Macs are known for their performance and simplicity. However, they’re also great at improving productivity. Apple’s App Store is full of apps that can help you with anything you are doing on a Mac.
Did you ever have a problem figuring out how to do something on a Mac? Do you have one goal for yourself heading into the new year is to boost your Mac productivity in 2021?
Productivity isn’t easily achieved, however, with the apps we’ve listed below – you’ll get a lot of help that will improve the way you use and work on a Mac.
We’ll also share some of the tips and benefits behind the productivity increase so you can know what to expect in 2021!
Eliminating distraction, increasing productivity
Distraction is often related to productivity. Why?
If you are easily distracted on your Mac, you won’t be able to stay productive. And if you aren’t productive, you’ll have to work twice as long to complete and check something off your to-do list.
But what can you expect when you increase productivity?
You can expect:
- Faster task completion
- Less time spent on certain tasks
- Easier track keeping of workload
- Less distraction and a better way of thinking
- Smarter way of approaching and dealing with tasks
These are just some of the benefits. However, the most crucial benefit is faster task completion.
What if you were able to do something that usually took you 2 hours in an hour or less? This would help you work faster and do more work in a certain time frame.
This is very helpful for people who are often limited by the time they can spend on specific projects. Productivity can help you squeeze in as many tasks and work as possible without compromising the quality.
Down below, you’ll find our eight best productivity apps for Mac that will help you get organized, work faster & smarter, but also, never miss a deadline!
Top 11 Mac productivity apps to try
Mac on its own is an excellent choice for people who want to get things done and occur fewer problems in the long run. It features many great in-built apps that you can use – however, third-party is where Mac excels at.
Down below, you can find some of the best apps that will help you to increase productivity on your Mac.
Disclosure: We sometimes use affiliate links which means that, at zero cost to you, we may earn a commission if you buy something through our links.
To Stay Focused
1. Dewo – Deep Work Assistant
Even before trying to increase your productivity, you need to look at your usual workday on Mac and see how well you perform.
Dewo is a great app that serves as a personal assistant that allows you to do more in-depth work. It assesses the time you spend using your Mac and it helps you protect your Mac workspace by eliminating distractions.
A helpful graph can break down your work across days, or even locations and apps. By knowing exactly how much time you spend on a particular task – you can easily optimize your workflow to shorten the time you spend on each task.
In fact, Dewo is an app that is made to help you do more work in a certain amount of time. On average, we’ve noticed that it can help us save about 52 minutes per day for a 6-hour workday.
This might not seem a lot, however, this adds up and can result in hours over the week.
We really like how Devo told us when we get the most of the deep work done. It also showed us how we can get more work done in a certain amount of time if we put this limited yet helpful deep focus on certain tasks.
Lastly, Dewo can even se AI to block out apps you aren’t using and apps that could be a distraction or suggest a meeting schedule that fits your schedule the most – and since it’s free, you should definitely check it out!
2. HazeOver – Dimming Distractions on Mac
Do you feel like that there’s too much going on at your Mac screen at times? Mac’s operating system is fairly sleek and elegant – but there’s nothing preventing you from opening as many windows as you’d like.
And if you are someone who needs to use multiple apps or have multiple windows open – it might seem that there’s no way to escape the distractions in each one of those tabs.
HazeOver is an app that deals with this issue directly. It’s an app that’s very simple to set up and yet it enables you to literally black out the tabs you aren’t using at the moment.
This way, you won’t have to minimize every single tab and then re-open it manually when you need it. Instead, you can have one tab open on top of all your other tabs, and yet use HazeOver to put all your focus into one tab.
What we liked about this distraction dimmer is that it even has a two-finger gesture you can use to dim your screen in less than a second.
You will save time by not having to minimize everything, have a nicer way to reduce brightness when using Mac at night, and keep multi-tasking efficiently even with more than one display.
We’ve noticed that HazeOver didn’t mess with our work since it’s super fast. Even when we had to drag something from one window to another – HazeOver followed through very nicely and didn’t disturb or slow down our work.
3. White Noise Lite – Putting Your Mind at Ease
Not everyone is a big fan of the noisy sounds that are surrounding you (such as the buzz of the office).
White noise is an audio signal that has the same intensity and is available at a couple of different frequencies.
The best example of the white noise is whirring fan, radio, or television static. But you shouldn’t judge the white noise before you try it.
And there is no better app for Mac than White Noise Lite. It’s an app specifically designed to provide more than 50 full HD white noises.
If you’re struggling to focus when working, or you’re disturbed by any other noise that’s surrounding you – White Noise Lite is a great way to mask other sounds that surround you.
