July 11, 2008

My 10 must-have Mac tools

Filed under: Cult of Mac,My Life,Technology — Allan @ 8:57 am

As more and more people I follow on twitter do the only sensible thing and move to Mac, and also since “top list” type posts tend to drive traffic to your blog, here are my must have mac tools.  I originally wrote this up as a wiki so that Dave and Max could contribute and add their 2 cents, but since neither have bothered in the more than 2 months that it’s been up, I decided to move the content here.  I’ve also not bothered sticking the obvious things like Firefox and Skype on here.


I keep going on and on about this program but I really like using it.  Effortless note taking on Mac, PC or Linux, all of which is synced up to a web interface for anytime access.  And they’ve just released an iPhone client.  Hoping it will also work on my iPod Touch :) And speaking of my iPod…


Converts pretty much anything into mp4.  Which is great for sticking onto an iPod or into a presentation.

Office 2008

I used to be a Keynote junkie, but when you work with a team of people (and clients) who don’t all have Mac’s it starts getting messy.  Overall Office 2008 is good but not great, document portability forced the issue here.  I miss the video support of Keynote, especially being able to specify the portion of the video that is played on the slide (as apposed to Powerpoint playing the entire clip) and being able to select the frame that is shown when you first arrive on the slide (as apposed to Powerpoint showing the first frame)


All-in-one instant messaging app. Latest beta tends to crash, which does wonders for productivity.  Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here, but I’m not seeing it :)


I  no longer have the time nor inclination to compile Apache, MySQL and PHP from source like I always used to insist on doing, so luckily these guys have done it all already and packaged it up in a single neat download.


Nice, lightweight MP3 player.  Random file downloads and audio bits that I need to listen to but don’t want squaloring up my perfect iTunes library get the treatment with Play.  Also, since I haven’t set up the iScrobbler preferences in it, it doesn’t put stuff like voiceover_treatment_sample2.mp3 in my music stream


Sweet GTD style app.  I used to use iGTD, but prefer the workflow of Things.  Early alpha/beta so back your shit up.  Currently free for testing, and testers will receive a discount when it launches. Also, uses XML files for storage which may prove problematic down the line.     iGTD uses an sqlite type database which is damn quick and scalable.  Plus will allow external apps to build off it.  I may be talking myself back to iGTD here :P

There are a few apps that I’m playing with at the moment that, from the look of it, will be making it onto my must-have list soon.


Yep makes finding that elusive PDF a thing of the past.  Search, tag, browse.  It’s like iPhoto, but for PDF’s.  This is one that you have to pay for, but you can get a good deal if you buy it with Leap.


Leap works as a file manager like Yelp, but for all types of files.  Luckily I got a new Mac recently so I was able to continue with the trial version for the moment, but this is something I will be buying in the not too distant future.


Amazing coding environment, brought to you by the same people who created Transmit.  I’m still uncertain whether the amount of coding that I do at the moment warrants forking out the cash for this, but the free alternatives, while powerful, are not nearly as sexy.


  1. […] going through Allan’s and Henk’s must have app lists, I’m well on my […]

    Pingback by Marc » Yet another new Babe — July 14, 2008 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

  2. I agreed with you

    Comment by KizAmumb — August 3, 2008 @ 12:39 pm | Reply

  3. […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by jhuribe on 2008-07-20 My 10 must-have Mac tools – bookmarked by 4 members originally found by squid4488 on […]

    Pingback by Bookmarks about Stream — August 11, 2008 @ 10:00 pm | Reply

  4. !!! WHAT?! no man.. when was I invited to dive in to the wiki?
    This is dissing the oblivious.
    I’m constantly fiddling with new apps – especially the time productivity tools because it’s one of the finest means to justify procrastination. Oh the sweet irony.
    I’ll share back with you Allan :-/ feel appallingly guilty now. Damn you, fast.twitch catholic school hardwiring activated.

    Comment by Max Kaizen — September 3, 2009 @ 11:28 am | Reply

  5. How is MAMP different from XAMPP –

    Comment by Pradeep Sharma — September 8, 2011 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

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