What's on Ally's Mac dock right now!

What's on Ally's Mac dock right now!

The wallpaper and apps on my iMac and MacBook Air, and why they're there, as of March 2014

I currently have two Macs in my workflow, a 13" MacBook Air and a 27" iMac. My iMac is my main work machine in my home office while I use my MacBook Air on the go. For the most part the docks on both are mirror images of each other. I have loads of apps on both of my Macs, but I depend on certain ones a lot more than others. Here's a look at the ones that currently earn a spot in my dock...

What's on Ally's Mac dock right now!

  • Wallpaper: - I change the wallpaper on my Macs pretty regularly. Currently I've got one of my own shots as the background that I took at our hometown beach. This shot features one of my favorite places to fish at night in the summer under the bridge.
  • Desktop: - I keep very few icons on my desktop and prefer to use Finder Tags when searching for more specific things. The only icons you'll ever find are links to commonly used items. At this point that includes my hard drive, photography for iMore, and templates for iMore. Other than that, you may find a memory card plugged in.
  • Finder: I use Finder Tags religiously for sorting and organizing files. Finder has never been more important to me so it always has the number one spot in my dock.
  • Stickies: I know a lot of people don't use them and they don't sync with iCloud but I still find myself using them in order to jot down random notes or bits of code that I only need temporarily. It's a classic case of old habits dying hard.
  • Mac App Store: Most of the apps I download and use come from the Mac App Store. Since its release, it's had a permanent home in my dock.
  • Launchpad: The rest of my apps live inside folders in Launchpad. The icon in the dock gives me one-click access to them.
  • iPhoto: I take a lot of screenshots for iMore and Photo Stream lets me quickly grab them and manipulate them. Most of my photo editing and organizing is done elsewhere but iPhoto is simple enough for routine things.
  • iMovie: I don't do a ton of movie creating and editing but the little I do for iMore is done with ease with iMovie. I've never found a need for something as powerful as Final Cut Pro, so until I do, iMovie gets the job done.
  • 1Password: One app I couldn't live without on both OS X and iOS is 1Password. It keeps my passwords, identities, and logins save but accessible. I'd be lost without it and it's one of the first things I download on a new Mac.
  • Calendar: I keep the stock Calendar app in my dock for when I want full views but for the most part I use Fantastical for creating both calendar events and reminders.
  • Airmail: I've yet to find another mail client that's as versatile or powerful as Airmail. Until I do, it's my mail client of choice. I even created a setup that lets it play nice with Mailbox on my iPhone and iPad.
  • Tweetbot: It's a little on the pricey said but it's hands down the best Twitter client available for Mac. If you want the most out of Twitter, there is no other.
  • Evernote: I use Evernote for all my free form notes across both OS X and iOS. Anything I think I may need on my iPhone or iPad I stick in Evernote. I also take photos of serial numbers and important documents too so I always have them on my Macs or in my pocket.
  • Sonos: We recently purchased a Sonos system for our condo and I am in love with it. The Sonos app lets me control everything right from my Mac. How cool is that?
  • iTunes: I buy all of my music and movies from iTunes. I also use iTunes Match and iTunes Radio regularly. And there are times here and there I want to sync photo albums from my Mac to my iPhone or iPad. For all those reasons, iTunes is still an essential for me, love it or hate it.
  • Messages: Another stock app always in my dock is Messages. I can reply to iMessages from people without it ever interrupting my workflow.. well without interrupting it much.
  • FaceTime: I've found myself using FaceTime a lot more over the past year, especially since FaceTime audio made its debut in iOS 7. Now that I can use it on the Mac too, it has recently earned a place in my dock.
  • Flint: We communicate here on iMore with a service called CampFire. Flint is the best client I've found on both iOS and OS X. It permanently earns a spot on my dock unless something amazingly stellar comes along.
  • Byword: I don't trust content management systems to save my life and I've lost far too many articles by writing directly into them. Instead I use Byword to write on both iOS and OS X and then copy and paste it into the iMore back end. I've saved myself from insanity by using it.
  • Skype: Love it or hate it, Skype is one of the most widely used messaging apps across every platform. Since we have writers and editors on so many different platforms, it's our go-to communication tool for conference calls and chats.
  • Safari: I switch between Safari and Chrome a lot but I've found myself using Safari a lot more lately due to iCloud Keychain. It doesn't completely replace 1Password for me but it's a lot more reliable at remembering logins than Chrome. I also trust it more. For that reason Chrome was recently removed from my dock.
  • Photoshop CS6: I've yet to jump on the Creative Cloud bandwagon and still use a licensed version of Photoshop. I use it from editing my own personal photos to most of the photos you see here on iMore. I'm not a Photoshop genius by any means but I'm in it an awful lot every day and know my way around well enough.
  • Lightroom 4: I keep telling myself I'm going to start using Lightroom as more than just a pretty gallery to store my photos in but I've yet to do it. Maybe one day I'll have the time to sit down and learn how to use it properly. Until then I'll keep staring at it in my dock.
  • Napkin: I put together a good majority of the how to content you see on iMore and to do that I use Napkin every day. From annotating to marking things up, it's the best program I've ever found for that kind of stuff.
  • Numbers: I use Numbers to track expenses and other items on a regular basis. I use it almost daily so it earns a permanent place in my dock.
  • Pages: I don't use Pages every day but I use it enough or reference documents stores in iCloud enough for it to deserve a place in my dock as well.
  • Rapido Resizer: One of my favorite resizing tools that's quick and easy. Just type in dimensions and export. It's not available in the Mac App Store and doesn't seem to be supported anymore but for times I need to quickly size an image, I still keep it around.
  • Voila: I use Voila when I need to take screen capture videos or capture screenshots that are tough with the built-in tools. It's easy to use and easy to create and capture content in.
  • Maps: I don't use Maps terribly often on my Mac but when we're going on a trip, I do like being able to ping instructions to my iPhone or iPad right from my Mac.
  • Documents and Downloads folders: Next to the Trash I have my Documents and Downloads folders so I have quick access to files when I need them. I typically use Finder for searching but if I know what I'm looking for and where it's at, I turn to those instead.

