The most frequently accessed apps on my Mac, and why they're there as of April, 2014

Unlike my iPhone and iPad which are used a lot for leisure purposes besides work, my Mac is predominantly work focused. It's where I spend most of my working days and so many of the apps that reside on my dock are those which I use the most. I'm not one for overloading my Mac dock, so the apps that are on there are genuinely the ones I need the most throughout the day. So, following on from other members of the iMore team, here's what's on my Mac dock and why.

Firstly we'll cover off some of the stock OS X Mavericks apps that are there, and there are a few. Finder and Launchpad speak for themselves. I've often got a half dozen or so Finder tabs open at once and it's always one of the first things I open. Reminders and Maps are up next, and Reminders is something I use for scheduled appointments just as, well, a reminder. Maps doesn't get used all that much, but it's much better having a native app to jump into when I need some geographical information.

After that, this is what my dock looks like:

  • Skype and Messages. Skype is basically the Mobile Nations office telephone system, so whenever I'm working, I'm in Skype. I'm also usually in Messages if for no other reason than to keep my iPhone in the desk drawer during the day.

  • FaceTime, iTunes and the Mac App Store: Not the most used, but I like having them at hand. I'm frequently in and out of both stores during the course of a day, so one click access is a must.

  • Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5: I'm subscribed to the Creative Cloud package that provides both applications, and it's the best £9 odd a month I've spent in a long time. I'm still only beginning to learn both, but I'm already disappointed in myself for leaving it so long. Lightroom is particularly useful when at events in Liveblog situations, and Photoshop can just do, well, everything.

  • Google Chrome: I've been using it for a number of years now, and that won't change anytime soon. I live in Google services and have a bunch of useful Chrome add-ons I'd be lost without. Alongside Chrome on my dock is the Chrome App Launcher, for easy access to those add-ons.

  • mSecure: It handles my web logins and has done for a couple of years now. I use it mainly because it has much better cross-platform mobile support at present than 1Password. It's never let me down so I see no reason to think about replacing it.

  • iMovie: Believe it or not I still use iMovie for all my Mobile Nations video work. It's not the most advanced piece of editing software, but it's so ridiculously easy to pick up and use. The latest version is an absolute joy to work in, and editing videos is so quick and straightforward.

  • Byword: Not trusting our CMS with anything important or lengthy – working offline means nothing goes missing – I write a ton of my work in Byword. It's an excellent Markdown editor for Mac with equally excellent iOS apps. Exactly the reasons for choosing it.

  • Flint: Mobile Nations company chatrooms are powered by Campfire, and Flint is the only choice for me to use Campfire on the Mac.

  • Instashare: Until Apple makes AirDrop possible between iOS devices and Mac, this is how I'll be getting my stuff between the two. Nothing flashy, but it does its job and does it well.

  • Pixelmator: What I used before taking the leap into Photoshop. I keep it close at hand since I'm still learning Photoshop and sometimes Pixelmator comes to the rescue when I need something in a hurry.

  • Tweetdeck: I've long been a fan of Tweetdeck for Mac for it's column approach to displaying different categories of Twitter content. I can keep what I need close and hand and it updates in real time, which is what I need during the working day. And it's free, so what's not to like?

So, that's it for my Mac dock. I have a bunch of other things installed on my Mac, but those are the selected items I choose to keep close at hand. But enough about me, what about you guys? Be sure to share your own Mac dock setups in the comments below!

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