My Must Have Mac Apps for Blogging and Writing

ULYSSES ($49.95)

This is my must-have work horse. Ulysses is one of the few apps that I actually spent money to get because I like it that much. I’m writing and editing this post in Ulysses, along with all of my other posts and guides. I have academic papers, writing projects for my day job, beginnings of novels, ideas for future projects and much more stored in Ulysses. It stores all of your writing in sheets which can be put into groups. There is so much to love about Ulysses. It is super customizable, simple yet powerful, and fun and easy to use. If you want something more powerful but more simple than MS Word, Ulysses is for you. I use it more than anything besides Chrome. Check it out for yourself. Ulysses also recently released an amazing iPad app, which I also highly recommend.


Image Credit: Ulysses


Trello is a new addition to my list and I’m still playing around with it to figure out a good system. Right now I use it to track long-term projects so I don’t have to remember everything I need to work on at a later date. Any tasks, projects, lists, and related information goes into Trello. This is basically everything that I don’t need to do today. Things that I need to do today go into Swipes or another to-do list (I’m still working on figuring out a good system for these, digital vs paper). Trello is great because I’m a list maker and it offers a very flexible and easy to learn platform for all kinds of lists and notes. And it’s free!


Pretty self-explanatory. Most of my work is done on the web and the best browser I’ve found is Chrome. I use a couple of Chrome extensions and use my Google account to sync settings, tabs and bookmarks across devices. These are the extensions I use: Add to Pocket, AdBlock, 1Password, SnagIt, Evernote Web Clipper.


I love the simplicity of Simplenote (hence the name). It is easy to use: open it and start typing. This is my scratchpad where I store quick notes, phone numbers, links, ideas, etc. Kind of like a pocket notebook but on my computer and phone. I do like UpWord on my iPhone, but I can’t find a good Mac App that works well with it. Suggestions?


This is for more long-term notes. I’ve shifted to using Evernote as a digital inbox for dumping notes, web clippings, research and other bigger notes. I use it to store school, work and blog research, clipped web articles, PDFs, scanned documents and receipts, scanned manuals and other items to go paperless. I rely on Evernote to store most of my digital clippings, notes and everything else. It’s become a giant digital filing cabinet in my workflow. Sign up for Evernote here.


Photo editing awesomeness. It’s the middle ground between Photoshop and GIMP. Much cheaper than Photoshop and way easier to use than GIMP. I use it for work and Quiet Habits to edit photos, add text, etc. This is a great option if you can’t afford Photoshop but still want all the power and tools in an easy to use package. They also have an iPhone and iPad app! At only $30, this is a bargain for great photo editing. Buy it here.

Pixelmator 3.1 Marble

Image Credit: Pixelmator


I use this to schedule everything. It syncs with tons of other apps, which is awesome. I can see to-do list items, calendar feeds from Apple, Google and Microsoft, Trello card due dates, and much more all in one place. The iPhone app is awesome too. And it’s free! You can’t beat that.


I didn’t know I needed an App Launcher until I started using one. I probably use it at least 10-15 times per day without realizing it. Even the free version of Alfred is awesome. I haven’t quite gotten to the power user level yet, but maybe someday. They also have a great iPhone app, though I haven’t tried it out yet.


I log into many sites and have tons of passwords and accounts to remember. 1Password is a life-saver with passwords. If you don’t use a password manager, you should get one today. I highly recommend 1Password. You can usually find a good coupon or discount out there somewhere, but even the $50 is worth every penny. You will save time and your sanity by using a password manager!

1P5 Mac 1P mini safe

Image Credit: AgileBits

Mac Menu Bar Apps:

These are the tools I use up in the Mac Menu Bar. They’re all free (some have paid versions) except 1Password.

  • Flickr Uploadr: for photo backup to Flickr (1 TB for free!)
  • Google Photos: keep a redundant photos backup, unlimited space for free
  • Box app: for school files and docs
  • Dropbox: syncing app files, like You Need a Budget and 1Password
  • ClipMenu: 20+ item clipboard history. Seriously, you don’t know you need it until you start using it!
  • 1Password: Secure password manager
  • Evernote Clipper: clip anything to Evernote
  • Caffeine: the screen stays awake until you click the icon again.
  • Itsycal: See the tiny date, click to see a bigger calendar with events.

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