6 Powerup Applications

All the below reviews are not endorsed in any way.
These are my opinions and might not be true for everyone. 

To get the most out of my time I try to find ways to make my workflow faster. It's always helpful to have a good support team in the background. Not all the listed applications are only for workflow. Some are helpful apps to make your computer more interesting. Below is a list of six great applications for Mac OS and one for Windows. 

 

Minimize-All

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OS: Mac
Price: $ 0.99

Here is a quirky little application that is a breath of fresh air. MinimizeAll is a Mac app that sits in your Menu Bar. With two clicks you can automatically minimize all windows back into your Dock. Giving you a clutter free view of your Desktop and screen.

The app is helpful, but not perfect. The Menu Bar icon is orange and sticks out on the screen. It takes two-clicks to get to the "minimize all" command. It would be more intuitive with one-click and adding a right-click for the menu.

PAULA

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OS: Mac
Price: $ 0.99

Paula is a brilliant app you hardly notice is there. Paula is an automatic "Fn" presser. When you work on a laptop for example, keys like F1, F2 etc. - are auto mapped to features like screen brightness or volume. 

If you hold Fn you can use their normal commands for the application you're in. In an application like Cinema 4D pressing 'Fn' that often could get frustrating.

Set up the Applications and 'Fn' state for any application inside Paula. Then forget it's even there. I think it's helpful for working on the go with my laptop. 

IRVUE

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OS: Mac
Price: Free

This one I'll admit doesn't do much for workflow. But is a beautiful way to change up your desktop images.

The developers run the website Unsplash - which showcases incredible pictures every day. Irvue pulls those pictures right to your desktop. Install it and change your Preferences for the 'update frequency' of new desktop images.

The app has tons of other preferences, including choosing a channel or types of pictures you like. I've had no bugs using it at all - so give it two thumbs up. It's free, gives you curated desktop photos and is bug free.

ASTROPAD

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OS: Mac
Price: $ 19.99

Astropad is a wonderful app for your iPad and computer. It's not quite a Wacom Cintiq, but paired with the Apple Pencil it's a solid budget Cintiq. 

Astropad pairs with your computer via WiFi or Thunderbolt. Once connected Astropad will mirror your computer screen to your iPad. I've found the Thunderbolt performs best.

Astropad works best with an Apple Pencil or another stylus that has pressure sensitivity. Then the pressure information can transfer to your computer. Instead of spending for a pricey Wacom this app is a phenomenal budget tablet interface ... if you already own an iPad. 

f.lux

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OS: Mac
Price: Free

As a person who works almost solely on a computer my eyes and hands are important. Almost a month ago I started having blurry vision and eye pain. I realized it was because I was squinting at a computer screen 12+ hours a day. Luckily I found the app f.lux.

f.lux automatically dims your screen with color hues appropriate for the "darkness" or time of day. The white become a little more warm and eye strain immediately disappears. This kind of application is not ideal for Color Grading or video work. But for general computer it's been great.

There are a bunch of settings you can tweak for your schedule. Options like Movie Mode and a crazy version called "Darkroom" which I'll leave as a surprise. 

WUNDERLIST

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OS: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android
Price: Free

If you've never used Wunderlist, download it now. The app is that good and I use it everyday. Wunderlist is a simple and clean note/list app with Cloud syncing. It's' available across all devices too. I use it mainly to jot down project notes or tool ideas on my phone. Then when I sit down on my computer the notes are there.

I've tried many other list apps and Wunderlist is the best. It's unobtrusive, simple to use and has careful attention to details. You can set Reminders or Due Dates for your list items as well as create Folders and additional item notes.

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