What Programs Do You Launch When Your Computer Boots Up?

I am a technology enthusiast and love to learn from others. So I thought I would share a list of the programs I launch when my computer starts. This might help you discover a few interesting programs. Hopefully, you will share some you use in the comments below.

My Startupizer Screen

Let me begin with a disclaimer. I use a Mac, so all my recommendations are Mac related. If you use Windows you can usually find an equivalent program.

I also manage all my start-up programs with a really cool program called Startupizer. It allows me to create different start-up sequences, depending on various conditions, including the day of the week and whether or not I am holding down a modifier key (e.g., ⌘, ⌥, or ^).

These are listed in the order they load.

Application Description
Alfred This utility saves me time by searching my local hard drive, bookmarks, and even the web. Think of it as Spotlight on steroids—but much easier to use. There’s no program I use more than this.
iKey This utility allows me to launch programs, documents, or scripts with a single keystroke combination. For example, I launch Apple Mail by typing ⇧⌥⌘-M (yes, that’s three modifier keys plus the “m” key).
Typinator This utility takes an abbreviation and expands it to a phrase, a sentence, or an entire document. For example, I can type addrh, and the program will replace it with my entire home address. If I type ~bl, the program will replace it with my blog address.
ScanSnap Manager This program manages my Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner. I explain here how I use this slick little scanner to scan all my paper, including receipts directly into Evernote.
DropBox I use this service to share files with my family, friends, and colleagues. The files are stored on a remote server and can be shared with anyone. I also use it to share files with my different devices: my MacBook Air, iPad 3, and iPhone 4s. Also, I am now trying out Dripps, a DropBox-powered file sharing app written by my friend John Saddington.
Synergy Synergy is a tiny utility that puts three buttons to control iTunes on your menubar: previous track, next track, and play/pause. You can also assign keyboard shortcuts to each item, so you can control iTunes from anywhere without switching to the program.
Window Tidy This utility allows me to quickly resize and rearrange windows into a customizable grid, using nothing but drag and drop. It keeps my computer screen organized without a lot of manual fiddling.
CloudApp This utility is probably redundant to DropBox, but I like the interface better. It is also much faster and easier to use. I simply drag a file to the Cloud icon in my menu bar. The file uploads, chimes, and copies the URL to the file to the clipboard. I can then instantly share it with anyone. I will likely replace this with Dripps.
SugarSync This utility runs in the background and backs up all my important folders to a remote server. It can also keep two or more devices in sync. I like this way better than Carbonite or any of the alternatives I have seen.
SnagIt This is the program I use to take screenshots. I have tried Skitch and several others, but this is the one I keep coming back to. It enables you to keep a catalog of all images and even upload them to a remote server and share the link. It’s ideal for documenting or sharing what you see on your screen. The annotation features are excellent.
Google Chrome This is currently my browser of choice. It seems faster to me than Safari or Firefox. Your milage may vary.
Path Finder This is a slick replacement for Finder. It has a tabbed interface so you can open different folders in separate tabs. It is very handy for copying and moving files. I can’t imagine going back to Finder.
Mail This is the e-mail client I use. I used to use Outlook but got frustrated with its bloat. I love the simple elegance of Mail. I have tried a few others, including Sparrow, Postbox, and Thunderbird. I keep coming back to Mail. Mine is pretty customized with filters and scripts.
Google Calendar I created this app with a little application called Fluid. It turns any web page into a stand-alone, launchable application. I switched to Google Calendar from Outlook, so that I could share my calendar with people who don’t work in my own company.
HootSuite Again, I created this app with Fluid. HootSuite is my can’t-live-without, social media dashboard. I use it to manage Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I have written about it here.
Evernote This is my digital brain. I store anything I want to reference later, including receipts, PDFs, contracts, invoices, checks, web pages, literally everything.I have written a series of twelve articles on how I used it to go paperless.
Nozbe This is my task manager. I keep all my to-do lists and project lists in it. I have tried almost everything on the market, and this is still my favorite. I explain why in a blog post I wrote about a week ago.
Cobook This is my newest addition. It basically replaces the Mac Address Book app. It is so cool. It will even go out and find your contacts’ profile pictures by looking them up on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. It uses the e-mail address to find a match.

So now it’s your turn. What programs do you automatically load when you restart your computer? If you are not sure (and not using a program like Startupizer, look under  > Preferences > Users & Groups > [Your Name] > Login Items.

