My Mac Menu Bar: October 2017

Back in 2012, I wrote up what was in my Mac’s menu bar, and I thought five years was long enough, so here we are again:

Here’s what’s hogging space on my iMac’s menu bar, from left to right:

Third-Party Apps

Carrot Weather

Carrot Weather for Mac isn’t quite as polished as its mobile cousin, but I love having quick access to the weather from everywhere on my iMac. A click of the icon brings up current conditions, a five-day forecast and the ability to open a somewhat mediocre radar.


Despite the product’s recent redesign, Dropbox remains critical to how I work. I have tons of shared folders with collaborators for all sorts of projects. There are very few files on my iMac that aren’t on Dropbox.

Adobe Creative Cloud

A necessary evil when you rely on Photoshop, Illustrator and Audition on a regular basis.

Google Backup and Sync

This app replaces the old Google Photos Uploader and runs far, far better than the previous app. I don’t sync my Google Drive account with my computer, but I do use this app to backup my photos to Google Photos, even though they are stored in iCloud Photo Library.

1Password Mini

I like good passwords, so I use 1Password on all of my devices.


In addition to my Time Machine and off-site backup drives, I have every bit of data on all of my Macs backed up with Backblaze. It lets me sleep better at night knowing my data is somewhere safe, far away from anything that could happen to my house.


This utility lets me share text, images, links and more in a way that I can track the number of opens. As a bonus, images aren’t compressed on Droplr like they are when uploaded to Twitter’s native photo-sharing service. I’ve used Droplr for a long time and am a big fan, but its admittedly a niche product.


Smile’s TextExpander is one of those things that makes my computer feel complete. I have dozens and dozens of custom snippets saved here. Everything from email addresses, common misspellings, strings of code I need on a regular basis and far more are just a few keystrokes away.

First-Party Services

Time Machine

I use Time Machine to backup both my iMac’s internal SSD and that “Fulcrum” external SSD to a big 4 TB spinning hard drive.


I use a Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, so this is a must.


Even though my iMac is wired with Ethernet, I leave wireless on for things like AirDrop. This menu bar item lets me keep an eye on that.


When I’m not using my headphones via a USB interface, I listen to music with my iMac’s built-in speakers.


I love having the date and time just a glance away. This takes up a lot of space, but is totally worth it.


I use Alfred instead of Spotlight, but I’m stuck staring at its icon.


This is a recent addition. I turned off Siri’s menu bar item when I upgraded to Sierra last year, but recently have started using for simple things like controlling iTunes. We’ll see if it lasts.

Notification Center

I only really use a handful of Today View widgets; my notifications just stick around forever in there. I wish Apple would re-think this corner of macOS.

A Note on Bartender

I love Bartender, a little Mac app that can hide a bunch of your menubar items behind a single icon. I use it on my 13-inch MacBook Pro, but on my 27-inch iMac, I have plenty of room, and like seeing what everything is doing.