I bought a new 27-inch 5k iMac a few weeks ago. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed and delighted by seeing the speed of the computer.
Previously, I was using Windows PC as my primary computer and MacBook Air for on-the-go purposes.
I thought having an iMac desktop would be a seamless experience for me and I would become highly productive by mastering a single OS. I thought of sticking to Mac OS as the Windows is full of viruses, instability, frequent crashing issues, and much more.
For me keeping the screen at 4 feet far and hacking up my mouse speed to 18.0 (by the terminal) is the way to go.
Here comes the game changer. You can set your Mac to activate Mission Control when you go to any hot corners on your screen you set. You can set it in System Preferences > Mission Control > Hot corners (while setting this, hold on any other key if you wish).
I have my Mission Control activated when I go to the top-right corner with the CMD key pressed.
My #1 Mac Productivity Booster: Make use of Mission Control with Cmd+Tab for multitasking.
Mac apps for bloggers – Productivity boosters
Here are some of the greatest Mac apps every blogger should use.
The below list is not in any particular order. #5 app is as important as #1 app in my opinion.
If you ask me, I'm so accustomed to using these that I can't work on my Mac effectively without them.
Blog writing apps
I write all my blog posts in either Google Docs or the Pages app.
Google Docs is the app I use for all my blog post writing. It'll be easy for my team to collaborate as they are cross-platform. Other writers also submit me the articles on Google Docs, so it makes sense for me to not use a separate app for writing blog posts.
Occasionally, Pages app is very suitable for me as it supports dynamic autocorrect feature – the feature you only get on Android and iOS devices. It automatically corrects my typos without me doing anything on my part.
I’ve heard good things about apps like Desk and Blogo. But I have never tried them, so won’t comment.
Copy ‘Em Paste
I’m a big fan of clipboard manager apps. I was using Ditto Clipboard manager on my Windows PC.
But, Copy 'em Paste is leagues apart!
Clipboard manager allows you to keep the entries of things you copied ages ago and allows you to access them by a hotkey and a search bar.
Believe me or not, clipboard manager is the first app I install on my new computer. I can’t just operate without it.
Make it your companion and thank me later.
When I came to Mac, I was astonished by the variety of Clipboard managers available for Mac. I tried a bunch of them like CopyClip, Flycut, Paste, Unclutter, and much more.
But nothing came even close to Copy ‘Em Paste regarding UX, customization, and features.
I bought this app as I knew how crucial is a clipboard manager in blogger’s life. It costs you $14.99. It is well worth the price. You will realize how much you are missing this app only after you start using it.
You can even save the clips as lists, these clips can be images, files, your video editor tracks, segments, and so on.
Free alternative: There are free clipboard managers like Flycut, they come with limited features and is not enjoyable to use.
I use the Powerpack version of this app. It's a lot faster than the spotlight search, and it comes with many workflows and features. I can't imagine my screen life without this app.
It's a freemium tool that comes with features like Spotlight search and more. But the powerpack version comes with more features like workflows, clipboard, Alfred remote, more control over appearance, and also unlocks many more features.
Some of the workflows I have are:
- Google search – Displays top 10 Google results right in the search (inline Google search)
- Compress image
- Google Drive search with suggestions
- Kill process – force quit
- Wunderlist reminders
- Alfred Maestro (integration with Keyboard Maestro)
- Reverse Dictionary
- Whois – for domain name search
- Google Calendar – for entry on the fly
- Audio switch
- URL shortener – right from the spotlight
- Much more
I also have custom searches set up for searching my BloggingX posts within Alfred's spotlight, and much more.
You can use the free version of the Alfred. If you want more features, the powerpack costs you $49. I bought it and it's certainly worth the price.
Keyboard Maestro is the next app I bought. It cost me $36, and it literally saved me hours of time doing repetitive tasks. It’s the best macro automation app I’ve ever encountered.
I’ve set 94 macros on my PC as of now. I can trigger these macros by typing a string or a shortcut key.
Here are some of the macros I set as a blogger on Keyboard Maestro.
