Essential Apps for new Mac Users

Updated October 2010 – This used to be a list of my 10 favorite apps, I find I’m using a lot more each day to make my life easier.

After you have time to play around with the applications built into the Mac, you might be wondering what else is out there. Here is my list of essential applications that I use everyday to make my Macbook more productive. Note that this list contains both freeware and commercial software. Some applications just need to be purchased.

  • AdiumFree – great cross platform messaging client. I prefer it to iChat because it cleanly manages all my accounts
  • Cyberduck – FTP application. If you manage a website you are going to want this program
  • Things – an awesome task list application. It’s great if you follow the GTD methodology. I’ve tried dozens of todo list applications and this one is the best
  • ScreenflickCommercial – inexpensive screencasting software. I use it to create the videos for this site
  • TweetDeck – I’ve dumped Seesmic for Tweet Deck, I like the layout and the support for multiple accounts
  • Transmission – Bittorrent client, download content from the Internet, fast.
  • VLC – if you download a video using Transmission and you need to play it, this application plays everything
  • 1Password – great password manager, integrates with Firefox and Safari to keep all your passwords in a encrypted safe
  • [intlink id=”463″ type=”post”]LaunchBar[/intlink] – took over the duties of Quicksilver. Quicksilver, you were fun but sadly, you’re not well supported anymore. LaunchBar was endorsed by the original creator of Quicksilver and it rocks. Allows you to drive your Mac without using the mouse. Get, Love it.
  • VMWare Fusion – As much as I love OSX, I still occasionally need to run Windows applications. VMWare Fusion is the way to do it.
  • Unison – This is a great program for downloading binaries from USENET news groups. It’s really cool because it supports NZB files. If you don’t know what any of this means, check out
  • Mac Office – the king of all office suites. I use it everyday and well, it’s really the best player out there.
  • [intlink id=”566″ type=”post”]Skitch[/intlink] – This is my new favorite application for taking screen captures. I use it nearly every day.

If you have any favorite Mac applications that you can’t live without, tell us about them.


  1. reggaeton music on March 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I love music especially complex music, electronic and stuff, I enjoyed reading Essential Apps for new Mac Users | Learning OS X.

  2. Rob on July 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    SABNZBD+ is by far and away the best newsreader.

  3. sigma on October 31, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Check out Applications every New Mac user should download, here:

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