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Each year I look forward to rounding-up my top list of applications used throughout the year, and today I’ll start by listing my OS X picks. Highlighting my favorites also acknowledges the hard work of developers in creating awesome and constantly updated applications that address the needs and wishes of users.

There are several applications from my 2011 and 2012 From ProCamera to Paprika: My Top 10 Favorite Apps for 2012 From ProCamera to Paprika: My Top 10 Favorite Apps for 2012 Following an annual tradition I started last year, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight the best and most useful apps from this past year. By now we all take for granted how... Read More favorites lists that should be re-listed for 2013, but I’ve decided to not to highlight applications from previous years, and instead focus on old and new Mac applications that have been especially useful in my workflow in 2013.

Keyboard Maestro ($36)

The Mac automation program Keyboard Maestro saves me tons of time, and I get a kick out of seeing how I can automate redundant tasks on my Mac.

Stay Productive: My Top 10 Mac OS X Applications for 2013 Keyboard Maestro

Since I reviewed Keyboard Maestro Automate Everything On Your Mac with Keyboard Maestro [Mac] Automate Everything On Your Mac with Keyboard Maestro [Mac] I've written several articles about Mac automation, including a MUO Automation Guide on how to get started with Apple's Automator and the built-in OS X features for creating smart folders, playlists, albums, and mailboxes. But... Read More back in May it has received a major upgrade to version 4.0 that includes Safari and Chrome actions, advanced sorting options, customizable icons for macros, wireless network triggering and much more. Keyboard Maestro was built for non-developers, so you don’t need to know how to code in order to use it.

Keyboard Maestro macro

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Scrivener ($45)

Though I use MarsEdit Write, Edit & Manage Blog Posts Faster With MarsEdit for OS X Write, Edit & Manage Blog Posts Faster With MarsEdit for OS X While WordPress is the quintessential blogging service, writing blogs directly in its text editor is not always user friendly. That's why I use MarsEdit for composing and uploading all of my blog posts. Read More to write my MakeUseOf articles, Scrivener is the best application for all my major writing projects.

Scrivener writing panel

Scrivener is great for writing research papers, ebooks, PDF guides, and novels because it enables users to keep all their notes, research sources, plus their main writing project in one place. Written documents can be exported to different formats, including Word and ePub or Kindle formats.

Download a free trial copy of Scrivener and check out our free PDF guide for the application.

SnappyApp (free)

Screenshot applications are plentiful for the Mac, but SnappyApp Snappy Does More Than Just Capture Your Screen [Mac] Snappy Does More Than Just Capture Your Screen [Mac] When writing articles, I never seem to cease making screenshots. But even though there's a good dozen third-party screenshot tools on the market, the built-in Mac OS X screenshot tool always seemed to suffice for... Read More is a little screenshot gem I like to use when I need to capture and view something on desktop while I write. What’s different about SnappyApp is that it keeps screenshots above other applications instead of automatically saving them as a file on the desktop.

SnappyApp 1

Simon’s extended review of SnappyApp Snappy Does More Than Just Capture Your Screen [Mac] Snappy Does More Than Just Capture Your Screen [Mac] When writing articles, I never seem to cease making screenshots. But even though there's a good dozen third-party screenshot tools on the market, the built-in Mac OS X screenshot tool always seemed to suffice for... Read More describes its other useful features. If you work on your Mac throughout the day, you will probably benefit from this free app.

BetterTouchTool (free)

Though I referenced the automation program BetterTouchTool Power Up Your Mac With Advanced BetterTouchTool Automations Power Up Your Mac With Advanced BetterTouchTool Automations I started using BetterTouchTool back in 2011, and since then it has become one of the top three Mac applications for boosting my productivity and streamlining my workflow. Though BTT can be used by any... Read More above, I think it must be also highlighted as a favorite because I use it several dozens times a day. BetterTouchTool enables users to activate actions on their Mac using assigned finger gestures on their trackpad or Magic Mouse.

BetterTouchTool

I use BTT to close application windows, grab a quick screenshot, open selected webpages, move windows to my second monitor, play and pause Rdio and iTunes A Closer Look At iTunes Match vs. Home Sharing vs. Web Streaming A Closer Look At iTunes Match vs. Home Sharing vs. Web Streaming With the recent launching of Apple's iCloud and the music streaming service iTunes Match, cloud computing seems to be the future of Apple and other computer companies. If you use multiple Apple devices like I... Read More  and execute keyboard shortcuts in different applications among others. This application saves me the trouble of remembering and typing keyboard shortcuts, and it works surprisingly well with Keyboard Maestro. BetterTouchTool is not available in the Mac App Store, but it can be downloaded from the developer’s website for free.

