The Most Used

The weather is starting to turn sour here in Seattle, so it is the time of year when we baton down the hatches, pull out our REI clothing and get ready to spend lots of time inside. I would be lying if I said I didn’t already spend lots of time inside, but such is life in the modern workplace. This whole concept of being inside, got me to thinking about the software tools I use on a regular basis. So for the past week I have been vaguely monitoring what software I used the most on each device – the results of which are pretty interesting.

Note: I did not include any utilities that are always running like Dropbox or Baseapp.

MacBook Pro

I am breaking out a couple of different computers because I use them very differently. On my MacBook Pro the app that I use the most by far is Safari. I really thought that it was going to be something like Marsedit, but Safari really leads the charge here. So much of what I do on my MacBook Pro for both work and hobbies is web based that I really can’t live without Safari.

A few weeks back I tried to make a permanent switch to Google Chrome, but I just find the UI ugly – I can’t stand it. The browser seems faster that Safari but the fit and finish is just not there and based on how most Google products look I doubt it will ever be there.

Runners Up (in order): Mail, Transmit, MarsEdit, NetNewsWire.

iPhone 4

Twitter for iPhone is by far, hands down the single most used app on my iPhone. Nothing else even comes close, not the phone or text message client. I could probably remove everything from my home screen and dock except Twitter and I would rarely scroll to another page.

Runners Up (in order): Mail, OmniFocus, Ego, Simplenote, MLB At Bat, Camera.


This was by far the hardest to judge, I use four of the apps almost the same amount. After a lot of thinking I have to crown the winner as Reeder. Not only is it the app that I find myself using the most when I am away from my Mac, but it is also one of the best apps for the iPad. Reeder if you don’t know is hands down the best RSS feed reader that a person can have, on any platform. 1

Runners Up (in order): Instapaper, OmniFocus, Twitter for iPad, Simplenote, Mail.

Mac mini

I have what one day may be a collectors item, an original circa 2005 Mac mini G4. Oh yeah PowerPC baby. This is the upgraded 1.4 whatever ghz model. I have only had to replace the HD once in it and it has been in 24/7 use since I purchased it. Today it is attached to our TV in the living room and servers as a media hub as well as a Bit-Torrent monster. By far the most used app is Transmission the best bit-torrent app I have ever come across. (Of course I only do legal things with Bit-torrent).

Runners Up (in order): VLC, I don’t really use any other apps on it.

Some Thoughts

I did this little monitoring activity with the goal of trying to figure out how I use things. The ultimate goal then is trying to determine if I have the right equipment for what I do. I have for quite some time now wanted to get a separate computer at my office so that I no longer have to lug my MacBook Pro to and from work, but I have been unsure whether I should get a iMac or Mac mini for the office (I already have a 24” Cinema display at work). In the end I know that I can’t go wrong with either choice but I think I am leaning towards purchasing an iMac.

One thing that did not show up is that when I use my MacBook Pro at home I am almost always using it for photo editing. This type of work truly demands a large screen. Based on that I think that buying a smaller iMac for my office and taking the monitor home to use with my MacBook pro there. Of course this all costs money which means things will have to wait a bit.

  1. until they come out with a Mac client, perhaps.
Originally posted for members on: September 21, 2010
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