Rafael Masoni


#Tech #macOS

Since my last post, I've switched my everyday apps around a bit. Here's a list of the main changes, and also some apps that I use everyday and would like to recommend.

Keyboard Maestro

I retired Magnet as my window manager in favor of a more versatile tool that I already owned but never got to learn and use: Keyboard Maestro. If window management is all you need, go with Magnet. If you want a complete automation tool that also does window management, Keyboard Maestro might be perfect for you too.

→ Buy Keyboard Maestro ($36)


I've been using Alfred solely as an app launcher and contact searcher for many years because it's much faster than Spotlight. I've dabbled with some workflows, and many of them were very janky (I miss Spotlight's unit converter the most), but never went too far into Alfred's full suite of features. What a waste.

I'm glad that I finally realized I could replace two or more apps with Alfred. The first one was aText, that was one of my favorite little apps until I saw its new UI proposal — it's so atrocious it made me look for an alternative, and I found it in good old Alfred and its Snippets functionality. Granted, it's not entirely straight forward like aText as you have to resort to custom workflows for variables, but after I figured things out it does the same thing and more.

Another tool I also liked a lot but became redundant with Alfred was Maccy, the clipboard manager. Alfred has that built-in, and it works great. One less app.

→ Get Alfred for free (and purchase the Powerpack if you like it)


This one I found by accident on some random YouTube video. It's a menu bar app that basically helps you manage Bluetooth devices. My Anker headphones — or any Bluetooth headphones, to be honest — don't always work perfectly, and ToothFairy lets me reconnect them with a click instead of turning the device on and off or messing around in macOS' System Preferences. The definition of “quality of life”.

→ Buy ToothFairy ($5.99)


I own most Rogue Amoeba's apps and I love them. This is another one that I couldn't see the value for some time, but now it's shining on my menu bar as my default sound controller. It's great for checking and assigning input and output devices to different roles or apps, or boosting the volume of something specific.

→ Buy SoundSource ($39)


This is a neat little app that prevents your laptop screen from sleeping. Just like the discontinued Caffeine, it does what it says on the tin. Simple and free.

→ Get Amphetamine for free


This is not new, I've been using 1Password as my sole password manager for many years. It's the best on the market. Affordable, reliable, easy to use, and has great integrations with web browsers.

→ Sign up for 1Password ($2.99/month)


I took advantage of a great sale to finally grab this app, and now I can say that it is indeed better than Numi. I just wish it could live only in the menu bar and not the Dock, as it has a Spotlight-like prompt accessible via a keyboard shortcut.

→ Buy Soulver ($34.95)


I don't remember how I got to this app. Maybe it was a sale. The fact is its web page is gorgeous and definitely steered me into purchasing the pro version. So long, Sip and your weird pricing model — it was good while it lasted.

→ Get ColorSlurp for free (and upgrade if you like it)


After seeing so many issues being reported by Dropbox users, I was really afraid of losing my files or being falsely accused of storing shady stuff and get locked out of my account. Also, the way they would be able to tell that — false positives or not — is because there's no privacy at all, they can look into all your files and that's not ok.

Then I started a long journey after a worthy alternative. I needed cloud storage that would:

  1. Sync a local folder instead of creating a virtual disk (because Finder cannot perform searches in those)

  2. Respect my privacy, so have zero-knowledge encryption

  3. Be easy to use, with decent native apps (most failed here)

I was almost migrating to Sync.com — with its terrible apps and horrendous transfer speeds — when I stopped to seriously consider MEGA, despite all the controversies with its founder. I must say it's been a great, seamless and affordable experience so far — I only need around 250GB, so their cheapest ‘Pro Lite’ plan got me covered. I'm a happy, worry-free customer and I'd recommend it to anyone.

→ Get MEGA for free (and upgrade if you need more than 20GB with this affiliate link)


My endless search for a good work platform has finally ended.

I've used Basecamp Classic on and off with many small projects for as long as I can remember, and the only thing that prevented me from adopting version 3 for my company was the very prohibitive monthly subscription — a flat $99, which corresponds to almost R$600 since 2018. I sent them a couple e-mails asking for regional pricing or a discount, but had no luck, so we went with Trello and Discord.

Then they recently changed their pricing to $15/user/month with one year for free, and they only bill you for employees, not clients, guests or contractors. I couldn't let this pass, so now we're proud Basecamp users and it's been great.

→ Try Basecamp for free

Reminders + Clock

I probably used all of the top to-do list apps in the past decade, and I think I'll finally settle on the stock Reminders app from Apple, that seems to be finally usable after they completely destroyed it in recent updates.

Deep down, I wish The Hit List wasn't abandoned, that Wunderlist hadn't been killed by Microsoft, that Things had a sharing feature, that TickTick wasn't so shady and didn't have so many useless features, and that Todoist had a truly native app and actual recurring tasks, but none of this matters as Apple Reminders rises from the ashes to be good enough for what I need.

Also, Clock is now a thing on macOS. It's also just good enough so I don't need other alarm/timer apps.

