Best Apps For Productivity Mac

You have a MacBook, you love your MacBook, and you want to make the most of your MacBook. Whether you use it for business or pleasure, you’re looking to make the most of your productivity.

If only there was an easy way to find the apps that would make all of that happen—apps that are specifically tailored for Mac and for getting things done!

Wait! There is! Just keep reading below.

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20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2022 - Lifehack

Best Apps For Productivity Mac

Managing productivity ultimately starts with managing our own behaviors. From dropping a piece of work to answer a new email, to trapping unusable bubbles of time between our meetings, we unconsciously fritter away our productive potential with small actions. A swathe of productivity apps exist to help you take control of these and work more intentionally, yet not all of them are created equal. To help cut through the noise, here’s our pic of the 12 best productivity apps for Mac.

  1. Dewo – for doing more deep work
    Billed as your personal assistant for doing deep work, Dewo is all about creating and protecting space for the cognitively demanding work that drives you forward. Aside from breaking down your deep work across weekdays, locations and apps, Dewo can actively help you do more of it. It uses AI to trigger “Do not disturb” mode across your devices once you reach deep work, and reschedule meetings for a more focused working week. While still in beta, it offers a unique approach to solving the problems of modern knowledge work – and it’s completely free!
  2. Magnet – for screen focus
    Working across multiple windows or tabs makes for a cluttered rabbit warren of a workspace. Magnet solves this by helping you configure a neater arrangement, locking windows to the side of your screen wherever you drag them. It’s a great way to quickly organize your view so you can focus on what matters. Its predefined keyboard shortcuts are particularly handy when transferring text and files from one app to another.
  3. Timely – for automating time tracking

Timely automates your essential admin, so you can get back to actual productive work. It tracks everything you do on your Mac and uses AI to draft time sheets for you – solving the inaccuracy and effort of traditional manual time tracking. All your data is fed in to a private timeline, which essentially holds up a mirror to the way you work – useful for seeing how long you spend in different apps, quantifying time on tasks and identifying processes that are eating into your day. In case your work involves a lot of travel, there’s even the option to track your locations with its counterpart iOS and Android apps.

  1. ProofHub – for task management and team collaboration

ProofHub is a cloud-based project management app with built in collaboration features. You can use it to assign and manage tasks, create notes, share files, communicate, and collaborate in real-time. The app has an easy-to-use interface and also integrates with third-party apps like Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and Box, giving you a centralized place to access your important data.

  1. Bear – for brainstorming and note-taking
    Serving as an easy alternative to Evernote for Mac, Bear Notes organizes your thoughts intuitively. Write down your notes, and then use hashtags to “organize” your thinking. You can also use its native to-dos to stay on track with your tasks across other Apple devices.
  2. – for meeting scheduling
    x ai@2x lets you cut out the painful back-and-forth of meeting scheduling. Connecting to your calendar and email, it can book meetings with anyone in your network with a single click or word. Promising to help you reach “scheduling nirvana”, it’s another no-brainer tool for automating the shallow work that eats into the time available for productive deep work.
  3. Airmail – for email consolidation
    “Designed with performance and intuitive interaction in mind”, Airmail dissolves the admin barriers involved with managing several accounts. It consolidates your accounts in a user-friendly format, allowing you to switch effortlessly between email accounts. As an added bonus, it also lets you quickly turn your emails into tasks and notes.
  4. Alfred – for automating admin
    “Used and loved by squillions of people worldwide”, Alfred fills the gap between Siri and Spotlight, automating small admin tasks and performing advanced functions. You can use the Clipboard History to find any text, file or image you copied earlier, or create your own snippets and enter a personal abbreviation to archive them. Way more effective than typing it all out – essential for reducing duplicated effort!
  5. Pixelmator – for free image editing
    This is a terrific alternative to the cost of Photoshop, and miles better than most free image-editing apps. Draw, paint, resize, crop and add effects to your images, or customize your own effects and save them for later. While it’s not as powerful or extensive as Sketch and Photoshop, you can quickly correct images and rearrange compositional objects – making it an ideal tool for marketing and sales teams who might not need the heavyweight alternatives.
  6. MindNode – for organizing thoughts

Creative people know that good ideas often spill out into other ones. Rather than trying to keep up by writing them all down as quickly as possible, why not use an app that pilots a clear run-on of your creativity? Through MindNode, you can personalize your own “mind map” and make sense of your thoughts.

