I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorite Mac applications. I broke down my list into the apps I would install on day one verses the apps I would install within the first week or two of using a new Mac.

Day One Apps

  1. Chrome and Firefox. I use all three browsers, including Apple’s Safari.
  2. Alfred as my program luncher. I use it to quickly locate and open files, perform simple calculations and quickly lock my Mac when I get up from my desk.
  3. Thunderbird for my email client. I used Thunderbird for many years on Windows, so using it on the Mac made the transition to from Windows to Mac easier on me. Like most email clients, Thunderbird support multiple email accounts using IMAP.
  4. Xcode. Tools for writing and compiling software.
  5. Homebrew is a command line tool that allows you to fetch, compile and install open source software on your Mac. Great tool to get software installed on your Mac with the least amount of friction. i.e. brew update; brew install rename
  6. TextExpander for saving key strokes.
  7. Rbenv for managing multiple Ruby versions on a single machine.
  8. ITerm2 as an alternate to the Terminal.app under the Utilities folder.
  9. Omnifocus as my to-do list manager. I use the iPhone app as well.
  10. Evernote for storing stuff, like receipts, to the cloud.
  11. PDF Pen Pro for managing PDFs. This app provides OCR and allows you to build table of contents for your documents. If your are trying to go paperless, this is a great tool for managing your PDFs. David and Katie show off great PDF tips in episode 230 of Mac Power Users.
  12. 1Password for managing all of your passwords. I also use the iPhone companion app.
  13. Moom for one click window placement.
  14. Skitch for screen shots, along with Apple’s keyboard shortcuts. Command-Control-Shift-4
  15. DropBox for file syncing files across different Macs, your iPhone and iPad.
  16. Macvim, TextWrangler, and TextMate as my goto text editors.

Applications that would probably get installed within the two weeks.

  1. Transmit for a GUI FTP client.
  2. Xee for quickly browsing a directory full of images.
  3. Pixelmator for image editing.
  4. Open Office for opening the Word or Excel files.
  5. Video Lan Client for playing videos or audio files.
  6. iBank for managing personal bank accounts.
  7. Audacity for editing and cleaning up audio recordings.
  8. Hazel for Mac automation. For example, I can tell it to clean any files on my Desktop that are older than three days. Or move any file with “RECEIPT” in the filename from my “In Box” folder to my reference folder. You get the idea.
  9. Scrivener for handling writing projects and cooking ideas.

–Chris