Setting up my Macbook from scratch (Q1 2019)


My MacBook Pro 13” (Early 2015) has recently been having some issues; spinning beach balls when switching users, random lock-ups etc.

For my records more than anything, here’s what I configured and loaded on a new installation:


  • 1Password – This holds everything (passwords, software license codes etc) so it was installed first
  • Arq – Still the core of my backup system, alongside Backblaze on my co-lo’d MacMini
  • Little Snitch – Sits silently unless something unexpected tries to connect out; useful at times
  • Spark – My preferred email app on MacOS
  • TextWrangler – My preferred text editor


  • Bear – I keep a reasonably up-to-date list of useful software and all my hardware in Bear
  • Screens – I connect to my other Mac resources frequently and Screens is superb on both MacOS and iOS
  • 1Blocker – Brings some sanity to web browsing
  • Carbon Copy Cloner – As well as cloud & Synology backups, I regularly clone my internal SSD to an external drive
  • Bartender – Brings some sanity to my menu bar
  • CleanMyMacX – A new one for me but seems to do a good job of cleaning out some of the cruft
  • CloudMounter – Useful for maintaining connections to my Synology and co-lo’d MacMini
  • Daisy Disk – Used to keep an eye on storage
  • Google Chrome – For the odd website that works better in Chrome (looking at you Unifi)
  • iStat Menus – Needs no introduction
  • Resilio Sync – Keeps media folders in sync between my MacBook and my co-lo’d Mac Mini
  • Sophos Home – Antivirus
  • ToothFairy – Assists with connecting to my AirPods
  • Transmit – Still sticking with Transmit for FTP etc.
  • Viscosity – I still use Viscosity for ProtonVPN connections but am considering their own app


  • Microsoft Office suite – Currently using the non-App Store applications, but will likely switch over as have an O365 subscription
  • OmniFocus – Having recently switched from Things, am still getting to grips with OF but it’s staying!
  • OmniGraffle – Currently in trial, but use this extensively in Pro format on my iPad Pro 12.9 (2018)
  • WorkSpot – For remote connection to the office


  • Banktivity
  • Deliveries
  • Irvue – Rotating wallpapers
  • Luminar – Great photo editing app for the rare times I edit on my MacBook rather than the iPad (particularly since the arrival of Darkroom for iPad)
unsplash-logoClément H

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By Greg