20 Mac Apps For Everyone To Help Increase Productivity

Every hardworking employed or self-employed individual strives to be more productive at work. However, a resolution to be more productive is easier said and done. There are plenty of temptations in the office, especially for home-based workers. Sleep, idling around and even playing games are just a few clicks away. Of course, being less efficient at work will result in less quality output and in turn a smaller paycheck.

Thankfully, there are plenty of Mac apps out there to keep you in check. Here are our top 20–to do lists, documents, spreadsheets, task management and other productive office applications. The Macbook is a great innovation (thanks to Apple and the late Steve Jobs, bless him). Many of these applications aren’t free though, but we know that good things are never free these days although these apps are worth more than what you pay for.

1. Apple iWork

This is the first Mac App (or Apps, for that matter) you should purchase. It’s the Mac version of Microsoft Office, albeit cheaper and more ‘Mac’ compatible. iWork includes the following apps:

  • Pages – a text editor with rich word processing and page layout features. The app has hundreds of templates to create newsletters, stationery, invitations and resume. A helpful tool for both students, teachers, professionals and everyone in between. Export files into doc, pdf, and ePub files.
  • Numbers – a spreadsheet app that can organize numerical date to tables, charts and graphs. It can perform various calculations with mathematical formula
  • Keynote – an application to create and play professinal presentations. It has plenty of beautiful and professional templates, transitions and effects to choose from. Best of all, it supports many file formats, and can be exported to Powerpoint, Quicktime (iPod, iPad and iPhone), HTML and PDF. It can be opened directly to iTunes, iWeb, iDVD and YouTube.

Price: US $79.99 (or $27 each for Pages, Numbers and Keynote when bought separately)

2.PDF Pen

Probably one of my most favorite apps in the list. I’m a frequent user and reader of PDF files, so the PDF Pen is a great tool when reviewing and taking notes for PDF text. Make corrections, edit scanned documents, erase information and so much more. You can even scribble your singature on a PDF contract via the PDF pen.

Price: $59.95

3. 1Password

Have you ever forgotten a password? Now you’ll never have to again. 1Password is a password manager, that’s both secure and convenient. It provides maximum anti-phishing protection via a web form filling and automatic strong password generation. Keep all your confidential information of your online accounts, credit cards, ATM cards and other identities.

1Password is the best password manager out there–take our word for it. 1Password is available for your Mac, iPhone, iPad and even your PC and Android phone.

Price: $49.99

4. Paperless

In today’s highly digital world, everyone is going Paperless. Today’s generation rely on digital documents, because it is faster, more efficient and more economical. You need an app of the same name to manage your digital documents. Paperless is a great productivity app, and it’s good for the environment too. It’s a win-win situation here.

Price: $49.95

5. OmniFocus

OmniFocus is a task manager to ensure you are at your most efficient by providing the right tools and features. Capture your thoughts by storing, managing and processing them in the app. It stores both your personal and professional tasks, and help order them according to importance. OmniFocus gets things done.

Price: US 79.99

6. Transmit

Transfer files quick and easy through Transmit. Transmit is currently Mac’s top 1 FTP Client. Transferring files across the FTP or SFTP server is amazingly fast–thanks to the Transmit Twin turbo engine, transferring files is now up to 25 x faster.
Price: US 39.99

7. Skype

Skype is a necessary application, a communication tool for family, friends and clients on a higher level. Hold meetings with clients and colleagues without the need to travel (or dress up in a suit).

The latest Skype app now offers clearer and sharper video calls, through their HD video call feature. Group videos are now also possible–so talk with up to 10 people online at the same time!

Price: Totally free, but Skype Premium account at US $4.99 a month.

8. Pixelmator

Pixelmator, a powerful image editing app for the Mac. It’s a lot like Adobe Photoshop–wonderful interface, layer-based image editing, and basic tools like cropping, transform, fill, stroke and so much more. It has more than 130 filters and 14 color correction tools. Pixelmator allows easy access to your photos from your iPhoto or Aperture library.

Price: $29.99

9. Espresso

Espresso is the ultimate application for the web designer. It has a built-in CSS Editor, the well-known CSSEdit3. See your web site updates in real time through Live Styling and inspect your web layout with X-ray. The Quick Publish or Sync features allow you to automatically publish or apply changes to your server. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth more than you pay for.

