10 min read

Dissecting my workflow

Tools and tricks I use for blazing productivity.

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Over the last 2 years, I've made improvements to my Mac workflows with apps and tweaks. This is a living 'n' breathing list of tools that I use currently, which I'll keep updating as my requirements change.

Do note that these are tools which worked well for my use case, but might not be perfect for you :)

It’s quite difficult to explain what this tool does, because it does a shit load of things. From setting custom keyboard shortcuts to modifying your touch bar, the list goes on. I’ll simply go through how I use this.

  1. Shortcut to move active window from one space to another.
  2. Rectangle shortcuts are good, but when I am using my mouse, window snapping is very useful. Just drag the window to any corner or edge and it will resize it accordingly.
  3. Move windows by clicking anywhere along with a modifier key.
  4. Maps capslock as a hyperkey shortcut, so I can use capslock + [any letter] instead of having complex shortcuts like cmd + option + shift + x

Paid tool. Get it here.

Raycast: Spotlight my way

The native spotlight has always been a hit or miss for me. I like the design philosophy - “users search what they want, we will figure it out”. For example, I am working on a project called jackfruit. When I search for jackfruit, I don’t see jackfruit the fruit on top, but rather my Xcode project files. This is smart search, this is how search should be.

But spotlight rarely works like this. It usually gets the context wrong and pushes the wrong results to the top. This is the problem with most productivity tools and features these days. They try to be smart, end up being dumb, eventually making the users crave for complete control over the behaviour. I wanted complete control too, so I switched.

I started using Raycast couple of months back and it has been fantastic. Their approach is to let users choose the context, and then search. I use it for a bunch of things,

  1. Figma file search - capslock + s
  2. Personal Notion file search - capslock + z
  3. Authy backup codes
  4. Apple Music song search
  5. Quickly access and copy my most used links (personal website, social profiles etc)

Free tool. Get it here.

Choosy: Native first, browser fallback

Let’s be honest, native apps are better than browser tabs. Easy to switch between apps, controls are smooth and its fast. But it’s annoying when someone shares Figma and Notion links on Slack, and they open in the browser, ugh.

Choosy lets you open links in their respective native apps. This means a bunch of things,

  1. No more redirecting to the browser every time you join a zoom meeting.
  2. Open Figma links → Figma app, Linear Links → Linear app, Notion Links → Notion app… you get the point.
  3. Open specific type of links in specific browsers. For example, Atlan is optimised for Chrome currently, so I have a rule where any Atlan instance link will open in Chrome, while safari stays as my default browser.

Paid tool. Get it here.

Cleanshot X: Screenshots without anxiety

The default mac screenshotting tool is great, but I always panic after taking a screenshot, because I have to be real fast with using it else it will disappear.

Thanks to Cleanshot, I don’t worry about this anymore, as well a bunch of other things,

  1. Disable auto-dismiss of screenshot previews.
  2. Super easy annotation feature, let’s me do a whole lot of things.
  3. Cloud storage for sharing recordings like Loom, GIF recordings and rulers to take precise screenshots.
  4. Highlight mouse clicks and keystrokes in screen recordings, very helpful for when sharing bugs or QA issues.

Paid tool. Get it here.

Arc Browser: A powerful and highly opinionated browser

Safari is great but having to switch to chrome for websites which just don't work on it is annoying. I've also felt a need for tab grouping because well, I do hundred different things in parallel.

Moving to Arc was quite a process. I had to move away from iCloud Keychain and adopt 1Password, then migrate away from Safari Bookmarks to Raindrop, and get used to a vertical tab bar. The end result is fast, beautiful and seamless browsing experience [chef's kiss]

Free tool, requires an invite. Get it here.

Rectangles: Window management on steroids

Rectangles is the only window management tool with shortcuts you’ll actually remember. I frequently use it to quickly setup two apps side by side, and some other layouts.

The best thing? You can use your mouse to tell where you want the window to be placed, for when I don’t feel like touching the keyboard.

Free tool. Get it here.

Lunar: No more fiddling with monitor controls

Lunar gives me software controls for changing my monitor’s brightness and a couple more things. No more fiddling with clunky and hard to use monitor buttons, god I hate them.

Free tool. Get it here.

MX Master 3: Made me ditch Magic Mouse

I switched from Magic Mouse 2 to this as it started hurting my hand. My initial days with this mouse were quite mixed, but with Logi Options+, their new software for configuring Logi devices, I was able to fix most issues which plagued this mouse.