Nord VPN

I switched to Nord from Express VPN a while ago, as the latter was giving me more headaches than I was willing to go through. Nord also has its hiccups, but for me it's been much more stable, faster and reliable.

They have these crazy perpetual sales, and one day I decided to get a 2-year plan with a coupon code from Critical Role. It's good. Works most of the time.

→ Sign up for Nord VPN (affiliate link)

#Tech #macOS

I’ve recently stumbled upon a bunch of apps that take me back to the golden days of macOS development with names such as Tweetie, Sparrow, and many others. I highly recommend every single one of them.


This app brings OCR to macOS in the most straight forward way. The clever default shortcut ⇧⌘2 brings out a selection tool that perfectly mimics that of macOS’ built-in screenshot functionality. Once selected, the characteristic shutter sound lets you know that whatever was inside the box has been copied to your clipboard as text.

It currently only supports English, but the very friendly developer told me in an e-mail that more languages should be coming in the future, along with new exciting features.

→ Buy TextSniper ($7)


This one has been around for some time, and I regret not buying it earlier. Numi is a very dynamic calculator that has the power to interpret natural language.

You can use variables, headings, labels, and sentences like “12.5% of what is 50,000” (for those Dragon’s Den binge-watching sessions). All of this can be organized in ‘calculations’ that are like pages with separate totals — I use them to break apart different projects or themes.

For Alfred users that miss the excellent Spotlight conversions, Numi also has a workflow that works very decently.

Numi’s most direct competitor is probably Soulver. I’m not sure how they compare exactly, but I have the impression that Numi is a simpler — and much more affordable — counterpart. In the end, I just wish it had something like folders and better documentation (maybe in the form of autocompletion).

→ Buy Numi ($19.99)


If you sometimes need to quickly share gifs of your screen, Gifox is a worthy solution. There are free alternatives, like Giphy’s native app, but if you want a more native, local and streamlined experience, Gifox is the answer.

It also suggests a very familiar shortcut (⇧⌘6, or ⇧⌘7 on MacBooks with Touch Bar) akin to the built-in screenshot feature for area selection, but you can also set shortcuts for window selection and many other features.

You can set the recording’s frame rate, speed, repeat count, and many other settings to achieve your ideal quality to size ratio.

If you want to store your recordings in the cloud, there are options for sharing with Dropbox, Google Drive and Imgur.

→ Buy Gifox ($14.99)


You can’t appreciate text expanding until you try it, and aText is the most lightweight, feature-rich, simple to use and affordable option out there.

Don’t be put off by its out of fashion website and barebones user interface — you’ll barely interact with it as aText stays out of your way, and it’s actually pretty simple and powerful.

I use this app every day in a variety of contexts: work-related e-mails and tasks, special symbols, kaomoji, and other cumbersome to type strings of text. I keep different categories organized in folders and give these folders a custom prefix that applies to all their snippets.

Everybody boasts the pioneering app TextExpander, but it seems to have grown into a more enterprise-focused solution, and has recently switched to a subscription-based model that doesn’t feel right to me. You could buy aText 10 times over with one year of TextExpander, and I don’t see how that is justifiable when comparing the two feature-wise.

→ Buy aText ($4.99)


Every Mac user must know this app already, but I think it’s worth mentioning it for the few that are unaware.

Window management in macOS isn’t the greatest, and Magnet offers simple solutions for that. With this app, you can dock windows to all sides and corners of the screen, make them maximized, centered, or move them between displays with configurable keyboard shortcuts or by dragging them to hot corners.

It’s a must-have if you want more and faster control of your windows. Unfortunately, you can’t buy it directly from the developer and must go through the Mac App Store.

→ Buy Magnet ($2.99)


This donation-supported open source app very efficiently shrinks image sizes. Just drop a bunch of images in and wait for them to take less space.

Original images are thrown in the Trash, and the resulting optimized ones are left with the same name in their place. Lossless compression is turned on by default, and there are many settings that allow you to best personalize how your images are minified.

→ Get ImageOptim for free


Did you know that you’re leaving a lot of junk behind when you uninstall apps by just dragging them to the Trash? Configuration files, cache and other stuff stay scattered through your file system when it should not.

With AppCleaner you just drag the app into it instead, check all the boxes, and hit Remove. And unlike its competitors, it’s free (accepts donations) and supports many versions of macOS.

→ Get AppCleaner for free


Just as the developer’s description says, Maccy is a clipboard manager that keeps your copy history at hand.

You never know when you might accidentally overwrite copied content or when an unexpected crash might make you lose the stuff you were keeping in your clipboard. This app gives you peace of mind and quick access to everything you copy, giving you settings to filter out sensitive apps (like password managers) and more.

Maccy is lightweight, open-source and free, but I highly recommend supporting the developer with a donation.

→ Get Maccy for free

Bonus app: Horo

I added this one as a bonus because I haven’t used it as much — and I should —, but it feels solid enough to be in this list.

Horo is a minimalistic time tracker that sits in your menu bar. With one click (or key combination), you’re prompted to enter the time and go. Quick and simple, and it understands natural language.

The developer offers other neat little apps like Rocket and Vanilla. All three offer a Pro version with more features.

→ Get Horo for free