30 of the Best Productivity Apps for Mac in 2020

Executing on Plans / May 14, 2020 / Emily Chioconi

The constant need to feel productive can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you have so much to do. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way – you can simplify the way you work!

Instead of worrying about how much you’re getting done, you can streamline your workload and make it more manageable. We’ve searched for the best Mac apps that make staying productive easy, painless and, most importantly, simple!

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Focus improvement apps

Simply put, focus is your ability to think. Without focus, you won’t be effective in your work – if you’re not concentrating on the right things or are distracted, you won’t be able to get work done. If you’re not producing the quality of work you need to be successful, you’re putting yourself and your business at a standstill. Focus is everything!

HazeOver

HazeOver literally dims distractions on your desktop by only highlighting the front window that you’re working on. You don’t have to worry about closing or minimizing other windows, apps, or notifications while you’re trying to focus.

HazeOver still works for dimming windows when you’re using Dark Mode, and you can choose to dim different windows on different screens if you’re using more than one monitor.

💰Price: $3.99

⬇️Download: The App Store


Focus Booster

Focus Booster uses the Pomodoro Technique time management methodology of working in short bursts followed by taking a short break to help you be the most productive. The technique recommends 25-minute sessions with a 5-minute break after the first three sessions and a 20-minute break after the fourth session.

You can use both the Pomodoro timer and Pomodoro sessions, and the app also comes with time tracking for clients, revenue tracking, productivity reporting to analyze where your time goes, and options for customization!

💰Price: Free, $2.99/month or $4.99/month

⬇️Download: Focus Booster


1Focus

1Focus helps you disable access to tempting apps and websites that are prone to distract you. If you just can’t resist checking Facebook or spending half an hour looking for the perfect playlist on Spotify, this app can help! Give your willpower a break and focus on one task at a time.

1Focus even lets you block specific parts of a website, URL keywords, and the option set up recurring blocks throughout the week to keep you focused. A simple yet effective way to remove obstacles and get more done.

💰Price: Free or $1.99/month or $9.99/year

⬇️Download: The App Store


Dewo

Dewo comes from the concept of Deep Work, created by Cal Newport, who defines it as: “activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limits.” With this in mind, Dewo acts as a personal assistant to keep you focused. Dewo understands when you reach deep work, and will automatically silence app notifications and trigger ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode on chat apps.

Dewo even learns what distracts you by tracking your web and desktop activity – from context switching to your most unproductive apps. With these insights, it makes active suggestions to improve the way you work, helping you set up for regular deep work!


💰Price: Free

⬇️Download: Dewo and iOS App Store


Task and project management apps

Keeping track of the little details, things to do, and little steps can seem daunting when it’s all in your head or on scraps of paper. It can feel like your productivity is slipping away when you can’t get everything done. Using checklists, tracking, and streamlining will help you get things under control so nothing will slip through the cracks.

Things

Things is a personal task manager that helps you achieve your goals. It lets you list and manage the things you have on your to-do list, all with a beautiful design.

Things shows you today’s to-dos, along with the evening and the upcoming week. You can choose to include both your personal and work calendars and even create projects to group tasks together. You can view the progress of your projects at a glance, and use reminders, search, and checklists to keep everything on track!

💰Price: $49.99

⬇️Download: The App Store


Daylite

Daylite combines the power of a CRM, Project Management app, and Lead Management app – all into one. Instead of juggling a bunch of different apps, simplify your life with Daylite. You can take care of your tasks while managing leads, clients, and projects – all in one place.

Everything is organized and shared with your team which helps you save time and increase productivity. You can collaborate with your team by delegating tasks and projects, integrate with thousands of other tools, and Daylite’s unique linking feature allows you to virtually paper clip things together for a history of all your interactions and work. Daylite was made for small businesses in mind and is a native Apple app, so you can even work offline!

💰Price: $29/month

⬇️Download: Daylite


Evernote

Evernote is more than just a note app. You can capture ideas and inspiration from anywhere and manage tasks and deadlines with ease.

Evernote lets you share ideas with anyone, like meeting notes, web pages, projects, and to-do lists. You can capture ideas with voice, images, and work with your team across devices. It also has note templates, document scanning, and the option to save articles and screenshots. You can even integrate it with your other favourite apps!

