Friday, 20 February 2015

Favourite apps (for Mac)

As you might have expected, I spend a a fair amount of time on my computer. Seeing as I probably spend more time looking at the screen than other people (I live alone! don't judge!), I also am always on the lookout for useful apps to optimise my Mac. These might not be the most exciting choices, but I think good functionality is exciting, darn it! (As an aside, can you believe I had to order an external disc drive yesterday!? I haven't used a disc for anything in years, and had all but forgotten that MacBook Airs don't come with one!)
  • Caffeine is a teeny-tiny app that prevents your computer from going to sleep when it's activated, and the little icon in the menu bar is a coffee cup! When the cup is full, the computer won't go to sleep. So useful for when you're looking at a recipe while cooking and don't want to get your floury hands all over the computer.
  • Cinch. I LOVE Cinch. It replicates a process that is one of the only things I miss about Windows -- when you drag a window to a 'hot zone' of the screen, it resizes it to fit. It means I can easily split the screen between two windows just by dragging one to the left and one to the right, which is incredibly helpful when I'm doing manuscript transcriptions...or playing a flash game while watching a TV show. 
  • MailTab for Gmail. An envelope icon in your task bar that goes red and alerts you when you get an email. So simple, so useful. 
  • Doomi. Another little app (I seem to have a type), Doomi is a small, simple to-do list. It's absolutely tiny, so easy to use, and doesn't require you to sign into anything. You just type your to-do and press enter.
  • Calibre is a godsend when it comes to managing my ebooks. I'm a big fan of reading, and an even bigger fan of cheaper books and easier transportation. Calibre is a free app that can convert pretty much any ebook format into any other format, which means no matter what device you have it can output files that you can load onto it. I use this pretty frequently to turn PDFs into MOBIs that I can put on my Kindle. Love it. And on that note...
  • Kindle. I do have a Kindle, but I like the ability to read on my computer, too, and being able to switch back and forth between my Kindle and the app (and having it know where I am in the book!) is super useful.
  • Flux. An app that changes the colours on your computer screen based on the time of day it is - in the day, the colours are unaffected, but at night they're dimmed and made warmer, which apparently can help fight sleep problems caused by late-night screen exposure. Not the best for graphic design, but it can easily be disabled!
  • Memory Clean is a small tool that does what it says on the tin, really. With one click of a button it cleans up any excessive memory use, the file cache, temporary files, app memory requirements, etc. I found it made a big difference in speed on my own computer, but now that I'm using a laptop with a SSD it's less of a dramatic effect. Still, always good to have as clean of a computer as possible!
What are your favourite apps? Ps, my awesome avocado desktop is from Designlovefest.

1 comment:

  1. I love flux! I think it's supposed to help with eyestrain as well :) it's super useful in the PNW where it gets dark so early.