11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

Not every application needs to always shows itself to be functional. Some just do their job quietly in the background while some hide themselves until they are needed. These are the perfect explanation on what menubar application do.

Other positive points, they are really tiny ““ most are less than 1 Mb in size. Some even less than 100 kb.

My recent article about a very useful menubar application called Main Menu made me aware that there are many others out there. So, after a little digging, here are few of the many.

01a alunch icon   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

1. aLaunch

1. aLunch is a customizable application launcher accessed from your menubar. I personally prefer Quicksilver as the launcher, but aLunch have one advantage over Quicksilver: users don’t have to remember the app name and just browser through the list instead.

01b alunch screenshot   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

02a caffeine icon   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is a tiny program that puts an icon in the right side of your menubar. Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Click it again to go back. Hold down the Command key while clicking to show the menu. The menu now has a sub-menu for deactivating Caffeine automatically after a number of minutes.

02 caffeine menu   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

This feature will be very useful if you do a lot of activities on your Mac which require staring at the display for a long time without mouse and keyboard activities, like watching movie or thinking over a design.

3. ClipMenu

ClipMenu stores clipboard histories such as plain text, rich texts format, PDF, PICT, and TIFF image. You can access in the menubar or by using hot key.

03 clipmenu   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

I’ve searched for a powerful but free clipboard app which can reside in the menubar. And this is it. The website itself is in Japanese, so if you don’t read Katakana-Hiragana-Kanji, you need to access the English translated page.

04 eigenclock icon 150x150   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

4. Eigenclock

Eigenclock is a menubar clock the way you want it. It features a fully customizable menu-bar display format, as well as a nice-looking calendar in a pop-up menu.

04 eigenclock calendar   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

Eigenclock is now completely localizable. It determines the proper first day of the week (Monday, Sunday, Saturday) from your locale, and shows the names of the months and days in your current language. Eigenclock is currently a Leopard only application.

5. HimmelBar

HimmelBar is a little faceless application that provides an icon in the menu bar to quickly access your installed applications by scanning standard locations such as local, user, developer and network applications, and also utilities.

05 himmelbar   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

06 ipmenulet icon   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

6. IPMenulet

IPMenulet shows the current external IP address in the menubar. If you constantly on the move and changing net connection, you will appreciate this little app.

06 ipmenulet screenshot1   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

7. iStat Menua

iStat Menus lets you monitor your system right from the menubar. Included are 8 menu extras that let you monitor every aspect of your system, such as: cpu usage, memory usage, disk usage and activity, current and total bandwidth, peak bandwidth, ip addresses, the temperature of your mac, and also fan speeds in your mac.

07 istat menubar sml   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

It is also able to show and control bluetooth status plus monitor the battery level of your Apple wireless keyboard or mouse. As a bonus, it will also display date + time in your menubar, including world clock display.

07 istat screenshot datetime   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

This very useful app has been discussed several times before. And as the alternative, you can also try MenuMeters.

8. MeNotes

MeNotes lets you manage personal notes and access them quickly in Menubar. Localized in English and French. There’s no web page for this app, just a direct link.

08 menotes   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac
There are surprisingly many times when I need to do quick text and sometimes keep the text for a while. I find this little one quite handy in this department, and I’m sure many of the readers will feel the same.

09 menubar countdown   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

Menubar Countdown

Menubar Countdown is a simple countdown timer that displays itself on the right side of the Mac OS X menu bar.

09 menubarcountdownsettings   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

To set the timer, click on the display and select the Start → menu item. A dialog will appear that allows you to specify the countdown time in hours, minutes, and seconds. The dialog also allows you to specify which of the following forms of notification you want when the timer gets down to 00:00:00 such as play the system alert sound, display an alert window, make a spoken announcement. You can specify the text to be spoken.

And let us wrap the list with two iTunes menubar applications:

10 utunes128 icon   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

10. uTunes

uTunes is a simple iTunes controller. It was designed to not get in the way and thus installs itself in the menubar (next to your clock) and acts as a remote control for iTunes.

10 utunes preferences   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

11a ilovestar icon   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

11. I Love Stars

I Love Stars allows users to easily rate the songs currently played from the menubar.

11b ilovestar menu   11 Tiny and Useful Free Menubar Applications for Mac

I’m fully aware that there are many-many more menubar application out there and it’s impossible to list each and every one of them out here. So, what’s your favorite menubar application? Share using the comment below.

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23 Comments -

VirginTech

All apps mentioned are really great… specially IPMenulet!
Thanks jeffery for the share!

Ammon Beckstrom

I have been looking for a decent, free clipboard utility for quite some time, thanks for suggesting ClipMenu.

As for Caffeine, I highly recommend it! It’s great for watching long clips on YouTube and not having to move your cursor every 5 minutes.

Ceena

thank you for the great list.

I especially like the menubar countdown timer.

It’s just what I need right now.

Alex

Tiger Launch

Josh

true that! Can’t live w/out it!

Jay

Jumpcut might interest you as well

Andre

http://www.catpigstudios.com/radium/

A friend of mine made this. It’s a great menubar program for using online radio on your Mac. XM Online, Sirius, AOL Radio, etc.

The cost? Quote “…you pick the price”

Gangis

I love InsomniaX. It keeps my Mac from going to sleep when I close the lid while it’s plugged into AC power. You can set it to disable the not-going-to-sleep feature when you disconnect the AC adapter. Excellent for those overnight downloads!

Daniel Brusilovsky

I find ShoveBox by Wonder Warp Software very useful. Check it out: http://www.wonderwarp.com/shovebox/

Andreas

JumpCut should be definitely on this list. A way better than ClipMenu!

A1phaGeek

Camouflage is another one of my favorites. It hides your desktop, giving it a clean appearance, with simple controls from the menu. http://www.briksoftware.com/

Axman6

‘You could be a paaart tiiime model…but you’d probably have to keep your other job’

Good stuff, and a nice list

— Axman6

Jason Pelker

I second iStat Menus, plus I recommend:

1) SizeUp allows you to quickly position a window to fill exactly half the screen (splitscreen), a quarter of the screen (quadrant), full screen, or centered via the menu bar or configurable system-wide shortcuts (hotkeys).

2) Meteorologist is a full featured, free, and open source weather program for Mac OS X.

Also, you can use Dockless to remove applications from the dock, which is especially handy for apps that have an already completely useful menu bar icon, such as TED .

Dude

Except Caffeine evrything else’s junkware.

alternapop.com

i combine 10 and 11 with SizzlingKeys… it’s been my iTunes controller for years: http://www.yellowmug.com/sk4it/

Petr

Also check out Changes Meter that monitors the web sites for changes.

http://www.intuiware.com/Products/MacOSX/ChangesMeter/

Britta

Here are a lot more: Super OS X Menubar Items (self-link).

David Phillip Oster

I like Google Notifier http://google.com/mac

Ryan

Hyperspaces is amazing and it’s free through MacHeist

leenyx

for those looking for a clipboard app they should try jumpcut, look for it a search engine.

Morning Copy

Nice list. But how could you give the Conchords only 3 stars?

john

bowtie, I found, is my iTunes controller of choice due to the ability to search, in addition to uTunes features, from keyboard shortcuts.

ppc keyword research

Nobody cares. Thank you for your irrelevant comment.