5 Useful Mac Utilities


Notational Velocity (Free)

Notational Velocity is a minimalist note-taking app with an emphasis on keyboard navigation. One of the interesting UI elements is that the search bar, besides being a search bar, also serves as the mechanism for creating new notes: You just enter a new title and hit enter. Also, it can sync with SimpleNote for iPhone and iPad.

Cinch ($7)

Usually, Windows users are trying to copy OS X features, but Cinch does the opposite by porting Windows 7’s Aero Snap feature over to OS X. It runs in the menubar and resizes windows based on where you drag them. Dragging to the side makes a window take up half the screen, and dragging to the top makes it take up the entire screen.

F.lux (Free)

F.lux bills itself as “better lighting for your computer.” It accomplishes this by gradually dimming your screen’s brightness and making your screen “warmer” by tinting it. You feed it your time-zone and what kind of lighting you have (i.e. fluorescent, incandescent) and it adjusts your monitor’s tint and brightness based on what time it is. I’ve been using it for a few weeks, and it’s hard to go back. The change was a bit jarring at first, but I’ve grown to like it.

BetterTouchTool (Free)

BetterTouchTool extends the functionality of Apple’s multitouch trackpads and Magic Mouse by letting you customize and add new gestures, such as five-finger swipe on the trackpad, or pinch-to-zoom on the Magic Mouse. You can assign these gestures to either a keyboard shortcut or an application.


A small and simple utility that just flashes a bezel notification when you hit the caps lock key, preventing you from accidentally hitting it. (Though this probably isn’t as effective as just looking at your keyboard when you type).

Know of any Mac utilities you couldn’t live without? Tell us about them in the comments.

Comments are closed.