Top 10 Mac Utilities for Developers

I recently tweeted a request for nominations for best utilities and productivity tools for Developers working on the Mac.  This list is an aggregate of my recommendations and those of others who I greatly respect.  They are listed in no particular order.

Fantastical is by far the best calendar app I’ve used, and the killer feature is the ability to add appointments on the Mac or on iOS using natural language.  It really gets it and makes adding appointments fast and easy.  Integrates perfectly with Google Calendar and others.


ToDoIst is best the in class To Do list (and, frankly, I’ve tried them all!)  This one is just right: easy to use, has few bells and whistles but it has all the critical ones.  It is very easy to add an entry either by clicking or with keyboard shortcuts, and you can set alarms to be notified when it is time to do something.  iPhone companion is great.

SourceTree is my choice for working with Git.  What can I say? Its visual interface is intuitive, it works, and when you fall off a cliff it has easy access to Terminal.

Evernote  My go-to note taking application.  It will do much more, but I use it simply and for just three things: taking notes (which it does superbly well), searching (and with its automatic OCR you can search on anything, even text in images) and managing documents from the highly recommended EverNote scanner (expensive, but the best I’ve ever used and lightning fast)

KDiff3– Best merge tool on the market.  For merging there are four windows: One shows the file with no changes.  The second shows the window with the first set of changes; the third window shows the second set of changes and the bottom window shows the result of adding from either or both.  The popup menu makes merging from either or both changes a snap, and you can choose the order, undo and generally merge in seconds.


Postman  You just can’t work with APIs without Postman.  Get it.  Now.

Snagit  I use this a lot, and for a developer the ability to take screen snaps is required.

Vysor This makes projecting my phone onto the screen a breeze.  And you can interact with the phone through Vysor, making development and presentation infinitely easier.

Visual Studio Code – The best text editor I know of, though others are certainly in contention.  I like this one because it feels a lot like Visual Studio; my fingers tend to know what to do.  It also have some terrific features, and is a natural for TypeScript and other  languages.

Instapaper – I love going through blogs and on-line new sources and marking them for reading later in Instapaper.  It gives me just the portability and time shifting I need to stay productive.

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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