Must Have Mac Utility Applications I Can't Live Without

Published Tuesday, September 13, 2011 1:22 PM
I talk a lot about Mac Apps on this blog and for good reason they are what make the internet and your computer more productive and fun. There are so many awesome application out there that you could spend the rest of your life talking about them. I wanted to share with you my list of Mac Utility applications I simply couldn't live without, the ones I use daily and install immediately on a new system. Some of them are free others are not but all of them deserve a try and are handy to have on hand.

FlyCut - Clipboard Management - Free
Flycut, based on Jumpcut, is a clipboard management tool that stores several items you copy to your clipboard. You can then use a keyboard shortcut to pull up a menu that recalls your current and previously copied items and allows you to paste them into a document one at a time. It saves so much time because you can copy several items and paste them back later without having to worry about overwriting them with another copy. It's an awesome app and it's free.

Breeze - Window Management - $7.99

I have tried several window management tools all with their own twist on the function, but I think Breeze takes the cake. It allows you to arrange a window's location and size and assign keyboard shortcut to that specific size and location. This allows you to precisely move windows around with a couple keystrokes. You can assign shortcuts globally, for all applications, or locally, only for specific applications, which makes Breeze unique and an awesome application.

Snippets - Text Expander - $4.99

Snippet is a text expander that allows you to type a special word that expands into a larger body of text. It saves you time by giving you a shortcut to typing common phrases and paragraphs. You could for example make a snippet for the date so when you try "ddate" Snippets would replace it with 09/13/2011. I have a snippet for my email signature called "ssig" that prints out my email signature for me when I want to use it. Snippets is $4.99 in the Mac App Store and is a great alternative to the $34 Text Expander app which is great and feature packed but expensive.

Growl - Desktop Notifications - Free
Growl is a free open source application that delivers customizable notifications on your desktop. There are tons of applications that use this application to deliver notifications to the user and it's super handy. I think growl should just be included in the Mac OS that's how much I love this app. I have been using it for years and it's great and free.  

GrowlVoice - Desktop Client for Google Voice - $4.99
I have been using Google Voice for a while now and let me tell you, having the option of getting SMS on your computer's desktop is awesome. Google doesn't offer an official Mac Google Voice client so it's left up to developers to fill the void. GrowlVoice is the best app for this I have found anywhere. It uses Growl to deliver notifications of SMS, Missed Calls, and Voicemails right to your computer. The interface is simple and pretty slick and they do a great job of supporting and making the app better.

Chuck - Application Launcher - Free

Chuck is a cool app that allows you to launch applications quickly using just your keyboard and a couple keystrokes. It's super lightweight and even though it only launches applications it does it well and I love it. It's not as compressive as Alfred or Quicksilver, the long time champions of this category of utility, but I don't every use the functionality those applications offer as much so Chuck is perfect for me and it's free.

Dropbox - Cloud Storage and File Sharing - Free
Dropbox is a free cloud based storage solution that is beyond awesome. Dropbox gives you 2GB of free storage to store files and sync them back to your other computers or share them with friends and family. It's the perfect way to share large files with friends or sync files you want access to on several devices. They have a mobile app, web app, and desktop apps for Windows, Mac and Linux. There are so many awesome ways you can use this application which integrates with all kinds of other applications and web services. It's free for the first 2GB with 50GB costing you $9.99/month and 100GB $19.99 a month. They have a referral program that gives you 250MB for each person you sign up, so you can earn free space if you sign up all your friends. I'm up over 6GB of free space now and you can earn up to an extra 8GB of space giving you a total of 10GB for free!

That's all for now, but there are so many more out there. What utilities do you use that you can't live without? Leave them in the comments so we can get a conversation going.

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