Question: What programs do you load at startup? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.SiaKnight.com/ Sia Knight

    The program that I can’t live without now is Roboform.  The free version fills out forms with a single click as well as stores up to ten passwords.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565834067 Susan Frost McHugh

      I am going to check this out – my Chrome browser saves form information so I want to see how it differs.  

    • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

       I might have to check it out again. Last time I used Roboform, the free version only stored 10 passwords. I’ve been able to get by with my browser as a password manager.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I use a similar program for Mac called 1Passwprd. It loads with my browser. Thanks.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

       I use the paid version, and won’t be without it now.  It syncs seamlessly across my Mac, PC, my wife’s PC, my iPhone, iPad, and even my iPod if I need it to.

      With the likelihood that I will forget a password, this program is handy.  But what I use most is the random password generator.  With this I can be more secure and not forget it! 

  • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

    Love, Cobook! 

    It totally cleaned up my Mac address book. Great features, including the ability to drag-and-drop duplicate contacts on top of each other to merge. It also brought in pics/avatars for my contacts from social networks. Now I have pics for most of my contacts.And of course… all that cleanup flowed right over to my iPhone, iPad and laptop. :)

    • http://yusewrites.com/ Yuse Lajiminmuhip

      Going to have to check that out. I’m a stickler for having a pic for each contact.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It’s really the app that Apple should have included out-of-the-box. Thanks.

  • Dragos

    How long does it take to start all these every day ?

    Why not schedule a task and launch few of them automatically on boot and save few minutes per day!


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s the beauty of a Mac. I only have to reboot every week or do. The startup only takes a few minutes, due in large part to the flash drive technology on the MacBook Air.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=714355583 facebook-714355583

    Growl, Thunderbird, SnapzPro X, Quicksilver, Adium, Dropbox, URL Manager Pro

  • Howard

    AirParrot – allows me to wirelessly mirror ALL of my MAC-OSX screens and all applications on the MAC on AppleTV, not just the AirPlay enabled-applications. 

    By always travelling with an AppleTV (without carrying a 20′ HDMI cord.),  I am  able to do presentations, watch movies (and use non-Apple applications) and  effortlessly connect to a large screen TV.


    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Cool. I never thought of taking apple tv with me. 

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      What a fantastic idea. Is there something similar for Google TV?

    • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

       I wonder if they make a similar application for Windows. I recently got an Apple TV.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I need to check this out. Thanks.

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    I love geekiness early in the morning!  

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       And I, on the other hand, got lost at the question. After reading the title, I went rapidly downhill from there.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Me too!

  • MattSykes

    I must admit I am constantly surprised at the popularity of Dropbox given it’s pretty woeful track record with security.  A while ago I switched over to Sugarsync, and since doing so I have actually found it more powerful and user-friendly.  Def recommend it!!

    Evernote is a big first-start program for me, it’s where I track my GTD lists, apart from all the other uses…

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Thanks for seconding SugarSync. I’ve been pondering the best way to backup my machine. Currently, I use an external drive and use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my drive to I can boot from my backup at anytime. The trouble is, I only clone every few weeks. Not very smart, huh?

  • http://twitter.com/upyourimpact UP YOUR IMPACT!

    I do most of my writing in Evernote – because it goes everywhere I do. I can access it on my iPhone, iPad and 3 different PCs (between work and home). Love it, love it, love it!!

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    Is there a similar app for the PC? My Windows 7 laptop is already too bogged down to be of much use when it starts up. Far too many apps are programmed to ignore your preference for whether or not you want them to start with Windows. I’m getting to where I have to reboot every day or two.

    I’m sure something exists to help me manage which apps are running at which time. I haven’t bothered to check lately.

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      How much RAM does your machine have? 

      • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

         3GB. Probably not enough anymore. The laptop is about 2 years old.

        • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

          Yeah, a reboot every 2-3 days isn’t too bad then. I’ve got 8gb and I have to reboot every 4 or 5 to keep performance up to par.

          • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

             It can be a pain though. I get home from work at night and find my laptop almost ground to a halt, so I have to spend the time forcing apps down and rebooting.

            I probably need to do a good restore on my machine, but I don’t feel like dealing with it.

        • http://twitter.com/PeterKremzar Peter Kremzar

          You see.

