Useful Free Mac Tools & Apps | Tech for Designers

July 31, 2019 posted by

– Today, I wanna tell you about a bunch of really useful free tools that are part of my design process. (upbeat music) This video right here is another in my Tech for Designers series. I’ve already made videos
about the hardware that I use and about the design softwares, subscriptions that I use
as part of my process but today I wanna tell you about a bunch of really
cool little free things that maybe you might find useful to add to your process as well. The first one is a little
app called Paparazzi. This is used for taking full
page screenshots of websites. As part of my process, when
I’m working with a developer on a site being built, when I wanna give feedback, I
like to take a full screenshot using Paparazzi of the
site in its build mode and then I upload it to InVision and click in places to leave comments and feedback for the developer. It’s a really useful way of doing it and Paparazzi is how I
take those screenshots. All you have to do is put a link in and it’ll take the image for you and you can change the size of it as well. So this is how I get images
of what the site looks like on mobile, on tablet and on a desktop. Next up is a little tool
that lives in my top bar. It’s a color picker and it’s called Sip. The purpose of this tool
is that you can click anywhere on your screen and
it’ll give you a color code for whatever you clicked on. So it’s really useful
if you see a nice color used on a website and
you don’t wanna bother going into the dev tools
to figure out what it was. Sip can help you out with that. When you click on a color as well, it automatically saves the Hex code or whatever you’ve set as the default to your clipboard as well making it really easy to go ahead and use that color in your own design. Next is a Chrome extension that I find myself using
when I really like a font that I’ve seen used on another
website and that is WhatFont. When you have this extension selected, you just have to click on a
piece of text on a website and it’ll load this little window telling you all the details about what font you’re looking at, what size it is, what color it is. It’s really useful. You could find out all
this information of course by going into the Developer Tools but it’s much easier
to just do it this way. Next up, two tools
you’ll already know about if you watched my last video
about exporting assets for web but they deserve a mention in here too. These are two tools
for compressing images. The first one is an
app called Image Optim. This is really handy because
you just have to drag an image file into it and it’ll
compress the heck out of it. It’ll then just save
over your original file with one that is a lot smaller
but still good quality. And the next one you could
use for this is TinyPNG. Now, like I said in my last video, I end up not using this
one so much anymore but this is a really handy website that you can just drag an image up to it and it’s gonna compress it a lot for you then you can download it and
use that asset in your website. I prefer Image Optim because it does the whole saving over the original thing whereas with this one, you
have to download the image and then find it in your
Downloads folder again but still, it’s a really useful tool. The next one is Toggl and this
is an app for time tracking. I quite like tracking my time
because it gives me a view of how long I’m spending on each project and time tracking is especially important for client projects
’cause you wanna make sure even if you’re not building by the hour that you’re aware of how
long the project is taking so that maybe you can learn for next time if you haven’t quite scoped it out right. There’s many time tracking tools out there but Toggl is my favorite
because I like how it’s designed and I like its option to have categories and add clients, et cetera. The next one is also related to time. It’s an app called Focus Keeper. Now, I debated whether
or not to include this because it does actually cost one pound 49 in the UK app store so it’s
probably 99 cents in the US one but it’s so cheap that it’s almost free so I thought that it
could fit into this video. I really love using this to
focus my time hence its name. I use something called
the Pomodoro technique when I really wanna find
some focus on a project. It’s basically a technique of working where you work solidly for 25
minutes with no interruptions and then you have a five minute break to deal with all that checking Twitter and making a cup of tea that you wanted to do
during those 25 minutes so it’s a really good way of working. It works out well for me and Focus Keeper is a
really nicely designed app that helps you keep a timer on this and if you are opposed
to paying for an app that will do that then
you can use the website, TomatoTimer to do the same thing but I just prefer the way Focus Keeper keeps track of how many you’ve
done in a day, et cetera and I like its notifications. This last one is gonna be
really handy if you’re like me and find yourself
constantly running out of hard drive space. It’s called Omnidisk Sweeper and it’s an app that
sweeps your hard drive and then arranges your
files in order of size. I find it really handy for figuring out which folders files are in that are sucking up a lot of
gigabytes on my hard drive so I can go in and delete them or move them to a backup if necessary. Those are all the tools that
I have to tell you about today but I hope there’s something in there that you might find useful to
add into your design process and if you’ve got anything like this that you think I might like
or find useful to know about then leave that down below in the comments ’cause this can go both ways. Thank you for watching this video. Please give it a thumbs
up if you enjoyed it. The best way to support my channel because I don’t run ads on these videos is to go ahead and check
out my online store and pick yourself up a t-shirt
or a notebook or a print. I design them all myself and
in the case of the t-shirts, I print them myself too so
I’m really proud of them and I think you’ll like them. Thanks again for watching
and I will see you in my next video. Bye.


