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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DPP Solutions: Set Up For Success

Essential applications for Mac users to keep your business running efficiently

There are a lot of terrible financial packages for the Mac (I'm looking at you, Quicken), but iBank has always stood out as an exception. iBank manages your bank accounts, investments, credit cards and (if your bank supports it) online bill payment. $59.99. iggsoftware.com/ibank
Just because Apple includes Mail on every Mac doesn't mean it's the best choice for every user. And since email is the cornerstone of most business activity, any increases in productivity with a mail client can result in less time spent with email. There are a number of great alternatives to Mail.

One of my favorites is Postbox, which includes much better Gmail support, custom projects (so you can group emails from multiple people together), automatic keyword tagging and automatic email summarization—great when you want to quickly remind everyone what has been said in an email. $9.95. postbox-inc.com

Another great option is Unibox, which turns email on its head by organizing conversations according to senders instead of individual messages. Click on the name of a person, and see every message you've exchanged in a style that looks like a chat client. $9.99. uniboxapp.com

Photo Editing
Obviously, Photoshop is the go-to application in the photo-editing category, but there's another app I install on every Mac, Pixelmator. The program started off as a pretty powerful and inexpensive photo-editing tool, but has grown in sophistication and abilities to the point where, for most Photoshop users, it's a pretty solid competitor. It even beat Adobe to full Mac Pro Dual CPU support. At just $29.95, it's hard to think of a reason why not to purchase it. pixelmator.com

With the million different video formats that are available, it's good to have some tools to help you play or convert anything you come across. (Otherwise, how can you watch your pirated copy of The Wolverine if it's only available as MK4?) QuickTime Player is a handy application for viewing many standard video formats, but if you need to watch something more obscure, try MPlayerX. If you'd like to convert from one format to another, try Movavi Video Converter. And to convert a DVD to video, there's no better tool than HandBrake.
MPlayerX—Free, with a donation option available. mplayerx.org
Movavi Video Converter—$39.95 or $9.99/month subscription.
HandBrake—Free. handbrake.fr
Image Recovery
If you work in digital photography, eventually you're going to have a CF or SD card go bad on you. When that happens, grab Lexar's Image Rescue 5 or Card Rescue. I usually keep both on my Mac as there are some instances where one of the applications inexplicably works better than the other. Lexar Image Rescue 5—$33.99. lexar.com/imagerescue; Card Rescue—$39.99. cardrescue.com

Multiple Clipboards
The Macintosh pioneered the clipboard, but its "only one thing at a time" nature is extremely limiting. iClipboard enhances the Mac's memory by adding multiple clipboard slots. Copy multiple things and you can access them from a sidebar or menu item, pasting them into any program. $29.99. chronosnet.com

The Mac's Calendar is a useful tool, but some of us need more power than it can provide. A great Calendar replacement is BusyCal 5, a full-featured calendar that syncs easily with Google Calendar, provides built-in to-dos and reminders, and even weather at a glance. $49.99. busymac.com/busycal

File Moving
It's easy to drag a file from one location and drop it somewhere else, but DragonDrop makes it even easier. Grab a document and wiggle your cursor, and a floating tray pops up that you can drop your document into. The floating document stays in the foreground while you switch programs or open a new Finder window and goes away when you drag the document to its new location. $4.99. shinyplasticbag.com/dragondrop


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