          I have a Windows 7 computer for my Home Theater and TV. I
          use Windows Media Center to watch movies or TV. I can watch 3 TV channels at the same time or I can record 2 and watch one or whatever.

          This computer only has 2GB of RAM and the CPU is an AMD Dual Core equivalent of Intel Atom CPU running at 1.86 GHz.

          I think one of the most important things is what do you
          install on your computer. If you use it for your home use it’s much better to get Windows 7 Home Premium that the Ultimate edition. Home premium will run much faster because it runs fewer services. The next thing is that I’m very careful
          about the applications I install. I test them all on my test computer first. And if an application makes problems – some OS applications are really bad – then I simply don’t install it to my main computer. You won’t see any Google app on my computers.

          But yes. My main notebook is Asus G74S with Intel Core i7
          and nVidia GTX 560M. I use it for my graphics work. I remember when the Windows 8 was introduced in late 2011 I was watching the live HD presentation over Internet Explorer 9.0 on one monitor but on the other one I was editing a photo in Adobe Photoshop CS5. The photo had so many layers that it took around 1.5GB (yes giga bytes) just the photo itself. At the same time I had my Adobe Lightroom 3.4 open and of course Microsoft Outlook & OneNote 2010 plus Live Mesh and Live Messenger. All on one single computer and I could still run some additional applications.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Have you tried managing the programs that run on startup by using MSConfig?

      Go to the Start Menu
      Type in MSCONFIG
      Press enter
      Go to the STARTUP tab
      Uncheck the boxes of the programs you don’t want to startup when the computer turns on.
      Click APPLY
      Then click OK
      Restart your computer

      You should then only have the programs that you want or need to run at startup.

      • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

         I’ve done it many times. That’s usually the first thing I do when I get fed up with my laptop bogging down. The simple fix would be to buy a new computer, but that’s not feasible right now.

        I also use Tea Timer, a free utility that comes with Spybot Search and Destroy to monitor registry changes. There are too many applications like Quicktime that put themselves right back in your startup menu as soon as you remove them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m not aware of one. Sorry.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Wow Michael, I hope you have a lot of RAM on your machine. I do like the idea of Startupizer. Since I’m a minimalist, I usually startup a machine with nothing running. That way the machine is fast and responsive and I don’t have any residual clutter. Even though I’m an Apple guy, I usually use a dual monitor desktop PC or boot my MacBook Pro with bootcamp into Windows 7.

    The reason I prefer Windows for my morning startup is threefold. I use Windows Live Writer as my blog interface. This free program works well with WordPress and does an awesome job with graphics, tables, and quotations. I haven’t found anything close on the Mac. I use Microsoft Word 2010 as a word processor. My favorite feature is the new Navigation bar on the left side. Since I usually work from an outline, this one feature has revolutionized the way I work. Unfortunately, Pages for the Mac doesn’t have this feature. I also use the Chrome web browser and have a “daily” folder setup on the toolbar with my favorite startup websites. I just right click it and select “open all bookmarks.” Of course, your blog is part of this group :-) . I currently use Thunderbird as my e-mail interface. 

    I’ll be real honest, the main reason I don’t use my Mac more is the fonts. On the Macbook Pro, the Apple fonts look blurry and are hard to read. When I boot in Win 7, the fonts are clean and crisp. As a Tech guy, my eyes are just used to the PC style fonts. I’ve looked for a way to change the default Apple fonts, but I haven’t found any. I don’t have this problem with the iPad. This effect is reduced if I connect the MacBook to a larger monitor. I’ve also noticed that the Lion operating system has slowed the machine down. Hopefully Mountain Lion will be faster.

    I do use my Mac for video editing and some design work. Having Dropbox setup makes file exchange with my PC easy. I also use Evernote which works well on both platforms.

    As an experiment someday, I’ll have to load some of your programs on my Macbook and use startupizer to set it up with your boot routine. I might find myself instantly productive, or instantly overwhelmed.  It would be an interesting adventure. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The great thing about Startupizer is that I can boot totally clean by holding down the option key. I haven’t noticed any slowdown. I have a MacBook Pro, but my Air is much faster, probably because of the flash drive.
      Thanks for your comments!

  • http://twitter.com/QuotingAndy Andy Stanley Quotes

    Great list! Thank you.  I’ve also found a couple of equivalent apps that I’ve been happy with; Prism = Fluid, Better Snap Tool = Windw Tidy and Doit.im = Nozbe.  I can’t wait to try out Cobook.

