My name is Roland Leth and I’m a full-stack developer and blogger about personal and software development. I started developing for iOS 8 years ago, but I’ve always tinkered with backend and frontend and I’ve been predominantly working with them in the past 6 months or so.
During this time I also released my first two Mac apps, DND Me and TimeProgress. Being new at Mac development, starting with menu bar apps seemed a bit easier, but they also solved some pain points I had. You can find me on Twitter: @rolandleth.
What is your current laptop / desktop?
I have a late 2013 MBP, top of the line. It was my first laptop and I wanted it to last. Luckily enough, it did; more than I hoped for in fact, because it’s still going strong; even on GeekBench it’s still one of the top machines, meaning I didn’t really have a reason to upgrade yet. Looking at a Mac Mini, though 😁
What menu bar apps do you use and for what do you use them?
Hidden icons, inside Bartender:
1. TimeProgress. I keep the year, month and day in the bar and I glance at them from time to time. The day isn’t that useful, truth be told, but the month and year are a nudge/wake up call. If 75% of the month has passed and I’m lagging behind with my goals, then something went wrong. I find the nudge helpful sometimes.
2. DND Me. I use it when I’m having a call, when I have someone at my laptop for pair programming/to show them something or when I want to do some focused work and not get disturbed. Before creating the app I either didn’t use DND and got constantly distracted by notifications, or I forgot to turn it off; luckily it turns off by itself the next morning 😄
3. TimeOut. I try to force myself to take regular pauses and TimeOut does just that, by displaying a fullscreen overlay every x minutes. I have it configured to have a 20 second pause every 20 minutes, a 3 minute pause every hour and a 10 minute break every 3 hours (I don’t really manage to respect this one). It has a postpone and a skip button, but I manage to respect the pauses.
4. Timing. Being a freelancer, I need to track my time, but I struggle to remember to turn the timers on and off, so I use Timing. It tracks the apps you use automatically, after which you can assign chunks of time to various tasks in various projects. I like having the tracked time and productivity score visible.
5. Fantastical. My go-to app for calendar events, reminders and seeing my day at a glance. Or checking the monthly calendar (the real calendar, as in check what date is on what day). I also like to see the day and date on its icon.
6. iStat Menus. A handy tool for my Mac status. CPU/GPU temperature, battery, network speed, etc. I use it as a date and battery replacement for the menu bar and in its dropdown I keep CPU, memory, battery and network usage.
7. Bartender. It’s one of the few apps that has always existed on my Mac ever since I bought it. Crowded menu bar? Bartender can help with that by either hiding some icons altogether, or hiding them behind a ”drawer”. Click the three dots and the hidden icons appear — apps that I sometimes use, but not so much as to pollute the ”main” menu bar.
6. Rocket. An emoji expander. I use it all the time 💪🏻. Need its icon to access its preferences.
8. TeaCode. Flexible and customisable text-expander. Need its icon to access its preferences and its main window to search snippets.
9. Little Snitch. Network monitor and blocker. Need its icon to turn the whole filter off sometimes — I have facebook, instagram, [any other time consuming website] blocked straight from here, but I sometimes have legitimate reasons to go there, so I need a quick way to turn it off.
10. PopClip. An iOS-like menu for when you select text. Mostly used to open links, show definitions or upper/lowercase. Need its icon to access its preferences.
11. CleanShot. Screen capture tool. Need its icon to access preferences, but also because I haven’t set a keyboard shortcut for capturing a video.
12. f.lux. A tool that makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Need its icon to access its preferences and quick-actions like turning it off for a certain amount of time.
Is there a menu bar app that doesn’t exist yet and should be invented?
Not really. There were a couple and I built them 😄 When others will appear, I’ll probably do the same again. 😁