A friend of mine, Matthew Rathbun, recently did an article on Free Mac Menubar Tools for Creatives. As the Technical Director, this made me think: “What are the mac apps, free or paid, that my team and I use on a daily basis to improve our productivity?” He has some really great options there, so consider this a part 2 — 5 Apps to Supercharge your Productivity as a Marketing Professional. We all know the obvious apps like Slack, Asana, Meet, etc, so this article covers some less-known apps for your daily use.
1. SetApp: The best App for Mac Apps
The first tool on the list actually makes most of the others possible. It’s a subscription model, which I know many people can’t stand, but the fact is that it’s SO useful, it’s completely worth it. SetApp is a service that provides premium access to nearly 250 applications, with more added all the time. No matter what you need your Mac to do, SetApp has you covered. File managers, archive tools, screen tools, coding tools, text editors, word processing, even productivity and lifestyle apps. SetApp is $10/month with a discount for annual purchases.
The following are all included in SetApp:
Mosaic: The Best App for Windows Organization (on a Mac)
Our first SetApp tool, Mosaic allows you to drag windows on your Mac into preset sizes or layouts. Full screen? Drag it to the top. Need 2 windows side by side? Drag one left and one right. Need a web browser to be exactly 1920×1080 pixels? Drag the window into the layout manager. You can even set custom sizes and layouts. This is one of those features Mac OS should have built in, but if it did, it probably wouldn’t be this easy to use.
Cloud Mounter: Remote File Management Made Easy Pt 1
Use Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, or other cloud based storage? Cloud Mounter let’s you create links to those that appear as drives on your computer just like local drives. In addition to the common cloud options above, CloudMounter can connect to WebDAV, AmazonS3 and FTP/SFTP locations as well. Very handy if like us you work with a lot of cloud volumes.
Forklift: Remote File Management Made Easy Pt 2
If you need remote file management, but want something a little closer to a classic FTP client, Forklift is a no-nonsense remote file manager. It has many of the same connections as CloudMounter, and works really well. The beauty of SetApp is you can try both and choose the right one for the task at hand. I use both regularly.
Bartender: An App for App Organization (you’ll need it after this article!)
So now you have so many apps your menu bar is exploding! Bartender to the rescue. Bartender lets you choose to show or hide the icons for apps on your menu bar. For each app you can choose to always hide it, always show it, show it when you mouse over the bar, or show it when something changes (for apps where the icon changes to indicate status). It keeps your menu bar nice and tidy.
OpenIn: A Shortcut App to Open Items in Different Applications
Like many creatives (especially those that do web or social media) I regularly use several browsers. Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. OpenIn lets you choose which browser to open links in. Say you use Safari as your main browser, but you need to use Chrome’s developer tools to check out the code for a page. Just click the link and choose to open that link in Chrome. OpenIn also allows you to choose different email clients and even video/chat apps.
Text Sniper: The Best App for Changing Image Text to Actual Text
We’ll talk more about screen capture below, but sometimes what you need is the ability to copy and paste text from images. Text Sniper to the rescue. Set up a capture hotkey and Text Sniper captures anything in the selection area and converts it to text on your clipboard. You can then paste it into any document or program you need. Grabbing text from the web is obvious, but lately, I’ve been snagging text from videos and social media posts as well. Makes note taking from online training, courses, or presentations easy, too!
Sip: Our Favorite Color Manager App
There are a million color pickers out there, but Sip is a color MANAGER. Not only can you grab colors from anything on screen, but you can then save those colors into a library of pallets. You can then access those colors through the window and one-click copy the hex code for that color. This is especially useful for working with multiple clients or projects each with unique branding.
DropZone: The App for Working with Images
Working with images can be a chore. There are often many steps to working with images, either from stock sites, clients, or just off the web. You need to find them, save the originals, batch resize them, optimize them, etc. DropZone makes all of this painless. Whenever you drag an image (either from a browser, app, or the Finder) a panel pops up with destinations and actions. You can quickly drop the image into a folder or run preset actions. I have ones for resizing to the common sizes we use for websites that also optimizes the images at the same time, converting to different formats, etc. You can also just grab and drop over and over into a holding area and then do all your actions at once. This is great for grabbing images as you browse the web and not losing the flow of your work.
That’s it for the SetApp Apps, you can see why its one of the 5 Apps a Marketing Professional should use to Supercharge their Productivity. Now let’s talk about a few of the other apps I use regularly:
2. Snagit: The Mac App for Screen Capture Tools
Snagit is arguably the king of the screen capture tools. And that comes with a price tag. But I have yet to find an alternative that works as well as Snagit from TechSmith. Snagit captures screenshots from selections, windows, or the entire screen. It can capture video with or without system audio and even microphone voice overs. It can annotate screenshots and the latest version even lets you draw/highlight while you record video, which is perfect for demoing or explaining something visually.
With Snagit it’s incredibly simple to demo, make instructions, give feedback, or just save an image of something.
SetApp includes a Snagit alternative called CleanShot X, that promises many of the same features, so you may want to try that before splashing out the $63 for Snagit.
3. ScreenFloat: Another Great Mac App for Screen Capturing
ScreenFloat goes one better than your average screen capture tool by keeping the portion of the screen you capture in an always on-top floating window. So you can clip text, or a table, or a graphic and keep it floating on the screen while you work in another window. Examples: Clip a pricing table and keep it visible while you copy features and prices into a document; Float the specs for one product while comparing to another; or keep a reference image or design visible while you’re working on copying or building it in another app.
ScreenFloat is $5.99 in the Mac App store.
4. Transmit: An App to Work with Web Servers
If you do any serious work with web servers you need a serious remote file tool. Transmit fits the bill for me. It connects to all the standard remote services, but gives a little more control. For instance, it can automatically set the local folder when you connect to a destination (e.g. connect to a web server and automatically navigate the local pane to the project folder for that project). Most awesomely, it can detect the file type you’re accessing on the remote server and open editors for that file. Double click a .css or .php file on your webserver and it automatically launches your code editor. Then when you save your changes, it automatically uploads the changed file to the server.
Transmit is $45 from Panic Software.
5 – Alfred: One of Best Productivity Apps to “Supercharge” Your Mac As a Marketing Professional
There’s almost no way to simply explain what Alfred does. It’s a quick launcher replacement for Spotlight. It’s a clipboard manager. It’s a text shortcut tool. It’s a quick calculator. You can even create entire automated workflows with Alfred. Entire blog articles can and have been written about Alfred and why it will change the relationship you have with your Mac. Of all the tools on this list, Alfred is the one I miss the most when I work on someone else’s machine; I depend on it that much, often without even realizing I’m depending on it. And the base level is free, while the “Powerpack” add on is $34 and totally worth it.
Just get it, watch some Youtube videos about it. It’s a game changer.
As a Marketing Professional, we hope this list of 5 apps helps you supercharge your productivity in 2023. I know I can’t live without these! What’s on your list of “Can’t Live Without” apps?
This article was writting by Stratifi Creative’s Technical Director, Brian Wood.