7 Best Mac Productivity Apps

Apple productivity featured

Work smarter, not harder? A good productivity app can help you do just that. Here are some of the best Mac productivity apps.

We’ve all been there—you’re trying to get some work done, and suddenly, six hours have passed, and you’ve barely made a scratch in everything you need to get done. Distractions, poor workflows, or a simple lack of organization can cause you to be far less productive than you want to be.

The good news is that you’re not the first person to experience this problem. There is a whole category of apps with the sole purpose of trying to help you become more productive.

From to-do apps to time trackers, here are some of the best productivity apps for your Mac.

1. Magnet
magnet mac app

Download Magnet for $7.99

Your Mac can fill your screen with two different apps using Split View. This is a very useful way to get the most out of your screen real estate and reduce the amount of time you spend switching between apps. What if you want to split your screen into more than two parts, however? That’s where Magnet comes in.

Once installed, Magnet allows you to drag windows to the corners or sides of your screen to divide it into three, four, or even six on ultra-wide monitors. You can also position your apps using customizable keyboard shortcuts or by clicking on the menu bar icon. One of the other benefits is that you can drag other windows on top of your split screen layout, which isn’t possible with Split View.

2. Todoist

todoist mac app

Download Todoist for Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

There’s nothing quite like a good to-do list. The satisfaction of checking off the final item can make all your hard work and stress seem worthwhile. Todoist takes this concept and makes it even better.

Creating tasks is quick and easy by using natural language such as ‘email Steve about the Christmas party on Wednesday’. You can link your email and calendar to automatically add tasks to Todoist, and there are apps for iPhone and Apple Watch too, so you can keep on top of your to-do list on the go.

You can create multiple projects, each with its own list. Every task can include a due date, project tag, label, and priority tag. You can also set up reminders for tasks, but this is only available in the Pro or Business plans. Free users can have up to five active projects and up to five collaborators per project; if you need more, you’ll need to upgrade.

3. MindNode

mindnode mac app

Download MindNode for Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Do you find your productivity taking a hit because you just have too many ideas, and find it hard to keep track? If so, MindNode could be just what you need. It’s an app intended to help you capture ideas or random thoughts that you want to come back to later.

You start with a central idea (or node). You can then add multiple ideas to branches that spring from that central node, and each of these branches can branch again. What you end up with is a mind map that can help you achieve your central goal much more efficiently.

The app is free, but you can upgrade to use built-in themes, custom stickers, and a wide range of emojis. In order to install MindNode on your Mac, you’ll need to be using macOS Monterey or higher.

4. Alfred

alfred mac app

Download Alfred for Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

If you use Spotlight all the time to find files or launch apps, and you wish that Siri was just a bit more useful, then Alfred may be just what you’re looking for. At its heart, you can launch Alfred with a simple hotkey combination, and start typing just like you do with Spotlight.

However, Alfred can do a lot more than Spotlight. Type Trash into Spotlight for example, and you’ll get a list of search queries. Type Trash into Alfred, press Enter, and you’re taken straight to your trash folder.

Alfred becomes really powerful if you buy the Powerpack upgrade. This doesn’t come cheap, at £34 for a single license (about $40 at the time of writing) but it unlocks Workflows. These allow you to automate common tasks, which can save you a huge amount of time. There is also a huge collection of useful workflows you can download and use straight away.

5. Bear

bear mac app

Download Bear for Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Bear is a note-taking app that solves one of the biggest problems of taking a lot of random notes: how on earth do you find them all again? Bear solves this by using tags. Simply add a hashtag such as #work anywhere in your note, and a folder is automatically created with that name. Click on the #work folder in the sidebar, and you’ll immediately see all of the notes containing that tag.

You can add multiple tags to each file, and even create nested folders by adding a slash, such as #work/emails. Bear is a great way to get stuff down quickly without having to worry about organizing it all again later. The app is also available for iPhone and Apple Watch, but if you want to sync notes between different apps, then you’ll need to upgrade to Bear Pro.

6. Hazel

hazel mac app

Download Hazel ($42 with a 14-day free trial)

If you find yourself wasting a lot of time shifting files around on your Mac to keep everything organized, then Hazel may just be able to save you some serious time. Hazel allows you to set up automations to put your files exactly where you want them without you having to lift a finger. For example, if you download a movie file, Hazel can move it straight into your Movies folder.

As well as moving files around, Hazel can add color labels, copy files, rename them, add or remove tags, import files into apps such as Music, Photos, or TV, or even run Automator workflows.

Hazel costs $42 for a single-user license, but there’s a 14-day free trial if you want to see if it works for you.

7. Toggl/Timery

timery mac app

Download Toggl for Free

Download Timery for Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Toggl is a free time-tracking tool that allows you to keep track of how you spend your time. You can log the time spent on multiple different projects directly from your desktop. However, one gripe many users have with Toggl is that its frond end is the most user-friendly.

Timery solves all of these issues. It turns Toggl into a beautiful looking app with even more features. You can start your most-used timers with a single tap and choose the order that they appear. It’s simple to add or edit your time entries and see detailed reports.

Timery also adds support for Apple Watch, so you can start and stop timers directly from your Watch, or see your current time worked right on your wrist. Timery requires macOS Monterey or higher and although you can use it for free, to access all of the features, you’ll need to upgrade to Timery Club for $9.99 per year.

Get More From Your Mac

These are just some of the best Mac productivity apps out there; there are plenty of other options to suit almost any need. If there’s an app that you simply can’t live without anymore, then please let us know in the comments below.

If you want to get more out of your Mac, there are plenty of other tips and tricks you can learn. Do you find that your apps are just too small when you split your screen using Magnet? If so, you can change your Mac screen resolution. If you’re finding that you’re constantly getting distracting messages when you’re trying to be productive, you can mute iMessage on Mac.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top