Work Faster: A Few Productivity Apps for Your Mac

As anyone who sits behind a computer screen for many hours each day knows, there are many repetitive tasks we perform that accumulate into substantial time sinks over the course of a work week.

Things such as file/application browsing, window resizing, copying/pasting, etc can really slow us down. While we may not be able to escape this reality, we can certainly improve our efficiency with a few little productivity applications that are available for us to incorporate into our daily workflow.


Ever wanted to save more than one thing to your clipboard at a time? With ClipMenu this is possible. ClipMenu can recall up to the last 100 things you’ve copied, accessible from a handy icon in the top right of your menu bar. Alternatively, you can use the hotkey CMD + SHIFT + V to bring up the dialog at any time.

ClipMenu Menu Bar


One of the most common display scenarios I use from one day to the next, is the split 50/50 view with browser on one side and text editor on the other. Unfortunately, when it comes to window management, the Mac OS leaves much to be desired. Resizing and dragging windows manually is way more cumbersome than need be. Enter ShiftIt. This program allows you to quickly size windows via menu bar icon (similar to ClipMenu), or more efficiently, via shortcut keys.

ShiftIt Menu Bar


I’d consider Alfred to be the best out of this bunch. At its core, Alfred is an application launcher. Instead of navigating through your Finder’s Applications list for a particular program, just fire up Alfred’s simple search interface via your predefined hotkey and begin typing the name — Alfred will do the heavy lifting and offer you a nice list of relevant suggestions. Mac’s native Spotlight offers similar functionality, but Alfred feels more streamlined and I’d argue more intelligent in its result sets.

Alfred Menu Bar

Unlike the previous two apps, you’ll need to shell out $23 for the Powerpack  to really maximize the potential of the app. In addition to app launching features, this will unlock the ability for you to browse your local file system, launch custom shell scripts, create global hotkeys amongst many others. Read more about Aflred’s Powerpack features here.

Aircraft manuevers during an airpower demonstration. Official U.S. Navy Imagery, Flickr.

About the Author


Jeffrey Stevens

Jeff Stevens is the Assistant Web Manager for UF Health Web Services. He focuses on user experience, information architecture, content strategy, and usability.

Read all articles by Jeffrey Stevens