  • doughibbard

    Evernote, SugarSync, Dropbox are all three part of my start-up. I’m trying to get a little better understanding of how to use Nozbe to guide my workflow. If I can get that down, it will be an automatic.

    Since my computer is basically always on, the other critical programs stay open but aren’t startup: Logos, Thunderbird, Firefox and iTunes.

  • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

    Thank you for giving us a peak behind the curtain. You listed at least 3 apps that I’ve never heard of, but can’t wait to try. 

    I noticed no Google Apps? Given any thought to changing your email over to Google?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, all of my e-mail (with the exception of my Thomas Nelson account) is hosted on Gmail. I just use Apple Mail for my e-mail client rather than Gmail’s browser interface. Thanks.

      • http://flatcreek.com/ Allen Fuller

        Michael, you may look at Mailplane. It’s a Mac application that allows you to manage multiple Google-based email accounts from the same application. The one downside is that you can’t view all of your email from all accounts at once (as with Mac Mail) but you do get the benefits of the native Gmail interface.

  • http://www.junesjournal.com/ June

    I totally feel you on the Google Chrome comment!  People are sleeping on this browser, especially persons who prefer Firefox over Internet Explorer. I  just may have to blog on Google Chrome and the many reasons why I adore it :)

    • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

       I keep coming back to Chrome. It’s a good browser. I wish I could use it at work.

  • http://www.help.vc/ Howard H. Thaw

    Can anyone comment on the differences between Startupizer and Startupizer 2 ? It appears that they are separate applications from the same company, which is confusing to say the least.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m afraid I don’t know. Sorry. Thanks.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

    I’ve just started to use Jing. I used to think it was for high-level tutorials, but I’ve been using it for quick instructional videos for colleagues and business associates. Sometimes a quick how-to with Jing is just the thing I need to communicate virtually, as if I was pointing to my screen with my colleagues looking over my shoulder.

    The creators made Screencast, a cloud app that stores video files pretty easily, that makes sharing simple and quick. I don’t remember Screencast the first time I tried Jing (a couple years ago), so this may have been the connecting app that makes Jing easy to use.

  • allenfuller

    I also startup with Evernote and Chrome, but then two others: Skype and Mailplane. Skype is great for communicating with teams across the globe, I just have to be careful of who has my address so I don’t get overrun with urgent not important questions. Mailplane is an app that lets you manage multiple Gmail accounts. Since we operate a variety of brands and have accounts for clients, all managed by Google Apps, Mailplane is clutch for being able to monitor multiple accounts and still get the benefits of the native Gmail interface.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

      I’m all over Mailplane. Sounds like the ticket for me. Thanks for the tip!

      • http://twitter.com/kschmader Keith Schmader

         Checkout Sparrow as well!

    • Rachel Lance

      Totally agree re: Skype, couldn’t live without that one. I had to start a second user ID after being overrun w/those non-urgent, unimportant questions. So now I have a “public” name that I can share with everyone and use for conference calls etc, and my preferred name, where I’m usually logged in, that I keep for my family and my immediate team at work.  

  • allenfuller

    I also startup with Evernote and Chrome, but then two others: Skype and Mailplane. Skype is great for communicating with teams across the globe, I just have to be careful of who has my address so I don’t get overrun with urgent not important questions. Mailplane is an app that lets you manage multiple Gmail accounts. Since we operate a variety of brands and have accounts for clients, all managed by Google Apps, Mailplane is clutch for being able to monitor multiple accounts and still get the benefits of the native Gmail interface.

  • Tjacobs

    GREAT PLAINS!!!!!! Go figure :-)

  • Jim Folsom

    I love Quicksilver — this free app allows you to hit CTRL + spacebar, type the first letter of whatever you’re looking for and you’ll get an immediate list (prioritized based on your usage). Simplest way to launch a program that I’ve found.  I prefer it over Spotlight.

    • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

       I keep hearing rumors that Quicksilver is going to be ported to Windows, but I guess if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s not going to. I’ve been wanting it to happen for years. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

    • http://twitter.com/kschmader Keith Schmader

       I use to use QuickSilver…it is great especially if you integrate RememberTheMilk into it.  I have since switched to Alfred.

