14 Free Mac OS X Apps That Make Life Easier

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Posted 03 Aug 2009 in Geek Girl

caffeineCaffeine prevents your display from dimming or sleeping – perfect for watching TV shows online or Netflix movies! It can be toggled on or off by simply clicking on the coffee cup in the menu bar.

AppCleaner removes all traces of programs when you uninstall them. No more worries about left over files or settings. Everything gets cleaned away when you use AppCleaner.

montage_phone_desktop_browserI can’t praise Evernote enough – it captures all types of documents – text, handwritten notes, business cards and more – and saves them across the web and a desktop client, so I can access my notes anywhere!

Need to backup your DVD collection? Use the free Handbrake to rip DVDs to your Mac’s hard drive. No need to spend tons of cash on other ripping programs. Handbrake does it all and can even rip other video formats.

AdiumAdium is a full-featured all-in-one messenger program built specifically for the Mac. Stay in touch with your friends across multiple networks from one good looking and easy to use interface.

Work more efficiently and keep track of projects with iProcrastinate. I use iProcrastinate to keep up with writing deadlines, assignment due dates and work project deadlines.

textexpanderI get tired of typing the same things over and over again, especially code, my address or email signature. Now I save frequently used snippets of text or code into TextExpander and use shortcodes to expand the text in an email or html editor. TextExpander is a free trial, then it turns into nagware. However, you will probably enjoy the software so much that you’ll be willing to pay for it.

Dropbox is the ultimate online storage system – access your files where ever you have internet access or from the desktop client on your Mac.

firefoxFirefox is probably on everyone’s list as a great web browser, but Firefox is more than just that – it is also a great tool for managing websites like Twitter with Power Twitter and other add-ons that add functionality to dozens of websites that we use daily.

VLC is a great multiple format media player. Sure, Macs come with iTunes installed, but if you just want to play music or video with no frills, then VLC player is exactly what you’re looking for.

cccheadDo you frequently backup your drive to an external? Then get Carbon Copy Cloner – which does exactly what the name says – it clones your drive and copies your drive for fast backups and syncronization.

Another long-time favorite here at ugg is OpenOffice. Forget about spending hundreds of dollars on Microsoft Office. Just download and install OpenOffice and get fully compatible, free alternatives to Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

growlGrowl tells you via an overlaid pop up window when things happen with various programs, like Evernote or Firefox. You can change the appearance of the Growl notification windows to suit your personality or computer scheme.

Picasa is a perennial favorite because of its ease of use and connection to Google’s suite of web applications. It doesn’t make duplicate copies of your photos and you can manage your web albums directly from the software.

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  1. Neat roundup… thanks for sharing. I haven’t tried dropbox yet and still haven’t found a use for textexpander.


    • I use TextExpander for things such as: my mailing address in forms, email signatures, my fax number (which I’ve never memorized), html code and more.

  2. I like the idea of stopping your screen going into sleep mode – is there a windows equivalent? I often watch soccer on my PC – and keep having to move the mouse because I can’t be bothered to turn the screensave off!

    • Caffeine, different app, same name, for Windows has the same functionality.

  3. Thanks Ellie – it’s such a tiny file too – great tip!