14 apps I use (almost) daily

Posted on Sunday, December 1st, 2019
Photo by Yoal Desurmont

I really like tools, extensions and productivity softwares; every now and I read articles about this topic, and I always enjoy them a lot. A couple of days ago, I read this one by Daniel Wirtz, so I thought I should write one myself.

Most of the apps over here are for Mac because that’s what I’m rolling with at the moment, although there are some exceptions.

I decided to leave out mainstream apps (like Slack, or Visual Studio Code) because everybody knows them. In a future post I might write something more technical about VS Code extensions and other coding tools.

So, here we go, 14 apps I use everyday, randomly ordered.

Alfred

Alfred is an app that is hard to explain. It’s like Spotlight, because it helps you find stuff or do some basic maths, but it’s much more that. It lets you make recipes and use pre-made ones. For example, I use the lorem ipsum recipe to generate phrases or words or the Evernote one to search notes, or the Dash one to search for documentation.
Honestly, I use like 5% of what it’s capable of, but it’s really cool.
The thing I use the most is the multiple clipboard though. Many apps provide multiple clipboard, but Alfred’s one integrates perfectly in my flow and is super fast.

Magnet

Magnet is a little utility I cannot live without. It allows you to easily snap windows to the right, left, centre or wherever you like, just by using a key combination.

Sip

Sip is neat color picker. Yeah, nothing else, but perfect. Also, I love that it tells you cool color names. I especially love that.

iStat

iStat Menus is a really nice application you can use to always know the status of your computer. How hot is it? How fast is it downloading? What’s the CPU load? Also, what’s the weather like tomorrow? Things like that.

Dozer

Dozer is a small free utility that lets you hide icons in your menu. Useful.

Bandwidth+

It can happen that I’m out with my computer and a tethered 4g connection. In that case, I want to know how much I have downloaded at any given time. Bandwidth+ to the rescue. It will reset if you change network, and resume counting once you join it again. Simple and perfect.

CleanMyMac

Yes, I know a Mac is not Windows, but still, CleanMyMac makes it so easy and satisfying to uninstall, cleanup, delete unwanted translation files, clean caches, detect big files you forgot in some obscure folder.

Boostnote

Boostnote is my main note taking app. It used to be Evernote, but now I mostly use this one, and Evernote only to save documents.
Boostnote is perfect for developers; it has markdown support, you can save code snippets with your chosen syntax, you can tag and categorise and search notes, it’s open source, it’s multi platform, a version for iOs and Android is coming, it can save notes on Dropbox or Google Drive… what else can one desire? I think it’s really good.

Giphy Capture

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Then what’s a GIF worth? A thousand pictures? That’s a million words. I really like this little tool, for the rare occasions I need to create a GIF. It’s not often, but when the need arises, Giphy Capture is there.

Dash

This is an app that lets you download documentation for offline viewing: JavaScript, React, WordPress, Ruby, jQuery, Python… whatever you need, Dash probably has it, and if it doesn’t you can add custom Github repos. Plus, it lets you download an offline copy of Stack Overflow questions and answers related to whatever you’re interested in.
It also has some extra features like snippets, which I use a lot, especially to type things like this in a chat: (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Better

Better is my adblocker on Safari. It works really well to the point that you forget its existence. I wish it existed for Chrome and Firefox too.

Karabiner-Elements

I have a Touch Bar MacBook Pro. It means I don’t have an ESC key, and no function keys either. I use Karabiner-Elements to remap the ESC key to Caps Lock, and F5 to the right Alt key (I use F5 to sort items when I code). Pretty useful.

Monosnap

Monosnap lets you take screenshots, add comments and arrows to them, upload them and return a nice URL you can share. Probably not the only app to do that, but it’s functional. If you want it can upload to services like S3, FTP, Google Drive, but you need to be premium to do that.

 

RunJs

RunJS is a little software that just does what it says… it runs JavaScript.
Very useful to try out little algorithms, snippets, or npm packages.

UPDATE 06 December 2019

SideNotes

I found out a couple of days ago about SideNotes. It’s really useful to have quick access to snippets or whatever notes you find yourself reaching for often. Also support basic code snippets and Markdown.

(Cover photo by Yoal Desurmont)

If you would like to discuss this article, you can do so on LinkedIn:

Here are 14 Mac apps I use almost daily. What are yours?

— Alessandro Muraro – December 1st, 2019
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