on your Mac.

I’ve become a fan of Lightning PDF editor.simplemind

My go to program for mind-maps is SimpleMind.

I have not yet settled on an RSS reader, though I’m leaning towards Feedly.

For word processing and slides, I still use Microsoft Office.  So sue me.

I’ve be experimenting with Commander One, but haven’t decided yet.

I have Alfred, but I don’t use it, though I keep thinking I will.  Same for TextExpander.

Oh, stop the presses.  For scanning, run out and buy the ScanSnap Evernote scanner.  Oops, they’re not making the Evernote edition anymore, but you can still buy the ScanSnap which is the same thing without the Evernote connection.  Great scanner.

I keep my computer “clean” with Clean My Mac.

I almost forget f.lux.  Wonderful program that sets the color of your monitor when evening falls.

OK, that’s my list, at least for now.  Again, please post the great utilities that I’m missing.




About Jesse Liberty

Jesse Liberty has three decades of experience writing and delivering software projects and is the author of 2 dozen books and a couple dozen Pluralsight & LinkedIn Learning courses. He was a Senior Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, a Distinguished Software Engineer for AT&T, a VP for Information Services for Citibank and a Software Architect for PBS. He is a Xamarin Certified Mobile Developer and a Xamarin MVP and a Microsoft MVP.
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