Great Software

A good friend just go their first work Mac and I thought that it might be kind of me to write down tools that I use, some obvious, some less so. Here's the way to understand this, this list is ordered by what I use the most at the top and descends from there. And if I took the time to actually describe it then I really care about it as a tool.

Note: See the section below about Don't Install Software Manually before you start following links.

  • TextMate - I have been using this editor since its first release - and it is now more than a decade later and I still love it.
  • iTerm, iTerm, iTerm - I live in iTerm.
  • HomeBrew - Run, don't walk and get yourself HomeBrew. Think of it as apt-get for OSX and, well, that's what it is. Absolutely recommended.
  • NetNewsWire - If you aren't using a news aggregator then you should be.
  • MailPlane - this is a custom client app for Gmail and while I don't use it religiously, the ability to have both a custom client you can always command + tab to as well as N browser windows for email is really powerful.
  • Fantastical - natural language parsing that creates calendar events is wonderful.
  • Enpass - the only password manager / digital wallet that has ever stuck for me. I have no idea about its encryption / security but I can attest that it is damn usable.
  • Goofy - a quite good Facebook Messenger IM client
  • Acorn - an excellent image editor from my favorite named Mac Company of all time
  • Transmit - the best FTP and S3 client that exists
  • Postico - I'm not a Postgres guy really but I sometimes play one when MySQL isn't right for a project and when I do, well, I use Postico
  • Magnet - Cool window manager
  • TinderBox - If you do serious intellectual work and deal with note taking then TinderBox is your tool. It is expensive, powerful and awesome.
  • Wunderlist
  • SublimeText - If I wasn't so firmly in the TextMate camp then I'd use this.
  • Scrivener
  • PyCharm
  • Sublime Merge
  • Fork
  • SourceTree
  • Visual Studio Code
  • ScreenFlow - I don't screencast all that often but when I do, I use ScreenFlow.
  • Pages / Numbers / Keynote - these are the standard Apple apps and they are generally good.
  • DropBox - kind of required but good lord does it suck as a tool. WTF DropBox (today DropBox took 96% of my cpu and tried to sync 600K files)
  • VLC

Don't Install Software Manually

The other thing that I would strongly recommend is that your Mac can be easily provisioned using Ansible and I made my Ansible provisioning routine open source years ago. It can be found on my Github. I haven't set up a Mac from scratch now in years and automated provisioning on your own machine is wonderful - please note that you may have issues with this since it has been years since I've gotten a new Mac and I only update this when I need it.


Here are things I've written that are about OSX.