Apps we can't work without

Apps we can't work without

October 22, 2021

Note: We're unashamedly Mac users — some of these apps will be exclusively for MacOS or iOS.
But we love and respect all of our PC clients and friends. You do you! 👈


Airtable is an easy-to-use online platform for creating and sharing relational databases. The user interface is simple, colorful, friendly, and allows anyone to spin up a database in minutes. A relational database doesn't just store data, it stores relationships between the data  & makes database management fun.

Compare to: Notion


Calcbot is a calculator app that performs basic and scientific math functions. A built-in unit converter tool includes categories like currency, fuel, length, speed, temperature, time, and more. Great UI and so easy to use.

Compare to: PCalc

CleanMyMac X

CleanMyMac X is all-in-one package to awesomize your Mac. It cleans megatons of junk and makes your computer run faster — just like it did on day one. We use CleanMyMac at least once weekly (on all computers). Makes everything better, faster, cleaner.

Compare to: MacKeeper

Cleanshot for Mac

CleanShot X is the best screenshot and screen recording app for Mac with a built-in annotation tool, Cloud uploading, scrolling capture, and a lot more. Started using this one recently and find it simpler to use than other apps to quick capture screenshots or short video clips.

Compare to: CloudApp


ColorSlurp is a color productivity booster for developers or designers. Pick any color on your screen using the high-precision magnifier. Create and edit colors using advanced selection and editing tools. Organize colors into collections, and more.

Compare to: Sip


Craft is a tool for creating beautiful documents and notes and sharing your thoughts. Everything you create in Craft can be shared with one tap. Craft supports inline markdown, backlinks, code snippets, images, videos, attaching PDF files, and rich link previews.

Compare to: Bear


Drafts is a quick-capture note-taking app for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, which is focused on letting you get text out of your head, and providing flexible ways of managing and acting on that text once you have captured it.

Compare to: Apple Notes


Drift is a "conversational marketing platform" that helps you qualify leads faster and connect your customers with the right business solutions more efficiently.  We use the free version on our site for (simple) online chat service. That works.

Compare to: Olark

Gemini 2

Gemini 2 identifies duplicate files on your Mac and external hard drives. Eliminating those duplicates frees up lots of storage space and helps you make the most of every gigabyte of the storage you have.

Compare to: Duplicate File Finder


Gusto is a full-service, cloud-based payroll and HR management platform for small businesses. Gusto handles payments to employees and contractors and also handles electronically the paperwork necessary to help client companies comply with tax, labor, and immigration laws. Incredible timesaver for payroll geeks (like me).

Compare to: ADP


HelloSign allows you to electronically request and add legally binding signatures to any document, from new hire agreements to loans, to NDAs. HelloSign is available in an intuitive web interface, a developer-friendly API, or as a Salesforce add-on. We've tried a few and find HelloSign easier to use.

Compare to: DocuSign


I'm nothing if not thorough when it comes to sources for great icons, and here's my latest fav. Found Icons8 while watching several Adobe XD videos — noticing the very nice icons being used by the experts.

Compare to: Flaticon


MindMeister is a free online mind mapping tool to brainstorm, structure information and plan projects with your team.

Compare to: MindNode


Miro is an online whiteboard for teams to collaborate and visualize concepts, ideas, and solutions — and feel the connection of working side by side, even in remote, distributed, and hybrid work environments.

Compare to: Whimsical


Obsidian is my latest obsession (say that a few times). And the "Linking Your Thinking" guy is one reason I Iove this note taking app — Nick Milo doesn't do a product walkthrough, rather a meditation (as one YouTube commenter added). Welcome to the world of PKM (personal knowledge management).

Compare to: RemNote


Pastebot saves everything you copy so that you can quickly recall them in the future. Save and organize frequently-used clippings into custom pasteboards and create keyboard shortcuts to access pasteboards and paste specific clippings.

Compare to: Maccy


Create powerful snippets to save you time so that all you type is a short abbreviation, and TextExpander does the rest of the typing for you. Incredible time saver — I do not work without this app.

Compare to: Alfred

Tiny PNG

TinyPNG reduces the file size of images to decrease bandwidth and load times. By selectively decreasing the number of colors in the image, fewer bytes are required to store the data. The effect is nearly invisible but it makes a very large difference in file size.

Compare to: JPEGmini


Unsplash is a free stock photography site with more than 3 million photos. Unsplash allows photographers to upload photos to its website, which are then curated by a team of photo editors. Users are free to download the photos and use them in any way they want with no restrictions.

Compare to: Pexels


The super duper app quartet

white stripe icon


Stripe is an online payment processing and credit card processing platform for businesses. Stripe allows safe and efficient processing of funds via credit card or bank and transfers those funds to the sellers account.

Compare to: Square

white 1password icon


1Password is a secure password manager that enables you to sync your passwords across all of your devices using the same password vault. Anyone who knows us knows that this is step one for password security and sharing.

Compare to: LastPass

white creative cloud logo

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is an easy way to access the Adobe Suite (software for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, and more). A great way to have PS, AI, XD, Acrobat and much more.

Compare to: Don't know of anything...

Is it time for a business checkup or review? Want to talk about ways to save time and money (and keep your sanity) while all the plates are spinning? Let's do it.

Next week

October 24
Notetaking for work

We'll take a deep dive into the exciting world of digital and analog note taking on the business side of things, comparing some popular tools and listening to some productivity experts address this subject. Grab a pen stylus keyboard — here we go.

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