My 2023 Mac Apps of the Year

I planned on publishing a post like this myself, but @canion beat me to the punch, getting his out first… I’m going to use the same criteria he uses for making the cut:

For my purposes, to be considered an App of the Year, the software needs to be something I used extensively, value and enjoy. I also must feel I would miss them if they suddenly went away. Of course, it also needs to be a Mac App.

Without further ado, my list of the top five…


I’ve been using LaunchBar since 2005, probably longer than any other Mac app I currently use, save BBEdit. I set up my wife’s old 2012 27" iMac last week to install macOS Sonoma via OpenCore Legacy Patcher, and through each step, I found my muscle memory wanting to launch some app with LaunchBar. I easily use this app a hundred times a day, every day.


I live and die by my calendar these days. For me, the only calendar application worthy of being used on a Mac is Fantastical, hands-down. The natural language input is super useful and slick. The premium feature I love the most is Openings. For my work, I’ve got too many people wanting to meet with me for this or that. All I have to do is give them a URL and tell them to find an opening. This has saved me hours. I hate subscriptions, but to me, this app is worth it.


I’ve been a Chrome user for many years now. But, two things made me change to Safari this year. First, Chrome has become a memory hog. As I write this, for the same five tabs open, Chrome is using 235MB of memory among 45 threads, whereas Safari is only using 151MB across 10 threads. Less memory and thread usage means better battery life. Second is the privacy philosophies between Apple and Google. Enough said on that one.


I’ve been on Mastodon since 2018, but as the platform becomes more popular and my use picks up, I find myself leaning more and more on Ivory. I started out with Mona as my Mastodon client – which is a great app too – but I just find myself gravitating more and more to Ivory. I can’t put my finger on why. It’s just the one I prefer between the two.


Parts of my job require me to transform and manipulate large amounts of data in all kinds of ways. When it comes to a text editor (for .csv files), BBEdit is the application of choice for me. I’ve been using BBEdit since version 1.0, even longer than I’ve been using LaunchBar. I’d die without this app. For me, it’s worth the $30 upgrade every few years. If you’re a long-time Mac user, you know what BBEdit is and what it’s capable of.

Apps That Fell Off the List

Since this is the first year of my list, I can’t really say what fell off the prior, but these are the apps I’ve found myself using less and less over the last year or two.

  1. Reeder – in favor of NetNewsWire. Both are really great apps, and I’m flopping back and forth between the two right now, but NetNewsWire is slightly edging out Reeder.
  2. Google Chrome – in favor of Safari, obviously.
  3. Agenda – I like the calendar integration of Agenda, but like @canion, I’m leaning more towards Obsidian for note taking as of late.


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