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Best productivity apps for Mac OS and iOS - 2023
Task manager is one of the most essential apps for developers and managers. Any mobile OS has an app with similar functions. Besides there are many other third party options available, which have a scheduler, task manager and todo lists.
We've selected apps which are the most suitable for scheduling and calendar management on both desktop (Mac OS) and mobile (iOS) platforms. We will also look at other similar tools and services to improve productivity.
MindNode is a mind mapping software. This way it is very convenient to structure data in the form of a visual tree, to establish relationships and to categorize ideas.
The app interface is quite simple: on the left side there is an area for drawing mind maps. You can use both hotkeys and the mouse to create them. On the right is the panel where you can customize the appearance of the tree and edit the text information.
It is noteworthy that the functionality of the app is wider than it might seem at first glance. Here are just some additional features when creating mind maps:
- Creating tasks and notes, adding stickers
- Focus mode not to be distracted
- Adding visual tags
- Exporting information to a file
The MindNode app can be downloaded for iOS and OS X. Which version to use is up to each user's taste. Personally, I prefer the desktop version, since my MacBook has all my working tools. Nevertheless, through the MyMindNode cloud service you can synchronize all Mind Nodes between iOS and Mac OS, and then edit documents on all devices.
The app will be useful if you are discussing a project with colleagues in brainstorming mode or working on a project individually.
Personally, I've been using it for over a year now, and it's hard to find anything more handy than MindNode in the mind mapping category.
Focusmate is a virtual coworking service with an unusual feature. In a nutshell, your work is supervised by a person you don't know.
First, you and your partner discuss the follow-up work, then you get to work. The work is divided into short sessions of 15 minutes each, a total of 50 minutes. Then you discuss the results with your colleague.
All communication takes place via video, audio, and text. At the end of the session, you can view the minutes and the meeting experience.
Three sessions in Focusmate are free; you can also buy Focusmate Turbo package ($5 per month), which removes all restrictions.
All in all, Focusmate is a simple yet effective service for freelancers and remote workers. It is likely that it will find its adherents, who will be motivated and disciplined by this way of work.
Creately is a team tool for working efficiently on projects. It allows you to quickly create virtual workspaces and use innovative collaboration tools.
Project management is well thought out: you can create tasks, use roles and associate them to each other. Each user has their own My Tasks section to focus on priorities.
If your project involves a lot of data - tables, documents, images, presentations, tasks, and more - Creately will bring it all together visually in a well-structured project.
Creately is perfectly adaptable to the needs of a particular project and company. Data can be displayed in these views:
- Visual Workspaces.
- Custom Databases
- Task Management
- Multi-Player Collaboration
- Wiki & Notes
- Modeling & Diagramming
Data can be accessed by all project members and from all devices.
So Creately will be a great tool for companies who want to get their projects in order. It is also good for individual users, thanks to flexible plans.
GoodTask is a task and project manager available as a mobile iOS / iPad and Mac OS app. The app integrates perfectly with Apple's Reminders and Calendars, allowing you to combine the power of these services and improve productivity.
What's most interesting about this app is the work with tasks. The GoodTask user can:
- create recurring tasks,
- integrate tasks with the calendar (with the ability to display them in a convenient way)
- use smart lists
- add notes (based on snippets), images, files.
The developers speak separately about smart lists: you do not need to sort tasks manually. The smart lists are easy to manage - you can filter them by specified criteria (e.g. priorities), add tags or categories. Mass actions are available for tasks - reassigning tags, deleting, changing date, and so on.
The app will be useful to anyone who would like to increase their productivity, to bring order to their task lists. Goodtask will also be a great solution if you have several devices that you use throughout the day for task management.
If you are a developer and it is important for you to keep up with the latest news, install the Gitnews app. It allows you to track updates on sites like Github Trending, HackerNews, Reddit. It is an aggregator of sorts and you do not need to check for updates at each site individually.
Through a filter, you can select the language or technology you want. In the sidebar displays additional information: score, availability of forks, developer name and the actual link to the repository.