      • Kyle D Johannes

         Alfred is the go-to spotlight replacement.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        I switched from QuickSilver to Alfred too.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    Mailplane sounds great. I use several different gmail accounts as well, but did not know of a way to manage them simultaneously. Thanks, Allen.

    • http://twitter.com/kschmader Keith Schmader

       You have gotta check out Sparrow too…I use it for all my Google Apps accounts and Outlook for my Exchange accounts

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565834067 Susan Frost McHugh

    Thanks Michael!  I run a Mac with Chrome as well.  On startup I open Google Calendar, my iGoogle homepage (where all my news services and inspirational things live, plus the weather – your blog feed is there too), Google Docs (where I share projects with co-workers, GMail, Evernote, iTunes, ScanSnap manager – the best!!, SnagIt, and iChat (have chatty family).  Haven’t tried Evernote to manager everything yet – need to get there.  Google Docs makes collaboration great!  Will be adding 8 GB additional ram soon.  It’s really amazing how far technology has come since the 1980’s – I was fortunate to work at Wang Laboratories in the demonstration center from 1980-1984 and demo some of the first uses of corporate email.  We all just thought WOW! maybe no more paper.  Well, it’s taken a few years to get to that point but with mobile devices, Evernote, Google Apps, ScanSnap we’re getting there!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Susan, you speak Geek quite well. I am impressed (I’d say envious as well but I gave up on that ages ago).

  • http://www.caminomyway.com/ Randall St Germain

    I feel a little embarrassed because I have a Mac, but haven’t  heard of many of these. I need to sit one day and just spend time learning how to operate my computer more efficiently. Thanks so much for sharing this information.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Randall, you are not alone. I’m lost in the woods in this post. I’m sure plenty of folks are feeling a sudden burst of energy and excitement as they read today’s article. Me? I’ve had a sudden burst of panic. But glad you’re ready to tackle and absorb the information. Best of luck on that. As for me, I think I’ll go take a nap.

      • http://www.caminomyway.com/ Randall St Germain

        No need to panic. I’m not. I will just learn when the time permits. I hope you had a wonderful nap. Like Michael says, naps are very good.

    • http://twitter.com/LesliePWilson Leslie P. Wilson

      I’m with you Randall. My husband bought me an iMac for Christmas. So far it has iTunes and lots of songs on it. I’m paralyzed to make the final jump after years of longing for such a machine. This conversation WILL serve to motivate me–not make me feel guilty. Well, guiltier.

  • http://www.theemptyinbox.com/ Michael

    Here are the apps that I open every morning:

    MS Excel – My project and task lists are maintained there

    Outlook – a separate window for Mail and Calendar

    Firefox – I love this web browser!

    AOL’s Instant Messenger – we use it ALL day long as a means
    of super-fast communication

    QuickBase – a web-based product from Intuit.  Used for project management for my team.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Okay, so launch means what do you open up first thing?

      If so, then Outlook Express and Firefox (and I like Firefox but I don’t know why–my wife suggested using it instead of Internet Explorer).

    • http://www.theemptyinbox.com/ Michael

       Oh…and SnagIt.  Wow…I could not survive without that one. 

    • http://twitter.com/kschmader Keith Schmader

       Uhh QuickBase…since when did Intuit enter into the project management arena?

      • http://www.theemptyinbox.com/ Michael

        Keith –  I’m not sure how long QuickBase has been around.  But…it’s a collaborative product that works well for us.   And, it’ s not just for project management; there are several apps you can create/use. 

        You can check it out at http://www.quickbase.com. 

  • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

    The only one that I have that you don’t is the iMessages Beta. iMessages lets you use your computer keyboard to send a text message to anyone with an iPhone or iPad and incorporates iChat for computer to computer interactions. It’s still got rough edges, but I’m using it more and more.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Okay, this sounds like something I need. How do you get it?

      • http://www.enmast.com/ Brad Farris

        Right here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/messages-beta/

        Pogue did a review a few weeks ago that I thought was right on. http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/the-disruptive-power-of-imessage/

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565834067 Susan Frost McHugh

          Gotta try this, thanks!

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Brad. I’m downloading it now.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          This is one of the coolest programs I have seen in a while. Profoundly simply, yet so necessary. How did we get along without it?

      • Gail Thomas

        I have been using it since it was announced and I really like it. Great thing about it, you don’t have to do texting from your iPhone if you are in front of your computer.