And there you have it! That's just about everything you'll find in the dock and on the desktop of both of my Macs. Now I want to hear from you guys. Do we have any apps in common on our docks? Let me know in the comments!

See also:

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 11 comments. Add yours.

prabjotusa says:

I agree with you on the recent change from chrome to safari, and now I recently started using Safari more often than Chrome. The use of iCloud keychain, iCloud tabs, and reading list syncing with my iPhone, also plays a part in my decision.

sanibel says:

Thanks for the list, Allyson. I'm now $30 poorer ;)

Guacho says:

Ally, I have Carbon copy Cloner on my dock but it stays in the desktop and i cant get rid of it, I only want it on the dock, I tried dragging it to trash but it deletes it ... any help??

The Jimmy James says:

Remove it from the Dock, then move it from the Desktop to the Applications folder in your profile directory. ~/Applications

Then add it to the Dock from ~/Applications

I hope you're not /too/ surprised that putting something in the Trash deletes it ;)

mjcostajr says:

Didn't know Sonos had a desktop app! Boom! Thanks Ally!

trw1602 says:

I have too many extensions that are useful to me in Chrome. I have it on my iPhone and iPad so when I get my Mac I'm pretty sure I'm going to download Chrome. I use LastPass to keep my passwords but will soon switch to 1Password.

emjayess says:

I clicked on your Finder Tags link and watched/read your tutorial. Thanks, the video was very helpful and I might just start using tags!

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Glad it helped! I never knew how much I'd need something like Finder Tags until I had them. Now I can be organized without even worrying about folder organization anymore.

asuperstarr says:

I enjoyed reading what's on your mac. It's great to discover apps that different people use for different situations.

Sent from the iMore App

The Jimmy James says:

How big do you run your Dock? I've notice a lot of people either run it really big, or tiny. I've always locked mine at 48px, no mag. To me it just balances with the size of the rest of the UI.

Allyson Kazmucha says:

Pretty small. I made it larger for the photo so you could see the icons. I use magnification though.