Despite the fact that the application has not been updated for 2 years, it is fully functional. We advise you to check it out for anyone who develops and regularly looks for projects to develop.
The application is available for Android, iOS, there is also a web version, which does not need to be installed on a mobile device.
BusyCal is a very handy utility for managing calendars on iOS and Mac OS. You can combine it with such services as Google Calendar, iCloud and Exchange. BusyCal is also very useful for tracking tasks on Mac OS and iOS.
Calendar which can be found in the program main window looks quite simple and doesn't differ from the one in Google Calendar or Apple Calendar app (see below). Display by days, weeks and months is available. In addition to this there is a summary: which is a list of events scheduled for a certain period. In the settings you can customize fonts, colors and time format.
BusyCal infopanel is available via a sidebar and as a separate Floating Window. Via Floating Window it's quite convenient to configure events and tasks settings, add tags and set reminders. Extra fields can be disabled via the settings.
You can also use BusyCal as a simple manager of todo lists. Everything you need can be found in the todo section. Moreover, this app supports the tasks from Mac OS standard app Reminders.
You can easily manage BusyCal via the Menu bar app. Via it you can create tasks, add events etc. without opening the BusyCal main window.
BusyCal mobile app for iOS has exactly the same functions as its desktop app thus allowing you to:
- sync cloud-calendars of different platforms and formats;
- view events by day, week and month;
- manage todo-tasks lists;
- create and set reminders for events.
The cost of the full version is $49.99.
Fantastical supports CalDAV and Microsoft Exchange, so it won't be difficult to combine all local and network accounts working with these protocols.
This app has a number of notable features that (with rare exceptions) are quite unique compared to other similar programs. We're going to highlight some of them.
Calendars can be combined into sets and after that turned on / off in a single click. Which is very useful for those who have many different calendars for all life occasions. Depending on your location (e.g. home or work), Fantastical switches between them automatically.
You don't have to open the program window in order to manage events and reminders, as it's faster to do it via Mini Window which is available in the menu bar. Calendar sets and upcoming events are also available there.
Separate apps can be downloaded for Mac OS, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch and it's easy to sync them with each other, so it's very convenient to use them together. The cost of the whole set is $76.47. The cost of the Fantastical regular version is the same as of BusyCal which is $49.99.
NotePlan is an interesting solution that combines several productivity tools. First of all it's a calendar and task manager. NotePlan is available for Mac, iPhone and iPad (mobile apps can be found in the App Store). NotePlan iOS version includes a task scheduler and diary and also allows you to review upcoming events and make notes.
Calendar is one of the app parts. You can add tasks and events to it. Events can be viewed by month (monthly view). Like in other apps third-party calendars services can be also added to this program (NotePlan can read standard Apple Calendar settings which contain all the calendars).
As in any standard calendar there are also tags, checklists, filters and other features for working with calendars and projects. Notes and events can be used for scheduling for a day. Their statuses can be the following: 'done’, ‘scheduled’ and 'canceled'.
Simple markdown syntax (see below) can be used for working with notes. (Our review of the best markdown editors). Notes are stored as text files on iCloud Drive.
(already included on Mac OS and iOS)
The standard app combines iCloud, Google and Exchange calendars and can be very useful for those who have several accounts. Calendars can be divided into categories and marked with different colors. You can also sort calendars by location: work / home / travel, etc.
For working together with other users you can simply send them an invitation or grant a permission for viewing.
When creating an event, you can specify not only its time, but also give geotags, provide text notes and set a reminder by email or as a pop-up window.
The main advantage of the Mac OS standard calendar is that it has only essential features and nothing extra. There is no need in installing the program or paying for additional features that you're unlikely to use. If you only need to plan events and make schedules, the standard calendar will be more than enough for you.
Though there is also a disadvantage: Apple Calendar can be boring for those who are used to alternative calendars that have task management, Mini Window, an overview of upcoming events and other features.
Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.