I pretty much live on the computer, and I love to find applications that will help me work smarter, write better, get more done in less time, etc. So I thought it was time I did a post about my favorite apps for my laptops/desktops. (I did a post two years ago about iPad apps, in case you’re interested.)
It has been thoroughly established on my blog that I am a total MacHead. In my brainstorming group of ten writers, I was the first to switch to the Mac nearly eight years ago, and this year we only had two people left who are still using a PC. All of the others have switched to the Mac. (My work there is almost done.) Anyway, for this reason, most of these apps are just for the Mac with a couple notable exceptions.
In no particular order and just off the top of my head, here are a few of my favorite apps for my Macs:
- Scrivener for Mac: If you are a writer, this is the software for you. (It comes in a Windows version as well.) I bought Scrivener when it was still very new, but it can do so much that I just couldn’t seem to wrap my head around it. However, I found it marvelous for keeping research notes. No more huge binders and reams of paper. Always available to me. Then I bought Gwen Hernandez’s book, Scrivener for Dummies, and signed up for her on-line course. The lightbulbs came on. Now I do all of my writing in Scrivener. Highly recommended.
- Pages: This is Apple’s word processing program. It is faster and better IMHO than Word, although there are things Word does that Pages doesn’t. However, none of them are something I use so I don’t know what they are or what I’m missing. I still own Word because occasionally I get an edited manuscript from the publisher with special coding in it that is lost when converting to Pages. Otherwise, I open all Word docs with Pages, do what I need, then save as a Word doc to send back to others. Oh, and I much prefer the tracking changes in Pages over Word’s version.
- BusyCal: The Calendar app on the Mac is okay, but it lacks at least one important feature — repeating to do’s. I have to do’s that repeat weekly or monthly or quarterly or annually. I need that feature. The BusyCal app has it and more. I even love that I can put graphics into the calendar (birthday cakes and pets, etc.) I respond to colors and visuals, so I love having something that makes things stand out to me.
- Logos Bible Software: Also available on Windows, Logos is vital to me for both my personal spiritual walk and for my writing.
- CleanMyMac 2: Awesome and affordable way to keep your Mac clean of all leftover junk. I use it once a week, and that usually frees up about a GB of clutter. It also helps remove software more efficiently.
- DayOne: This is an app for journaling or record keeping. It is available for iOS devices as well and they all sync through the cloud so you can enter on your Mac and open on your iPhone.
- DirectMail for Mac: This is my program of choice for mailing my e-newsletters. It uses a double-opt-in sign up method which helps keep you from being flagged as a spammer and the cost is very reasonable per mailing.
- Pixelmator: A $15 answer to PhotoShop in the Mac App store (not to be confused with the iTunes App store for iOS). No, it doesn’t do everything PhotoShop does, but for the price, it is amazing what it does do.
- Skitch: Now owned by Evernote, Skitch lets you add text and arrows, etc., to graphics which is great for use on web sites or when you are sending graphics to friends, attempting to explain something.
Okay, off to work, using a few of my favorite apps.