Dropzone ($9.99)

Dropzone is another productivity app useful for all types of actions, including moving files, exporting images to ImageShack, Flickr, or Dropbox, executing Automator workflows, and launching applications and folders—either in the menu bar or from the left or right side of Mac screen.

Dropzone

I use Dropzone for resizing a file with Photoshop, sending a file to a project or junk folder, batch renaming and quickly installing applications in a .DMG file.

TweetDeck (free)

Though I use Tweetbot on my iOS devices, I switched back to TweetDeck New TweetDeck for Mac Includes Better Tweeting and Image Preview New TweetDeck for Mac Includes Better Tweeting and Image Preview Twitter has released a new update of TweetDeck, adding several improvements for writing and replying to tweets. Read More on my Mac. Both twitter clients have similar functions, but I prefer TweetDeck for quickly adding and deleting search and hashtag columns, scheduling tweets for later posting, and posting tweets to multiple accounts.

TweetDeck

The one Tweetbot feature missing in TweetDeck is the ability to mute and ignore, for a specified amount of time, people who may be posting too many tweets you find annoying. TweetDeck does though allow for filtering timelines based various criteria, including a specified number of retweets, favorites, and keywords.

Despite lying dormant for some time, Twitter started work on both the standalone OS X Twitter app as well as TweetDeck for OS X in 2013 and it now enjoys Retina support and improved compatibility.

CleanMyMac 2 ($39.95)

To run maintenance on my iMac and MacBook Air, I use CleanMyMac Clean Out Your Mac and Give It New Life with CleanMyMac [Giveaway] Clean Out Your Mac and Give It New Life with CleanMyMac [Giveaway] Read More , which cleans out user and system cache files, user logs, broken preferences, foreign language files, forgotten system log files, and other junk that may be taking up memory space. While writing this article, CleanMyMac scanned and cleaned 5.3GB of files on my Mac, including residue left over from applications I had previously deleted.

CleanMyMac

Alfred (free)

Alfred is best known as an application launcher, but its recent major update added the ability for users to create powerful automatic workflows that can be launched with an assigned keyboard shortcut.

Alfred sample workflow 2

I use Alfred mostly for quickly running a “I’m Feeling Lucky” Google and MUO keyword search, which skips the search results page and goes directly to the first ranked page for the keyword or phrase. To get more details, see my article how to create Alfred search workflows How To Create Your First Workflow System In Alfred 2.0 [Mac] How To Create Your First Workflow System In Alfred 2.0 [Mac] Computers should be about getting things done faster and more efficiently. This is where the award-winning productivity Mac application, Alfred comes in. Using a few keyboard shortcuts, and/or keyword commands, Alfred enables you to quickly,... Read More .

History Hound ($14.95)

History Hound is a little time saver that works in the background periodically scanning my browsers’ caches, history, and bookmarks. When I need to find something among the web pages I’ve visited in the last several days, weeks or even months, I can do a simple keyword search, and History Hound locates and filters search results.

History Hound

Pages can be even be viewed in the built-in browser, making this the perfect history enhancement for anyone who uses more than one browser.

Evernote(free)

While there are some things I don’t like about Evernote 5 Uses for the Evernote Desktop Clients [Windows & Mac] 5 Uses for the Evernote Desktop Clients [Windows & Mac] A couple of years ago, we had a post on the myriad uses for Evernote, which could well be an all-in-one second brain. With the advent of improvements on the desktop clients, there have been... Read More , the built-in highlighter tool, the improved web clipper, the ability to add notes and notebooks as shortcuts in the top-level sidebar, as well as other upgrades 8 Evernote Upgrades You Should Know About 8 Evernote Upgrades You Should Know About It seems like every other month, Evernote gets additional upgrades. A few are quietly released, while others are highly anticipated by heavy Evernote users. Since I wrote my last article about Evernote's new design and... Read More , have made it more user friendly for reading and writing longer form documents, and syncing content between other Apple devices.

Evernote highlighter

What Are Your Favorites?

That’s it for my favorites for the year. Did I get it right? Have you got any other favourite apps you’ve discovered or simply relied on a lot over the past year? Let us know in the comments!

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