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My favorite Mac apps: Day-to-day Apps

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As we lead-up to Christmas (and other holidays that I don’t personally celebrate), I thought I’d put together a list of a few of my favorite things — Mac apps top be specific. These are some of my favorite day-to-day apps.


My favorite web browser on the Mac platform. It’s fast, has minimal UI chrome, and has precisely the extensions I need.

I used to bounce around between Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but over the past year, I haven’t felt the pain of anything missing from my browser experience.


Things is a to-do list that helps me get things done. It’s not complex, or even all that fancy, but now that it has cloud syncing across Mac/iPhone/iPad, and the ability to sync from the iOS 6 Reminders app, it helps me keep my to-dos organized.

Mail, Calendar and Messages

These are my trusty, reliable apps for managing my day. Mail and Calendar do a better job together than I’ve experienced with Outlook, Thunderbird/Sunbird/Lightning, Postbox, or even Sparrow.

I used to be a big fan of Adium, but as my needs have changed, Adium hasn’t kept up. I spend more time texting over iMessage than I do IM-ing, and Adium still doesn’t have support for audio/video conversations.

Also, Messages now supports AIM, Yahoo! and Jabber (Google Talk, Facebook Messenger) protocols, so I really have no reason to use anything else.


Fantastical is a handy utility for getting a quick view of my calendar from my menubar, and — combined with the Dictation support in Mountain Lion — I can easily open up Fantastical with a key command, tell it about an upcoming event, and I’m done. Calendar events sync across my devices over iCloud, so I just create the event and I’m done.


I can’t remember how much harder my life was before the days of 1Password. I use it to store my browser passwords, my software serial numbers, my bank account information (for use with online order forms), store secure notes (the wi-fi password at work, the backup passwords for the secondary-authentication support enabled on my Google and Facebook accounts), social security numbers, etc. My life would be a whole lot worse without 1Password.

Ryan Parman

is an engineering manager with over 20 years of experience across software development, site reliability engineering, and security. He is the creator of SimplePie and AWS SDK for PHP, patented multifactor-authentication-as-a-service at WePay, defined much of the CI/CD and SRE disciplines at McGraw-Hill Education, and came up with the idea of “serverless, event-driven, responsive functions in the cloud” while at Amazon Web Services in 2010. Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than . Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.