Mac OS X Software I could not life without
Well, I might be able to life without many of these but it would make life way more difficult and less fun and time is also money so I rather buy some additional software if they do save time, make life easier or add just a little bit more fun.
Necessary Software ∞
Without these products a Mac user will hit the wall one day or another and there is no way around them even though some of them have competitors:
A backup tool that create a copy of your hard disk and if you have a firewire drive you can actually boot from it which I highly recommend (at least for boot devices).
How many times did people do backups only to discover that their backup was empty, broken or otherwise unusable. SuperDuper can create a bootable copy and so testing a backup is just a reboot away and you can test your data and programs if they still work. Simple but powerful. It’s smart update features cuts down on the overall time it takes to run a backup. For any important device it might be preferable to either use two partitions or two devices for alternate backups. That said SuperDuper does not do versioning and so you can only recover what was on your disk the last time you did a backup.
Disk Warrior ∞
A disk recovery tool that one rarely needs but when necessary it is worth its money. I ran multiple times into an issue with TimeMachine where the Disk Utility reported a corrupt data dictionary and could not repair it. Disk Warrior was always able to restore the directory and save my data. This is especially important for TimeMachine backups.
Sharing data on multiple computers and with multiple Dropbox users is the simple but yet powerful concept of Dropbox. Many iPhone / iPad Apps are using Dropbox to share data with themselves or with a desktop application. On any newly install OS X systems this is installed right afterwards just before installing 1Password.
A password and software license management tool that is able to provide passwords for the major browsers but can also provide passwords for programs through copy and paste. It supports Dropbox and so you can have your passwords on every computer and it you spend a little bit more then you can have them one your iPhone / iPad as well. This tool speeds up surfing a lot and protects your data on the web.
DEVONThink Pro Office ∞
Initially I used Yojimbo but it was very limited and I need to store many different document formats and being able to search through them. DEVONThink is pricy but it is my second brain where I collect any data. It is simple to drop items into the system using the Inbox directory and the ability to edit the documents right out of DEVONThink with an immediate update during save.
As a Windows power user the only thing that drove me crazy initially was the Mac’s Finder. In a few minutes I had too many finder windows open and dealing with them were a pain in the neck. There PathFinder came to the rescue giving a good compromise between the Mac’s Finder and the Windows Explorer. In addition is provides a two column view, temporary drop area, copy of the path of an file / folder in various formats and many more features.
It took me a while until I finally bought it but with the current version it is a great tool. It needs some time to setup but if done correctly it can save a lot of typing and make work a lot easier. It basically can expand an abbreviation into full text with place holders, cursor placement and much more.