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

Ryan Parman is an experienced Software/DevOps/Security engineer, currently living in Seattle. He is the creator of and , patented multifactor-authentication-as-a-service at , and came up with the idea of “serverless, event-driven, responsive functions in the cloud” while at AWS in 2010. Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than . Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.