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16 Mac Apps That I Can’t Live Without

The other day I bit the bullet and erased my iMac. I wanted to combine my partitioned drive into one and I wanted to clean out the crud.

Now my iMac is neat and clean again. I’m being very cautious of what apps I put back on as I don’t want to add a bunch of stuff that just ends up slowing down my machine again.

So far, here are the 16 Mac apps that I realized I can’t live without.


1Password – Most of my passwords and serial numbers are organized in 1Password. Without it, I’d be lost. I’ve tried LastPass but found 1Password much nicer on the Mac.


BusyCal – iCal is great, but BusyCal is better. Its integration with Google Calendar is fantastic and the event reminder window is smarter.


ClipMenu – I can’t live with just one clipboard. I need a running history and ClipMenu keeps that history at my finger tips along with text transformations and snippets. My review.


Coda / Espresso – I haven’t decided which app I like better so I have them both installed. Some day, I’ll pick one HTML editor to rule them all. Or maybe not.


CSSEdit – If you work with CSS, you need CSSEdit. It’s a match made in heaven.

Default Folder X

Default Folder X – The finder needs a few super powers and Default Folder X provides them. From recent folders to currently open windows, it’s one app that Apple should buy and integrate into the OS.


Echofon – Right now, Echofon is my Twitter application of choice. Mainly for the list support, but the keyword tweet highlighting is very nice as well. My review. I’m still eagerly awaiting Twitter for Mac though.


Facebook Notifications – I’ve got to have my Facebook fix and desktop notifications are a must have as well.

Google ChromeSafari

Google Chrome / Safari – I love Safari, but it’s not perfect. I like Chrome a lot, but it still seems young and rough around the edges. I’m torn between the two, so I have both.


iPhoto – I’ve got thousands of baby photos that need to be organized and iPhoto is a great way to do that. Case closed.


JustNotes / MacJournal – When writing blog posts, I like to have a simple, distraction free environment. JustNotes is quick and conveniently placed in the menubar, where as MacJournal has nice full screen option & organizational features. Both work very well.


MailPlane – I’m all about the Gmail and what better way to integrate Gmail onto the Mac than with MailPlane. The way it supports multiple accounts makes it a must have for me.


Pixelmator – Quick and simple imaging editing at its best. I’m trying to transition over to it full-time, but that’s not going as well as hoped. Still it’s a great application.


Skitch – Skitch is great for taking screenshots, mocking things up and just making pretty arrows and text.


Transmit – I’ve tried many FTP apps and been pretty happy, but Transmit is the best I’ve found on the Mac. From design to usability, Transmit rocks.


One that didn’t make the list is Fireworks. I want to upgrade to Fireworks CS5 (I have CS3) but I haven’t done it yet. I don’t want to install CS3 because I don’t want to add all the files if I won’t need them in a few weeks. I’m trying to survive without Fireworks, but it’s hard. I think I need to just break down and get the latest version.

There are so many Mac applications that it’s hard to know what your top apps are until you start with a clean computer. Then you’ll soon find out what you can and can’t live without.

What am I missing? What do you think is a must have Mac app?

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