What's running on my Mac.

I have been a full time Mac user at work since 2008. And since my employers haven't been too Orwellian about what I do with the Macbook outside work (besides the obvious no-nos such as porn and torrents), it has pretty much been my personal machine as well. To add to that I have a Windows laptop at home that I use on and off, and a range of phones that I carry (I can't seem to be happy having just one).
So, as is natural, I have been used to a certain setup and it works for me pretty well. I just wanted to share that here, should that be helpful for someone else as well.

Startup applications -

There is a set of startup applications that are like part of the OS for me. Let me outline them below.

Caffeine -
Caffeine is a simple utility that sits on the tray and prevents your Mac from going to sleep. It is amazingly helpful if you are like me and hate it when the screen locks and you don't want it to. The functionality that it provides might be (probably is) available via a tweak of system preferences, but this application provides a simple solution that just works. It just puts your system on caffeine and the functionality can be toggled with a single click.

It is available in the Mac App Store here.











Alfred -
Alfred is again a simple yet powerful utility. It is a much better and more intuitive replacement for spotlight on your Mac and it does its job really well. It can be used for web searches, calculator functions, dictionary lookups and other such stuff - besides the primary function of looking up content on your machine - and the ease of use is just amazing. It has some easter eggs built it but they are more fun when you discover them on your own.
For the life of me I can't remember when was the last time I used spotlight on my machine. I would have disabled it were there some way to do so.
It is available in the Mac App Store here.






Dropbox -
You have to be living under a rock if you haven't heard of Dropbox by now. It's a solution that helps you keep your files in sync across multiple systems/platforms. They have clients across all major platforms and also a pretty functional web version. Once set up, it's seamless. You can treat the dropbox folder on your machine like any other folder. When you start they set you up with 2 GB of free space, and you can buy more if needed. There are options to bump up the free space too. It is a godsend it you keep shunting across devices, and also helpful as a backup service. I primarily use it as the Documents folder across my machines, and to back up the photos on my phones (automatically).
You can get started here.







Transmit -
From the App store description -
"Transmit 4 is the ultimate FTP + SFTP + WebDAV + Amazon S3 file transfer client on the Mac.If you are a regular user of FTP then Transmit is the application for you. It make FTP as easy as drag and drop, and helps you keep focussed on the real work. You will have to justify the 34$ price tag to your IT department thought, because I don't see someone shelling out that much amount for this application for personal use. 

It is available on the Mac App Store here.







Things -
Everyone has their own favourite to-do application, Things is mine. It is very simple and intuitive, yet insanely powerful. Only drawback, it will push you back by 50$ on a Mac, I would definitely not be using it were my employer not providing me with a copy.
It will also help keep your to-dos in sync over iPhone and iPod but since I don't use either, I can't comment on that.
Available on the Mac App Store here.



As an aside, Wunderlist (available in the Mac App Store here) is also a pretty decent task manager, with apps across all major platforms. And it is absolutely free. Over a period of time I have moved to a system where I use Things for work related stuff and Wunderlist for personal items, and this system serves me pretty well.

Evernote -
What to say about Evernote that hasn't already been said? Not too much that I can add here.
Just a suggestion. If you are on a Mac then install the Mac App Store version, to ensure that your apps stay with you when you change machines.
Available here.



Stickies -
To the best of my knowledge, they come preloaded on Macs. As the name suggests, they work as random  and readily available notes that you write to yourself. Simple and functional.

So this was the setup that helps me get my work done. What I like the best about this setup is that it stays in the background, coming to the forefront only when I need it to. Hope this helps you.

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