Want a little more romance in your life? It’s time to fall in love… with making your life more efficient this February.
It’s nearly Valentine’s Day! If you don’t have big plans involving string quartets, chocolates, and candlelit dinners, that’s no reason to take all the romance out of your month. We believe that love can be everywhere this holiday, whether it’s in the eyes of your sweetheart across the table… or the attractive code of a piece of software you’re using to streamline your life. Yes, you read that right — it’s time to fall in love with some new Mac Apps!
We don’t suggest you fall for just any Mac Apps, though. Just because it’s Valentine’s Day, no need to become a floozy about your app choices. We’ve compiled the best Mac Productivity tools which will make your life easier and more efficient. And why limit yourself to only falling in love once? There are so many great tools for simplifying your life, you can fall in love over and over and over again.
What would any list about productivity be without Timing itself? Timing automatically tracks how much time you spend in each app, document and website on your Mac. That way, you know exactly where your time went and which websites sap your productivity. And if you are a freelancer, Timing will even help you bill more hours with less effort! If you don’t already know why you should be tracking your time, then check out some of our articles, or better yet give it a whirl with a free trial.
If you’ve been to the Timing blog before, then you’ll know that we’re big fans of Ulysses. We even have an entire post dedicated to them. If you’re a writer of any sort, then it’s a tool you should be using — simple as that. It’s easy to organize no matter if you’re just using it for notes or if you’re writing an opus the length of Lord of the Rings. It also syncs across all your devices, so you can use it any time, any place. Great for if, like me, you have all your best ideas when you’re out and about and away from your laptop.
If you like how precise Timing lets you be about your time use, then Word Counter is an app you’ll love. It tells you how many words you’ve written that day, broken down for each app. Through using it, you can meet your writing goals while improving your productivity. It’s much harder to make the excuse “I don’t have time” when you’re clocking up 5000 words a day writing social media comments but only 2000 in Ulysses on your book.
There are so many different note taking apps on the market, heck, there are 3 in this list alone! So what makes Agenda different? Well, it’s a note taking app which allows you to organize your notes by date in a project timeline. So you can document what you are doing, but also what you need to do next, and how you reached this stage by exploring the breadcrumbs of past notes. And best of all, it’s free, without time limits, with an optional premium package to unlock additional functionality.
Yoink is the app you didn’t know you needed… until you couldn’t live without it. The app adds a missing functionality to your Mac, namely, the option to interrupt a drag-and-drop operation at any time. When you’re tidying your scattered files, simply drag them onto the Yoink window. Then, when you’ve figured out where to put those files, simply drag them back from Yoink onto their target location. You can move multiple files, images or documents with a simple click. The seconds you’ll save with it will build up over hours, weeks, and years, as well as removing the frustration of having to take extra care when doing drag and drop.
This tool’s another simple one like Yoink — designed to solve a common issue with a simple and easy solution that will save you a huge amount of time and frustration. Moom lets you resize and move windows the way you want — no more manually dragging windows around and hoping for them to keep their size and position. Fed up of moving and zooming windows on your Mac to see what you’re working on? Moom to the rescue!
Hate clutter? Love efficiency? Then you need Bartender. Voted one of the must have apps of 2012 and again in 2017, Bartender has been decluttering our menu bars for many years, and it is now on its third version. The app helps keep your menu bar organized by letting you hide away any menu items until you actually need them. It’s another simple idea, perfectly executed. If you’re thinking of installing some of the apps on this list but don’t want your menu bar to get cluttered with their icons, give Bartender a whirl.
Do you have the same issue as me, when you know you have a file somewhere on your laptop, but you’re not sure where it was saved? If only I had a nickel for every time I stare at my Finder menu and went “where did I put that?”! Hazel, by Noodlesoft, can sort that for you. It works in a similar way as rules in Timing, so you can automate what should be put where. Hazel is like having a maid on your Mac, watching the folders it’s told to (for example, the Downloads folder) and reorganizing the files as requested. No longer will you have unorganized files, but instead you’ll wonder at how much automated organization simplifies your life.
Speaking of maids and Butlers, and now that you have organized files on your Mac, don’t you also need organized files in your emails? Mailbutler combines multiple other tools in one piece of software, like read tracking for emails you send, custom signatures. There are other nifty features, too, like snoozing new emails so they disappear until you’re ready to tackle them. It can even remind you to follow up on emails you are still missing a reply to. If you haven’t already experienced the clarity of mind which comes with a streamlined email inbox, then you need to try Mailbutler to experience it.
Having trouble organizing your thoughts? Often a visual representation can help. MindNode lets you do just that by creating gorgeous mind maps as intuitively as possible. The app comes with many great features to simplify your mind mapping workflow: Not only does Smart Layout take care of organizing your mind map for you, the Quick Entry feature ensures that not even the smalles thoughts get lost. And guess what, the final results look amazing as well, and can be synced and edited across all your devices, from Mac to iPad and iPhone!
Wasn’t life so much easier when there were fewer distractions? Technology is great, but goodness, when there are entire worlds of procrastination just a click away, it sure is hard to stay focused! Focus is a website blocker which allows you to get your flow back. You can also choose specific times to have websites blocked, which is great for getting yourself into a routine. By the way, this goes great with Timing — use Timing to figure out which websites drain your productivity the most, then use Focus to block them!
Even if you’re a remote worker who is time and location independent (in fact, especially if), then you should be working on having a routine to make you calmer and more efficient.
Speaking of routines, are yours in OmniFocus yet? OmniFocus is fantastic for emptying your mind at the end of every day, or emptying it out as thoughts and to-dos pop up. Plus, once you have organized your thoughts with a MindNode mind map, you can convert these into actionable items and manage them with OmniFocus. It also helps keep your personal and work lifes separated, and their iOS version can even remind you of a task once you get close to a specific location.
Having a great memory is, well, great. But knowing when to press delete in your brain is even more important. If you’re looking to really refine your productivity, so that you have more time for what you love, then you need to get good with OmniFocus.
Want it all, and now, for a really good deal? Can’t make decisions but want to try out a few right away? Setapp is the best thing to start with. You can get a lot of these apps — like Ulysses, Bartender, Focus, CleanMyMac, Marked, and even Timing for the bargain price of $9.99 a month. It’s the app of all apps, an app with which to get all other apps… meta, right?
Why limit yourself to only one this Valentine’s? A lot of these tools work well together, as they’re all designed to make your life more efficient. Being more productive can lead to being less stressed, less anxious, and an all round better version of yourself. Meaning it’s not just the apps to fall in love with — but the new version of yourself they enable you to create. And after all, loving anyone else always has to begin with loving yourself, right?
Not sure where to start? Download your free trial of Timing and begin upgrading your life to the next level of efficiency.