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10 Free Mac Apps For Productivity

MacBook Air 13"

In the 4 months that I’ve been using my Macbook Air, I’ve tried out lots of productivity programs.

Here are my 10 favorite Free Mac Apps that I still use regularly for productivity:

Text Wrangler – advanced code editor
The built in text editor on the Mac is ok but lacks some advanced features. On the PC I loved using Notepad++ but sadly there is no Mac version available yet. Text Wrangler is the next best thing and I use it when working with html or css code.

Alfred – super fast program searching and opening
I think Alfred should be a required program for every Mac computer because it makes searching for and opening programs super fast and easy. Just hit alt+spacebar and then start typing the title of the program you want to open and it shows up instantly.

Thyme – simple timer
This lightweight program puts a counting timer in the taskbar that you can activate with control+T. Great for timing client work or trying to get through your email inbox faster.

Ommwriter – full screen no distraction writing
When writing long blog posts or sales letters, interruptions can kill your thought process. Ommwriter takes up your full screen and has calming music to get you focused and in the zone with your writing.

Flux – reduce eyestrain at night
Our computer screens are designed to be bright like the sun, but this can cause eyestrain at night and also difficulty sleeping. Flux helps with this problem by automatically adjusting the colors of your screen at night to reduce eyestrain.

Filezilla – solid FTP client
Working with websites I have to use FTP fairly often and I have really come to like Filezilla. The interface is easy to use and has tabs to allow for multiple open FTP connections at once.

Gimp – image editing
Although not as advanced as Photoshop, Gimp can take care of most basic image editing tasks, and it’s free.

Open Office – word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations
Open Office can do 90% of what Microsoft Office can and even opens/saves to most of the Microsoft Office file formats (.doc .xls. .ppt). If you are doing advanced spreadsheet work then you may need to get Microsoft Excel, but otherwise Open Office works for just about everything.

Dropbox – file backup and sharing
You’ve probably heard about it before – Dropbox is a great program to backup and share your files across multiple computers. It is limited to just 2GB for the free version but if you search on Fiverr.com there are services that can boost your space to 16GB for just $5.

Evernote – never forget stuff
Another super popular app that is great for storing blog post ideas, skype call notes, web page clippings, or anything else you want to remember. Evernote keeps an easily searchable database, so the next time you think “oh what was that one thing Joe said in our skype call last month” you have it right away.

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What are your favorite Free Mac Apps?

 

 

I’ve had 4 months to use my 13″ Macbook Air (2nd Generation) and I must say that I’m glad I made the switch. I’ve been a PC fanboy for as long as I can remember because I was a gamer and also because 12 years ago in middle school I was forced to use those original colored iMacs (they sucked). First I got an iPhone last year and now I have a Macbook Air… no hard feelings Apple, right?

I hate you.

MacBook Air 13"

I love you.

The Macbook Air 13″ has a beautiful 1440×900 pixel screen which is higher resolution than most PCs have. More screen resolution = more visible on your screen and higher productivity (according to this Microsoft study). I haven’t really missed the 15″ screen and for me the lower weight and size is worth it.

Speaking of weight, the Macbook Air is super light at just 3lbs. The small size has allowed me to eliminate carrying a separate laptop bag and now I can carry my laptop and all my other stuff in just my backpack.

Battery life is one area where the Macbook Air could use some improvement. Because I tend to have a lot of applications and tabs open at once, my battery life is usually around 4 hours which is decent but not spectacular.

The Macbook Air is fast enough to handle most work with ease like internet, spreadsheets, Skype, etc. Although I have noticed some slowdown when having lots of programs open and like 50+ tabs in 3 different browsers, but I probably shouldn’t have all that opened at once anyways. I got the 128GB version which is enough storage for me since I don’t have lots of movies or other big files.

There are a lot of small details that help with productivity. I really like the backlit keyboard which makes working at night way easier. Also the Macbook Air is very fast to startup and wakeup from standby. I rarely turn off my laptop and so this is super useful. If I have to stop working I just close the laptop lid, and when I open it again I am instantly right back where I was. Also the “spaces” feature allows you to have multiple desktop screens that you can quickly switch between. I can have a separate desktop for my own stuff and a separate desktop for the project I am currently working on.

The thing that surprised me the most is the touchpad. I used to HATE using laptop touchpads and always carried around an external mouse. As much as I loved the flip open Microsoft Arc Touch mouse from my Gear Post last year, I haven’t used it in months. The Macbook Air touchpad is so good, I don’t need a mouse.

It took me some time to get used to the Mac interface but I really feel like I have a more productive setup than I did on the PC. If you want to run your business from your laptop while travelling the world, the Macbook Air 13″ is a solid choice.

Next week I will post my favorite Free Mac Apps that help boost productivity.

 

Back to Blogging: I’m going to Bali for TMBA 3

What a crazy year 2011 has been so far.

My blogging and travel plans were put on the back burner for a while because my muse business got me sued and I was dealing with that. Don’t get sued, it sucks. It causes a lot of emotional and mental distress over a long period of time because the legal system moves at a glacial pace. Thankfully the legal issue is nearing resolution and I will write about the whole interesting story once it’s finished.

It was a crazy ride but things turned out well in the end. The Tropical MBA guys were so impressed with the skills and initiative I showed with my muse business that they decided to hire me out of the 49 applicants! I head out to Bali, Indonesia late next week to start the Tropical MBA 3rd semester internship! The next 6 months are going to be awesome.

Thanks for the support and I’m glad to be back!

These are some awesome pictures of Bali. See you on the other side.

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