The Best Mac Tools

Recently I’ve been in this mode of acquiring all of these great, little Mac productivity tools. It all started when I started watching the MacBreak video podcast. Those shows started introducing me to some really great tools. The best thing is that these tools are either free or really cheap – if you think about what you are getting for the money.

Today I’m going to give you my list of favorite tools (so far), tell you a little bit about them and tell you where to find them. In future posts I will go through some of them in more detail.

AddressX – syncs Address Book with your Exchange Global Address Book
Adium – Instant messaging client with a very Mac-like feel
GroupCal – Syncs your iCal calendars & tasks with your Exchange account
iSquint – great little video conversion tool to get videos into iTunes or your iPod
kGTD – an organizational system for Getting Things Done that integrates with Omni Outliner Pro. An amazing and FREE tool.
Little Snitch – monitors what programs on your Mac are trying to access the network. Very handy to make sure that you don’t have any spyware, keyloggers or trojans sending out your personal information.
MailActOn – indispensable tool for creating very complex rules in Mail 2.0
MailTags 2.0 – allows you to add tags to your email messages, search on those tags in Mail, associate emails with projects, create iCal tasks from messages and more.
Merlin – the premiere project management tool on the Mac
Notebook – if you do research, this is the tool to have. Clip items from the web, add Word, PDF and many other types of documents, collect media and just about anything else in one place organized the way you want it.
Parallels – the best virtual machine out there. If you have to use Windows for work fairly regularly this is the tool. No reboots necessary.
QuickSilver – I don’t know how I navigated my Mac before I got this. Just hold dow the control key and press the space bar. Then begin typing the name of the thing you are looking for. Press enter to launch. Its like Spotlight on steroids.
RemoteBuddy – I wondered why my Mac came with a remote if all I could do was control Front Row and iTunes. Enter RemoteBuddy. Now you can control most anything on your Mac with the supplied remote.
Renamer4Mac – Sometimes you have to rename a bunch of files. For example to move a bunch of files to a Windows machine, you may want to add the .xxx extension so Windows can recognize them. Renamer4Mac comes to the rescue here. It’s better than Automater for this task and I will tell you why.
Wallet – Being an IT professional, I have a lot of passwords. I also have a lot of serial numbers, credit card numbers and other data that I would like to keep secure. Wallet is the answer for securely storing all of those things and freeing your mind for more important information. In addition, Wallet will help you pick secure passwords. It will even automate the entry of the passwords into web pages so you don’t have to cut and paste. It also comes with a dashboard widget.

While I am an IT professional and I work in a Windows world, I use a Mac because it allows me to be so much more productive. The availability of these tools allows me to go to the next level. Check them out if you get a chance. I’ll be writing more on most them in the coming days.

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