Hey friends, Andrew here – hope you’re well.
There are literally thousands upon thousands of Mac apps to choose from, which can be quite overwhelming.
So here are 14 different apps that I’ve been using and recently installed on my new Macbook.
They’ve assisted me in customizing my Mac experience, being more productive, and making the most of these expensive toys, and I’d like to share them with you. The majority of the apps in this video are free, and some are paid, but they are all worthwhile in my opinion.
So let’s dive right into the first app!
I use Zappy to capture screen recordings and even GIFs quickly.
This completely free app expands on the standard Mac ‘command + shift + 4’ screenshot or Quicktime screen recording by providing me with a plethora of additional features and sharing capabilities, saving me a significant amount of time.
For example, if I’m reading an article and want to share it with a friend or my team, I’ll open Zappy or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 1, and then I can record a section of the article and annotate it live while recording the screen and my voice.
Then all of my recordings are saved to the shortcut up here, where I can quickly send them or convert them to GIF files.
Zappy is owned by Zapier, a popular app you may be familiar with, so you’ll need a free Zapier account to log in.
So Zappy is what I use for quick screen recordings and GIFs, but I do take screenshots with a different app, Xnip.
This app is still the best I’ve found for screenshots; I’ve tried a lot.
Xnip is the fastest screenshot app I’ve used, and it includes a slew of extras like ratio lock-ins, auto window snapping, and the ability to capture multiple screenshots at once by holding shift.
It’s an app that adds functionality while appearing to be a natural Mac integration – it works just as well as the native screenshot function.
Plus, it’s also free, so what’s not to love?
SigmaOS is a new but revolutionary app.
As the name suggests, it is a browser, not an operating system. It helps me transition from switching between various apps and tabs to using a single browser for all my work.
Most people work with multiple browser tabs open, but SigmaOS converts those tabs into tasks and the entire browser into a to-do list.
On the left-hand side here, I have different workspaces for different tasks – like reading and different projects – and it’s designed to encourage me to stay focused on a single workspace and then tab around the entire place.
For the more technical readers, SigmaOS is built on Apple’s Webkit framework rather than Google’s Chromium, making it less RAM-intensive.
It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
So I used to use Apple Notes to jot down quick notes, but I recently discovered an app called SideNotes that has completely changed the game.
It’s an app that (unsurprisingly) lives on the side of the screen, which I access by simply moving my cursor to the side of the screen. It’s essentially a supercharged version of Apple Notes.
As you can see, the interface is as clean as the native Notes app, but it is far more accessible and useful.
I’ve color coded my notes, organized them by theme, and can even sync them to iCloud and mark them down to format text or export the notes as images if I need to send them.
There are also dark and light modes to match your operating system, but I prefer dark mode.
I use it for quick scribbles when I have an idea or need to gather information when researching products and such. Best of all, it’s hidden from view but also there when you need it – there’s currently no app like it in terms of usability and design.
Sharing a 20% off link so you can try and check this app.
5. CleanMyMac X
Next, CleanMyMac X is always the first app I download, and it’s an app I’ve been recommending and using for a long time. It is even notarized by Apple and is one of the longest-running apps.
When it comes to maintaining my Mac, it’s a one-stop shop.
With a single click on this button, the app scans for unnecessary junk and liberates our Macs, giving us back gigabytes of space and immediately freeing up RAM space.
On the left side, under Applications and Files, you can find an uninstaller tool to help you correctly delete apps, an updater to keep every Mac app up to date automatically, and extensions to keep track of and clean up extensions you may not need.
These tools, found under Files, assist in visualizing the largest space wasters, locating your largest and oldest files most likely to be deleted, and the shredder tool, which securely deletes specific files or documents completely.
The user interface is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in any Mac app, and it has won design awards. There is currently no other app like it, and there is a lot to love about it.
You can try it out with this link if you want to get the free 7-day trial.
6. Gemini 2
Gemini 2 is another quick and simple app that I use once a week. It assists me in detecting and deleting duplicate files on my Mac.
So if I click on this button here, it scans the entire system and, with the help of an algorithm, finds all the duplicates that are safe to remove right away with the Smart Cleanup button here.
For all the other duplicates that may be important or have an impact on the system, I can quickly decide whether to delete or keep them in the overview.
As you can see, it scrapes not only files but also photo and music libraries.
Another cool feature of this app is live monitoring, which means I don’t need to run a scan but instead get a pop-up notification when it detects new copies.
It’s a straightforward but effective app for conserving disk space.
7. Spaces for Mac
So, productivity fans will adore the next one-of-a-kind app: Spaces for Mac.
