Mac OS X Productivity Apps: 10 Tools to Help You Work Smarter

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-04-13
 
 
 

Evernote

Evernote is one of the most popular productivity apps available to Mac OS X users-for good reason. The program lets users save images, record audio, take notes and perform a host of other tasks for use later on. The notes can also be synced across multiple devices. Best of all, the app is available free.

Evernote

1Password

Trying to remember all your stored passwords takes time out of your day and, in some cases, can put services at risk when you use the same key for every site. In an attempt to address that, 1Password creates a single sign-on for users and then creates strong passwords for each site. But it will cost you $49.99 to get that level of protection.

1Password

Growl

For those who are busy and keep several windows open, downloading the $1.99 Growl is a great idea. The application is a powerful notification system that tells you what's happening on Mac OS X, including alerting you to an important email when you're working on something else. The application will even work on the iPhone and iPad.

Growl

Sparrow

One of the biggest issues with email programs from a productivity perspective is their complexity. It's simply too difficult to find certain features, enhance others and get the program working in a way you desire. The Sparrow email client takes care of that by stripping all the extra features away and giving users email functionality without all the gimmicks. It's no Outlook replacement, but is that necessarily a bad thing? Sparrow retails for $9.99.

Sparrow

Time Sink

To increase productivity, you first need to see what you do with your time. That's where the $4.99 Time Sink comes in. The application tracks how long you've been engaging in certain activities on your Mac, and gives you graphs and other readouts to provide all the information you need. Time Sink won't quickly make you more productive, but it'll help you see where you're wasting your time.

Time Sink

Pomodoro

Pomodoro follows down the same path as Time Sink, but is designed to give you some basic timing to see how long certain tasks take. Even better, the application can be integrated into Calendar and the aforementioned Growl, and includes support for Applescripts so you can integrate it into other applications. Think of Pomodoro as a great reminder to help you stay on track. Not bad for $4.99.

Pomodoro

Skitch

Skitch, which is available for free in Apple's Mac App Store, is arguably one of the best basic photo tools available on Mac OS X. The application lets users take crosshair snapshots, full-screen captures and more. They can resize the image, simply by dragging the box borders to any dimension. I use Skitch all the time and love it. The app takes a lot of time out of usually mundane and time-hogging tasks.

Skitch

Wunderlist

Looking for another free app that improves overall productivity? Look no further than Wunderlist. The application is basically a high-powered to-do application that lets users take notes, set up due dates on projects and synchronize the details across other platforms, including iOS, Windows and Linux. Wunderlist is easily one of the most useful free apps in the Mac App Store.

Wunderlist

Fantastical

If Apple's built-in calendar application, iCal, doesn't do the trick for you, downloading the $19.99 Fantastical might be a better option. It's relatively expensive, for sure, but it provides all kinds of customizations you won't find in another calendaring application. What's more, it works with iCal, Entourage and even Outlook. Keep Fantastical in mind when searching for a new calendaring application.

Fantastical

Producteev

Aside from the fact that it's free, Producteev's nicest feature is that it provides team-based task management. So, if you're part of a team or managing a team, Producteev might just be the right choice for you. You can set up to-do lists, chat with other members of your email group and integrate email. It also includes a file-preview feature.

Producteev

Rocket Fuel