Mac Productivity Software Round-up

Posted by mitch on December 23, 2010

Recently I spent some down time playing with some new utilities to see what’s out there that might help me. I’ve added the following tools to my Mac toolbox:

TotalFinder ($15) — This is a plug-in for the Mac Finder that adds tabbed browsing and some other nifty hacks, such as a “two-up” tab view for looking at two directories concurrently in the same window. Finder window management has been a mess for 26 years, and perhaps a real problem for me for the last 20 years, so it’s nice to see someone working on this.

SecondBar (free) — This puts a second menubar up on a second monitor. Unfortunately, the name reflects reality–it only provides 1 more menubar, and not one per additional screen. However, it works well for what it does. I tried some other menu utilities, but they all miss the boat for my needs.

BetterTouchTool (free) — This does a number of things with the Magic Mouse that didn’t seem very useful to me. However, it also provides Windows 7-style window snapping, which is one of my favorite Windows 7 features. And it works better with multiple monitors than the Windows 7 feature does.

StoryMill ($50) — The killer feature for StoryMill is the full-screen mode. It’s significantly better than what Word or Pages have for full-screen and makes writing prose much easier for me. Of course, it brings a lot of organizational tools for writing very long documents (books!) as well. I love using StoryMill for cranking out raw text to be edited later.

Kaleidoscope ($40) — This is a very cool differ. There are certain things that I miss from my own differ, RoaringDiff, but my favorite part about Kaleidoscope is that I don’t have to fix the bugs. I just started looking at Kaleidoscope today, but expect I will be registering soon once I’ve confirmed that the CLI entry point will work well for my svn workflow.

Evernote (free or $45/yr for premium) — I’ve been using Evernote for a while now. Recently I added two new pieces to my Evernote ecosystem. One is that I’ve configured the email address book on my multi-function printer/copier/scanner like this one (the one I have is no longer available) so that I can scan paper into Evernote with 4 button clicks. The other is that I bought FastEver Snap ($2) for my iPhone, which lets me photograph whiteboards and upload them to Evernote immediately without having to take explicit action.

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