MacBook Pro 2018: Essential Apps

MacBook Pro 2018: Essential Apps

Here’s what you should install first on your brand new Mac.

Yesterday, Apple delivered my new MBP, a whole week before the planned delivery, but I don’t complain 🙂 Now, it’s time to set everything up and I want to list here all the essential apps I’m going to install.


It’s strange that Apple still wasn’t able to implement in macOS something so essential as a proper window management. SizeUp ( is my trusty companion for many years now, it allows me to center the window in the middle of the screen, go full screen and arrange windows with few easily remembered shortcuts. It’s for $12.99, but I think it’s worth every penny. However, if you don’t want to pay for such features, there are free alternatives on the Mac App Store, like Magnet (which is actually for $1 these days), but I’m afraid it doesn’t offer so many features as SizeUp, like setting the exact dimensions of centered window and so on.


It makes no sense to introduce Dropbox these days. It’s everywhere and used by everyone. Yes, I use it too. So Dropbox is the next app to install.


It goes without saying that having some password manager is a good idea. I’m using 1Password because it was one of the first on the market, looks great, works great and I’m just too lazy to try any alternatives even though I’m aware of few.

These days, you can choose between paid service with 1Password 7 and standalone app 1Password 6. I’m still using version 6 as I see no difference to upgrade and pay $3 per month, but that might change in the future 🙂


As you add more apps to your Mac, your Menu bar is getting crowded. This is where Bartender comes to rescue your sanity. It hides everything you don’t need to see leaving you with a nice clean Menu bar.


Even though Mac is generally tidier than Windows PC in my opinion, it never hurts to clean it from time to time. I use CleanMyMac for that and I’m very happy with this software.


From the good folks at MacPaw that created CleanMyMac comes another great app. Gemini looks for duplicate files and gets rid of them for you.


This sweet little app will show you all the shortcuts you can use within the current application. All you have to do is holding the ⌘ key for 3 seconds. You can download it here for free:


Sketch is probably one of those apps you buy the Mac for because it’s not available for any other operating system. Some designers say that there are better alternatives available for both Mac, Windows and even Linux, but I just love Sketch from the day one and I don’t plan to abandon it any time soon.


With two books published (Digital Instructor and System2) and two other in progress, Scrivener is my writing software of choice. It even has the iOS version which syncs with macOS version via Dropbox so you can write whenever you feel like it.


In case you need to switch the resolution of your screen often than usual, like when you’re working on the online course which you shoot at 720p, SwitchResX is a great help allow you to set shortcuts for quickly going from one resolution to another one.


For video content producers, Camtasia and ScreenFlow are two very popular solutions especially if you do a lot of screencasting. I owned both, but Camtasia seems somewhat better that’s why I currently use it to create content for my upcoming project (TWDC).

Ok, that’s all for now. I hope you will find some of those apps useful!

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About Jan Zavrel

Jan is a developer, online instructor, life-long learner and author of a couple of books about personal development, productivity and fitness.