I use this app to clean up my cluttered desktop and Mac before starting a new task that requires a completely different set of apps and websites.
I accomplish this by creating “Spaces” right here and customizing set layouts that will launch automatically if I select them.
So say I’m about to do some video editing, then I’ll close all my windows to clear up RAM space and then click here for my video editing “space”.
Then all of my required windows will appear in the locations where I want them to be ready to go.
In the mornings, I’ll want to check in with my team, so I’ll set up my inbox, Slack, and Spotify to play music while I run team check-ins.
It’s a simple but effective app that saves me probably minutes of time every day by rearranging my windows and keeps me focused. This app is also fantastic.
8. Daily Time Tracking
Speaking of time savings, the Daily Time Tracking app allows me to keep track of how long I spend on tasks so that I can see trends in my workflow and optimize it, or reign in my time if I’m procrastinating too much!
There are numerous time-tracking apps available; this one is clean, simple, and functional.
When I start a new task, I make a habit of going to the task bar and starting the timer.
By the end of the day or even the week, I’ll have a complete breakdown of how much time I spent on each task.
This could be a valuable free app for agency owners and freelancers alike.
While working, I may come across a great post or article while researching or browsing links.
It can be difficult to resist the temptation to get distracted and read the article right away, but that’s where Pocket comes in.
I bookmark interesting articles for later reading by using the browser extension and clicking the save button.
If I have time, I can tag them, highlight passages, and read them in different font styles and sizes in the app.
The companion iOS apps allow me to read the articles at a later time, no matter where I am.
It is a free app, but it is ad-supported, with a small fee to remove the ads. Overall, a fantastic app.
Following that is Encrypto, an app that allows me to securely store and send files.
It takes any file or folder and encrypts it with AES-256 so that only the intended person can access it for the most part.
When I store sensitive information on a drive or send confidential documents, I use Encrypto to secure them by dragging and dropping the files into the app and entering a password.
To decrypt it, simply enter the password and you’ll be able to access your files.
I like how simple and unobtrusive this app is, and I don’t use it very often. But when I do use it, it works flawlessly.
11. Battery Health
If you want to monitor your battery health, which is especially important if you plan to sell your Mac in the future, the Battery Health app is a must-have.
It keeps track of things like the maximum milliamp charge, battery temperature, and the overall health of your Mac’s battery.
Also, if you just got a brand new Mac, it’s worth downloading this app right away to ensure you didn’t receive a Mac with a faulty or subpar battery.
You can see the new battery’s manufacturer date, age, and charge cycle count. I’ve heard of new Macs being delivered with only a few charging cycles completed.
Magnet is the next one-of-a-kind app you should look into.
If, like me, you dock your laptop onto a larger screen, this is a no-brainer.
It’s similar to the Spaces by Mac app, but I use both of them together to maximize screen space.
The app snaps and aligns multiple windows automatically for seamless multitasking and eliminates app switching, which is especially useful on larger monitors.
The app automatically snaps and aligns multiple windows for seamless multitasking and eliminates app switching, which is especially useful on larger monitors.
Shortcuts, such as Control + Option left and right, snap the windows into the positions I want them in, and return to maximize the window.
If I use this on my smaller 13″ MacBook Air, my mileage will vary because there is less screen estate, but for 15″ MacBooks and above, or external monitors, this is a must-have in organizing your workspace.
Grammarly is another must-have app if you type on a regular basis.
Grammarly is a writing assistant that checks my spelling, grammar, and punctuation on the fly, regardless of the app I’m using.
It’s surprisingly accurate, outperforming any standard word processor grammar check I’ve tried.
It’s so good at making suggestions that I’ve learned more than a few things about grammar, and it encourages me to spice up the words I use and the sentence structures I use.
It also allows me to focus on what I’m writing rather than being distracted by simple errors that disrupt my flow. The Grammarly interface can be annoying at times, especially when it appears in inconvenient places.
Then there’s Figma, which is traditionally known as a design app, but I believe a lot more people can benefit from Figma’s free plan.
It’s a powerful app that I use for web design, mobile design, presentations, and other fundamental graphic design tasks.
Figma is likely to be useful if you need a blueprint for your plans. I’ve even used it to casually plan and visualize my new office studio setup by making this board and incorporating all of my plans and moodboards.
FigJam is also one of the best brainstorming and charting tools I’ve come across, and it’s built into Figma.
So, overall, I see it as a fantastic thinking and communication app with numerous applications.
So these are the apps I’ve been loving and hope you end up loving them too. I also shared a list of the best budget tech and desk accessories that you can check out and add to complement your Mac and desk setup.