Inside the app, you will be able to find a couple of different sound categories, such as:
- Nature sounds
- Animal sounds
- Appliance noise
- Colored noise
Within each category, you will have plenty of different white noise HD samples combined with a peaceful and relaxing image slideshow.
4. Cold Turkey – Blocking out Distractions
Did you know that an average person can spend up to 3 years of our life on social media? This is a huge number, and that’s okay.
But did you ever try to get some work done on your Mac and yet you end up spending 30-min or even an hour on social media without even realizing it until it is too late?
Cold Turkey is an app that helps prevent distractions from websites you don’t use for your work. Also, it’s a great app that can help block almost any app on your Mac, or even your Mac in whole at times.
Our favorite thing about Cold Turkey is the motivational quote we get when we try visiting a website that we previously blocked.
This is an excellent way of building great habits and self-disciplining yourself without even realizing it.
But how is this going to affect you if you have to use social media for work? Cold Turkey app is so well developed that you can choose individual pages of every social media platform to block out.
Therefore, you can still access tools within each platform that you need to use for work without getting distracted by other pages.
To Manage Time/Task/Passwords
5. Todoist – A Perfect Digital To-Do List
One way of staying a bit more organized and cutting time trying to remember what’s the next task you have to do is by having a digital to-do list.
Todoist is a perfect digital to-do list app that allows you to input all your tasks or projects, keep track of them, stay on top of the tasks, and even have interactive boards to put your thoughts on.
We really like the ability to use this app for both personal and professional projects and tasks. And even the ability to use a browser extension or have the app available on the iPhone/iPad is really handy.
Whenever an idea or task comes across your mind – you can simply write it down so you never forget it. And the next time you use your Mac, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done which will speed up the process of getting started working on your Mac every single day.
We really like this because it allows us to take more breaks while working without having a hard time coming back from the break, right into the workflow.
6. RescueTime – Automatic Time Tracking
Did you ever feel like you don’t know where your time goes when you’re working? The biggest problem is that we often underestimate time we spend doing each task on our Mac.
And with the number of possible distractions – the time can run out very quickly. RescueTime is an app that’s there to literally rescue you from falling into this pit.
It automatically tracks your time so you don’t have to worry about it. All you have to do is run the app and check out the convenient reports that can help you judge your work day/routine and even help you improve every aspect of your work day on a Mac.
The motto of this app is to get more work done without working more hours in a day – and that’s exactly what productivity is.
We really like RescueTime has the ability to automatically track the time spent on apps and even websites without having to manually enter a single information.
If you are feeling like you could be a lot more productive but don’t know where to start – let this app serve you as a ‘fresh’ set of eyes as the app itself can let you know what can be improved and what you’re already doing great.
7. DashLane – Managing Your Passwords
How much time do you spend typing your passwords on various platforms or apps? The great thing about Mac’s Safari is that you can remember passwords & accounts on most websites to log in relatively quickly.
However, the real question here is – how much time do you spend recovering passwords you’ve forgotten?
DashLane is a great app available on Mac that lets you safely store all your passwords securely. The great thing is that you won’t have to type in your passwords ever again.
DashLane doesn’t only apply to the browser, but it also applies to apps and other software. One of the features we liked the most is the ability to auto-generate a very secure password.
Not only you won’t have to spend time creating new passwords for every account, but you’ll get a password that’s hard to crack without having to remember it.
But there’s one exciting feature which speeds up password sharing. But why would you share a password? In case you work as a part of a team or hire some help – you can easily share some passwords in just a couple of clicks.
If not, you can at least share your Netflix account password with your family members.
To Automate Your Work
8. Text Expander – Typing Faster by Typing Less
Do you feel like you’re sometimes repeating yourself over and over in your emails, messages, or other types of communication?
Not only this can be super boring or annoying, but you’re also spending extra time typing everything out.
With Text Expander, you can create snippets of text you often add in the beginning or closing part of your email so you can simply add it with a touch of a button.
Or, you can also create email outlines, boilerplate, and other types of content so you have it ready when you need it the most.
What we like the most about Text Expander is that can even pick up on things you write the most. So if you don’t realize some of repeating you do – Text Expander could help you notice it. That’s why many people call Text Expander their “second brain”.
We’ve noticed that with just Text Expander, we were able to cut our 40-min email & communication session down to 15 to 20 minutes.
Even if you don’t have loads of emails or messages to answer – you could still cut some time, reduce the effort, and maximize your time.
