20 Killer Productivity Apps for Mac You Should Have in 2013

20 Killer Productivity Apps for Mac You Should Have in 2013

Regardless of whether you received a new Mac for the holidays or you’re beginning to work on your New Year’s resolution to be more productive, applications are on your mind for loading up your Mac for 2013. Productivity apps are great things to add to your Mac whether your resolutions involve productivity or not, as we can all benefit from having a better work flow in our personal lives or occupations. With all of the various applications available in the Mac App Store today that involve productivity, it can be easier than ever to fill your Mac. However, choosing which applications to download may be daunting so this list should help you narrow down your choices.



      A slow Mac is one of the biggest things that can impede on your productive work flow. However, working on increasing your Mac’s processing speed doesn’t stop at emptying your Mac’s trash bin or deleting files in one place: there are many files on your Mac that aren’t easy to access but are quite useless. These files can include language packs on applications.

      If you know you’ll never have to view an application in Hindi, then it’s a safe bet that you can start deleting some extra files, but how do you do so? Magican helps with deleting these pesky hidden files throughout your Mac by recommending files that you may not need and cleaning out your computer with a click of a button. For a free application, Magican is a great tool to increase productivity. (Free)


      Pomodoro mac

        Distractions are a much larger impediment of productivity than a slow Mac. While television shows or noisy rooms seem like the most obvious causes of distractions, there is another issue that can severely impact productivity: a lack of structure. When we don’t have a set schedule for getting things done, we are more likely to get distracted and push tasks aside for later. A quick solution to this type of procrastination is Pomodoro.

        The system of productive working occurs when you assign each activity a certain duration, allowing time for breaks. Pomodoro works in increments to allow you to hold your attention for a longer period of time. I am currently using this app while writing this article… at 2:00 am. I set the task’s duration to about an hour to an hour and a half to complete. With the help of Pomodoro, I have been able to take breaks to rest my mind while still keeping my brain stimulated (not staring at a computer blankly for an hour or more). If you are willing to try a new productivity technique, this application may be the one for you. ($4.99)


        mindnote mac

          Looking at things from a blank slate and understanding the larger picture allow you to stretch your creativity and extend your workload into something more productive. For example, as a blogger, I must come up with provoking article ideas that will grab readers’ attention and are appealing to their wants and needs. MindNode is a great way for me to get a larger picture of a topic or subject and break it down step-by-step into an idea tree. Instead of wasting time pondering, MindNode allows you to get going and act on your ideas. (Free; $19.99 paid version)


          iA Writer


            iA Writer ($4.99) – As mentioned above, distraction is a common impediment of productivity. iA Writer takes the distraction out of writing by allowing you to focus more on the text at hand. This can be done by having a blank, non-distracting background. Through focus mode, you can even blur all but the specific sentence you are writing.


            mou mac

              Mou (Free) – Mou takes the distraction out of CSS and HTML coding. If you are a developer, lines of code can be distracting and can even cause you to feel overwhelmed. Mou can help. This is a must!



                SelfControl (Free) – Facebook distracting you from work? Block it for a couple of minutes or hours with SelfControl. Preventing you from visiting specified websites, SelfControl is very effective. It is quite difficult to disable so make sure to set the parameters wisely. This is for the ultra procrastinators!


                quiet mac

                  Quiet ($1.99) – Maintain productivity by having your desktop focus only on what you’re actively using, blurring all inactive windows or alerts. Similar to SelfControl, this prevents you from being tempted to play a game or work on another task.



                  break time mac

                    BreakTime ($4.99) – In some aspects, this application uses the Pomodoro technique of encouraging breaks by disabling the things you are working on for short designated intervals. Despite being a bit expensive, BreakTime is a great proponent of a healthier lifestyle for bloggers, programmers, and even average Internet users alike.


                    Producteev mac

                      Producteev (Free) – Use this application to stay on top of what needs to get done by separating your work life from your personal needs through “Workspaces.” Never again will you get distracted from work when you see the load of exclusively work-related tasks you have to get done!

                      iStudiez Pro

                      iStudiez Pro mac

                        iStudiez Pro ($9.99) – This is the household name for productivity apps geared toward students. Considering the price, this app is a true investment piece but will keep on giving throughout secondary school and university.



