I recently bought a new MacBook Pro. It’s the second Mac I’ve ever owned.

Buying your second Mac marks the first time you get to set up a new Mac with some experience to guide you. I think the first applications you add to your new machine say a lot about their importance to you.

Here are the first five I added:

  1. Dropbox
  2. 1Password
  3. TextExpander
  4. LaunchBar
  5. Path Finder

Dropbox really should be the first application anyone installs on a new Macbook, in my opinion. It contains not only my working files but also settings for several key applications, like 1Password. Speaking of…

1Password is my favorite password manager, as I’ve written about before. That’s ‘cause it’s not just a password manager. It’s a productivity tool. It also houses my paid software license keys, making it super easy to set up the other apps I need to get up and running quickly.

TextExpander is also a vital productivity tool in my workflows. I have tons of snippets that expand into everything from email signatures to paragraphs to spelling corrections. It’s really handy getting TextExpander on your new Mac quickly because you’ll be typing a lot of email addresses and other registration info as you add additional software.

LaunchBar has become my primary file system navigation tool, app launcher, and calculator. Though it’s not part of the core Mac OS, it feels like it.

Path Finder is incredibly handy when you’re working in folders with lots of files or want to view 2 folders side by side (something you’re sure to want when copying data to your new Mac). Path Finder has so many useful utilities built right in, and there are so many practical things about Path Finder, I can’t even begin to scratch the surface. If you want to learn more about Path Finder, I recommend Don McAllister’s Path Finder screencast.

What apps do you install first on a new Mac?