I love the dedicated back and forward buttons let me browse the internet (and other apps) without touching the keyboard. The thumb press button is also very intelligently placed for quickly switching between desktop spaces, and opening mission control. The per app button configuration feature is also quite powerful.

Paid product (duh).

Cron: Quick access to meetings & more

I switched from the default Apple calendar to Cron recently for its deep integration with Google calendar, which lets me check teammate calendars and send meeting invites through a native app. It also has a menu bar view to see upcoming meetings, goodbye meeter app.

Free tool. Get it here.

Aftership: All courier trackings in one place

If you buy everything from Amazon, good for you (bad for environment but okay). But if you’re like me and order stuff from various different stores, tracking them becomes a chore.

I tried a bunch of products and Aftership has by far the most expansive courier support, especially in India.

Free tool. Get it here.

veroSMS: No more junk SMS

I like keeping SMS notifications enabled for OTPs on my Mac and iPhone, but the amount of junk SMS I receive is quite funny.

VeroSMS’s crowdsourced keyword blocklist as well as custom keywords feature block all junk SMS, simple. It integrated well with iOS’s SMS filters, and will filter the SMS for Mac as well as Apple Watch.

Paid tool. Get it here.

Rocket: Quick emojis everywhere

I used to hate the ctrl + cmd + space emoji shortcut every time I had to add an emoji, but then I learnt that slack has a : shorthand to quickly add emojis and I wished I could use it anywhere.

That’s where Rocket comes in, which brings the : shorthand to any text box!

Free tool. Get it here.

Contexts: Intelligent switching between apps

I use Desktop spaces extensively to separate out my personal space from work space. This can be for working on side projects while working, or planning and researching a trip in a dedicated space. This means I have multiple safari and notion windows spread across spaces, and I face a bunch of problems when managing these spaces,

  1. the cmd+tab switcher doesn’t let you switch between different windows of an app
  2. It also doesn’t contextually show windows only for the active space
  3. If an app is minimised, it won’t open it for you
  4. I can’t hide some apps from the switcher which are always open (I have the nobroker hood app always open to give gate approvals right from my mac)

Contexts lets me do ALL this, and throws in a bunch of customisation options for making it suitable for any workflow.

Paid tool. Get it here.

Charmstone: Fallback for Contexts

When I am working with too many open apps in the background, it gets a little difficult to navigate contexts to find the app I am looking for. If I dissect my cmd+tab switching, it’s 80-90% for switching between 4-6 of my most used apps.

Charmstone does an excellent job to bring my most used apps… to my cursor!

Free tool. Get it here.


Fig brings intellisense like autocompletion to your terminal! it will fetch package names for almost all the popular package managers, and also show flag suggestions. I found it more useful than zsh-autocompletion plugin.

Free tool. Get it here.

AppCleaner: Vacuum delete your apps

Probably the best “deep app uninstallation tool”. I used to use CleanMyMac before, but it is paid and quite expensive for a tool that I want to use for deleting tools.

AppCleaner works well because of “Smart Delete”. You don’t need to open the app and use it’s interface for deleting things, simply put applications in trash, and AppCleaner will automatically detect it, open a popup with all the extra junk it found, and let’s you clear everything!

Free tool. Get it here.

Bartender 4: Clean up that nasty menu bar

With all these tools, and many more added by my workspace for security reasons, menu bars can become a hot mess.

Bartender lets you hide all your menu items, show only the ones that are frequently used, and let’s you view the hidden menu items on demand.

Paid tool. Get it here.

ColorSlurp: Best color picker I’ve seen

This is a great color picker. It has an option to enable precise color picking to catch those pixel level color differences. It also lets me do contrast checking. Of course, I mapped the shortcut keys with capslock hyperkey.

Paid tool. Get it here.

Things 3

I finally have a to-do app, yay. Things is great. I wake up each morning, add all the errands I can think of in the Inbox section, convert bigger todos into projects and cherry pick things I want to pick up for today.

The app is clean and blazing fast. I absolutely love the quick entry feature, which lets me create todos from anywhere with a shortcut.

Very much a paid tool. Get it here.


ImageOptim has been my go to image compression tool for quite some time. You can define image format, compression ratio and a bunch of other things, and it will optimise images in-place. Very handy.

Free tool. Get it here.