                          PagesKeynote, and Numbers – iWork Office ($19.99/each) – These apps are cost-efficient, more user-friendly alternatives to Microsoft Office. Exporting options allow you to have your documents or slideshows viewable on any computer.



                            Anxiety (Free) – Anxiety allows you to have a quick to-do list in the background, but always at hand to check off the tasks of the day. It takes out all of the fluff and gives you a bare-bones to-do task list. It’s a tad bit better than a sticky note!



                            kickoff mac

                              Kickoff (Free) – Get things done in a collaborative, chat-centered way with Kickoff. As the saying goes, “There’s no ‘I’ in team.” Knock out tasks through group action.

                              BusyCal 2


                                BusyCal 2 ($19.99) – Increase the productivity of the native Calendar application, while still retaining an identical UI with BusyCal 2.

                                Balsamiq Mockups

                                Balsamiq Mockups

                                  Balsamiq Mockups (30-day free trial; $79) – Balsamiq Mockups is all about UI mockups made easy, all in a drag-and-drop fashion. This is the UI application that I make use of when sketching websites and iPhone apps. Plus, there are PNG and JPEG exportation options as well to make it extra sharable.


                                  finder for the cloud

                                    Collections (Free) – Google Docs comes to Mac—finally? This is the best you’ll get, wrapped in a web app.




                                      Klok ($19.99) – Klok is a work timer that ensures that you are getting the correct work duration from your client on timed freelance projects.



                                        Things ($49.99 after Free Trial) – This is the only task manager you’ll need if you’re willing to cough up the initial cost! There’s even an iOS application available as well.


                                        clear mac

                                          Clear ($6.99) – iOS born, now Mac bred, Clear is a task manager that takes the mess out of keeping tasks organized. The application makes use of gestures, similar to the iOS app, to create and check off tasks by not having too many options yelling at you all at once.



                                            CrossPost ($1.99) – Reduce the amount of time you spend on social networks, and increase the amount of time you have to get things done. CrossPost allows you to simultaneously post to Facebook and Twitter with a simple click.

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                                            40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                            40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                            Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                            There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                            Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                            It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                            Productivity apps to help you get things done

                                            1. OmniFocus

                                            This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                            Download it here.

                                              2. Forest

                                              Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                              Download it here.

                                                3. Things

                                                Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                                Download it here.

                                                  4. 30/30

                                                  Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                                  , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    5. Any.Do

                                                    A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      6. PocketLife Calendar

                                                      This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        7. Asana

                                                        We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                                        , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                                        Download it here.


                                                          8. ToDoist

                                                          This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            9. FlowTasks

                                                            From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              10. Calendars 5

                                                              This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                                A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  12. Due

                                                                  A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    13. Checkmark 2

                                                                    I use this app

                                                                    for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      14. TeuxDeux

                                                                      Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        15. Wunderlist 

                                                                        Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                                        Download it here.


                                                                          16. Nirvana

                                                                          For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            17. Priorities

                                                                            An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                                              18. Productive

                                                                              With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                                You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  20. Streaks

                                                                                  This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    21. Remember The Milk

                                                                                    Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      22. Day One Journal

                                                                                      When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                                        23. Evernote

                                                                                        Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          24. Pocket

                                                                                          You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                                          Download it here.


                                                                                            25. Sync.Me

                                                                                            This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              26. Droplr

                                                                                              One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                27. Dropbox

                                                                                                Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  28. iDolly 

                                                                                                  In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                                  Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    29. Soulver

                                                                                                    It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                                      30. Captio

                                                                                                      A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        31. Drafts

                                                                                                        A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                                          This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                                          Download it here.


                                                                                                            33. Doodle

                                                                                                            This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                              34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                              I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                                A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                                  36. GoodReader

                                                                                                                  This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                                    37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                                    Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                                      Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                                      38. 1Password

                                                                                                                      There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                                        39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                                        You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                                        All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                                          40. Truecallers

                                                                                                                          Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                                            There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.


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