- Creating links: When I copy text on webpage and type in the trigger text, the macro will turn that copied text to a hyperlink. It’ll paste that copied text in a text editor app, go back to Chrome, copy the URL, come back to the text editor, insert that link to the previously pasted text, clicks return, and copy the hyperlink, returns back to Chrome waiting for me to paste that hyperlink as I wish. This one is a massive productivity booster for me when inserting repeated resources links in my posts.
- Autoresize and compress: This macro enables me to automatically resize and compress the screenshots I take on typing a trigger string.
- Drag and drop: This macro keeps Chrome to the left side of the screen, opens desktop to the right side when I type the trigger “;drag;”
- When I type in the string “
;glance;”, the macro opens all the URLs like blog stats, Gmail, affiliate dashboards, to start my day or to glance all the things that matter to me.
- I have another macro that creates a CSV file named with today’s date and fills in all the essential data for my outreach process.
- Another macro enables me to upload the images to my server via FTP in the
background,and copy the image URL to be used in WordPress editor.
- Automatically build my Thrive Architect page using HTML editing (find and replace on steroids)
Like these, I have 94 macros. And it’s still growing as I work.
TextExpander was the app I was loving. But not now as they turned it to a subscription-based model.
I'm now using aText and it costed me just $4.99. With this, you can set a snippet code which will be expanded to text when that snippet or short text is triggered.
Here are some of the short snippets I’m using to insert some long text.
em1 -> My first email
BX -> BloggingX
adr -> My full residential address
guest -> My guest post pitch
stats -> http://ww
Like this I have 74 snippets set to save time.
Free alternative: You can also use
It is the house keeping app that I’ve for my Mac. It’s like set it and forget it.
The main problem with any computer is having plenty of files littered all over the place. But what Hazel does is that it puts your files to where they should be based on the rules and conditions you set.
There are some of the rules I’ve set for my Hazel app.
- The files I downloaded from the internet and end from DMG should be put into my “Software” folder.
- The file names starting with “Screenshot” on the desktop should be moved to “Screenshots” folder I have in my documents.
- Move the “
docxfiles I downloaded from UpWork (oDesk) to a folder named “UpWork Articles”. It checks whether the file I downloaded is from sourceaddress that contains the keyword “ odeskor upwork” and also of type docx.
Like this I have upto 30 rules I’ve set to keep my Mac clutter-free. I use this app in conjunction with Keyboard Maestro to accomplish much more things!
This app costs you $32.
Free alternative: Maid and also Mac's inbuilt Automator. You can also make use of Smart folders option on your Mac device.
Most of the times I use
If I want to take a screenshot of a single window, I press spacebar, once I hit the above shortcut. The cursor will be turned to camera icon. This is a in-built feature that many people don’t know.
I also make use of CleanShot, this tool enables me to take Mac screenshots to the next level with overlays, screenshot editor, and also video/gif recorder.
It is such a time-saver when taking screenshots. It feels like a native Mac's feature, once you start using it!
This tool is for you, if you don't like split screen multitasking like I do!
SlidePad allows you to implement iPad style multi-tasking functionality to your Mac machine.
You need to just go to the right-side of your screen, to trigger the slide-in window of SlidePad.
In that window you can configure the apps you frequently use.
You can add some apps or web pages you frequently use like:
- Google Keep
- Google Calendar
- Timer app
- Project management tool (Like ClickUp, Monday, etc)
You have options to enable notifications for the apps (for Slack, Telegram, and WhatsApp), and also switch to mobile view of the apps (for better mini-screen experience).
It also has various options to change the trigger zone, plenty of keyboard shortcuts, much more.
SlidePad saves you a lot of time going back-and-forth the apps you frequently used. Your favorite apps will just be a mouse slide away. The time-saved will have a compounded effect.
You won't really realize how much you needed this tool, until you use it.
Image compression app
The ImageOptim allows you to compress your images whether it be Jpeg or PNG to a great extent.
ImageAlpha gives me more flexibility when it comes to compressing PNG images especially screenshots by allowing me to set the color. For PNG images I usually keep the 32-color and it reduces the file size by 70%.
The TinyPNG client allows me to upload any images to TinyPNG easily and replaces the original image without me having to download them manually.
Update: As of now, I'm using the
Although some people prefer Screenflow with Mac due to the features like magnetic timeline and native feel, I use Camtasia.