84 Replies to “Useful Free Mac Tools & Apps | Tech for Designers”

  1. CullanAndTravis says:

    ohhhhh free tools! love them! thanks charli!

  2. Earvin Borbon says:

    Another great video. Thanks for this!

  3. Twinkle Jumani says:

    Omg….thank you soooooo much…I loved this video

  4. Sajan Shrestha says:

    thank you, nice tools… I frequently use "Microsoft Picture Manager" to compress size of single or multiple images by exporting them.

  5. Lauren Fairweather says:

    These would help me so muchhhh!! Thank you for sharing them!

  6. King Jones says:

    Damn u beautiful and thanks for sharing these apps

  7. Lucas says:

    I really like the video series! I heard that Tymne is a really good tool for time tracking, but maybe its too overloaded with features and its definitely not that simply like TOGGL (and it isn't free).

  8. Rizky Arbie says:

    wow thanks for sharing!

  9. Sairah Rahman says:

    Wat camera do you use for your video

  10. Christina Testana says:

    thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try out these new tools!

  11. psiops277 says:

    Like the vid. I will be using SIP. That will come in handy so much. Thanks! I'll look into Omnidisk Sweeper too. I do like to free up space when I can. 😀 Also, I use an app called Jumpcut. it allows you to copy a lot of stuff to the clipboard and not have to worry about loosing what you previously made a copy of. As long as you don't copy like crazy it will help with stuff like that. Hope it helps someone.

  12. Katie Steckly says:

    OMG I've been trying to find something like Sip for a while, that's awesome! Great tips 🙂

  13. Jaylen Fast says:

    You should consider running ads for an income, the people who seriously hate ads (like myself) already have methods of blocking them, while the people who dont care…just dont care.

  14. Derek Lieu says:

    Thanks for the list! A great hard drive space management app I use is Disk Inventory X. It gives a visual representation of the files, and how big they are. That makes it easy to spot the largest files, and folders.

  15. Brittney Mae says:

    Love these videos. they are so incredibly helpful to me , as I'm a graphic design student & this is stuff they don't tell you about!!

  16. iamleonhawley says:


  17. Mihalca Danut says:

    Similar to paparazzi app, fireshot works on windows machines in the exact same way! Look for it the Chrome store, or just search on Google.

  18. Corey Byas says:

    Nice! Thanx for the info, I like SIP and use whatfont

  19. Max Ma says:

    Wow, I didn't know these much helpful tools are available on OS. I was only relying on Chrom Apps. Thanks for the tips.

  20. FAITHVDEAN says:

    Love your videos!

  21. Daniel says:

    I wished the focus keeper app was available on android

  22. Kevin Li says:

    Amazing, Charli! The main two tools I use are "caffeine" and "albert" for my macbook.

  23. A J says:

    Thanks Charli! ImageOptim looks like it's going to save me a lot of time

  24. Emily K says:

    Awesome video! Thanks so much ☺

  25. teyleen says:

    This is so so good! Omg. Just got all of these apps. 😊

  26. Kaylin Murray says:

    Thanks for the app suggestions! I will have to check them out!! I use Spectacle everyday it is a SUPER EASY way to spilt your screen.

  27. Micah Carroll says:

    Just downloaded Omnidesk sweeper ! thank you !

  28. Muthu Annamalai Chidambaram says:

    Thanks for sharing! I would like to add vectr ( – which is a great free substitute for sketch on Windows. It is not as comprehensive as sketch but it has a very small learning curve and helps complete most of the basic design works quickly. They also have apps for all platforms and sync your projects between devices.

