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What must-have software for a new mac owner can you recommend?

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Posted by Franz Grieser
Apr 12, 2012 at 08:09 PM



What I recommend in addition to the apps/tools mentioned:

* Curio - there is a great review/how-to by Steve on http://mac.appstorm.net/reviews/office-review/curio-a-workshop-for-your-creative-projects/
* NeO - an alternative to OmniOutliner (http://d-lit.com/macosx/neo_outliner/)
* the freeware tools XMenu and Wordservice (and off course Devonthing) by Devon Technologies (http://www.devontechnologies.com/download/products.html)

Have fun, Franz


Posted by Joshua Cearley
Jun 9, 2012 at 12:52 PM


CircusPonies’ Notebook is a very nice program; I haven’t seen many outlining tools that have a personality like it does, even if it doesn’t really support the “big” features from some tools like cloning.
Scrivener is nice for writing.
Vitamin-R is nice for tracking things you’re doing /right now/.
Mellel is pleasant to use, but you can do the same things in OpenOffice for cheaper (I sort of picked it up on a sale shortly before my mac died, and never could find a use for it. I’ve been told Mellel is very stable for curating several hundred page documents in.)
1Password is useful to keep around since the open-source KeePass does not work very well on the mac.


Posted by Dr Andus
Jul 4, 2014 at 05:17 PM


Academic Mac users might find this interesting:

“What software do I really need for academic work on Mac?”



Posted by rogbar
Jul 6, 2014 at 11:18 PM


For the basics (eMail, calendar, simple notes, etc.) I stay inside the OS X ecosystem: Mail, iCal, Notes, TextEdit, Reminders, etc. I’m not constrained by whatever limitations they have, and like how easily they work with each other and sync through iCloud. I have tried many alternatives, but find I’m happy keeping it simple.

As for larger tasks, I start pretty much everything in OmniOutliner, and keep track of tasks with OmniFocus. They’re seriously well-made apps. And after years of DevonThink, I now use Evernote for logs, journals, collections, notes, etc. I liked DT’s complexity and features, but Evernote is almost as fully-featured, and it’s sync-capabilities to all my devices makes it far more useful for me.

I have tried several times to use Scrivener for starting and larger projects, but keep going back to OmniOutliner. YMMV.


Posted by MadaboutDana
Jul 9, 2014 at 11:13 AM


Hm - I’m quite happy with KeePass on the Mac, but then I don’t use it to do sophisticated things like paste passwords into web pages (I use Apple’s own KeyChain for that). It’s excellent for maintaining multiple copies of valuable encrypted data across multiple repositories (e.g. Dropbox, OneDrive etc.).

Thanks for the tip about NEO – looks pretty cool!

I also use a couple of other goodies:
- OmniFocus 2 (vastly superior to their first effort; also iPhone, still awaiting iPad version)
- Airmail (nice, reliable e-mail client)
- LibreOffice (instead of tentacular Microsoft Office, which is just as irritatingly intrusive on the Mac as its Windows cousin; LibreOffice is impressively compatible)
- Remind Me Later… (freebie that sits on menu bar and allows you to enter events directly into Calendar using ‘natural language’)
- Remind Me (ditto for creating instant reminders, although I no longer use it now that I’ve opted for OmniFocus)
- DayOne (for journalling more or less everything; also iOS)
- StampNote (for taking fast notes of timings; also exists as an iOS app)
- ForkLift (fantastic file manager with dual panes AND tabs, also sync, (S)FTP and FXP support: expensive, but ‘you’re worth it’)
- Opera (to my surprise, probably the best browser I’ve used on the Mac, although it’s a bit energy-intensive)
- MetaNota Pro (for elegant Markdown notetaking)
- Trash Me! (for nuking apps when you decide you’ve indulged in excessive CRIMPing)
- Collective (very nice clipboard-collecting utility)
- DisplayPad (for turning my iPad into a second screen for my MacBook – not as good as the alas discontinued DisplayLink used to be, but acceptable)



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