We talked about how to get the most out of your Mac without using any third-party apps and we managed to go over quite a few features to help get things done. Today, we will talk about getting even more out of your Mac OS X with the power of third-party apps. We have already discussed how you can use Slate to rearrange windows, GeekTools for tricking out the desktop, MagicPrefs to bring more power to the Magic Mouse (and trackpad), Supertab to bring more power to ⌘ + Tab. Now, we will go over other apps to increase productivity. For the purposes of this guide, we will be covering apps that enable your Mac to go beyond out-of-the-box specifications, hence we will avoid apps that can replicate an already easy to access Mac OS X function.
The solutions listed below are mostly free to use or are packaged as lite versions (with sufficient access), because productivity shouldn’t cost premiums.
Powerful System Maintenance through Magician
We have discussed clutter reducing techniques in the past, however they tend to only delete temporary files and trash, which is indeed a big help, but there is more to it than that. Magician is an app that, on-top of everything other apps can do, can locate and delete unused, duplicate and/or junk files, scan for Anti-trojans, optimize apps, and fully delete apps without residual files. It also launches a floating widget that gives you realtime feedback on CPU and GPU temperature. After using this, you have to wonder why you’d need any other maintenance app at all.
Multiple items on clipboard using Jumpcut
One would think that something as basic and simple as Copying and Pasting could use a little optimization, but Jumpcut provides a solution to a problem that we didn’t know we had; you can stock pile copied content to clipboard. Simply launch the app and assign a shortcut (or use the default) and you can copy multiple items and they will all be listed on the app for recollection. This is one of those features that makes you wonder why it’s not more common.
Avoiding Distractions with Self Control
One of the biggest distractions plaguing us today is the inability to concentrate. That is not to say people are inherently incapable of focus, but there is just so much to do online that it seems wasteful not to frequent them. However, if work is so important that you simply can’t afford distractions but can’t control the urge/reflex to visit your favourite sites, then Self Control app does it for you. Just put in the sites that you want to block (in blacklist) and assign a timer for how long you want to stay away from those sites. Once you start, a countdown timer counts off in the Dock and those sites will simply not open, no matter what you try. Keep in mind, this only works for websites, not for restricting apps.
Name Changer for batch file renaming
A feature very common in Microsoft Windows and seemingly absent in Mac OS X is the ability to change filenames in batch. In Windows, it’s simply a matter of selecting all the files and pressing F2, though your options are limited in that regard. On a Mac, you’ll need a tool like Name Changer, that will let you rename files in bulk. It is not just a matter of renaming files outright, you can actually keep and change specific elements if you want. If you take a screenshot and want to change the word “screenshot” but keep the rest, you can do so here. It is quite an essential productivity tool if you handle a lot of files from various sources.
Mind Mapping with Mindnode
Mindnode is a mind mapping tool. Mind mapping is the act of jotting your ideas down in the form of a tree, arranging thoughts in such a way that you can trace the entire history of the idea in a visual space. Mindnode offers a lite (free) version and a paid version. There are regional limitations on the lite version, but if it is available in your region, you should make this a staple of your productivity session as there is no better way to explore ideas than to see them branch out.
Task Assignment Through Producteev
We have gone an entire article without writing about an actual productivity app, this is because apps that are designed specifically for productivity are usually premium apps, too complicated to use and too single-minded. Producteev is none of those. It is a collaborative productivity app that, instead of complicated charts, allows you to tag and time tasks, as simple as entering a value and playing with it. You tag the related information into an entry and it will yield an optimized workflow as a solution. You can later search tasks either through name, project name or labels. This app serves as a social productivity app as well as an individual to-do list manager. Productive indeed.
Better Touch Tool
We have already discussed the capabilities of enhancing your magic mouse and trackpad with MagicPrefs, but with a tool like Better Touch Tool, you can completely remap the entire spectrum of gestures on your magic mouse, trackpad, keyboard, leap motion device (if you have one) and even a basic mouse if you need. It is truly a sight to behold when you are no longer bound by manufacturer limitations. You will not be bound by these alterations forever either, you can simply pause them whenever you want and resume as always.
We don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the Dashboard, because quite honestly, it feels like a waste, however, the Symbol Caddy widget has found a way to make it less dreary. Instead of programming symbol shortcuts or having to google for them each time, you can just install this widget and copy any symbol you please, it’s that simple. Macbook users note: If you have Dashboard disabled but do not wish to restore it, pressing Fn + F12 will pop up the Dashboard Widgets on your desktop, release to make them go away.
Know anything we missed? Leave us a message in the comments below.