Are you a productivity junkie? Streamlining and simplifying workflows is kind of a hobby for a few of us on the Foojee team. We're somewhat addicted to productivity apps. We believe anyone can benefit from simplifying their flow via the millions of apps available to us as OS X (and iOS!) users. Today, we wanted to share with you some of our favorites!
While we may recommend certain apps or software, we also highly encourage you to do your own research. Read up on apps that interest you, read reviews, and decide if it’s the best fit for you before moving forward. If you ever have questions, we’re always here to help! You can reach us easily by leaving a comment at the end of this post!
1Password is arguably one of our favorites here at Foojee. A bit more holistic, 1Password enables us to encrypt not only personal items, but also allows us to create multiple 'vaults' so we can separately store both personal and work data. Keychain, which is built in to the Apple operating system, is great and contains some of the same functions, but 1Password has the upper hand. 1Password stores all of your passwords, secure notes, credit cards and almost any other sensitive data you might have and keeps it locked in vault that can unlocked by entering a master password (hence 1Password). All of the vaults are encrypted for optimal security. It’s amazing to be able to enter all of your login information into one app and to update it whenever you have to create a new password and only ever have to remember one password in order to access everything you need. You can have multiple ‘vaults’ (I have a personal vault and Foojee vault for work) and it will sync passwords to your iOS devices.
$49.99 for Mac
A fantastic organized way of keeping track of your “To-Do’s”, Wunderlist allows you to easily share lists with others who can then create tasks, assign them, or complete available to-do’s. The desktop app readily syncs not only with iOS, but also with the Apple Watch app. You’d be surprised how helpful the Watch app is especially when strolling through a grocery store. I don’t even have to take my phone out of my pocket, but that’s another story. Wunderlist is organized, shareable, mobile and beyond helpful especially if you’re forgetful! The shared lists are invaluable for working among teams (or for sharing to-do's between your spouse and yourself)!
The unspoken hero of the Apple product world. Now that you can send and receive text messages (SMS) alongside iMessages on your Mac thanks to recent improvements to OS X, this app is more helpful than ever. Be sure to clean out your messages on your Mac from time to time. If you need to hold on to a certain conversation because it contains important information you can delete the thread on your Mac while the same thread stays open on your iPhone (and vice versa). The messages on your Mac are copies so you can delete them if you only need a specific thread on a mobile device. Another cool feature that some don’t know is that if you’re iMessaging someone (meaning you’re both using Apple devices) you can actually share your screen with them from your Mac. While not an everyday feature, it’s still cool to have!
Free (Built in to your devices)
Slack is currently one of our favorite apps. Our team tries to get together once a week, but sometimes it just isn’t possible or realistic to get everyone together when we’re spread out all over metro Atlanta visiting clients through the week. But we still need a quick, reliable, and non-invasive way to communicate with each other. If we’re totally honest, email just doesn’t cut it. Our inboxes are full enough without bombarding each other with internal communications. In comes Slack. It’s a messaging app for teams that keeps everything in one place and makes it all searchable. It’s free for as long as you want for an unlimited number of people. You can easily upload and share files, not to mention it’s emoji-friendly! There are a number of Slack integrations currently available and the list is growing everyday. We use it regularly. Just about the only time I don’t have a notification bubble from Slack is on the weekends. Think of slack as a hybrid between email and a messaging application, but it's simple, easy-to-use, and there are both OS X and iOS versions available.
Free (Upgrade Options Available Based on Business Needs)
A great way to get more info from that white bar always at the top of your screen, iStat Menus allows you to customize the information shown. It can show you upload and download internet speeds, how your CPU is being utilized, calendar updates and more. For those of you looking to further customize your computing experience, this might be right up your alley. Just to be clear, this is one of the nerdier apps we'll recommend.
The name says it all. TextExpander is a Mac typing shortcut app. The program allows you to save time and keystrokes by expanding custom keyboard shortcuts into your frequently used text and more. For example, if you’re prospecting to make sales you could create a TextExpander file where all you do is type in “!PROSPECT” and immediately a pre-formulated email paragraph populates with blanks ready for you to fill in custom info such as names and dates before hitting send. It saves you small amounts of time that compound to save you dozens of hours that can be better spent elsewhere. Really a lifesaver for those sending bulk emails with customization needs!
Droplr is a file-sharing tool for your Mac and social media needs. It allows you to drag & drop a file onto the Droplr icon in your menu bar. From there the file is uploaded to your Droplr account in the cloud and a link is automatically created and copied to your clipboard, you can then paste the link anywhere to share it. 24 hours after being uploaded, the files in your account will self-destruct allowing you to continue using your space without worrying about running over data limits (although there is a pro version that removes those worries).
Soulver is a calculator application that goes above and beyond the native mac app. This particular program allows you to do ‘back-of-the-envelope’ calculations that are more like your typical, everyday problems. You can use words in your calculations, make easy conversions, and do calculations with stocks among a number of other great, easy-to-use features.
Moom is an app that lets you easily move and zoom windows using the mouse or your keyboard. It also allows window ‘snapping’ to enable multi-tasking. You can choose from preset window size and location options or you can use a grid to draw the desired size and location of your window. You can also input keyboard shortcuts to make resizing windows a breeze. *Moom is a fantastic app, but it should be noted that when Apple launches OS X El Capitan in a couple of months one of the big features they are touting is the ability to ‘multi-task’ and customize windows. This will allow you to natively have more control and functionality over the windows you’re using which could make Moom outdated or irrelevant.
CopyClip is a great free app that allows you to improve control over your clipboard. It runs quietly in your menu bar and stores all that you have copied or cut recently allowing you to quickly locate those items and reuse them. I often get upset when I copy something knowing I’ll need it soon, and before long I’ve copied over it with something else without having the chance to paste the first thing somewhere. CopyClip eliminates that issue and allows me to go back to items I’ve copied and for which I still have a need.
BusyCal is a calendar for grown ups. It has some powerful features including a customizable calendar view, an integrated info panel for quickly viewing and editing events, integrated To Dos that display in the calendar and carry-forward until completed, and more. The app includes a menu bar icon for quick access. You can also customize fonts, get a live weather feed and the list goes on and on. BusyCal supports iCloud, Exchange, Google Calendar and more so it should be compatible with what you’re already using and it can sync to your iOS devices. If you’re looking to step up your calendar game or put everything in one place, this might be for you!
BusyContacts is also a grown up version of contacts and (good news) it works with BusyCal! This particular app makes it easy to create and manage your contacts. Having BusyContacts and BusyCal 2 is almost like having a personal CRM solution to better organize your life. This app allows you to customize your views, tag your contacts, integrate with your social networks and apply smart filters when you need them.
Quicksilver is a utility app for OS X that allows you the ability to take care of common tasks quickly and without thought. Quicksilver is an upgraded version of Spotlight on your current Mac. While Spotlight knows how to find things, Quicksilver finds things quicker and then allows you to do something with it. You can just start typing in Quicksilver to get what you want instead of searching and clicking multiple times before getting what you wanted in the first place. Apple has recently touted coming upgrades to Spotlight so we will be interested to see what improvements they make compared to Quicksilver.
If your computer were to crash right now and you had no back up, what crucial data would be lost? How many precious family photos and videos would just be gone? CrashPlan is here to solve that tension. CrashPlan runs in the background of your machine and backs up your data to an offsite cloud server. This way, if anything were to ever happen, you’d be able to revert to your most recent back up and you shouldn’t lose any of that important data. Foojee actually offers CrashPlan as a service and we cannot recommend this particular app highly enough!
If you have any questions about the apps above, just leave us a comment below! We'd love to talk with you!