The 11 Best Apps For Getting The Most Out Of Your Mac

An Apple computer running Mac OS X Mavericks is one of the best tools available for getting work done.

Whether you’re a programmer, a writer, or a graphic designer, the easy to learn Mac interface on top of the powerful Unix-derived base makes it easy for users to create an environment that allows them to maximise productivity.

Of course, most people don’t like to dig into settings (or code) to make their computers do what they want.

Thankfully, a number of developers have eliminated most of the hassle by creating apps that do most of the work for you — making it easier than ever to do nearly any common task.

Alfred lets you do most common tasks on your Mac without ever taking your hands off of the keyboard.

This one's a no-brainer. Without ever having to click into an app, Alfred lets you find apps or files on your Mac, search the web, search your iTunes library, look at things you've previously copied to your clipboard, or send an email within seconds.

Price: Free

VLC plays most audio and video file formats that you might come across.

Don't waste time looking for format-specific apps or plug-ins -- VLC can play pretty much anything you throw at it.

Price: Free

NameChanger lets you quickly rename batches of files.

If you take lots of photos on a standalone camera, NameChanger is a great way to quickly give your photos understandable names so you don't have to deal with hundreds of files with names like 'IMG_371.'

Price: Free

Bartender lets you clean up your menu bar and arrange it as you see fit.

If you take advantage of lots of apps and utilities on your Mac, your menu bar can get rather cluttered. Bartender lets you put some of those icons away until you actually need to access them.

Price: $15

F.lux adjusts your screen's colours to match the time of day in order to reduce eyestrain.

F.lux is perfect for those mornings when you have to get to work before the sun comes up. Instead of squinting for the first 20 minutes, you can open your laptop to a warmer, more comfortable screen.

Price: Free

Clear is the simplest way to create ordered lists of things you need to do.

The interface couldn't be simpler: dark colours mean higher priority. All you have to do is type in what you need to do (or any other list of things you might need to remember) and then quickly arrange them by order of importance.

Price: $9.99

Cobook Contacts integrates social media with your Mac's contact database to make it way more useful.

Can't reach someone via phone or text? With Cobook installed, you'll instantly have several other ways of reaching out to them via social media. Plus, it adds all of that to the same database that iCloud uses, so it'll be synced over to your iPhone and iPad as well.

Price: $9.99

Fantastical takes all of the effort out of scheduling something on your calendar.

It lets you quickly add items to your calendar with a keystroke and a few key details. A few days with Fantastical and you'll find that keeping yourself on schedule starts to become second nature.

Price: $19.99

Pixelmator is the best alternative to Adobe Photoshop that won't break the bank.

Whether it's for photo editing or graphic design, Adobe's Photoshop is overpriced for what your average user will be able to do with it. For occasional image editing, you can't do better than Pixelmator for the money.

Price: $29.99

TextExpander lets you create keystrokes that stand for longer phrases that you commonly use.

With only a few of these phrases saved, you'll find you save a ton of time writing things like emails or responses to instant messages.

Price: $34.95

1Password creates incredibly strong passwords and remembers them for you.

It's easier and safer than keeping them on a sticky note or in a text file somewhere on your computer.

Price: $49.99

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