Let’s assume for moment that you’re brand new to the Mac. It’s clean. It’s shiny. It’s fast. It’s free of viruses and malware.
What apps do you need to make your Mac the envy of your neighborhood or co-workers? Do you add free apps? Do you need Windows app counterparts? If you’re on a budget and can only afford seven apps, what would they, should they be?
Say No To Apple, Microsoft, Adobe
You’re a Mac user. It’s time to cut the cord of dependence. Can you live within your means and not give Apple, Microsoft, or Adobe any more of your money? Of course you can.
Most of what Apple gives you in a new Mac is worthy. Safari. Mail. iCal. Address Book. And iLife.
Microsoft’s claim to Mac fame is Office for Mac 2011, which actually came out in 2010. It comes with the ubiquitous Outlook, a Mac counterpart to the much maligned and loved Windows version.
Out, out, damn spot. No Microsoft. You can do better. And, while we’re at it, no Adobe, either. If your boss insists that you have Office and CS5, fine, but the company has to pay for it.
All the rest of the Top 7 Mac Apps for 2011 are yours.
The Selection Committee Criteria
All of these Mac apps are must have apps to ensure your membership to the Cool Mac User’s Group™, of which I am the newly crowned Queen for Life. Not one costs over $100. Some are only available from Apple’s newly minted Mac App Store.
Ready? If you don’t have these Mac apps, then you’re incurring the Queen’s wrath.
#7 – GraphicConverter
Think of GC as a very poor man’s Photoshop. The latest version is as complex as ever, has more features and functions, and a somewhat improved interface.
# 6 – CleanApp
Unlike Windows, Macs don’t have an official easy-to-use way to dispose, trash, throw away Mac apps that you tried out but decided not to buy.
Mac users have half a dozen or so good choices for apps that find all those loose end files and trash them. CleanApp is the best. It resides in the background and watches where apps put their files, keeps track of them, then deletes them when you ask.
#5 – Twitter
This is an indulgence that creeped into the Top 7 in a moment of weakness. I must have a fever. I loved Tweetie on the Mac and iPhone, but the guy who developed it got hired by Twitter (it was that good) and his latest creation is just plain old Twitter.
Twitter for Mac is a strange looking Mac app; totally non-standard looking, and an acquired taste that will grow on you. But it works. Multiple Twitter accounts. All kinds of bells and whistles (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
#4 – Things
If Stickies isn’t enough of a to-do or task or project management app for you, then use Things. It’s simple and elegant and comes with a gentle learning curve.
To-do lists and tasks are easy, and the move to SOHO project management is just a few extra clicks. Things is highly recommended and there’s a comparable iPhone version that syncs to the Mac version.
#3 – MoneyWell
If you have too much month left over at the end of your money, then you need a Quicken replacement. MoneyWell is my favorite but there are many Mac financial apps that are worthy.
#2 – 1Password
Alright, Stickies will work when it comes to saving your usernames, Login IDs, passwords, and other important information (serial numbers, credit card numbers, etc.). 1Password is better, more secure, and integrates with all popular Mac browsers to make web site logins a one click affair.
And, yes, Virginia, there is an iPhone version, so your most important information can be secure and mobile.
#1 – SuperDuper!
There is a reason that the Devil made Windows, but God made the Mac. One is evil. One is good.
SuperDuper! is the backup app that keeps your Mac available as a digital clone, when your Mac’s hard disk drive decides to buy the farm, kick the bucket, climb the tallest beanstalk.
If you can’t afford any of the other six on my Top 7 list, get SuperDuper! First, because you need to trust complete strangers like me.
And, second, because SuperDuper! makes nearly flawless cloned backups of your Mac’s disk drive, which, well, it’s a good thing. If you love your Mac and your photos, movies, documents, email and files, a perfect clone is not a bad thing.
Got a favorite that I missed but should be on the list of any new Mac for a new user or an experienced user? Share in the Comments Section.