Better Snap Tool
is the most used “app” on my Mac. Whenever I’m on a computer without it I miss it, and when I have it my digital life feels that much more complete and organized. What is BetterSnapTool? It gives OS X the same features as Windows Snap Tool. The edges and corners of your screen become “hotspots” when you drag a window to those spots your window auto resizes to 1/4, 1/2 or full screen windows. This makes managing several applications at once much easier.
Demo Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPAIRz_RvcE
has changed the way I work, share files, and setup my computers. Dropbox, a cloud-based storage company, creates a folder on your computer that syncs to their website (dropbox.com). Any file you put in this folder becomes available on their site and is accessible on any computer. You can also share links to files or folders to friends or family. Why would you do that? I find it very useful to share photos from trips or family events. Dropbox saved my old church when our hard drive failed; luckily, all important files were backed up in Dropbox. Once we got a new computer I installed Dropbox, synced all the files, and the computer was set up in less than two hours. Dropbox gives 2GB free storage which expands as you share with people and they sign up. They also have paid options.
If you have two Dropbox profiles (work / personal) you can use Dropbox Encore to sync both account to your computer.
is amazing for the broke movie junky. Hitbliss allows you to raise money towards renting movies off Amazon.com by watching ads. Yeah… watching ads sucks, but the payoff is great. I recently rented 47 Ronin, Fight Club and Anchorman 2 by watching 35 minutes of commercials over a few days. We all have downtime, so we might as well get “paid” for it. For more info on Hitbliss checkout my How to throw a free movie night with friends
Evernote is a digital filing cabinet for everything in your life. Evernote syncs notes between all your devices: tablet, smartphone, and computer, making it extremely useful. Do you like lists? Evernote makes it easy to create a shopping list at home and take it with you on your phone, so you don’t forget anything. Find an article you like and want to save it for later? Use Evernotes web clipper and save it for later. Evernote has the ability to create notebooks for all your needs, tag posts for easy reference, and even search words within photos or PDFs (paid feature). Evernote is free. There is a paid version that adds options, but most people can get by without paying.
& Plex Media Server
are my solution to streaming my extensive movie, music and tv show collection from my home media server to wherever I am. Plex Media Server acts as the hub, tracking, sorting, adding artwork for all your media, and connecting it to your devices through your free MyPlex account. The Plex app (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux) is a player that connects to your MyPlex account and gives you access to all of your content whether you’re home or in another country. Want to save space for all those photos and videos, but still have access to your media? Plex can probably help you out! Data rates may apply. For info on how to setup plex checkout this Lifehacker
F.lux is a simple tweak that changes the hue of your computer screen to protect your eyes late at night. Rather than an intense blue that causes you to squint, F.lux changes your screen to a warm orange. Unless you’re staring at the computer from a strange angle, the orange is overall not noticeable.
Handbrake is a DVD ripper, and video conversion tool. If you have DVDs you want to backup digitally, Handbrake is the tool you should be using. The default settings work well, but there is plenty of customization options for the tech savvy. Handbrake is also very useful for converting large videos to have a smaller file size with minimal loss of quality. If you do a lot of stuff with video do yourself a favor, and download Handbrake.
Adapter is another very handy video conversion tool. Though I still use Handbrake for shrinking video files, I use Adapter for changing file types. Have a .mpg, but need a .avi? Adapter can do that. Have a video file, but want an MP3? Adapter’s got you covered. The application is very intuitive and well designed. If you need to convert audio / video files often this could become essential to your work flow.
is a simple but very useful app. Do you have websites that you visit daily, and would like to have links to them in your dock? Use Fluid! Fluid creates “Web Apps” for your favorite sites so you can put them in your dock. There are also a lot of customization options if you really want to get into it. Fluid is free, but there is a paid version that has a few useful additions. I opted for the paid version, but either is fine. To read my review on Fluid, go here
Screenflow is useful for nerds; Most other people will not find this useful. Have you ever wondered how those YouTube tutorial videos where a user records their screen to show you how to use an application are done? It is screen recording software like Screenflow that makes this possible. So, if you’ve been looking for an application that makes it easy record your screen, add text annotations, follow your cursor, and other things, Screenflow is the best tool I have found. It also doubles as a very basic, but useful, video editor if you are not a fan of iMovie.
Coda is the best web development application for programmers, in my opinion. Coda is 1/4 FTP program and 3/4 server side coding application. The user interface is beautiful, and the way code is displayed is easy to read making it easy to find and undo coding mistakes. All changes are made on the server, so once you save the site updates. I find Coda most useful because of it’s ability to edit multiple pages at one time. If you do web development, whether WordPress or otherwise, Coda should be your first tool.
Transmit is the opposite of Coda. It is 1/4 server side coding application and 3/4 FTP program. Though Coda works as an FTP client, I find Transmit works better and offers more FTP specific functionality such as Desktop Dock for easy upload, folder syncing and more. You can use Transmit to edit documents as well, but there is no color coding and it’s harder to edit multiple documents at once.
I’d love to hear what apps you use productivity or otherwise. Leave a comment below!