The best Mac apps

These 30 apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

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Productivity

Evernote

Evernote Mac App

Evernote is the undisputed king of note-taking apps, and for good reason. It’s simple, organized in an intuitive way, and syncs with just about any web-based service you can imagine. And since it’s one of the most popular apps in existence, there’s a veritable boatload of browser extensions and add-ons available for it as well. Evernote offers a free version that provides a slew of basic functionality, up to 60MB of uploads a month, and syncing for two machines, but if you’re a heavy user, you’ll still want to opt for the premium version ($35 a year).

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Mac App Store

Day One

Day One 2 Journal Mac App

Journals are an age-old tradition — just ask Benjamin Franklin. That said, the apt-titled Day One serves as a digital companion for those looking to capture life’s little moments. Aside from text, the app also incorporates photos, reminders, and tags, the latter of which helps tremendously with staying organized. The best part? Password protection keeps potential, prying eyes at bay. Day One is free to use, but for unlimited journals and photos — not to mention all future updates — you’ll want to consider the premium subscription ($35 a year).

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Mac App Store

Fantastical 2 ($50)

Fantastical 2 Mac App

Fantastical 2 is the only calendar app you’ll ever need, so long as you’re willing to shell out a cool $50 for it. The steep price grants you access to a powerful set of tools, however, as well as a full-screen calendar window that’s as beautiful as it is practical. The true hallmark of Fantastical 2 is in the way you create reminders; just type in that you have “Dinner with Alexa on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.” and watch the app schedule it with a reminder.

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Mac App Store

Pixelmator ($30)

Pixelmator App Thumb

Mac users have access to a vast selection of excellent photo-editing programs, but even against its many competitors, Pixelmator stands out as one of the best. It boasts a massive list of powerful features, and is currently one of the fastest programs in the entire photo-editing space. Factor in Pixelmator’s support for Apple’s new Touch Bar, and you have a winning image editor.

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Mac App Store

Pocket

Pocket Mack App

As the name might imply, Pocket is a tool that lets you “pocket” articles, videos, and webpages for later viewing. It essentially consolidates all the content in a simple, easy-to-use interface that’s also accessible offline. The app is perfect for sharing your favorite stuff among friends or for stowing interesting articles you may encounter on your evening commute, which you can then pull up on the big screen with their accompanying text, pictures, and links when you get home. Pocket is free to use, but if you want enhanced search capabilities and an ad-free experience, then you’ll want to take advantage of the premium subscription ($45 a year).

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Mac App Store

PDF Expert ($60)

PDF Expert Mac App

Having to work with PDF files is a fact of life, and PDF Expert makes that fact a little easier. Not only does the minimalist software allow you to fill out forms and merge PDFs, but it also grants you a host of tools for editing, annotating, and signing files on the fly. Moreover, it’s compatible with Apple’s Continuity and Handoff features, so you can swap devices while in the middle of a document without fear of losing your work.

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Mac App Store

Reeder 3 ($10)

Reeder 3 Mac App

Google Reader may be dead and gone, but a proper RSS reader is still a must. Thankfully, Reeder 3 is one of the best around. The desktop application sports a gorgeous finish that perfectly compliments MacOS High Sierra’s semi-transparent panes, along with shared extensions, a private browsing mode, and support for most RSS services (Feedly, Feedbin, Fever, etc.). Themes, gesture controls, and a host of customization also come standard.

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Mac App Store

Text Wrangler

TextWrangler App Thumb

With so many free text editors out there for Mac users, it’s tough to choose just one. Some lean toward minimalism and strip away advanced features, but Text Wrangler isn’t one of those. This program is the Cadillac of free text editors. It has every bell, whistle, and advanced formatting option you’ll ever need. It’s not a replacement for a good word processor, sure, but it’s a great choice for editing code and other plain text files.

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Bare Bones

Wunderlist

Wunderlist Mac App

Don’t let Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Wunderlist fool you — it’s still a phenomenal tool for MacOS, even without the premium feature set. The sleek application helps with creating to-do lists, each of which comes with customized due dates, reminders, and everything else you need to stay on schedule. The software also allows for collaborative lists, syncs your content across devices, and features the ability to save webpages and other content for later viewing (a la Pocket).

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Mac App Store

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