What's your favorite app that even Apple power users don't know about, but should?

We all know about the apps that get frequent – and deserved – praise in the Apple podcast/blogosphere. Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, Fantastical, Drafts, Alfred, Bear, OmniFocus, Things. etc. etc. etc.

But what are your favorite apps that even Apple power users don’t know about, but would be happier and more productive if they did?

I’ve mentioned SwiftText around here occasionally just to get the word out. It’s kind of like Drafts for the Mac. It doesn’t give you automation, but it’s often the first place I type text. I press Ctrl-Cmd-N and a little text entry window pops up. Press escape or Ctrl-Cmd-N and the window disappears, but it remembers what you typed into it, even between reboots. Then I can cut and paste the text wherever. I use it literally dozens of times every day.

What are your favorite obscure apps?

Just to make this topic interesting, don’t feel the need to describe the apps. Feel free to describe them and what you love about them if you want – but if you want to just paste a link to the app’s web page or App Store link, that’s fine too. Maybe even better with just the link.




I use DynaList for reusable lists. I have one for what I need to pack when I go on a trip, another of movies and TV shows I’d like to watch, and a shopping list for foods we regularly buy.

I also use it for on-the-fly lists. Lately I’ve used it as an ad hoc task manager - in the morning, before I check OmniFocus I write down a few things I know I’d like to get done that day.



Cheatsheet https://mediaatelier.com/CheatSheet/?lang=en is a great little app that shows all the available keyboard shortcuts for the current application in focus. It’s free.

The menu bar app, Display Menu (Mac App Store) provides fast access to changing among available display resolutions. Useful if you are frequently changing them because of connecting to different external displays or projectors or you are switching between Retina resolutions.

Touché https://red-sweater.com/touche/ simulates having a Touch Bar on Macs that don’t have them. See if you want to ditch your iMac for a new MacBook Pro! (I don’t.) It’s free.


Curio is awesome. Notebook, whiteboard, Kanban, photo pin boards, mind mapping, reminders, calendar integration, etc.

And check this: if you have a checkbox in an idea space with a date assigned as a reminder, that reminder is synced to Reminders. Mark it done in Reminders (even from your phone), and the checkbox in Curio updates to reflect the new status. So cool!




Pagico is an interesting lightweight project and task manager.


  • Complete Anatomy — It’s what’s on the inside that counts. This is a slick app that I use on my Mac and iPad for brushing up on my anatomy.
  • Fluid — Turns a website into a Mac app. Among other things, I used it to create a Mac app for brain.fm. It’s back in development after being on hiatus for a while.
  • Forklift — My favourite Finder alternative. I previously used Path Finder, but switched to Forklift a couple of months back after being disappointed in the Path Finder 8 release. Forklift was added to Setapp earlier this year.
  • Monosnap — My favourite way to take screenshots on my Macs. While there is a paid option, many of the features are available in the free app.
  • Pixave — A very slick media management app that doesn’t seem to get much attention. I use it on Mac and iOS to organize things like stock photography, logos, and bio pics.
  • Quitter — A free menu bar app by Marco Arment (of Overcast fame) that can be used to automatically quit apps after a defined amount of inactivity.
  • Station — A browser that’s designed to run web apps. It’s pretty slick and still have some room to grow.
  • uBar — A dock replacement for the Mac that is highly configurable and addresses many of the dock’s limitations. It’s now part of the Setapp collection.

Complete Anatomy is awesome. I used in a lecture last year, and the students really liked it. Being able to zoom in and out of brain (and body) structures gives students a good sense of their spatial relationships.

  • Barista - timer and ratio calculator for making fussy coffee, especially pourovers
  • nkoda - subscription sheet music service/app, like Spotify but for sheet music. They have deals with most major publishers.
  • Logic Remote - companion app to Logic Pro X that puts mixing and other controls on your iPad as an external controller to the Mac. Saves screen space on the Mac and also gives an intuitive, fast interface.
  • Amphetamine - keeps a Mac from going to sleep during a presentation or demonstration where you may not stay in Keynote the whole time
  • KeyCastr shows keystrokes on the screen, useful for giving software demonstrations or screencaptures when you’re doing a lot with keyboard shortcuts.

Thank you, Mitch, for the tip on Swifttext. It works great with Spaces. (I like Safari, OmniFocus, and a couple others in their own Space.) You can even set a preference for Swifttext to stay on top until dismissed as you switch between Spaces.

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May I ask if you are using the free or premium version? I’m using WorkFlowy but am constantly tempted to move to Dynalist. Thanks.

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I like Skala Color. (Developed by the same folks who make iStat Menus.)

It is a free color picker extension that works with nearly every graphics app.



Fitmanual is a great app if you cannot wear your Apple Watch while working out. I calculates an estimate of calories burned and adds it to the Activity app. A couple of months ago, an update was released which allows the app to also fill the Stand and Excercise rings.

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I’m using the free version.

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I use Monosnap as well. It’s terrific. Replaces Skitch, which got flaky.

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Got to be pocket money 2 from catamount

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let me check this out i’m always look for a good list based tool
and for some odd reason i could never vibe with workflowly

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I used Skitch for years and, like you, abandoned it when it got flakey.

Monosnap is the best replacement I’ve found so far. In some ways I like it better than Skitch. One of my favourite features is “Text with arrow”. Very convenient.



DynaList is a Workflowy clone with added features so if you don’t like Workflowy you might not like DynaList any better.

TaskPaper is an alternative.

I pretty much use it exclusively for taking and cropping screenshots.