Setting up My New MacBook Pro

While setting up my new MacBook Pro, I made a list of all the apps I installed. No particular order – except the first one.

Alfred is the first thing I install on every new Mac. I use it as an app launcher, clipboard history, for automatic snippets expansion, for looking stuff up in Dash (see below) and so much more. To me, macOS feels broken without it.

1Password is my password manager of choice. I have been a long-time user and would be completely lost without it. I am currently managing more than 1.350 passwords, serial numbers, credit cards and secure notes with it.

DayOne is my journaling app. I am currently on a 534 day streak of journaling every day. I also use it to track goals and habits.

Obsidian contains all my notes. This is basically a bucket for everything I want to remember. I keep all kinds of information in there, from reference materials or instructions on tasks, that I need to perform only every now and then, to my daily log for work. It is also where I do all my writing, eg. drafts for emails or blog posts.

Dropbox has become bloated and I don’t like it, but it is still reliable and syncs without fail. Due to its memory hungryness I am not constantly running it, but rather launch it once or twice per day to sync.

Firefox is my web browser of choice. Dev tools are getting better and better, and I really dislike Chrome and won’t install it (or anything from Google), if I can help it.

Choosy is set as my default browser. When opening a link it presents me with a choice in which browser to open the link. There are also some options to only ask if multiple browsers are open, etc. Very convenient!

Twitterific is my Twitter client. Chronological timeline, no ads, ’nuff said.

Moom lets me organize my application windows via the keyboard. I use it to move windows to/from my secondary monitor or arrange apps next to each other.

SetApp (referral link) is great value for money. I had stand-alone versions of many of the apps, before I became a SetApp subscriber. The next five apps in this list are available through SetApp, but I am linking the developers website directly:

Bartender helps me organize my menu bar. It allows me to hide certain items and display them automatically when they update.

Default Folder X is another app that once you start using it, macOS feels broken without it. My most used feature: In open/save dialogs I can easily select a folder that is open in a finder window in the background. There is also a history of recently used folders and I can set favorites as well.

Dash makes documentaton sets available for offline use. Also: Great Alfred integration.

Trip Mode allows me to only allow certain apps to access the web. I enable it when I connect to the internet using my iPhone to make sure I do not use up all my mobile data.

Downie is a download manager that allows me to download YouTube videos. You can also automatically extract just the audio or convert to other formats after downloading.

SuperDuper! is my backup tool of choice. I use smart update to clone my internal to an external SSD. Bonus: It creates a bootable backup.

Daisy Disc is very usefull when doing cleanup. It has a nice, visual way of finding large files or folders.

DarkMode Buddy will switch between light and dark mode based on my MacBook Pro’s ambient light sensor.

Slack is our communication tool at Haptiq.

Asana is our projectmanagement app of choice at Haptiq. I really don’t like the heavy-handed upselling inside the app, even though we are already paying cutomers, but other than that it gets the job done.

Harvest is our timetracker at Haptiq.

Visual Studio Code is my IDE of choice.

iTerm is my Terminal replacement.

Oh My ZSH is for managing my shell (ZSH) configuration.

Tower is an amazing git client. I still recommend learning the basics on the command line, but this makes using git so very comfortable.

Transmit is my favorite FTP client. Sometimes it is still convenient to connect to a server via (S)FTP. I also use it to access Dropbox folders, that are not synced with my Mac.

BBEdit is the best option, if you have to work with huge text files. And I really mean huge, eg. 1 GB xml files. BBEdit seems to be the only text editor that can handle files like that.

MAMP contains my development stack (Apache, PHP, MySQL). I have a love-hate relationship with it, but haven’t made it a priority find a replacement (of which many exist). They added some nice features recently (eg. MailHog). It works great most of the time.

Sequel Pro is a very nice client for accessing MySQL.

ImageOptim is a little tool to optimize images. I run all images through it before uploading them anywhere on the web.

XScope allows me to create guide lines, which I am using to check if UI elements are aligned correctly. (When it has to be pixel perfect.)

Affinity Designer is my Illustrator replacement. I use it mainly to edit vector files and export SVGs for web use.

Poedit is a translation editor I use to create language files for WordPress plugins we develop.

PDF Expert has much nicer features than the built-in Preview app, so it is my default pdf viewer.

Photo Mechanic is the fastest way to sort through raw files on the Mac. I use it to edit my images and add key words before importing them into Lightroom. It is just so fast! (I have mentioned it before in my post about my image processing workflow.)

Adobe Lightroom is the place where all my raw files live. I use it to organize and post process my photographs.

Adobe Photoshop is still my go-to software for image manipulation. I don’t use it very often any more, but I am still faster using it, than any other competitor that has come along. Muscle memory, I guess.

MailSteward is pretty ugly. Nevertheless, I have been using it for a long time to create a searchable backup of all of my emails.

Little Snitch helps to to take control of any apps that want to connect to the internet.

Hazel automatically organizes files into folders. This is pretty nifty. I have some rules set up, mostly for my Downloads folder, through which Hazel will automatically move files into prefined folders (eg. videos go into the “new videos” folder). It can even create dated sub folders, eg. I use this to move my bank statements into the correct accounting subfolder.

There’s probably more to write about the intricacies of many of those apps, eg. custom workflows in Alfred, extensions for VS Code (or the rest of my development tools for that matter), but that’s for another post. 😊