Applications I Would Stake My Life On: Mac Edition

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As a college student, a blog owner, and a member of society in the 21st century my technology feels like an extension of my physical form. And one of my most prized possessions, and largest tools for running my life, is my laptop. I use a 15" MacBook Pro and over the years I've accumulated my own cult list of applications I swear by, that I would stake my life on.

1Passwordis an absolute gem: it remembers every username and password you ever enter, helps you create impenetrable passwords, and can even remember the answers to security questions if you tell it to. I prefer to keep the answers to my security questions out of the app for the most part, but it is a handy feature for that obscure website you went to six years ago and need to be able to get into once in a blue moon.

Caffeinekeeps my screen bright as the sun when I'm working on a paper, which is usually a day-long intensive process. It seems like such a small thing, having your screen constantly bright, but when you're in the middle of writing something that carries 15% of your overall grade on it, you don't want to take the time to press the brighten button on the keyboard.

Calendar is a life-saver when it comes to coordinating my schedule with my parents' when I'm living at home, and for keeping track of all of my obligations and appointments when I'm at school or, you know, living in a different country. It integrates seamlessly with Google Calendars, I can color-code to my heart's content, and it syncs across all of my Apple devices.

Coffitivityhas been a favorite of mine for months now, the comforting and familiar track "University Undertones" playing alongside any music I have while I'm doing pretty much anything. It boosts productivity like nothing else for me, and in a foreign country it goes a long way for making me feel less homesick. I used the web application for ages and only recently downloaded the desktop application and am wondering why the heck it took me so long to make the switch.

Dropboxis a no-brainer in my book. I use it to back up my blog, my computer (as a back-up of the back-ups I keep on an external hard drive), to send files to myself that I have to print at school just in case the attachment doesn't work on the emails I send myself. It helps keep me sane, knowing that I have a backup of every backup in case something goes wrong.

Pages is my life and blood when it comes to applications on my computer. I do pretty much everything in Pages -- I write papers for school in it, I write drafts of my blog posts in it, I write and edit poetry, short stories, I keep a million lists and random ideas in documents, I keep an archive of quotes I find interesting or inspiring. If I didn't have Pages, I don't know what I would do.

SelfControlis another favorite productivity application of mine. You enter distracting websites into a blacklist, set the timer, and the application blocks you from those sites for however long your timer is set for. Quitting the application won't grant you access, nor will restarting your computer or uninstalling the application. I use it the most around midterms and finals, when I need to spend every waking hour studying or writing papers.

What are some of your cult favorites when it comes to desktop applications?