The Mac is still the most important device in my workflow. I depend on it each and every day to get my job done here at iMore. From article ideas to rough drafts to editing photography, my iMac and my MacBook Air are indispensable. Of course, the machine itself isn't what drives my workflow, it's the apps. I've already given you a look at what's on both my iPhone 6 and my iPad Air 2, so here's a look at my Mac dock, and the apps I use on a daily basis!
I'm currently using:
- 27" iMac, late 2012 model
- 13" MacBook Air, mid 2013 model
Since I work from home, there's rarely a time when I don't use my iMac. Whenever I relocate to a coffee shop for the day or have to pack a bag for travel, however, the MacBook Air is essential.
Both Macs are pretty much mirror images of each other. I'm so compulsive about consistency that you'll typically even find the same wallpaper on both. I like having the ability to walk away from one Mac and continue with the same workflow on the other. I use a combination of iCloud and Dropbox to house all the files I work on regularly and need to access from anywhere.
Wallpaper - I'm currently using an image of London that I found via Google image search. Honestly, I get asked a lot of questions about my wallpapers and 99.9% of the time, I just search Google images for whatever I'm in the mood for at the time. Since we have a trip to Europe coming up and since London is one of my favorite cities, that explains the current scene.
Finder, Stickies, and Mac App Store - Finder is obvious as it's how you navigate through folders and file systems on the Mac. Since I've own a Mac, it's been the first icon in my dock. Putting it anywhere else just seems silly. Stickies seems to be an app not many folks use anymore but I still do. Ever since I purchased my very first white MacBook many years ago, I've also found random odds and ends to throw on stickies. Even though I use apps like Evernote more often nowadays, I still find myself pulling code snippets or terminal prompts off of sticky notes. The Mac App Store isn't something I use every single day but ever since it launched, it somehow landed in the third spot on my dock and hasn't moved since.
iPhoto - I've never found a real need to use a program like Aperture. iPhoto has done enough for me that I never bit the bullet. And now that Apple will be replacing both with a Photos app for Mac in 2015, it just plays an intermediary way for me to access my Photo Stream until then, mainly for screenshots.
Tweetbot - There aren't a lot of really great Mac apps to choose from in terms of Twitter clients. I know a lot of people fussed about the price of Tweetbot on the Mac but really, there isn't anything that can touch it in terms of functionality. I purchased it right when it came out and haven't looked back since.
Calendar - While I use Fantastical through my Mac menu bar 99.9% of the time, I still prefer seeing an expanded view from time to time and I'm actually a fan of the Calendar app in Yosemite. For actual calendar event entry, it's Fantastical. The same holds true for Reminders for me.
Mailbox for Mac - I've never been a huge fan of the native Mail app in OS X. I was completely turned off from using it when it ate my Gmail account in Mavericks. Since then I've toggled between both the Mailbox beta and Airmail. With the new release of AirMail 2, I may be swayed away from the Mailbox beta, but only time will tell.
Evernote - I've been using Evernote as long as I can remember and rely on it for keeping me sane. For the most part it's just random notes and thoughts on ideas for iMore, things I want to eventually get around to doing, and even photos of items I may want to purchase or remember at a later date. If a thought is too long to be scheduled as a task, it goes in Evernote.
1Password - I have a ton of passwords to remember and I don't like having the same ones for security reasons. For this I rely on 1Password and have done so for what seems to be years at this point. Not only does it support any browser or platform you may be using, it's incredibly convenient and keeps my data even safer since it can generate passwords on my behalf that are as strong as I want them to be.
iTunes - Very seldom do I actually use iTunes anymore. I do however manually create backups of my devices here and there, mainly because some part of my subconscious still doesn't completely trust iCloud. Prior to owning Sonos, I used iTunes more often for music while working. Nowadays, it's mainly there because that's where it has always been.
Sonos Controller - As mentioned just a second ago, we have a Sonos system in our home and the Mac controller app makes it easier than ever to listen to music and change things up while working. It ties into all my streaming services and my iTunes library so I can stream whatever I'd like, whenever I'd like. I can change speaker groupings and volume levels all in just a few clicks.
Rdio - While I use Sonos to control and playback music throughout the condo, I still like having the Rdio app to add to and organize my collection. Rdio is my streaming service of choice and I rely on it while traveling. When browsing for new music, I prefer the layout of the Mac app and find it easier to navigate and find what I'm looking for. Whatever I save then syncs back to my devices seamlessly.
Messages - This one is pretty much a given. I hate my workflow to be interrupted just as much as the next person and Messages makes it that much easier to continue doing whatever I need to while allowing me to quickly respond to important messages without even having to touch my iPhone or iPad. And with SMS relay on iOS 8, I can even respond to my green bubble friends on my Mac.
Slack - Slack is how we communicate with each other here at Mobile Nations. Not only is it a chatroom, but we can share files and set custom notifications. We used to use Campfire but found that Slack much better suited our needs. If you're in the market for a new workchat solution, I'd highly suggest giving Slack a look.
Skype - I hate a love/hate relationship with Skype but unfortunately it's still a necessary evil. From calls with colleagues to briefings with developers, it's a much easier way to communicate than relying on traditional phones, especially when you need to communicate with people internationally.
Photoshop Creative Cloud - I finally bit the bullet a few months ago and signed up for Creative Cloud. I only chose the subscription for PS and Lightroom since that's all I really need. I'm still learning Lightroom but I use Photoshop on a daily basis and have for years. From editing my own personal photos to producing and editing a lot of the photos you see around iMore, I couldn't live without Photoshop in my arsenal. However, I would very much like to try out Pixelmator as my daily driver sometime in the near future simply due to incredible Handoff support between iPad and Mac.
Byword - When writing articles, I do most of my writing in Byword. I then copy that over to our content management system, Drupal. Not only is Byword simple to use, it can sync across all your devices so your work is available whether you're using iPhone, iPad, or Mac. I know there are a lot of other writing and markdown apps out there, but Byword has always done what I need it to do and done it reliably, so I've found no compelling enough reason to switch.
Safari and Chrome - I use Chrome far more often than Safari as my everyday browser, mainly due to the Google services we use at Mobile Nations and because I just prefer it. I know I'm giving up iCloud Tabs and some other features, but services like Xmarks fill in the gap nicely.
Napkin - A common question I get around iMore is what software I use in order to create the step by step guides for each how to. The answer is Napkin. It's a wonderful little piece of software that lets you call out areas of an image, add markups, annotate, and much more. It's a damned good program and I can't image what iMore would look like without it.
Numbers - I use Numbers to manage the very few spreadsheets I have to manage on a regular basis. It's easy to use and serves the purposes I need it for. Not only that, it syncs all my data between iPhone, iPad, and Mac seamlessly. If I ever need to send off an invoice or share a spreadsheet, I can do so no matter what device I have access to at the time.
My Documents - Yeah, I rarely use this folder. I'm not even quite sure why it's still there but I haven't ever moved it so it remains. Most of the documents I need on a regular basis are stored in Dropbox, which sits in my menu bar. I have no other explanation for you other than it's always been there, so it still is.