7 Mac Apps for Productivity

If you’re like me, you love to keep things simple and productive. This is especially true for computer related tasks and chores. If you happen to use a Mac, check out the following applications that I use on a daily basis to keep myself productive:


1passwdHave a ton of passwords? 1Password is a lifesaver when it comes to storing your personal information. Not only can you store passwords, but you can also add personal information, credit cards, and a whole mess of other stuff.

My favorite thing of all is the ability to “Go & Fill Login,” which will take you to a certain website such as your bank and automatically log you in. It’s amazing how much time you save by not having to do all the steps manually.

There is a free trial available if you would like to test it out. Once your trial ends, it’s $39.95 to purchase a 1Password license (easily worth it).


macjournalI’m a big fan of keeping a journal. I actually have a few of them ranging from ideas to personal thoughts. Keeping a journal is so useful that I plan on writing a separate post about it in the near future.

I originally used notebooks, but quickly decided it was a pain to have more than one notebook lying around. Plus it can add up since you need to purchase new ones every time you fill them (it also saves trees).

MacJournal makes it super easy to keep a journal on your computer. You can create as many journals as you want and manage them just like an online blog. You can even embed photos, videos, and audio clips in your entries.

Its got some built-in security that makes protecting it rather simple. You can also set it up to automatically create backups. That way you’ll never lose your journal.

Learn more about MacJournal here.

Notational Velocity

notalityJust like keeping a journal, note taking is a huge step in becoming more productive. I keep tons of notes everyday and constantly go back and look them over. But who wants to keep using paper every time you want to jot an idea down?

Notation Velocity makes it super easy to add notes, as well as search existing notes. It’s as simple to use as a text editor, but you do not have to worry about having tons of files scattered all over your desktop. It keeps them all in one place that’s easy to navigate.

Did I mention it’s free? You can download it here.


pandoraboyI still remember back in high school when we all used to brag about how many songs we have. We took pride in our libraries of music and used them constantly. However, it seems like everyday that passes I use my music library a little less. Why? Because I can easily listen to all of my favorite music via online streaming websites.

Of all the services available, Pandora is by far my favorite. It allows you to create stations that play music based on artists and songs you like. Normally, you have to keep the player open in your browser, which was the only pain with using it. I would constantly close the tab on accident and have to restart my player.

This is why I consider PandoraBoy a good application for productivity. It allows you to play Pandora music from a desktop application. That way you can leave it playing all day and not have to worry about having a browser open. If you happen to have an Airport Express (or Extreme), you can even use AirFoil to play the music wirelessly through your home stereo. I currently use this setup and think it’s amazing.

You can get PandoraBoy here.


QuicksilverI’ve always been a heavy mouse user and never saw the need for keyboard shortcuts. However, I made myself give them a shot and could not believe how much easier they are. I used to use the dock (or my applications folder) to launch applications on my Mac, which took up more time than it needed to.

Using Quicksilver, I can just hit a shortcut and start typing the name of an application. Once it finds it I just hit enter and it launches it right away. It even learns which applications you use the most often so you barely have to type anything for it to know what you’re looking for. Now I barely use the dock at all.

You can get Quicksilver here.

Time Out

time-outThe name of this application says it all. It forces you to take time outs from your computer so you don’t sit there all day without getting up. It slowly fades in a gray screen and then counts down your break and automatically goes away once it’s complete.

You can set the breaks for any length you choose and can also control how often they come up. It’s a good reminder of how much time we sit at our computers, especially if you have it setup to make you break once an hour.

You can download it for free here.


typinatorThis application is simply amazing. I have to thank Adam Pieniazek for bringing this one to my attention. What it does is allows you to create easy to use shortcuts for words and phrases you use often.

For example, you can set it up so that whenever you type “jsd,” it will automatically turn it into joseph@somedomain.com. If you fill in a lot of forms, this can easily save you a ton of time.

You can even type up paragraphs and assign shortcuts to them. This comes in really handy if you send out a lot of emails with similar structures.

You can test it out for free by going here.

Did I Miss An App?

If you know of any other Mac applications that can increase your productivity (and simplify your life), feel free to share them below.

PS. In regards to full-disclosure, I must admit that I will in fact not make a dime off of any of the recommendations above. I just love using these apps…

6 thoughts on “7 Mac Apps for Productivity

  1. john

    I may try Notational Velocity just to see how it works. I used to use Circus Ponies Notebook but it doesn’t scale well. Recently instead I have started using Google Docs. The search is extremely capable. Creating notes is fairly quick and easy. And my notes are available from anywhere, which is important as I use several machines.

    I also tried Quicksilver but found no real use for me. And isn’t it sort of dying anyway?

    1. Justin Wright Post author

      Yeah I used Google Docs as well in the past, but I just love how simple NV is to use. I don’t typically use other computers so I don’t usually worry about having access on a different machine. Though it would be nice if you could share NV between machines.

      As far as Quicksilver goes, I have heard that it is dying. For me, the majority of the functions it does are far more advanced then I need. I simply like the ability to hit the shortcut, then type the first letter or two of an application or file and hit enter to launch it. Makes it so much easier than using shortcuts. It’s even easier than using Spotlight for me.

  2. Srinivas Rao

    Hey Justin,

    I like the list of apps you have here. I use Mac Journal to do all my writing because I need to do distraction free writing because of my ADHD. I think one other app that’s worth mentioning is Anxiety. It’s a really simple to do list app that I love and use all the time.

  3. Gita

    Thanks for the kind words about 1Password, Justin! We’re glad to hear that you find the application useful. Quicksilver’s developer went to work for Google. The project, thought abandoned for some time, is now open source. Four applications I find indispensable are TextExpander, OmniFocus, Webnote and Dropbox. (Full disclosure: we work closely with the SmileOnMyMac folks, who are the developers of TextExpander, but I’m speaking here just as myself.)

    Gita Lal
    AWS Customer Care

  4. Cracked Mac Apps

    I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.


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