Get busy with 4 great apps on World Productivity Day | Cult of Mac

Get busy with 4 great apps on World Productivity Day

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Setapp has great productivity apps for macOS and iOS.
Setapp has great productivity apps for macOS and iOS.
Photo: cottonbro@pexels.com

A subscription service might not sound like a great way to get your apps, but don’t sell it short. Many folks find subscribing to Setapp is an easy and worthwhile way to get more than 200 apps that help with a variety of tasks — and that someone else has already curated.

After all, the main alternative is diving into the vast app ocean of the App Store. Good luck finding just what you need in there before you drown.

In honor of World Productivity Day — that’s right, at least try to look busy on June 20 — we take a look at some of Setapp’s great tools.

Mosaic

Mosaic is a Mac window manager that can actually improve your productivity. How? It makes it easy to resize and organize windows and view multiple apps and documents on your screen, in sizes and locations that you can adjust.

That can take away a lot of the hunting and pecking through open windows that a lot of users end up doing over the course of a day.

That’s particularly true of people who work with loads of open browser windows or use tons of different apps for work. The next window you need to go back to always seems to be the one most buried in open windows.

With Mosaic’s windows-management tools, you can neatly organize your onscreen Mac world, “snapping” windows into place.

And thanks to some quick trackpad, keyboard and touch bar shortcuts, you can easily distribute apps around your screen for maximum productivity.

Mosaic is something you can use daily that feels like it’s simply part of macOS. And to get you going and help you out along the way, the app includes quick video tutorials.

Mission Control Plus

For another, even simpler take on windows control, check out Mission Control Plus. It simply adds useful features to your Mac’s native Mission Control app, which gives you a bird’s-eye view of all your open windows, so you can see what’s what without having to move them around.

The key element here is that Mission Control Plus simply improves a bit on the native app, so there’s little to learn. It’s simple to use.

The app makes it easy to kill active processes and close windows. For example, instead of using the Option + Command + W keyboard command to close each app’s batch of open windows, you can click a button in Mission Control Plus to close everything.

To do it, just run Mission Control Plus and use Mission Control like you normally would. Except now there will be a button that closes everything, bringing you a sense of peace and renewal. Because soon you’re just going to start opening windows again.

In the Mission Control Plus preferences, you’ll find the list of shortcuts that can be integrated into your workflow. In addition to closing windows, you can use them to quickly kill active processes and quit certain apps.

Backtrack

Here we switch gears from streamlining your onscreen workspace to getting all the information you need — even if you forgot to get it when you had the chance.

How often have you ended a meeting thinking you should have recorded it? Did you miss key ideas, next steps, assignments or other details? Of course you did.

Well, there’s an app that makes it OK to forget to hit the record button. Backtrack for Mac is always listening, recording and overwriting audio throughout the day.

Audio is stored locally on your Mac so that you can backtrack whatever recording you need at any time, up to 5 hours in the past.

You can imagine how helpful this might be for teams that collaborate a lot, together or remotely. Designate one Mac-using member to run Backtrack and everything is captured.

Using the app, you don’t have to start or stop recording. Simply pull down from the icon in the menu bar and backtrack the amount of recorded audio you need — say 10 minutes. Then a 10-minute audio file is saved on your Mac.

The app is unobtrusive. It sits on the Menu bar until you click the icon. Then you can set the backtrack limit, pause and resume recording manually when necessary, or swap the input device.

By default, Backtrack records every 60 minutes of audio and overwrites it unless you save it. You can extend the time of recording up to 5 hours, which enables you to record longer meetings or calls without saving audio every hour.

Note that Backtrack doesn’t share audio anywhere, including iCloud accounts. It stores recordings locally on your machine. And the app collects no data for analytics, either.

Rocket Typist

And here’s an app that will streamline productivity by helping you easily access and reuse all the words and phrases you type constantly, so you don’t have to keep typing them.

Rocket Typist gives you a simple database where you can save an unlimited number of your  most commonly used words and phrases as “snippets.” You can quickly paste them into any document using a drop down menu.

Or you can set them to appear automatically when you type an abbreviation a few letters long. That’s for when you don’t even want to pause to paste.

You can open the app with a keystroke and paste words or phrases into anything you’re working on. You can even save message templates as snippets and then paste them into Mail.

The snippet manager is organized like any folder. You can divide it up into as many subfolders as you need for different uses. And it’s searchable, so you can find just what you want to say (again).

When you’ve selected a snippet, the app will copy it to your keyboard so you can paste it over and over again. The Auto-Paste feature pastes the snippet as soon as you click on it, saving you time. You can toggle automatic pasting in the app menu, so you have it when you need it.

Rocket Typist supports some text macros, including Time and Date and clipboard content. You can use these macros to create responsive snippets that keep your documents up-to-date as you’re writing them. You can even use placeholder text for documents that you’ll finish later.

The Snippet editor offers a straightforward export and import feature so you can share your snippets. Export them by Mail or Airdrop from the editor. That helps teams whose members need to watch their phrasing.

Price: Monthly Setapp subscriptions are $9.99 for one Mac;  $12.49 for one Mac and iOS devices; $14.99 for four Mac and iOS devices.

Where to download: Setapp