  1. Things – for agenda-building
    Available on Mac and iOS, Things dives deeper into to-dos by creating tags, timeframes, and deadlines. Once you’ve made your morning plan, you can build your agenda and consolidate calendar events with a simple drag-and-drop. One of its newest features is Slim Mode, which allows you to collapse your sidebar to cull distractions – great if you’re working in split view.
  2. Zapier — for automating workflows

When all the tools in your tech stack refuse to talk to one another, Zapier has your back. Instead of downloading reports or duplicating effort just to get data from one tool into another, build an automated workflow shortcut in Zapier. Supporting connections with over 3,000 tools, it acts as integration glue for tools that don’t yet integrate directly with one another—saving time and faff on menial, repetitive admin.

best apps for mac

If you got a new Mac for Christmas, you’re likely wondering what some essential apps to take your macOS experience up another level are. Although Apple includes some great apps built into macOS, several 3rd party options are worth checking out.

Table of contents
CleanShot X
Unplash Wallpapers
Pixelmator Pro
CleanMyMac X
Vinegar for Safari
CleanShot X

If you regularly snap screenshots for sending over UI corrections, troubleshooting explanations, etc. – you need to download CleanShot X. It is, by far, the best screenshot tool on the Mac. It’s so simple but so powerful. It can record video, make GIFs, add annotations, blur out sensitive material, and much more. I can’t think of a single thing about the app I’d change. I use it multiple times every day, and it’s 100% worth every penny.


1Password is an app I wouldn’t want to be without. I’ve personally been using it since some of the earliest OS X versions. Outside of just password management, there are many features that 1Password supports that make it something worth paying for (vs. Safari’s free features). They include support for secure notes with attachments, personal information such as social security numbers, app license information, credit card information, passport information, and more. I also use it for all my two-factor authentication code storage as well.


Without a doubt, the app I use most on my Mac is Alfred. It’s a macOS launcher that I highly recommend you check out. My most-used feature is the clipboard history (it even works with images). I love quickly swapping what’s on my keyboard without manually recopying something. It also includes keyboard snippets (a basic version of what TextExpander does), converting text into different cases, launching apps, quickly looking up contacts, and more. It’s a free download, but if you end up enjoying it, you’ll want to check out the optional Powerpack.


AirBuddy was developed by 9to5Mac’s Gui Rambo, and I’ve been using the original version since it was released in 2019. One of the benefits of Apple’s W1/H1 chips is how easy it is to pair AirPods and Powerbeats Pro to your iOS device. AirBuddy makes it even easier on the Mac, though. So if you frequently are connecting your AirPods to your Mac for Zoom calls, listening to Apple Music, etc., AirBuddy will become one of your favorite apps.

Unplash Wallpapers

Unsplash has one of the largest collections of free images to use, so the Unsplash Mac app is a great addition to your Menu Bar. It lets you quickly find high-quality wallpapers and set up your Mac to rotate on a schedule of your choosing.

Pixelmator Pro
Pixelmator Pro best Black Friday Mac and iOS app deals
Pixelmator Pro is the perfect image editor if you want to avoid the subscription cost of Adobe Creative Cloud. Pixelmator Pro includes advanced image editing features like layers, brushes, effects, filters, and more. You can use various selection tools to tweak specific photo regions accurately or use content-aware fill to remove elements from a scene automatically. Pixelmator Pro is frequently updated to support the latest Apple technologies and platform features and uses iCloud to sync and collaborate on projects across its iOS and macOS apps.


If you’re coming from the Windows world with the ability to snap windows to certain parts of your screen, you’ll want to have a look at Magnet. It supports snapping apps to fullscreen, halves, quarters, and thirds. In addition, if you connect multiple displays to your Mac, it works with up to six external monitors.

CleanMyMac X

For macOS maintenance, I highly advise you look at CleanMyMacX. The app helps you reclaim hard drive space from unneeded caches and other system junk, uninstall apps, check for malware, and run optimization tools.

Vinegar for Safari

A new Safari extension called “Vinegar” should be installed on all of your devices. It’s a Safari extension for iPhone, iPad, and Mac back in November, intending to replace the YouTube player with a minimal HTML player. I’ve been using it for the past few weeks, and I can’t imagine going back to the default YouTube experience.

These apps are just a few of my favorite macOS apps. If you got a new iPhone or iPad, be sure to check out our list of apps to install. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

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