Or how I learned to stop worrying and learned to love unitaskers.
I've been a mac user possibly longer than you've been alive, really, and I have a love-hate relationship with software in this age of AppStores, clouds, and subscription models. I recently replaced an old iMac with a sexy new Mac mini, and when it came time to load software on it, I decided to try to find some new tools that are unencumbered by the AppStore. Now the fact that most of these are free wasn't my actual motivation - it was merely a bonus.
Open Source Unitaskers:
The world is FULL of window managers, I've used a bunch, as of late I've been smitten with Rectangle, it's entirely keyboard-driven, it does everything I need it to, and refreshingly nothing else.
You'd be surprised how often I have to keep my computer awake for some random task, that is a task I could do via the terminal, but KeepingYouAwake handles the job and refreshingly does nothing else.
I am and continue to be a happy Alfred user. Still, on this new Mac, I didn't install Alfred; turns out that the Alfred feature I use the most is the clipboard manager, so I found Maccy which (after tweaking some preferences) is just a fast and joyously unobtrusive little utility.
I dislike font-managers, but not nearly as much as I dislike Apple's Font Book, so I needed a font-manager. I've been really pleased with Fontbase, it's fast, pretty to look at, and cross-platform. It handles all my font-management needs PLUS makes the entire Google Font catalog available in a single click. The standard version of Fontbase is free, feature-rich, and available for Mac, Windows, and Linux. There's also an upgraded 'Awesome' version that has either a small monthly fee or a single lifetime price attached, I haven't bit that bullet yet because honestly, I'm not that interested in the added 'Awesome' features.
Security is important, I also find it very interesting to see what resources and servers any given app might try to reach. If you've never paid attention to outgoing or incoming traffic on your machine you'd be suprised with the shear volume of traffic that gets generated just by launching a common app. There's a handful of notable players in this particular space, Lil Snitch, Handsoff and Radio Silence are the ones that come to mind, each with lots of features along with lots of UI. On the polar opposite of those big thicc (it's spelled right) firewall apps is Lulu, I'm not sure she's any more simple to use than the previously mentioned apps, but she feels easier, and she stays out of my way till she has something to say. (okay, I'm putting the pronouns away)
A lot of Mac apps toss icons and controls into the menubar, it can get cluttered. Having the ability to hide select menubar icons is handy. I've tried several apps that accomplish this task both commercial and free, I had mixed results until I found Dozer. It. Just. Works.
Once upon a time I had 6 different calendars, truthfully it was a mess. I hated most every menubar calendar, but desperately need one, I spun my wheel on this for a while. Since then I simplified my calendar setup, and happily use itsycal to keep an eye on my days. I'm sure at this point (if you read this far) you can guess what I like about it.
Suspiciously absent from this list is colorpickers, there's a reason for that, but that's an entirely different story.
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