Whilst I’ve discussed iPad software elsewhere, I regularly get asked what software I use on the Mac. Here’s my (almost) definitive list:
- Apple iCal and Mail: There’s many other applications that are more feature-laden, but I tend to stick with the default suite of Apple software including iCal and Mail. Largely this is because I appreciate their simplicity (although I’m not a fan of the new iCal interface) and tight integration with iCloud and Apple devices. Cost: Free with a Mac.
- The Hit List: I have a love/hate relationship with the Hit List. I LOVE its simplicity, elegance, fast synchronisation, keyboard shortcuts, iPhone app, and workflow. I DISLIKE the absence of an iPad application and the slow release of updates. Yet, I always come back to it because of its functionality and beauty (I think I own almost every other ‘GTD’ application on the Mac, but THL is the best, in my humble opinion). More Information: see the Potion Factory. Cost: $49.95 (+ $19.99/year for synchronisation).
- Evernote: I really love Evernote and use it extensively for just about everything. From everyday notes, to future possible sermon illustrations, Evernote is brilliant. It is also wonderful because it is accessible online and on almost every single mobile platform. I would love if they made the interface a little more elegant. More Information: see Evernote. Cost: Free (with a paid subscription option).
- NetNewsWire: I’ve been a NetNewsWire user for a long time – both on the Mac and iPhone/iPad. Very easy to use, and superb for handling all my RSS feeds (I’ve discussed this in detail here). More information: see NetNewsWire App. Cost: Free (with a paid option to remove ads, $14.95).
- Chrome: I use Chrome for internet browsing almost exclusively (except for testing). It’s light, simple, and robust. Cost: Free.
- Transmit: For all my FTP needs I use Transmit by Panic. Beautiful and robust. More Information: see Panic. Cost: $34.
- Dropbox: Everything except my photos and music is in Dropbox. Simply brilliant, along with the iPad and iPhone applications. (I’ve discussed how I use it with the iPad here.) More information: see Dropbox. Cost: Paid above 2GB.
- Skype: Not much to say about this! Cost: Free (with some optional paid services).
- TextEdit: I still use textedit for all my basic outlining and sometimes even short-form writing. I sometimes use the WriteRoom product for more elaborate text editing and TextWrangler for code related items. Cost: Bundled with OSX.
- Microsoft Office: Yeah – I use this! When it comes to complex documents, Pages just doesn’t cut it (unfortunately, because I prefer its simplicity and handling of styles). I mainly use Word and Excel. Cost: Varies greatly.
- iWork: I love KeyNote and sometimes also use Pages depending upon my writing needs. Cost: $20.99/product via the Mac AppStore.
- Endnote: I use EndNote as an article repository and for citation purposes in Word. It works well, but I do wish there was a more elegant alternative (and/or EndNote had an iPad companion). There are some alternatives, but they all seem to be let down by their lack of citation integration with word processors. More information: Endnote. Cost: $370 for full version (often available for free if enrolled in a University Degree).
Graphics & Desktop Publishing
- Adobe Suite: I use the Adobe suite extensively for anything DeskTop Publishing related. This work centres on three applications: InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Adobe are one of those companies that frustrate me (along with SPSS and MYOB), but it really does work well (when it’s not trying to tell me that my license is corrupted). More information: Adobe. Cost: varies, but the Standard suite ~ $1900 (with cheaper versions available for education licenses and upgrades).
- OmniGraffle: Whilst I use it less frquently, I love OmniGraffle for simple diagrams and flow charts. More information: see the OmniGroup. Cost: $49.99.
- TimeLine3D: I use this mainly for lecturing – it produces beautifully animated timelines that can be easily integrated with KeyNote. More information: see BeeDocs. Cost: $65.
- Accordance: I really love Accordance and use it for anything technical to do with the Bible (for reading, I use BibleReader, see the next point). I mainly use it for various translations (mainly: NRSV, NIV, NJB) and any work in original languages. I also purchase commentaries exclusively on Accordance now, and typically use the Word Biblical Commentary and Hermeneia. The IVP collection as well as other dictionaries are also very handy. The iPad and iPhone applications are also brilliant. More information: see Accordance. Cost: varies according to the package you select.
- Bible Reader: Strangely, I find that for personal reading and devotion Accordance is too bulky and unattractive. This is when I typically use Olive Tree’s Bible Reader which is very elegant and has nice synchronisation of bookmarks and notes. More information: see OliveTree. Cost: Base application is free, but then cost varies per translation.
- iLife: There’s no real comparison, especially to iPhoto (unless you’re a professional). Cost: per app on Mac App Store. Cost: $19.99.
- iTunes: I like its integration and ecosystem (especially how it works with the iPod/iPhone/iPad and Apple TV), but it really does need some redevelopment for speed. Cost: Free.
- Fission: For any simple audio editing, I love Fission. More information: see Rogue Amoeba. Cost: $39.
- RadioShift: Also by Rogue Amoeba, I use RadioShift to listen to online radio stations etc. More information: see Rogue Amoeba. Cost: $39.
- ILoveStars: A simple little app (by the makers of the Hit List) to alert you when music you are playing hasn’t been rated. More information: see the Potion Factory. Cost: Free.
- DeliciousLibrary: I love Delicious Library and use it as a definitive list of all my books and DVDs etc. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have an iPhone Application (it did, but had to be withdrawn), but I still love it. More information: see Delicious Library. Cost: $35 (on sale).
- SPSS: Any statistical analysis I do is in SPSS. I do quite like SPSS, although it has its issues. I’ve considered switching across to alternatives, but often the thought of learning another language of syntax prevents me! Cost: Thousands, depending upon modules etc.
- MYOB: I still use MYOB for some business interests, but are gradually switching everything to Xero (which is brilliant). Cost: Varies, but $300-500.
- Growl: Brilliant utility for handling notifications in OSX. More information: see Growl. Cost: Free.
I won’t go into detail (most are discussed above), but the key online services I use are:
- iCloud (www.icloud.com) (Free)
- Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) (Paid above 2GB)
- Xero (www.xero.com) ($49/year for person, $79/year for business)
- Evernote (www.evernote.com) (Free, but go for the paid option)
- Flickr (www.flickr.com) (Free, with paid options)
- Vimeo (www.vimeo.com) (Free, with paid options)
- Facebook (www.facebook.com) (Free, except for your privacy)
- Twitter (www.twitter.com) (Free)
- Google Reader (part of Google’s mail services etc) (Free, except for your content being scanned for advertising)