I don’t usually like doing posts about lists, I see them as a bit of a cop out. But I haven’t done one in a while and for some reason seem to be really interested in Dashboard Widgets. This post, like many list posts, is subjective. I will post my 10 must have which I use on a regular basis. If you have any more (which you probably will have), please leave a comment below. I have tried to pick widgets which are commonly used, not the uber-specific ones, such as my hosts monitoring widget.
The list is in no particular order.
The first download for any new or existing Mac user. It is simply one of the best widgets out there. iStat has held the top spot on Apple Downloads for as long as I can remember (it has since moved off). Designed for checking all of your system resources such as CPU, memory, hard drive, battery, fans etc. If you only download one widget make it this one.
2) Delivery Status
A very well designed and clever little app. As the name suggests Delivery Status is designed to give you information on your package details. There are hundreds of companies listed with the applications so you can track every stage of delivery without checking the respective websites every hour to see if there is an update. Very useful if you send a lot of things by post, now I just need companies to send me the tracking ID when I purchase from them.
3) Currency Converter
Although the Dashboard has a currency converter built in, its not as good as this little app. It converts your currency as you would expect, but it has a lot of little features such as showing more than one currency, and the abilty to sort names and various bits of data, Currency Converter.
4) Word Counter
A personal favourite of mine. Sometimes it is a lot quicker to write a paragraph in TextEdit than it is to open bulky Word. The problem is it doesn’t have a word counter (or one that I can find). As a result its a pain to count all of the words. Word Counter is a very simple application designed to count all of those words for you. Useful if you have a word limit or simply want to know how much you have written.
5) DocX Converter
Since Microsoft likes to be difficult every step of the way when they make programs they introduced docx, the file format no one can read or write to unless you have Windows, not very useful. DocX Converter is designed to convert files from .docx to .htm. Although this isn’t as useful as the final file being in .doc format, but at least you can begin to edit it. As a quick tip you can view .docx files using Quicklook, but you still can’t edit them or copy the text.
6) Airport Radar
If you are lucky enough to live in an area with lots of Wi-Fi connections you may be interested to use the Airport Radar widget. It is designed to seek out and quickly display all of your Wi-Fi connections whizzing around your head. Although you can use the menu bar item this take time to update and display information, Airport Radar is constantly updated to show you the latest connections.
I am not a big fan of Calculator which comes with your Mac. I don’t no why but it doesn’t seem to be a very good application. One I use regularly is PemDas, its a sleek calculator which runs on your Dashboard.
Although this may be a bit specific for most of my reader one must have application is Dashalytics. It is designed to gather your Google Analytics data and display it on your dashboard. For any web developer out there who uses this Google Analytics this is a great addition to your dashboard.
9) App Update
The one update I wish Apple would include in their releases is the ability for third parties to use the Software Update function. Since we are stuck with having to use third party apps (which are by no means bad) I must suggest App Update. Its designed to check all of your installed apps against MacUpdate and Version Tracker, to see if there is an update. Very useful if you want to keep your computer up to date.
I haven’t found a person yet who hasn’t heard of Wikipedia. This small widget is designed to pull the articles and pages from Wikipedia and display them in Dashboard. Its great for finding out those quick facts. Wikipedia Widget.
There is two notable mentions which I should suggest before I finish this article. One is the Countdownr for counting down to stuff. The second is the MacTricksAndTips Widget. I didn’t want to look to self righteous and add it into the post. But if you enjoy this site and want to get it on your Dashboard the widget is the way to go.
If you have any comments I invite you to leave them below.