New Mac Setup Recommendations: 2009

Ever since I was seven, people have always asked me for computer advice. In the last few years, it’s been all about the Mac inward now due for an update.

So here’s a quick list of things I believe most new users to the Mac will find useful to incorporate into their workflow:

  1. Skype-free; and now it lets you do audio, video and remote control the other person’s computer.
  2. Evernote-basic version is free and that is fine for most people. Lets you create rich notes on your desktop and also access them with your iPhone application.
  3. Splash ID-$20 for desktop application that syncs with my phone; and $10 for the iPhone application from the AppStore.
  4. Mojo-free; lets you access your own or friends iTunes libraries for media download and streaming across the Internet.
  5. OmniFocus- about $100 for the combination of desktop and iPhone application. Just about the best task/to do organize you can get which follows the GTD system.
  6. Omni graffle- about 80 bucks for the basic version. It is a Mac user’s Visio for all things graphical shape drawing oriented.
  7. Dropbox — free for a 2 GB account; pay plans for more storage. Great for syncing your files to the cloud and across computers. Useful even if you have just one computer. It provides a backup in the cloud for your most critical files. I recommend setting it up so that your own documents folder is synced to the cloud via dropbox. It’ll have to be good with symbolic links to set this up in a clean way. Friends and family: contact me to help walk you through this.
  8. SugarSync – $25 for 10 GB a year; bigger plans available. Very much like dropbox, this is what I started out with and it doesn’t require a custom dropbox folder; it will sync arbitrary existing folders. If you use one it don’t need the other.

More to come in future updates and a broken arm heals!