I’m on a Mac an unhealthy amount of time each day. And it’s not even entirely spent looking at hilarious gifs either – sometimes I actually do work, and over the years I’ve come to rely on a few Mac menu bar apps each and every day I’m in the office (or at home).

Each of these applications do one simple thing, and do it well. Add ’em to your workflow if you don’t have them – they come with my personal guarantee*.

*note: personal guarantee is worth $0 CDN.

If I missed any that you use on the regular, let me know on Twitter with the hashtag #MacMenuApps – that way everyone can join in on the conversation!

caffeine mac menu bar apps


Caffeine is a tiny program that puts an icon in the right side of your menu bar. Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Click it again to go back. Right-click (or ⌘-click) the icon to show the menu.

I use Caffeine every day; specifically, I end up using it often during client design reviews, wherein we might have a design up on the screen for review, with no keyboard/mouse input, for several minutes.

Get Caffeine →

LittleIpsum mac menu bar apps


The best Latin text generator for OS X. Incredibly quick and lightweight.

Two clicks can grab you a sentence, two sentences, a paragraph, a couple paragraphs… it’s great for design or wireframe comps when you don’t have any copy. A heck of a lot better than any online lorem ipsum generator, and Photoshop’s generator too.

Get LittleIpsum →

copyclip mac menu bar apps


CopyClip is the simplest and most efficient clipboard manager for your Mac. Running discreetly from your menu bar, this app stores all that you have copied or cut in the past, allowing you to quickly find that snippet of text you’ve been looking for.

I’m constantly copying/pasting items throughout my day. CopyClip remembers all that you’ve copied (default is 20 items), lets you preview you it from your menu bar, and one-click to copy. Using CopyClip means you don’t just overwrite your clipboard with each new copy.

Get CopyClip →

alfred mac menu bar apps


Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for Mac OS X. It saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords and file actions at your fingertips.

Probably my single most-used app. One hot-key combination your keyboard lets you search for files, open files, search the web, do basic calculations, launch the dictionary, and much more. The paid upgrade unlocks a ton of features too. A must-get.

Get Alfred →

cloud mac menu bar apps

Droplr Cloud

CloudApp allows you to share images, links, music, videos and files. Here is how it works: choose a file, drag it to the menubar and let us take care of the rest. We provide you with a short link automatically copied to your clipboard that you can use to share your upload with co-workers and friends.

So, I am a fervent Droplr user, and they just emailed to inform users that their formerly free plan is now going paid. It’s a great little app, and the developers deserve to be paid, but if $99/year at the basic level is too much for you, try Cloud. It’s basically the same thing and it still has a free account. Cloud lets you quickly share screenshots, links and more – we use it at Paper Leaf all the time for sharing quick comps with each other over IM.

Get Cloud →

Did I miss any you swear by? Let me know and join the conversation on Twitter!