💰Price: Ranges from free to $14.99/month

⬇️Download: The App Store


OmniFocus

OmniFocus is a task management software that helps you focus on the right tasks at the right time. Capture tasks anywhere, sync across devices, and hit deadlines, no matter where you are!

With OmniFocus, use projects to organize tasks naturally, and then add tags to organize across projects. Easily enter tasks when you’re on the go, and process them when you have time. Tap the Forecast view – which shows both tasks and calendar events – to get a handle on your day. Use the Review perspective to keep your projects and tasks on track.

💰Price: Ranges from $49.99 – $99.99

⬇️Download: OmniFocus


Mind mapping apps

When putting together a process for your business like your customer journey or sales process, you can map out any complex steps visually. A mind map is a way to represent tasks, words, concepts, or ideas linked to and built around a central concept so you can create a framework around your main idea.

Lucidchart

Lucidchart helps your mind mapping whether you’re creating simple flowcharts or complex diagrams. It comes with templates to help you get started and allows you to link to other live data you may be working with, like spreadsheets. It even integrates with other tools your team uses, like Slack, G Suite, GitHub, Atlassian, and more!

Lucidchart is especially great for teams because it lets you collaborate in real-time. You can use a group chat to talk while you work, turn your diagrams into presentations, and it comes with change and history management.

💰Price: Free or ranges from $7.95/month to $27.00/month

⬇️Download: The App Store


MindMaster

MindMaster is a versatile, user-friendly, and professional mind mapping tool. Available on multiple platforms, including PC, tablet, mobile, and web, you can create mind maps and access them from each platform. 

MindMaster gives you several different structures to use for your diagrams as well as themes and clipart. You can add notes, links, and relationships and boundaries. MindMaster is another great mind mapping tool for teams with its Brainstorming Mode that lets you conduct brainstorming sessions with your team. Simply record ideas as your brainstorm and later drag them to their location to generate a mind map of your session.

💰Price: Ranges from $49/year to $149/year

⬇️Download: MindMaster


MindMaple Pro

MindMaple gives you an intuitive way to organize and prioritize information for brainstorming, project management, idea sharing, problem-solving, and more. MindMaple makes it just like drawing in a notebook so you can map things out creatively without any rules.

With MindMaple, you can import photos, link to files, folders, and email addresses, and even use clipart. You can expand on topics with subtopics, prioritize tasks and track their progress, and create relationships and boundaries between each idea.

💰Price: $13.99

⬇️Download: The App Store


Document and security management apps

Files and documents can be a large part of any business, and security is paramount. Keeping your documents safe and your processes secure helps you build trust with your clients. It also makes running your business smoother!

PDF Reader Pro

PDF Reader Pro is an all-in-one PDF office to read, annotate, edit, convert, create, fill in forms, and sign PDFs. With its comprehensive list of features like free templates and watermarks, if PDF files are a big part of your business, you can’t go without this app.

What really makes PDF Reader Pro essential is its Optical Character Recognition(OCR) capability. This helps recognize characters in images or scanned PDF files into editable characters, so that you can search, correct, and copy the text easily. Digitizing physical documents has never been simpler. You can try it out free for 7 days and even get an educational discount!

💰Price: $59.99 or $79.99

⬇️Download: The App Store


Hazel 

Hazel is a powerful automation app that automatically organizes the files on your Mac’s hard drive. It provides deep support for OS X technologies, leveraging everything your system has to offer!

Hazel watches the folders you tell it to and organizes the files according to a set of rules you create. It can automatically file your documents into the right folder, rename your documents with more useful names, trash files you no longer need and keep your desktop clear of clutter.

💰Price: Ranges from $32.00 to $49.00

⬇️Download: Hazel


1Password

1Password is a password manager that saves all of your passwords and lets you log in to websites with a single click. All you have to do is remember your master password and leave the rest to 1Password.

You can also store things like notes, credit cards and banking information, passports, drivers licenses, and documents. You can share passwords securely with your team, generate strong passwords, and use their automatic form filler to sign in to websites with one click using your username and password.

