mac apps

I “went Mac” in November 2009. It took a little while to get used to the simplicity of a Mac – after all, I was used to rebooting, hitting CTRL+ALT+DEL 85 times a day, freezing windows…

After realizing “it just works” and the Mac is much simpler to use, I stopped looking for the complicated solution, and I’ve never regretted leaving Windows behind. I’m coming up on three years on the Mac, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Here’s some (not all) of what I use on the Mac:

Day One – This is the journaling program I use on my iPad – it syncs with my Mac via iCloud.

Dropbox – Another sync service, I use this several different ways. It’s my go-to app for sharing pictures, videos, etc. with others.

Evernote – I don’t use this as much as I used to. For years, I used Evernote as a scanning archive, but I think the database grew too large, and it’s a pain to search it now. I may start actively using it again someday, but for now, they keep adding stuff to it, and making it clunky. The thing that irks me the most is you can’t export out of it easily. If you share something, the other person has to have Evernote also. Boo.

Google Chrome – my preferred browser, although I still use Safari for some things (like opening a second GMail account so I can have two open at once).

Google Drive – This integrates into the Finder, so files I drop to folders in Google Drive sync right out to the web. Quick, easy, painless.

Handbrake – fantastic app for ripping DVDs. I haven’t hit a DVD yet that Handbrake couldn’t crack. Terrific for saving movies for travel, etc.

Hazel – This one is a must. It keeps my whole filing system in order. I have a specific naming convention for my files, and I use Hazel to read the filename and move the file to a specific nested folder. (Example – a copy of a receipt has the word “receipt” in the filename, so Hazel moves it to the “receipts” folder I have set up. The rules can be fairly complex if I want them to be by incorporating Applescript and Automator.

iSkySoft iTube Studio – easily capture video from the web (YouTube, etc.) and save it to your Mac.

Scrivener – I love this app. It makes it so much easier to write things. I can use a file card/storyboard to organize my thoughts and ideas, then write in sections, moving them around, rearranging them without the bothersome cut/paste method in a word processor. I can keep research links/notes/images – everything in the same project file. Super easy.

Skype – I have this and have never used it. No one calls me.

TextExpander 4 – one of the reasons I love the Mac. I have tons of snippets I use and I save keystrokes all over the place with this invaluable app. My snippets also sync with the iPad version, TextExpander Touch.

Tunespan – This app keeps my iTunes music library organized on an external drive. One thing I learned after going Mac – for photos, videos, and music – there are “libraries” of data. Just because you scrap a video clip in iMovie, it doesn’t mean it’s deleted. It’s still in the master database (library). Some of these libraries, especially for pictures, can balloon to outrageous sizes. For music, Tunespan helps keep it under control.

Wiretap Studio – I use this app to record music and audio to edit later.

Wondershare Converter Pro – this app converts video from one format to another (Flash to MP4, etc.) Very handy.