Mac OSX Utilities

These are software utilities I rely on every single day to save me time with shortcuts and enhanced search.

PRO TIP: many software companies offer educational discount pricing and often all it takes to qualify is a .edu email address, so be sure to check your options when making a purchase

LaunchBar (free or paid versions)
 – like a more powerful Spotlight, this utility allows you to quickly find, open, and use just about anything on your computer with just a few keystrokes.

TextExpander (30-day free trial)
 – an amazing time saver that allows you to turn any amount of text you use all the tim into a customized shortcut. Type your email address anywhere with a few keystrokes, add and launch scripts, or generate entire form letters.

Hazel (14-day free trial)
 – using simple rules, this powerful utility keeps your files and directories organized automatically, runs backup operations, and even empties your trash for you.

CheatSheet (free)
 – displays a pop-up overlay of every keyboard shortcut available to you in whatever application you’re using just by holding down the Command key.

Jumpcut (free)
 – provides “clipboard buffering” — that is, access to text that you’ve cut or copied, even if you’ve subsequently cut or copied something else.

Bartender (free trial)
 – got a lot of little tools in your Mac utility bar? This tool gives you a submenu to keep them all organized and out of sight until you need them.

Caffeine (free)
 – a simple utility that prevents your computer from going to sleep.

Simplenote and nvALT
– individually, either of these is a powerful markup-friendly notebook and text editor. I use nvALT (a version of the Notational Velocity editor) to store and quickly access a ton of text files, and sync it with SimpleNote to access or edit that same information from my iPhone

Dropbox – it just works.

– my favorite go-to editor for writing. I write almost everything longer than a paragraph in this plain text writing tool, and then paste it where I need it.

– for longer periods of focused writing, I often prefer the zen atmosphere of this full-screen editor. Bonus meditative soundtrack included!

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