macPro2017

macOS Tools To Help Make You (and your Mac) More Productive (Part 1)

mac os high sierra

In this day in age, we are constantly being inundated with information.  Whether that’s where we should eat lunch, or even what apps we need to keep us sane and productive.  Look no further. Well, for app recommendations, not about lunch.  With this list, we’ve got the best tools to make the most out of your macOS. What are they, you ask?  Keep reading to find out more.

caffeine

Caffeine – Keep Your Mac Awake

How many times have you had to reset your display settings on your Mac so the screen would stop resetting?  If you answered more than once a day, then you need to get Caffeine.  Much like what actual caffeine will do to you, your Mac can stay awake longer.  Not only that, but it’s a really simple concept.  Once installed, all you have to do is set the amount of time that you want your Mac to stay active and you’re good to go!

flux

f.lux – Adjust your Mac’s Display to Adapt to the Time of Day

I have come to love the Night Shift feature in iOS, and macOS has that same capability, this is a bit different. f.lux adjusts to the amount of light in your location.  Let’s say it’s rainy and therefore overcast, f.lux will adjust the lighting of your monitor to make it brighter (or warmer) for you to do your work.

bartender2

Bartender – Organize and Hide Menu Bar Items on Your Mac

Bartender 3 lets you organize your menu bar apps, by hiding them, rearranging them, or moving them to the Bartender Bar. You can display the full menu bar, set options to have menu bar items show in the menu bar when they have updated, or have them visible in the Bartender Bar.

1Password – Digital Security for Your Passwords and Wallet

I mean, the video kind of says it all, doesn’t it?  1Password gives you a way to organize all your passwords and keeps them safe in one location.  This tool has helped me in a way that I can’t describe.  I was using an old-school method – much like one that is described in the video.  But I had to cart a book around with me whenever I wanted to do some work.  But with 1Password, all I need to do is set it up on my MacBook and the work is done for me. Such a lifesaver!

istat

iStat Menu 6: An Advanced Mac System Monitor for Your Menu Bar

iStat Menus can notify you of an incredibly wide range of events, based on CPU, GPU, memory, disks, network, sensors, battery, power, and weather. This lets you be notified when your public IP has changed if your internet connection is down if CPU usage is above 60% for more than 10 seconds or a near-infinite range of other options. It can even let you know the weather for the day, or remind you of daylight savings changes.

Magnet for Mac: Keep Your Workspace Organized

Magnet is an app that keeps your desktop super clean and simple.  You can move content from one app to another, compare data side by side or multitask in any other way. When you drag a window to the edge, you size a window into half of your screen.  By dragging windows to the corners, you snap them into quarters.  When you slide them to the bottom edge of your display, you can create thirds.  Take advantage of such arrangements to help keep your workspace organized.

Alfred: Boost Your Efficiency with Hotkeys, Text Expansion and More

Alfred is a keyboard driven productivity application that helps you launch apps and search your local computer as well as the web with incredible speed. The great part about this is that you can launch any application with a quick shortcut.  Alfred will quickly learn which apps you use often and prioritize them when you search.  There are some really great system commands, including being able to empty the trash, start your screen saver or restart your MacBook entirely.

aware

Aware: Track How Long You’ve Been Using Your Mac

I find Aware to be really helpful as I can spend hours and hours on my MacBook without taking a break. Not only is this not healthy, but it also doesn’t promote productivity.  It’s easier to keep going than to take a break and get some strength and energy to be able to keep going.  Aware lives in the toolbar, and is a constant reminder of what you’ve been doing and for how long you’ve been doing it.  In a “big brother is watching you” kind of way.

Spectacle: Move and Resize Windows with Ease on Mac

I am constantly attempting to resize my windows.  My screen is only so large, so it’s nice to be able to move things around and be able to look at two things.  Which is how I operate most of the time.  Which is why Spectacle is so great.  It allows you to resize your windows with ease.  It definitely makes my life that much easier.

Sip: Simple OSX to Sample and Encode Any Color on Your Screen

Sip is a great tool to help you when you’re designing anything.  The Palette feature brings you a new way to create, organize and share colors with everyone. Use it to organize anything in your life that has colors, either it’s a design project, a mood board, or the next color scheme for your room. The Color dock feature makes your palettes more available and unobtrusive than ever. Quickly access it without losing focus on what you are working.

nozio

Noizio: Ambient Background Sounds for Your Mac

If you find yourself going to a coffee shop because you can’t stand the quiet, then you might benefit from Noizio.  Noizio is an app that works in the “background” of your Mac.  Essentially, it creates that background noise that you need in order to get the job done.  Super helpful for people who can’t handle all the quiet.