💰Price: Ranges from $2.99 to $7.99

⬇️Download: 1Password


Communication and collaboration apps

Communication is crucial when it comes to running your business. Working in silos makes everyone’s work more difficult to get done. No matter where your team is, you need to be able to chat, collaborate, and work together seamlessly.

Slack

Slack is a collaboration hub that can replace email to help you and your team work together seamlessly. It’s designed to support the way people naturally work together, so you can collaborate with people online as efficiently as you do face-to-face.

Slack lets you organize conversations, search your history, add several different integrations with other apps, and you can even make calls!

💰Price: Ranges from $6.67/month to $12.50/month

⬇️Download: The App Store


Zoom

Zoom is a video communications app with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars.

You can use Zoom to virtually meet with others, either by video, audio-only or both, all while using live chats as well. You can share your screen, run webinars with interaction options, and even record those sessions to view or share later.

💰Price: Ranges from free to $27.00/month

⬇️Download: Zoom


Franz

Franz is a messaging app that combines chat and messaging services into one application. Franz currently supports Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, GroupMe, Skype and many more.

Too many messages in too many places are frustrating. Franz supports several chat services, can be used on multiple devices and supports teams for work and personal options. Franz even has an extensive plugin architecture that allows you to add and create unlimited services to adapt to your needs

💰Price: Free or $4.99/month

⬇️Download: Franz


Organization apps

Windows and tabs and apps, oh my! When you’re busy, a cluttered desktop makes things more difficult. Context switching between apps or looking for things you’re working on slows you down and adds to the stress. In fact, using the correct organizational tools can improve time management by 38%!

Magnet

Magnet organizes your workspace and brings order to your desktop. Having multiple windows aligned neatly side by side eliminates app switching and greatly enhances multitasking.

Activated by dragging, customizable keyboard shortcuts or the menu bar, Magnet declutters your screen by snapping windows into organized tiles. These tiles can be fullscreen, halves, quarters or thirds. Up to six external displays are supported, so the potential combinations are endless!

💰Price: $2.99

⬇️Download: The App Store


Shift

Shift works by streamlining your accounts, apps, and workflows so you can stop switching apps and constantly logging in and out!

You can connect all of your email accounts and your favourite web apps and tools to Shift. Then, you can customize your workstation. Shift supports multiple apps and extensions like Facebook, Slack, 1Password, and more. You can browse the web, search across all of your tools, and even work with teams to collaborate seamlessly.

💰Price: Ranges from free to $99.99/year

⬇️Download: Shift


Fluid

Fluid is simple – it lets you create an actual Mac App out of any web application. Instead of having several tabs open with your most-used websites, turn them into apps!

Creating a Fluid App out of your favourite website is easy. Enter the website’s URL, provide a name, and choose an icon. Click “Create” and within seconds your chosen website has a permanent home on your Mac as a real Mac application that appears in your Dock!

💰Price: Free or $5.00

⬇️Download: Fluid


Pocket

Pocket lets you save articles, videos, and stories from any publication, page or app. Curate your own space filled with everything you can’t wait to learn!

There is an endless amount of interesting things to read and watch online. With Pocket, you can save them all for when you actually have the time you view them. You can use Pocket on any device, even offline. You can save an article or video in several ways, like email, one click on your browser, or with any of the integrations Pocket supports, like Twitter, Reddit, Zapier, and more!

💰Price: Ranges from free to $44.99/year

⬇️Download: The App Store


Bartender

Bartender is a simple app that lets you organize your menu bar icons or even hide them completely!

You can hide icons, rearrange them, and show hidden items with a click or keyboard shortcut. You can also have icons show you when they get an app update. With Bartender, you can even search apps directly through the menubar for easy access!

💰Price: $15.00

⬇️Download: Bartender


Time tracking apps

Where did the time go? Now you can actually find out! Time is something we all want more of, but since we can’t have that, we can instead focus on spending it wisely. Once you learn how to prioritize and focus, you won’t have to stress about always running out of time.

Timing

Timing records your time automatically so you can see how you spent your time and how productive you were.