  • http://yusewrites.com/ Yuse Lajiminmuhip

    I have a iMac at work and home so I focus my efforts on running programs that allow me to keep my computers in sync. iCloud does most of the work for me, but I’m using Dropbox for file syncs until improved Pages comes out this summer. 

    I think its a tribute to the Mac ecosystem that almost everything syncs together automatically!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I can’t wait until Pages has the capability with iCloud.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Skype. Don’t forget Skype. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I do use Skype, but not enough to warrant launching it when my computer starts. That may change in the future as I am using it more and more. Thanks.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Thanks for the list Michael. I’ll keep it in mind in case we ever get a Mac.

    I’m not a heavy app user when it comes to my PC. I startup Firefox, Windows Media Player, and Dropbox when my PC turns on and that’s about it.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    If you had written in Russian, I would have been fine. Greek? Maybe. Spanish? Somewhat. But you wrote in Geek and I’m a blockhead in that language. I’ll see if I can find a translator to interpret.

    But in answer to your question, I have no idea of what I launch (hopefully nothing that harms the environment or ends up as floating space debris).

  • http://twitter.com/HeisNathan Nathan Woods

    I am digging Sparrow Mail for both my mac and iPhone.  It is the best app that I have found to sync all my email accounts that I have and the interface is awesome.  The company is still working with Apple on the iOS app to allow push notifications, which right now is the only drag about that app.

    Besides that, I use the majority of the same apps you all do.   Dropbox, Evernote, Spotify. I also like Pulse News for iOS and as an extension on my browser to go find, save and go back to read articles.  Combining that with Evernote Clearly makes reading articles a easy.

    • allenfuller

      Two thumbs up for Evernote Clearly. Best browser extension ever.

  • Anthony

    Michael, good list, but why Cobook over Gmail’s contacts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I really haven’t tried Google contacts. Sorry.

  • http://colebradburn.com/ Cole Bradburn

    I share the disclaimer that this is all on a Mac.

    Evernote, Spotify, iCal, Google Chrome, Dropbox, iCloud syncing, Tweetdeck, Buffer, SnagIt, and Mail.

    Hard to imagine life prior to Evernote and Spotify now.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I love both of those as well.

    • http://twitter.com/kschmader Keith Schmader

       Spotify is great if you pay the monthly fee, otherwise Pandora still rocks…far less ads or in the case of FireFox AdBlock Plus users no Ads!

  • http://www.ofwnurse.net/ ofwnurse

    THanks for the tip..=)

  • http://twitter.com/StuMcLaren Stu McLaren

    Thanks for sharing this list Michael – it’s always fun to geek out with others :)

    I’m definitely going to check out Alfred and Path Finder… both look very useful.

    I also use a couple not mentioned…

    Puush.me – VERY handy for sending files.  Drag to the icon and it creates a “share URL”.

    Jumpcut – Collects a history of things you save to your clipboard.  Dramatically improves productivity when you need to copy/paste multiple items at once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sridhar.katakam Sridhar Katakam

    These are the apps I usually have open all the time (when I shut down my iMac, I leave the option to continue from where I left off upon restart):

    Firefox: Primary browser mainly for Firebug and KeyConfig (http://sridharkatakam.com/2010/08/20/keyconfig-firefox/). Chrome as secondary browser.

    ForkLift: Dual pane tabbed file browser.

    Evernote: For storing notes
    nVALT: For code snippets. Syncs with SimpleNote. This program is very light weight and is super fast.

    TextExpander: For text expansion.

    SnagIt: Nothing beats this in taking screenshots.

    Wunderlist: For to-dos management.

    Reeder: The best RSS reader.

    Dropbox: Love it!

    CloudApp: For uploading files and to share them temporarily.

    ShiftIt: For positioning windows.

    KeyRemap4MacBook: For making the eject button act as Delete (Forward Delete).

    Alfred: App launcher.

    Jitouch: For switching tabs in browsers using trackpad. Middle finger down + index finger tap = switch to left tab, Index finger down + middle finger tap = switch to right tab.

    Skype: To communicate with clients.

    ClipMenu: Clipboard history tool.

