Setting up a New Mac from Scratch

My trusty 2013 MacBook Pro died over the weekend. Here is everything I installed and configured on my new machine to get it up to speed. Setting up a new machine from scratch is a great way to clear the cruft that inevitably builds up over time.

I’m sure I’ll find a few more things in the next month that I forgot, but this is ~95% complete.

  • 1Password – Without this I wouldn’t be able to get in to anything. First app I installed.
  • Dropbox – File transfer was going to take a while and I needed it for syncing data for other apps below.
  • Setapp – One of the best purchases in the last few years. One subscription for tons of apps. Below is what I installed right away.
  • Drafts – I installed the Mac beta. All of my text starts here.
  • Things – My current to-do list
  • Soulver – Best Mac and iOS calculator
  • Tweetbot – My fav third-party Twitter client
  • Copay – Bitcoin wallet
  • Pixelmator Pro – I’ve completely stopped using PhotoShop and use this instead.
  • Trello – Project management. I prefer the desktop app to the web client because I like standalone apps.
  • FruitJuice – Gotta keep your laptop battery healthy.
  • Amphetamine – Keeps your Mac awake when it needs to do things like download your entire Dropbox. Better than Caffeine, the alternative.
  • Slack
  • DaisyDisk – Visualizes your disk space and helps you find giant files
  • The Unarchiver – Installing a lot of new stuff means unzipping a lot of files. The Unarchiver is the best at it.
  • Hazel – Automated organization. Renames files I download and stores them automatically, dumps the trash, organizes my desktop, etc.
  • RescueTime – Time management software that I’ve used since 2010.
  • Keybase – Security and identity
  • Notion – Project management, documents, collaboration, publishing. Basically runs my work life.
  • Zoom – Video conferencing
  • Rocket – Slack-like Emoju picking for your entire OS
  • TextExpander – Text snippets + AppleScript automation kickoff
  • CarbonCopyCloner – I set up weekly drive clones to external harddrives. Saved my bacon multiple times. I didn’t lose a thing this time because I backed up the night before automatically.
  • Backblaze – Offsite backup. Critical.
  • WordPress – I like managing all of my sites from this single app.
  • Adobe CreativeCloud – Primarily for Typekit
  • Sketch
  • Spotify
  • Turbo Boost Switcher Pro – Toggles the Turbo Boost feature on your CPU for better battery life.

Chrome Extensions

  • Zoom video conferencing – Changes all Google Hangouts links to Zoom links
  • Wappalyzer – Figuring out what stacks other sites are using & figuring out whether or not things I install are actually activated
  • DuckDuckGo – My default search engine
  • Ghostery – Death to all tracking scripts
  • Stayfocusd – Blocks social media during the workday
  • What Have You Made Today? – My favorite new tab screen
  • Larder – My bookmarking of choice

Development Tools

Misc Settings and preferences I set

  • Hot corners – Can’t live without them since 10.4
  • Generated new SSH keys
  • defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES – Gotta see those hidden files
  • Apple’s enhanced dictation – The extra suite of dictation tools
  • True Tone on
  • Night Shift on

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