Top 5 Mac Apps: Productivity

Technology is literally moving at the speed of light and to keep up, we are always in need of becoming more productive. Well, in this era of smart phones, 3D TV’s, and time-wasting apps like Angry Birds, there are a plethora of applications that help increase productivity. We’ve compiled our top 5 favorite apps within a certain category and decided we’d let you in on some of our secrets to efficient productivity.  We’ve featured one every day on our Facebook page and this is a more in depth recap of the week. If you haven’t been following already, our first top 5 Mac Apps list is centered on Productivity.

1. Alfred
Alfred is an application launcher designed and developed from the ground up specifically for the Mac OS X User Interface. Plainly put, Alfred is your computers best and most productive friend. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Alfred is the quick key to everything on your Mac. And I mean everything. It learns which apps you use or search for most often and automatically prioritizes them so you can find them easier and access them quicker. It can launch apps with shortcuts so less mouse time. Plus you can browse music from iTunes without actually going into iTunes. Bruce Wayne has an Alfred. Glad he’s part of our computers now too.

2. 1Password
How many websites ask you to create a profile? How many usernames and passwords have you lost or forgotten? I have forgotten my fair share but now you don’t have to worry about that. 1Password will create strong, unique password for you, remember them, and restore them. This app will securely store your information and allow you to login into websites with just a click. The Go & Fill feature takes you to a site, fills in your information and logs you in. It’s all safe and secure. Plus, once you’ve created your identities, you can quickly fill out a contact form to online shopping even quicker and easier. Not to mention you can sync with your iPhone or iPad and your information can be with you on-the-go and be secure. If you lose your iPhone, don’t worry. You are prompted to create a unique 4-digit unlock code at the beginning to all the other secure information.  Bada-bing, bada-boom. Done.

3. TextExpander
Sometimes it feels like I write the same phrases over and over again. Especially when following up on billing or accounting questions. Instead of having a default template, try using TextExpander. This simple easy to use shortcut is a powerful utility that makes inputting commonly used text a breeze. You can quickly add a formatted email signature, pictures, common phrases, time and date, even emoticons. Plus it can be used in any application including email. It gives you the ability to type special characters without loading the character palette. And for programmers and developers, you can make editor-independent code templates, invoke AppleScripts and shell scripts. Plus it is available in multiple languages including English, German, French, Japanese and Italian. Molto bene.

4. OmniFocus
Always losing your mental notes? (I know my sanity is around here somewhere…) OmniFocus allows you to quickly capture your thoughts, store, manage and then when you’re ready, process them from your inbox into action items. This follows very closely to the widely known Getting Things Done by David Allen. OmniFocus is accessible from any application with a keyboard shortcut so you don’t have to take away extra time and focus away from what you are already doing. It also allows you to organize your action items into categories. So let’s say you have a list of phone calls to make. Just click on the phone context in Omnifocus and it will show you all phone related items. Ta-Da! Plus you can sync your tasks with your iPhone so you have them with you on the go.  Need to accomplish something next week? Assign your tasks due dates, specific times and repeat intervals to create reminders if needed. You can also customize how you view your organized chaos so that it makes sense to you.

5. Terminal

Terminal is OS X’s built in shell program. This already comes equipped in most Mac’s. You’ll never know how inefficient using your mouse and visual apps are until you know how to use your system’s shell. Even though accessing a text-only command-line window may seem a little backwards, there are plenty of reasons for using Terminal besides nostalgia. You can customize secret system preferences, mysteriously manipulate text files, and remotely control another Mac. This link gives 25 tips every Mac user should know and try with Terminal. 25 Tips for using Terminal