How many third party utilities are stored on your Mac? Apple gives us the basics– browser, email, calendar, contacts, music, photos– but we’re on our own for apps that fill in what Apple doesn’t provide.
These utilities fall into two basic camps. The one-trick pony apps that do, well, just one thing. Or, apps with a few functions that make the whole of functionality greater than the parts.
Essentials Is Almost Essential
Some apps take a niche and do one particular function, while others try to do a little of everything. As example, there’s GraphicConverter, often referred to as the Swiss Army Knife of graphic apps.
It’s not Photoshop. It’s priced less. But it does much of what Photoshop doesn’t to manage graphics and photos, and convert files, so many Mac users have both.
I’m not writing about GraphicConverter, though. In this case it’s Essentials, a nifty, customizable utility you’re probably going to like once you get past the learning curve.
Swiss Army Knife, indeed. Essentials isn’t easy to define beyond that monicker. It does a little of everything you need to do to become more efficient and proficient.
It has a shortcuts pad which can be customized. It’s also an app launcher. Click or keyboard shortcuts. It’s also an odd sort of clipboard-like dropbox to save email, clippings, PDFs, images, and anything else until you’re ready to find a place to save.
Keyboard shortcuts are handy, of course, but so is the option to find files and folders.
The onscreen pop up window displays categories of apps and functions that you can customize.
Considering all that Essentials can do to speed up your navigation, Preferences are surprisingly sparse.
Set it up to startup when you login to your Mac. Define the global shortcut keystroke.
Then, use the handy slider controls to change the pop up window size, spacing, groups, and font size.
Not only does Essentials launch apps, find files and folders, store clippings and files, but it mixes colors, creates Terminal commands as action droplets, and can act as an app switcher.
None of these functions are things you absolutely need on your Mac, but it does make navigating faster, and it’s easy on the eyes. The script launching alone makes it a worthy addition, but that’s a level more often reserved for the geekier Mac user.