Camtasia is the best screencasting tool when it comes to both Mac and Windows.
Camtasia for Mac has great additional features like Mask, Spotlight, etc.
In addition to it, the recording I make from my iMac, I can get the project edited by my team member on a Windows computer. This kind of
Screenflow was much better than Camtasia, but once Camtasia version 3 was released things changed.
Free alternative: If you are looking for a free way to record your screen, you can make use of Quick Time’s screen recording feature, and edit it with free iMovie app.
This is a totally free app for Mac. It lets you easily find website’s broken links.
If you are on a shared server, then using broken link checker WordPress plugins may be a big no-no for you, as it easily crashes your server. In such cases, Integrity comes to your rescue.
The Integrity is a small app, that lets you scan for broken links on your blog. You can enter the homepage URL of your site, and the app crawls through your entire website similar to how Google crawls you site in search of broken links.
This app is surprisingly faster than what I initially thought. It checked 400 links on my site in a minute of running it. Fast. Isn’t it? You can even increase the number of threads to speed this up more!
I prefer using CyberDuck as my preferred FTP tool. I’m a long time FileZilla user. But in Mac, CyberDuck has a great user interface.
With CyberDuck for Mac, you can uncompress the zip files inside your server in a second. Whereas, the FileZilla takes forever for this.
I prefer using FTP instead of cPanel file manager as it is quicker.
One of the bad perks of having a big screen is having lots of windows open at the same time.
The apps like Hazeover dims down the inactive windows allowing you to focus on the Window that you are working on. You can even set the dimming time like a gradual dim.
You’ll only realize how much you needed this app only after using this app.
Free alternative: Isolator (bit old UI)
I shoot my videos in DSLR and the raw footage will be in Gigabytes. I make use of Handbrake to reduce the video size to a manageable size.
I also have MPEGSteam Clip on my computer. But for me, Handbrake is the ideal one as it comes with loads of options to optimize the size of the videos according to various circumstances.
It compresses my portrait white-screen 5-min videos in a matter of seconds.
DragQueen is a free app that creates a special drag-zone on the left side of your screen (only visible when in drag mode), where you can drag your files. Now you can head over to your target window and then drag the file back from the zone to paste it. It makes your drag and drop process much more easier.
I seldom use it as the combination of Copy ‘Em paste and Mission Control feature is more than essential for me.
I love Window snapping feature in Windows. When you click on the Win Key + Left Arrow, the window would snap to the left and vice versa.
Magnet is the #1 productivity app for mac in the Appstore.
Free alternative: I found a free app called Spectacle which lets you snap the active windows to the left, right, top, bottom, and more zones with keyboard shortcuts.
Other apps I use on my Mac
PopClip – I also have bought this app. It displays you the quick actions in the form of the popup when you select any text much like that of
Such a time-saver. There are dozens of add-ons that independent developers have created for this app like Bitly shortener and others.
Wunderlist – I implement basic GTD principles. But I'm not a complete GTD freak. I make use of
Audacity – I use this app to edit the audio I record for my videos. Normally, I add some bass and warmth to the voice.
Mindnode – This is the best mindmapping tool for Mac. I use it in my presentations and also for
You just need to pay a one-time fee of $42 and you'll be good to go. Personally, I liked this app over RescueTime as it comes with more features and also stores tracked data right inside your computer itself.
So, you don't need to worry about your private data. I use this app all the time. Never underestimate the power of a good time-tracking app for boosting your productivity. Little things make a big difference and I learned it late.
RescueTime – This app lets you know where you wasted your time.
MagicPrefs – Allows me to set Magic Mouse and Trackpad gestures for my iMac and MacBook devices. A must-have free app.
CheatSheet – It shows you all the shortcuts available in an app when you hold down the CMD button in any app.
Apptivate – Allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to
These are some of the Mac apps I use on a daily basis. I would like to again emphasize not to underestimate the effectiveness of a good clipboard manager, Keyboard Maestro, or atleast Automator that comes as a built-in app.
These apps combined with the stability and reliability of the MacOS, powers my blogging workflow. Let me know if you use any of the less-known apps on your Mac device.