  29. HannaCreative says:

    This will absolutely change my life! Thank you so much! The full site screenshot is gonna come in SO HANDY! And the color pick and disk sweeper too. So many good recommendations! Thank you, Charli 🙂
    If you ever find yourself wanting to check twitter etc and getting side tracked, "SelfControl" is an app for Mac where u can add sites to a blacklist and block them for the amount of time that you set. Gonna use that now to work on my script :'D haha
    Thanks again for the video! x

  30. Johnny Swierczynski says:

    Ah! I was searching for an app like paparazzi for ages as I need it for my job and I've been using a crappy alternative up till now! Thank you!

  31. Josh Kumar says:

    Color zilla lucrative tool for designers

  32. Josh Kumar says:

    Color zilla lucrative tool for designers

  33. Stella Q says:

    Like your no BS approach 👌

  34. Prasad Gadve says:

    Toggl :D… Great App. Thank you Charli. 🙂

  35. Tran Mau Tri Tam says:

    Thank you so much. I think your video are very helpful for designers. 😉

  36. João Manuel Gonçalves says:

    Nice one!

    And I have to try omnidisksweeper asap! :p

    Thanks for the info!

  37. Stephanie Noel says:

    One great tool that I use is called Grammarly. I think it's useful for proofreading anything I write online and is way better than just Spellcheck. It is not really a design tool but as a designer, I think have great grammar is important.

  38. Paulo Eduardo Sampaio says:

    Charli this was incredibly useful for me!!! Thank you!

  39. Andrew To says:

    Thanks for sharing. 😎

  40. OkOhYeah says:

    These all will be so handy!!!! Thank you 😀

  41. Design sUX says:

    Wowzers, looking forward to trying out all of these! I've been looking for a while for something like Sip, thank you!

  42. Daniël Schaart says:

    Thanks for sharing! I really like your videos. The free tool I use is Little Ipsum for quickly copying Lorem Ipsum text. Also Craft by InVision is a very powerful tool. This has the same function and tons more. Keep up the great work 🙂

  43. Isabel says:

    Your awesome 💕💕💕💕❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  44. Abi Knee says:

    These were really useful, thanks charli! I do think it's a shame that you don't run ads though. As an audience, watching your videos is for our consumption, but by earning via the ads, we also "give something back" to you, just by watching them. I understand that you are directing to your online shop but I bet it is really hard to get people to part with their money!!!

  45. Hectic Sophie says:

    That paparazzi one in particular is going to be so useful! Up until now I've been having to take a bunch of screenshots and then put them all together…very tedious!

  46. Sofia H says:

    not exactly a app, but there's the website great for designers.

  47. Zinkromo says:

    Adobe Captive is just like Sip but for the real world. I use it when I see a color I like, point my phone's camera at it, and the app will generate a color scheme based on what it sees. My favorite part is that you can then name and save the schemes to your creative cloud library and access them easily in adobe programs.

  48. Mario G says:


  49. Nouf b says:

    I don't know why but I am in love with your hair 😍

  50. Chris Enns says:

    Awesome list of apps. Subscribed!

    I use DaisyDisk which looks like a prettier version of Omnidisk but both seem to do the same thing. Sip looks awesome – have to check that out.

  51. Vanessa Takkar says:

    This is so helpful, thanks!

  52. Rohit Bhosale says:

    what is your graphics card? 2GB?

  53. Becky Macphee says:

    hey thanks for the app tips!! project time tracker looks good n the time focus!
    Have u used Wunderlist? its a great one for to do list!

  54. futurexavier fx says:

    gr8 vid. whats ur desktop background/wallpaper? feels like nyc but the buildings look different?

  55. 3dono says:

    Hello 🙂 I wanted to download the Whatfont? and on itunes it tells me it's only for iphone or Ipad are you using it with your mac? 🙂

  56. Mohan Sethuraman says:

    Great video !!

  57. Broughington says:

    Loved this video! These are all apps that would totally improve my productivity and workflow. Thanks!

  58. Ankush Kumkar says:

    Can this all tools apply to windows?

  59. Joseph Cheung says:

    CSS Peeper – Chrome Extension
    It can help you to see the current web pages css elements, like color, typography, assets.
    Check it out if you are interested :~)

  60. Ashley Fauguel says:

    Super useful, just downloaded the Omnidisk Sweeper!

