For Mac Eyes Only – The Day of Essential Apps

Episode #298

On this episode of For Mac Eyes Only: Mike, Gary and Eric present our 8th Annual list of Essential Apps for Mac users, a short list of “Gimme” essential apps, plus a few bonus essential apps that just missed landing on this year’s list.

Essential Apps for Mac Users 2014

This Year’s List:
> Caffeine
> PopClip
> Jumpcut
> Snapheal
> LaunchBar
> Fantastical
> Dropbox
> Scrivener
> PopChar
> Default Folder X
> ScreenSharingMenulet

Our “RSTLN & E” Essential Apps
> Mariner Write
> Nisus Writer
> AbiWord
> WriteRoom
> Apache OpenOffice
> Carbon Copy Cloner
> SuperDuper!
> ChronoSync
> Windows Media Components for QuickTime (Flip4Mac)
> VLC media player

Bonus Essential Apps Not Mentioned:
> Hazel
> 1Password
> Onyx
> Typinator
> teleport
> Evernote

Other Apps to Know
> Coffitivity
> Scapple

A Look Back at Previous Essential Apps:
> Essential Apps 2012
> Essential Apps 2011
> Essential Apps 2010
> Essential Apps 2009
> Essential Apps 2008
> Essential Apps 2007
> Essential Apps 2006


> Meet TeamFMEO
> Contact Us

Play Now

or Download the show here!

Running Time: 1:18:06


  1. I liked the show overall, but I think you were stretching the concept of “essential” when you covered Scrivener (one of my favorite apps), Fantastical, and ScrensharingMenulet. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the list and learned about many news apps that I should consider, but I think you covered what is essential for you and your guests, not just apps that make a big difference to most users. Still, it is your show and you are free to define “essential” the way you want. I am a show sponsor and love your podcasts.

    • Hi Ralph,

      Thanks, I really appreciate your support!

      I’ll concede Scrivener is not for everyone, but I’ll stand by my picks of both Fantastical and ScreenSharingMenulet with two caveats:

      1) Fantastical: You need to have a calendar set up on your Mac … and use it! Not everyone has a need for calendaring.

      2) ScreenSharingMenulet: You must own or use multiple Macs — either in a single household or a home/work situation where Back to my Mac is used.

      But with that said, I truly believe both of those apps make a positive difference to the experience of calendaring and/or screen sharing — of which I do both.

      Otherwise, you’re 100% spot on when you say the apps we cover are first and foremost essential to Gary, Eric, and myself. We just hope that in sharing our favorites, folks listening will find SOMETHING on the list that’ll become just as essential to their Mac-using life as well.

      I’d love to hear some of your Essential Apps, be sure to leave them here in the show notes!

      Thanks as always,


      • This is an “essential apps” show comment. I could not leave the comment there because it is closed to comments. It would be nice if a user could be warned about this *before* posting because I spent 20 minutes editing the comment only to be informed after selecting “post comment” that the podcast was closed to comments. OUCH. Fortunately, I could use the “back” function of Safari to copy my comments without losing them.

        Thank you for the very nice reply, Mike. I love the show. My definition of “essential apps” are those that I use many times a day *and* I think would be widely applicable to other users. They include just six of those on your list (there are a few I want to try now based on the show), plus:
        * Spotlight – I don’t need a sophisticated launching program. Spotlight works well enough for me because I worry about customizing my user experience so much that it would be hard to function on other Macs.
        * CopyPaste Pro – A clipboard management utility is definitely essential. CPP has the right combination of simplicity and power for me.
        * Fruit Juice – battery management utility
        * Text Expander
        * Skitch

        I don’t have as much need for screen sharing, I think, because I use cloud-based apps whenever possible. I keep all my documents in the cloud (dropbox) because it is so handy.

        Thanks again for the reply and the great work you do on the show. BTW, how often should I contribute to the show? Do you have guidance on this on the website? I don’t have time to look for this now, but it would be good to read or hear on the podcast what your thoughts on this are.

        • Hi Ralph,

          I posted your comment where you’d left it, but I also moved it here. Apologies for the commenting confusion — there’s apparently a bug in my installation that I’ll need to resolve because it shouldn’t allow you to ATTEMPT to comment when comments are closed. I’ll work to resolve that!

          Love your list! In fact, I wonder why I’ve never mentioned Spotlight myself. It’s absolutely essential to my daily Mac-using life.

          Likewise, Skitch — although the latest releases seem to have some sort of bug that causes a tremendous delay when I’m opening an image the first time. I also agree on a clipboard manager. My choice is Jumpcut (also for its simplicity) and we’ve mentioned others on the show too. I wonder to this day why Apple hasn’t built one into OS X.

          Thanks for sharing Ralph! Great list…