Some of the smaller developers make excellent apps for macOS. Here's five that I use on a regular basis.
I'm pretty sure that most of you are familiar with the mainstream apps for macOS. Obviously Final Cut Pro, but also the Microsoft suite, the Apple Pages/Numbers/Keynote suite, Illustrator & Photoshop and the Illustrator & Photoshop replacements. There's a lot.
But what about some of the smaller apps? I thought I'd put down five lesser-known apps that I use on a regular basis. So in no particular order, here we go!
Paste is a very simple clipboard manager that does the job of providing more than one cut/paste buffer. By using the Shift Command V shortcut, a panel appears at the bottom of the screen showing your clipboard history. You can then click on any of the previous 'clips' to paste wherever you like.
This is great when you have to transfer multiple lines of information between programs - such as adding subtitles or captions in FCP. The pinboard at the top also allows you to keep information and websites (Or anything else that will fit into the clipboard buffer) available with a click.
The clever stuff happens when it synchronises across your devices using iCloud storage. Universal Clipboard is clever, but having your entire clipboard history available (and searchable) on all devices saves a lot of time and stops stuff getting lost. Apple should just employ the developer and bundle Paste into the macOS.
There is a 14 day free trial, I went for the £17.99 a year family subscription.
2) Infographics Maker/Toolbox for Keynote
If you've ever had to make a series of infographics, maps or any graphics where you need to plot or share data, you must check out Infographics maker in the Toolbox for keynote, a huge collection of templates for Pages. Use for mograph inspiration or adapt the graphics for Keynote and Motion.
The app is a lightweight viewing tool, click on an infographic you like and it will download. There are hundreds and hundreds of different styles and layouts, maps of nearly every country, state and region you can think of. It will pay for itself on the first job.
There is a twist though, this app has been rolled into a 'Toolbox' where the individual items are at £2.49 each or everything is £49.00. Slightly confusing, but I think this works out better as you have access to even more graphics for about the same price. Not too sure I can convert my purchase though!
A very simple mind mapping program that works exactly how you would expect. I use the free version and it seems to do almost everything I need, a great way to get ideas out of your head. I've also used the layout to show clients a marketing strategy, it works much better than a plain list.
There is Mindnode Plus which is available as a monthly or yearly subscription.
- Collect everything: add text, images and links to nodes
- Outlining: create your document using a hierarchical, organized approach
- Visual Tags: tag your thoughts for more context, highlight tags to see new relationships • Notes: keep your mind map easy to read without losing a single detail
- Connections: connect nodes on different branches
- Tasks: turn your thoughts into actions
- Quick Entry: just start typing to collect thoughts
- Themes: beautiful out-of-the-box themes and unlimited personal themes
- Images: insert your own images and annotate them
- Stickers: 260+ hand-crafted stickers with adjustable colors
- Styling: rich styling options for every single part of your document
- Layouts: top-down and horizontal
- Focus Mode: put a spotlight on a single branch
- Dark Mode: for when your thoughts come at night
- Share Tasks: to Apple Reminders, Things, and OmniFocus
There are may writing applications out there and I've tried quite a few. The one that has worked the best for me is Ulysses. I like the fact that you can strip away any distractions and concentrate on the writing. In dark mode of course.
I do pay the slightly pricey £49.99 per year which syncs everything across devices. Very handy to be able to access all your current writing projects from anywhere. I do quite a bit of refining of projects on my iPhone whilst stuck in the car waiting to taxi the kids around.
I'm also pretty sure I don't even use half of the features, but it's easy to use, robust and it also won an Editor's Choice award from Apple.
Only yesterday I was talking with another editor about how great this automated backup app is. Chronosync has saved me from a large data loss a couple of times now (Yes that QNAP ransomeware problem) by its simple backup operation. All you have to do is select what you want copied to where and when you want it to happen. Once the initial copy happens, the next backups are only incremental.
As an example, every Friday I backup my RAID. This is a copy of four partitions on the RAID to two large hard drives in an OWC Thunderbolt dock. I have saved all the single operations in to one 'global backup' command that executes with one click.
I have the full version which can backup web servers and build bootable drives, but the $24.99 Chronosync Express does the majority of backup tasks an individual would need, even backing up drives across the internet. Great reviews on the Mac App Store as well.
There you go, five apps that I use a lot. They are all great and do tasks that make them worth the money and save a lot of time.