Here is the list of tools I’m currently using for productivity on my MacBook Pro 15” (OS X 10.10.4 (14E46))


Software

Email

  • PostBox for Email. This is the best email client for the price. You can manage multiple accounts easily and the client feels lightweight.
  • MS Outlook for email. If you already have MS Office, Outlook isn’t a bad idea either. In the past Outlook would crash on me almost daily and the application feels clunky to work in on the mac. Recently it has gotten alot better and if you’re on Exchange it works seemelessly.
  • Sparrow and GMail - If you only do light email, Sparrow would have been for you. Google recently pulled it (Feb). The better alternative is just to stick with Google’s Inbox. Honestly, you can’t beat the Inbox web app

Tools

  • QuickBooks for accounting
  • Chrome for web browsing
  • FireFox for web browsing
  • Synergy for sharing the mouse and keyboard between multiple machines. This works great when you have several computers sitting next to each other and only want to use one keyboard and mouse. It supports Linux, Windows and OS X simultaneously, so you can drag your mouse from OS X to Windows seemlessly.
  • VMWare Fusion for virtual machines. This app comes with a pricetag, but when you have to run some apps that will ONLY work on windows it is an awesome tool. You can use the guest (virtual machine) in a fullscreen mode where it feels like you’re working directly on the box, or in just the app where it feels like you’re working in the app on OS X.
  • Virtual Box for virtual machines
  • Alfred for productivity in OS X
  • Screenflow for recording and screencasting (Paid Application)
  • Spectacles for managing windows easily in OS X
  • 1PASSWORD for password management. Cross-platform app works great on OS X, Windows, iOS and Android
  • Chrome Remote Desktop for Remoting into other systems
  • Remote Desktop - Them MS Remote Desktop
  • Caffiene for deplaying the screensaver
  • Handbrake for ripping media
  • Omnigraffle for drawing diagrams
  • MS Office for Mac - I know, I know. I was running with Google Docs for so long although I had to break down and start using MS Office when recieving so many Word Documents
  • TimeMachine for backups. Keep it Simple Stupid.
  • Creative Cloud for editing Photos, Videos, Sound and more. It is almost a MUST have tool at this point. Sure, you can use iMovie and GIMP, but you’re gonna be limited in features in iMovie and going to have to overcome a steep learning to get the most out of GIMP. It depends on your usages of them. I user them heavily, so if you only need them once and a while, you can get a way with the free versions. An alternative like Pixelmator may be good depending on your usage.
  • iTerm2 for a better terminal. If you work in the terminal at all, this is the tool to have.
  • Tunnelblick for VPN connections. OS X does have a built in VPN functionality. I prefer Tunnelblick so I can route the traffic manually.
  • Little Snitch for managing your firewall. This is best interface for managing your systems firewall. Firewall rules are easy to setup and maintain. (You would be surprised just how much information applications are trying to send back to the servers).
  • Adium for chat and collaboration. I like adium as it a great tool for unifying many chat services into one application. It also supports encrypted chat.
  • Skitch for screencapture. I don’t use this any more since I find OS X’s built in screen capture tools to be sufficient.
  • Growl is/was the best for notification before we got the built in OS X message center. It is up to you if you need it. I find it really nice because you can customized your notifications.
  • uTorrent - Simply for downloading torrents.

Entertainment

  • Spotify for music. I’m done managing MP3s.
  • VLC for watching videos

Development

  • HomeBrew for OS X package Management
  • Git - Best if installed with homebrew
  • RubyMine for Rails development
  • Tower for Git GUI interface
  • Sublime for text editing
  • Android Studio for Android applications
  • XCode for OS X and iOS applications
  • Don’t forget the XCode Command Line Tools
  • Vagrant for managing virtual machines via VirtualBox (VMWare Fusion requires an additional software license to work with Vagrant on top of the software license for VMWare Fusion)
  • PaintCode for creating great iOS custom views
  • rbenv for managing Ruby environments
  • CocoaPods for managing iOS libraries
  • Jenkins CI for Continious Integration (requires a separate guest)

Honorable Mentions

  • Things for task management. I tried this app but never stuck with it. There are a ton of note and task managers out there. I would suggest trying a few and seeing what works best for you. Here is a list of more popular ones.

Services

Collaboration