Timing doesn’t need you to start or stop a timer. It shows you exactly what you did at any given time, including which app, document or website you were using. The timeline even shows when you worked on what, making smart suggestions to record hours of time. You can drag and drop activities to categorize them, include meetings and calendar events for billing, and use your dashboard to understand where your time is spent.

💰Price: Ranges from $3.50/month to $8.00/month

⬇️Download: Timing


f.lux

f.lux is another simple app that makes a big difference. It makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. If you’re not the biggest fan of Dark Mode, f.lux is for you!

During the day, computer screens look good – they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9 PM, 10 PM, or 3 AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun. f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you’re in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again. Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically!

💰Price: Free

⬇️Download: Flux


Billings Pro

Billings Pro helps you create professional invoices and track time, expenses, and payments from your Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Create professional invoices, use flexible billing options that include time, project, expense, product, service, or flat rate, and send estimates and statements. You can easily identify overdue clients and outstanding invoices and even run comprehensive reports that help you understand your business.

💰Price: $5.00/month or $8.25/month

⬇️Download: The App Store


CheatSheet

CheatSheet is a very simple yet extremely handy app. With a quick command, you can see a list of keyboard shortcuts for any app you’re using!

Just hold the ⌘ key a bit longer to get a list of all the active shortcuts for your current application – stop wasting time with clicks! Once you go shortcuts, you never go back.

💰Price: Free

⬇️Download: CheatSheet


Automation apps

Automation is a huge time saver, making routine tasks quicker or simplifying complex workflows. It can help reduce errors, free up you or your team to work on other tasks, and ultimately make your business more efficient.

Alfred

Alfred boosts your efficiency with hotkeys, keywords, text expansion and more. Search your Mac and the web, and be more productive with custom actions to control your Mac.

Alfred helps you do so much, it’s hard to list it all! It’s similar to using the Spotlight Search on your Mac but much more powerful. To name a few, you can link hotkeys, keywords and actions together to create your own workflows. Launch applications and find files on your Mac or on the web – Alfred learns how you use your Mac and prioritizes results. Use the Clipboard History to locate any text, image or file you copied earlier and paste it again. Create your own snippets and type a short abbreviation to auto-expand them into a full-text snippet. The possibilities are endless!

💰Price: Free or $45.00

⬇️Download: Alfred


Text Expander

Text Expander lets you quickly insert “snippets” – email addresses, signatures, form letters, images – as you type, using a simple keyboard shortcut or custom abbreviations. No more typos and copy/paste – you won’t believe how much time you save!

Going beyond simple text replacement, you can also personalize messages you frequently send with custom fields and powerful automation. You can even share your snippets across teams, keeping everyone consistent and more productive!

💰Price: Ranges from $3.33/month to $7.96/month

⬇️Download: Text Expander


Keyboard Maestro

With Keyboard Maestro, you can automate applications or web sites, text or images, simple or complex, on command or scheduled. You can automate virtually anything!

With so many possible actions that you can combine together, you can automate almost any task, like launching applications, typing your email address, filling out a form, downloading reports – the list is endless! Make your Mac and its applications behave the way you want. Launch applications and have the windows arranged your way. Have other applications quit when you launch an application. Have your Mac set itself up at 8:00 each morning. It’s your Mac, with Keyboard Maestro you are in control!

💰Price: $36.00

⬇️Download: Keyboard Maestro


BetterTouchTool

BetterTouchTool is a feature-packed app that allows you to customize various input devices on your Mac like your trackpad.

Along with your trackpad, you can customize the Touch Bar, Siri, Apple Remote, Mouse buttons, and more! You can use any of the supported input devices and choose from a large and always growing list of actions to automate almost any task. Actions can even be chained to handle complicated workflows! Use gestures for things like taking and editing a screenshot, turning the volume down, or opening documents with specific apps!

💰Price: Ranges from $8.00 to $20.00

⬇️Download: BetterTouchTool


Being productive doesn’t have to be about how much you can get done in a day. Instead, make it about simplifying your processes. Whether it’s just a tedious task or a large part of your workflow, removing obstacles will give you the freedom to get more done without working non-stop! Did we miss any of your favourite productivity apps? Let us know in the comments!

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