Hidden treasures

OK, the following software recommendations are not really “hidden”, but I’m taking the opportunity to point out some excellent free or affordable software gems that should be a part of your everyday digital arsenal for an elevated OS X experience.

First out is TextWrangler. Bare Bones Software, the makers of legendary text editor BBEdit, offer a slimmed down, lightweight sibling of its flagship application for free, namely TextWrangler. That’s right, for free. This app is a wonderful tool for all your text-based note/snippet/jotting tasks, and it harbors a lot of editing power under the hood. One of my absolute favorite features is its left sidebar where you optionally can store a list of your opened files for quick access.

There are numerous tweaks that you can apply to the user interface and it supports a lot of different color coded syntax markings if you dabble in coding. If you like to work with plain text files, TextWrangler is a no-brainer, and the only real drawback is that it has no iOS sibling to sync with. You can make syncing work by utilizing a custom Dropbox folder and use another Dropbox enabled iOS text editor, but it takes some setup on your part.

You can get TextWrangler for free both from Bare Bones Software and in the Mac App Store.

The second app I will point out is Caffeine. It’s a neat little app that does one thing and one thing only; it prevents your Mac from going to sleep. Your typical setup is to have it launch with the system and leave its nifty little icon in the menu bar. Click to fill the coffee cup and your Mac stays awake. Click to empty it, and your Mac will go to sleep as normal. That’s really all there is to it. Caffeine is free, both from Lighthead (developer) and in the Mac App Store.

Dropbox has become more or less of a standard cloud solution due to its easy setup and near flawless integration. Even though there are several competitors that offer more free space and similar features, Dropbox has managed to be the preferred service to a vast number of users. You get 2 GB free space on signup, and you can get more free space by connecting apps, completing certain tasks and getting friends to sign up by your referral. The maximum free space you can get by inviting friends is 16 GB, which is quite a lot if you use the storage wisely and employ a minimal level of maintenance.

Get your Dropbox account here (see what I did there? 😉

Coming up: Wunderlist, Evernote, Simplenote, OneNote, Cyberduck, OnyX, NeoOffice and more!


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