9. Keyboard Maestro – Working Faster with Macros
Keyboard Maestro helps you master all tasks you do on your Mac using the keyboard. Not everyone likes typing and not everyone is quick when it comes down to typing.
But how many times did you come across questionnaires, templates, or web forms on the internet?
Filling out any of these isn’t fun. Not only it takes time, but it also takes effort to type everything out. And if you have to fill out a couple of similar web forms – it’s easy to get bored with such tasks.
Keyboard Maestro is a wisely crafted app that has hundreds of built-in actions that won’t only help you fill forms out. Yet it will help you to automate most of the daily tasks you are doing, such as typing your email out, duplicating lines in documents, or even launching new pages inside the browser.
We’ve noticed that with Keyboard Maestro, we were able to have a bit better control over the apps, but also keep using Mac the way we used it for ages, yet have a bit help on the side.
This is super useful because you won’t have to re-learn how to use a Mac differently (or efficiently), yet you’ll have a helper on your side that will jump in whenever there’s something it can help you out with.
How simple or complex the help you get is – it is totally up to you. And even though there’s a bit of a learning curve with this app, it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
To Organize Your Digital Workspace
10. MindNode – Organizing Your Mind (Brainstorming)
If you’re someone who likes to brainstorm a lot and then take practical action – MindNode is a perfect app you need to have on your Mac.
It is an app that helps you write down your thoughts, create separate lists, and even visualize your thoughts and plans inside the app.
It’s a relatively lightweight app that won’t take a lot of time to load, and yet you’ll be able to write further ideas or anything that comes up to your mind.
And how this app affects productivity?
Instead of having to create a new document that you’ll have to organize or getting a piece of paper – you can do it directly within your Mac quickly and efficiently.
Therefore, writing something down or organizing your thoughts real quick won’t be a distraction.
The interface is pretty simple and it works in the way of a growing tree. The more things you add to it – the more you will expand the map in a tree-style.
11. Magnet – For Multiple Window Tabs & Multi-Tasking
Depending on your industry, you might have noticed people who use more than one screen to stay on top of their tasks, reduce the time they waste by switching between the apps, or simply have everything laid out in front of them.
Magnet is an excellent app for Mac that allows you to keep running multiple tabs at once in just one screen. Having all your tasks laid out in front of you and the essentials you require for work is definitely a great way to increase your productivity.
We’ve noticed that since using Magnet, we have less clutter, we spend less time looking for things on our Mac, and we don’t have the need to switch between different tabs constantly.
But what’s even better with Magnet is that you can set up a couple of keyboard shortcuts to quickly copy and paste text from one tab to another while having all of them open simultaneously.
Honorable Mention: Setapp
Setapp is not a single app, but it’s an app that provides access to hundreds of different apps for your Mac for a fixed monthly fee.
The fee is only $9.99/month and yet you can get unlimited access to hundreds of paid apps.
And how does this help your productivity?
You will have all apps listed in a sleek interface of one app, you will save a bunch of money, and you will have almost any app from the list inside this blog post.
This suite of apps comes with a sleek interface where you can easily search for apps or navigate and browse all available apps.
We’ve noticed that there are plenty of apps that focus on productivity, but there are also apps that can help you increase the health & security of your Mac which is equally important.
Even though there isn’t a free version, you can test out the Setapp by joining for trial which is free for the first 7 days.
How to increase productivity when using a Mac?
Installing all of these apps won’t boost your productivity drastically. Even though it might help you with a couple of things – productivity is a skill that you have to gain and maintain.
No app will increase your productivity. But if you take advantage of these apps, you will be able to use your Mac in a certain way that will help you in the long run.
It’s all about how you use your Mac, rather than the apps you have on it. Some people who have their own routine and system might not need any of these apps.
However, if you’re just building out your routine on Mac and you’re looking for ways to be more productive, get more work done, and spend less time on time-consuming tasks – these apps can definitely help you out.
But other than relying on these apps, you should also:
- Organize your desktop icons
- Save your searches for a quick-search next time
- Learn Mac shortcuts
- Activate Hot Corners feature
- Try dictating instead of typing
- Use text replacements if you’re typing to increase speed
- Use dock on a Touch Bar Mac model
Did you ever feel like you lacked something when you were using Mac? If you overlook problems, you might not find solutions.
But if you spend some time setting up your Mac in a certain way, you will also be able to set up your own routine that will help you stay productive on your Mac, get more work done in a shorter period of time, and stay organized at all times.
Whether you’re a freelancer, you work from home, or you’re just trying to study without getting distracted – we believe that you’ll be able to improve your productivity by taking advantage of at least a couple of apps from the list.
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