  61. Max Weir says:

    Hi there,

    I'm moving to a mac from pc so its all new ground for me, do you have any videos on how to structure your file system for clients? e.g design files, documentation, assets etc.

    Another cool app I saw was Bear Writer, its a beautiful app for taking notes and uses gorgeous typography.

  62. Marina Snyder says:

    I just came across your channel and it is exactly what I need right now. Thank you so much for this storehouse of great info! I also REALLY like your hair. (But I digress.)

    I wanted to see if you'd tried the Pomodoro Toggl Chrome extension? I was testing out different time tracking software and Pomodoro timers this week and, for me at least, it turned out to be the perfect solution; just wanted to share

    Anyways, keep up the awesome!

  63. Hafiz Aziz says:

    Hi Charlie. OMG! OmniDisk Sweeper saved me a ton of space on my Mac. I just want to drop a note to say thank you. I look forward to your awesome videos every week.

  64. Richard Alscher says:

    Hey there, just stumbled across your channel and I am very glad I did. I'm not much of a designer, more a backend programmer, but I do find my self in situations where the stuff you are talking about is quite usefull to me, so thanks a lot!

    But I also just wanted to point out that Sip is no longer free, it's a 14 days trial and then 9.99$ version now.
    I was also quite pleased to see what toggle can do, but I am not a fan of signing up for a free app, so I have to keep looking.


  65. Zied Fakhfakh says:

    Charli am Discovering your videos, kul ! and thank you for that
    BTW, SIP is not free anymore

  66. Carlos Vigil says:

    Thanks! I always wondered how those full-webpage-page screenshots were taken, i thought they were just long artboards, never searched it though. there's plenty pomodoro apps. There's one that's minimalist designer candy but no tasks tracking Just Focus – Zhe Yan

  67. D A says:

    This is so helpful thanks

  68. Patricio Cabrera says:

    How about AwesomeScreen Shot? I prefer them over paparazzi

  69. Peter Butler says:

    Hey Charli, I've been working my way through your videos and they are awesome! I wanted to recommend "DaisyDiskApp" for a really pretty but very functional alternative to Omnidisk Sweeper – sadly it's not free, but it IS pretty!

  70. hkhan430 says:

    do check out forest app it is really good

  71. James Kurker says:

    I woke up this morning and ended up watching a handful of your videos. I got some new tools and websites from you. Thanks!

  72. Amy Highland says:

    This is quite possibly the most useful video I have ever watched! Saved me so much time going round the long way of doing things now knowing about all of these!! Thank youuuuu

  73. Manny Donaire says:

    SIP app isn't free. It's $9.99

  74. Yvys Bertuce says:

    Thank you!

  75. Ankush Kumkar says:

    Thank you it is very useful for day to use

  76. Alex Blechta says:

    A really cool website for checking all the fonts on your system is called With this site, you can have the fonts show whatever copy you type in, as well as see different ways you can view it. As well as bookmark your fav and compare them visually.

  77. Pranay Tony says:

    You just helped so many designers out here charlie! Please keep going!!

  78. Pop Muzik says:

    Love your YouTube page- learned a lot very quickly !! Its also very important when having a YouTube page to be someone who is pleasant to watch and edits their videos nicely yet still all along being informative. You have captured all of that. Great job !

  79. willugoupordown says:

    I immediately downloaded and installed Paparazzi haha. Thanks! My favorite free Mac app is Skitch, for taking quick and simple screenshots and being able to take a shot of the exact same spot multiple times, which I've found handy with webpages. I also fully rely on SublimeText, Sequel Pro, and Transmit.

  80. darkhorse23 says:

    Thanks for the recommendations 🙂 …I'll owe you a pint of craft-beer if you're around Wellington?

  81. Kelsey Ruggaard says:

    Charli, have you ever used the site It's great for previewing a line of text in all the fonts on your computer!

  82. jalabi99 says:

    Paparazzi is a lifesaver! Thank you!

  83. Nate Attalla says:

    I forever love you for sharing these. Many thanks

  84. Billy Mitchell says:

    I use timely for time tracking. I like it because it auto-tracks what your spending your time on and then you can map out in chunks which slots belong to what clients.

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