Price: US $79

10. Sparrow Productivity

Sparrow mailing app is a light mail application and a great addition to your productivity apps. The app’s interface is easy and well-organized. Get your mail in a few clicks. It even has the Facebook Connect feature, to get instant notifications and your friends’ pictures are shown to immediately see who the email was from.

Price: US $9.99

11. Things

Things is a simple task management application, it’s so easy to use–but with very powerful features. It can make the most basic to do list, and even handle a complicated GTD workflow. Things is an award-winning Mac App because of its clean interface, user-friendliness and great flexibility.

Price: US $49.99

12. Billings

Billings manages client accounts and invoices beautifully and effortlessly. Choose from 1 of their 30 professional templates or create your own, and send statements in a single click of a button.

Price: US $39.99

13. Coda

Coda provides an all-around application for web developers. It has a fully featured file transfer, text editor, integrated file browser, CSS editor, SSH terminal and complete set of references–all in one, clean and streamlined workflow.

Price: US $99

14. MarsEdit

Browser-based blog editors are slow, unpredictable and require internet connection. Sure, browsers are great for browsing the net, but not so much for writing a blog. If you’re really serious about blogging, you’ll need a blog editor app like MarsEdit. With MarsEdit you can write, publish and preview your blog posts on your desktop.

Price: US $39.95

15. Adobe Kuler

Adobe Kuler has a mobile app that A must-have app for web designers and developers. The application generates color palettes and themes to inspire. Create, explore, experiment. and save color palettes and use it on your next project.

Price: US $9.99

16. RDM Desktop Lite

The application allows you to control your other devices even if they are far away. It can connect through your Macbook, iPhone and iPad. Internet connection is not required, and control as many devices you want wirelessly.

Price: Free

17. Phone Log

PhoneLog is a great app for keeping tabs on your calls, having a quick record of important conversations–such as calls from your clients, utility companies, financial institutions, etc. Store details of your calls, who called, when the call was made, and what the conversation was about. Now you’ll never forget a single call again!

Price: Free

18. Whistle Phone

Whistle Phone provides free inbound and outbound calls in the contiguous United States destinations through your Mac.

Price: Free

19. DropCopy

DropCopy is a charmingly easy application, and a great timesaver. If you need to send files quickly to multiply destinations to recipients across your network, just drag the files to the destination in a popup window. It’s not fussy, and get things done hassle-free, without the need to input any password, dialogues or confirmation.

Price: Free for the lite version, that can carry 1-3 devices. There is a Pro version at $4.99 for 1-10 devices, and a site license to cover unlimited devices.

20. Remind Me Later

Remind Me Later is a to-do app, very fast and very easy. If you need things to be done, just open the app, type in the reminder and you’re done. The application automatically add events to iCal in just two clicks. You can also sync the reminders to your iPhone via MobileMe, to take your reminders with you anywhere.

Price: Free

Rachel Arandilla

Rachel Arandilla is a curious subject -- she appreciates things that are quirky & clever. She loves spontaneity and adventure. She is a carefree soul, has a deep love for travel, culture and languages. And she's beginning to wonder she keeps on referring to herself in third person perspective.

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  1. says

    Great list, but would also have like to see more freeware or cheaper options. Coda price is actually $99, not $9.99 as stated in article.
    Thanks @Olivier for Voodoopad tip, looks great!

  2. Sahil Kotak says

    They’re great, I’ve been using couple of them but I’m going to try more now. I hope this helps in increasing my productivity.

  3. Scott says

    I like to recommend Big Event Reminder app which is super useful for making sure you get your stuff done. Or just to let yourself know when to take a break. Its in Mac App store.

  4. Stefan says

    Evernote is another great and free tool to keep your notes organized. They can be synchronized via web with several computers.

  5. Ruen says

    Great list, but would also have like to see more freeware or cheaper options. Coda price is actually $99, not $9.99 as stated in article.
    Thanks @Olivier for Voodoopad tip, looks great!

  6. Olivier says

    Would have been nice to have more Freeware in the list.
    Are you sure about Coda’s price?? US $9.99 sounds cheap!
    Finally, a great tool I’ve just discovered: Voodoopad (not free).

    If you’re looking for a free FTP client, have a go at Filezilla.