February 11, 2015 - No Comments!

5 productivity boosting OS X apps for Designers

Who wants to waste time rebooting their system when it starts to slow down? How about keeping a To Do list or creating folder structures for each and every project? I know I don’t and I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone.

We all want to spend more time doing what we do best — designing. Whether you are a Motion Graphics Designer, a Print Designer or a UI Designer these incredibly handy apps for OS X will give you an almost immediate boost in productivity. I’ve been using each of these apps for some time now and have made them a staple of my daily workflow. I hope you get as much use out of these apps as I do.


1. ColorSnapper - $4.99

Dubbed “the missing color picker for Mac”, ColorSnapper is a lightweight app that is placed in your Mac’s menu bar and allows you to sample colors from anywhere on your screen. The real benefits of ColorSnapper come from the app copying the sampled color’s HEX code (among other formats) to your clipboard. This comes in handy for times when you need to sample a color outside of your application. ColorSnapper can be accessed via a global keyboard shortcut or via the menu bar.

Download ColorSnapper



2. Post Haste - Free

Do you struggle with file and folder organization? When you open a folder, do you see a bunch of files, completely lacking any sort of structure? Do your co-workers struggle to find files you worked on? Do they curse you behind your back because they can’t seem to find the latest After Effects project file?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I suggest that you take a huge step in the right direction and implement Post Haste into your workflow.

Post Haste is a free app that allows you to create template based directory structures that when creating a new project automatically generates folders for you that include actual template files (.PSD, .AI, .C4D et. al) that have the file name, job number, client name and other fields that you specified.

Download Post Haste



3. Memory Clean - Free

Speed up your Mac with Memory Clean from the fine folks over at FIPLAB. This free app allows you to optimize your Mac’s memory (RAM) with the click of a mouse. What Memory Clean does is essentially replicate the feeling of a fresh system reboot without having to shutdown all of your applications and reboot, causing you to stop what you’re doing and wait for your system to startup.

Memory Clean works by purging the Mac's inactive memory and is best used when you close a RAM intensive program (After Effects for example) that you do not plan to use again quickly within a few hours.

This little app also helps to free up RAM while you’re working by automatically freeing up memory once it falls below a user defined threshold.

I use Memory Clean on a daily basis and have seen improvements in system speed after I’ve hit the little blue button — I like to think of it as my computer taking a quick water break before getting back to running a marathon.

Download Memory Clean



4. Todoist - Free

Most of us most likely have more than one task on our list at a time. Some of us may have dozens of tasks to do for the week. I like to stay organized by keeping both a written To Do list as well as a more comprehensive list on my computer. I do this with Todoist — a multi-platform task manager.

Todoist sports an extremely clean user interface that is sure to be visually pleasing to the Design Nerd in you. You can create projects, sub-projects, tasks and sub-tasks with different priority levels and due-dates. You can share and collaborate tasks and projects with colleagues making Todoist a consideration for task management in small teams.

A paid premium version ($29 / year) of Todoist gives you Reminders, Notes, Labels and Filters.

Download Todoist


5. XtraFinder - Free

Prior to OS X Mavericks being released, I had always wanted tabbed Finder windows. I felt that this should’ve been a feature of OS X long before Mavericks — thankfully, XtraFinder brings that functionality to your Finder.

Before you say “Well I already have tabbed finder windows in the latest version of OS X” I’d like to share with you some other features that XtraFinder brings to the table. Not only can you customize the view of your tabs, you can also enable various other features such as Cut & Paste (I love this one), automatic column width adjustment, Dual Panel finder windows, Copy Path and Legacy labels for OS X 10.9+.

These are all small changes to the default Finder functionality but they allow you to fully customize your Finder to your liking.

Download XtraFinder for free


What apps do you use that help increase your productivity? Share them in the comments below or tweet me. I’d love to hear from you.

Published by: Joe Nicklo in Apple, Apps, Design, Graphic Design, Mac, Motion Graphics, Software, UI Design