  • http://twitter.com/dudelum Dan Lum

    Oh boy, apps are so personal to each user :)

    OK, here goes:Quicksilver – app launcher & file finder
    Crashplan – our corporate & my personal backup platform (local, offsite & cloud with multiple backup sets) http://www.crashplan.com
    MagicPrefs – customization of Magic Trackpad & Magic Mouse. Depending on app, I can set custom button & gesture functions and most importantly, tracking speed!
    iStat Menus – geeky utility but I love it for seeing real time memory and HD usage1Password – to manage my almost 300 passwords, synced (via Dropbox) across my iMac, MB Air, iPad and 2 iPhones

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    I did a search for Windows startup managers. This is a quick list I came up with. I’ll have to try one out when I get home tonight:


  • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

    Dropbox is set to automatically sync up when I turn on my computer, but otherwise I don’t have specific programs that launch on start-up. Firefox is usually my first window open and is set to show my email inbox as my homepage. I find that having too many programs open on start-up sets me up for distraction before I ever begin my day. 

  • BillKracke

    Curious what scripts you use for mail.app.  My workflow would be simpler if I used it, but it just seems so … clunky? Add in Google’s non-standard IMAP implementation and I’ve never managed to get it to work right.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The one I mostly use is the one Nozbe provides to move e-mail to Nozbe. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmader Keith Schmader

    Excited to add some additional great Mac start-up apps:

    With BetterTouch Tool I have added various new gestures.  Further, it includes all the features of the paid WindowsTidy app listed above.

    ClipMenu – A MUST HAVE!  Seriously I use this tool hourly.  ClipMenu keeps a log of the things you copy to your clipboard–great if you accidentally copy over something you really needed.  Also allows for you to create folders of things you type regularly (server IPs, block of text, signatures, addresses…etc.)

    Jing – someone else mentioned this tool and I must say it is a great tool for creating a quick how-to screencast or screencapture.

    Caffeine – With a simple click on the coffee cup icon on my menu bar I keep my screen from going to sleep for a set amount of time. (set the default in the preferences or two-finger click and select the amount of time)

    gfxCardStatus – Great power-saver for MBP users!  Force your MBP to use either the integrated card (less power, lower preformance) or discrete card for more graphic intensive tasks.  Note: if you plug in an external monitor/projector you must be in discrete mode

    Free Memory – Another great menu bar addition that allows you to reclaim some of your Mac’s underutilized RAM.  This tool saves me from ever needing to reboot.

    QuickPass – a random password generator for my fellow geeks

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just downloaded Free Memory. Very cool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719995367 Marisa Wikramanayake

    I actually have limited the amount of things that start up when the computer turns on (I run Windows 7). I have certain programs that I use often so I moved the task bar to the top of the desktop screen and pinned the tiny icons for certain programs & templates to it. One click whenever I need it and I am off and the laptop runs faster and better because there aren’t so many services, processes and programs running in the background (I disabled most of the generic unnecessary programs that automatically run with Windows 7 as well). Programs I use regularly: Tweetdeck, Chrome, Word and uTorrent.

  • http://twitter.com/simonsmark Mark Simons

    I have many overlaps and some others: Fantastical, shimo, default folder x, sharetool, caffeine, skitch, launchbar, transmit, istat menu

  • http://twitter.com/clickhost ClickHOST.com

    Michael, thanks for sharing. I’m also a Mac user, and use most of the ones you mentioned. I can add:
     – lastpass.com – cloud-based password manager.
     – TextExpander – similar to typinator
     – SproutSocial instead of HootSuite to manage my and our social media and 
     – Crashplan for backups.

    Regards, Carel.

  • prashant shukla

    Thank You

    The given information is very effective.

    i will keep updated with the same. 

    industrial automation training  


  • http://itinerantblogger.wordpress.com/ Reed Hanson

    I really, really appreciate lists like this. I’m constantly amazed at the number of available programs to automate or speed up tasks we don’t think about that consume a significant period of time. I was a little surprised, though, to find out that a select few of these are expensive (by Web standards, and by that I mean over $5-$10).  The ones I have tried (such as Synergy and Evernote) seem like useful little add-ons that I haven’t yet mined for all they’re worth. And Window Tidy sounds incredibly useful. Can’t wait to give that one a try!

  • edward johnson

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  • Ryan

    Why don’t you use a web mail?

  • http://teachingstewardship.com/ Brian Horvath

    Michael or Community,
    Have you used CoBook to cleanup duplicate contacts? I am trying to merge Google Apps & iCloud contacts between business, personal, etc. I have tried CoBook web site and nothing there leads me to this end. Thanks everyone for your direction and comments.