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These 20 essential applications let you move easily between Windows and a Mac

Many professionals find themselves working on both Macs and PCs. If your work requires you to jump back and forth between Windows and Mac systems, here are some apps that will make your life easier.

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Topic: SMBs
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1 of 21 StockUnlimited

Apps that make switching easy

While many consumers are moving to tablets and phones, many professionals find themselves working on both Macs and PCs. If you find yourself jumping back and forth between Windows and Mac systems, here are some apps that will make your job easier.

This list is presented in an arbitrary order. What you deem most important depends entirely on what you do with your machines.

No matter what you do, though, most of these apps will be incredibly helpful and make the jump back and forth between platforms almost seamless.

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2 of 21 Slack

Slack

When it comes to team coordination, Slack has taken the business world by storm. What's even better is that Slack works where you work.

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3 of 21 Evernote

Evernote

While Evernote has been in the news a lot recently (and not in a good way), the product itself is relied on by millions of users. It's available on almost any platform, and it's a huge help to most.

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4 of 21 Parallels

Parallels

If you want to run Windows applications that don't have Mac counterparts (like Microsoft's Visio), Parallels is the way to go. It provides virtualization, as well as drag and drop and native integration right on the Mac. Now you can have your Windows and your MacOS, too.

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5 of 21 Feedly

Feedly news feed reader

Google Reader was once the leader in the category of RSS readers, but once Google pulled the product, Feedly became the choice of news junkies everywhere. If you want to stay informed, no matter what platform you use, Feedly is the way to go.

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6 of 21 Google

Google Keep

Google Keep is to Evernote like a Post-It note is to a 3-ring notebook. The great news is you can write lots of quick notes in Keep and, well, keep them, no matter what platform you're on.

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7 of 21 Pocket

Pocket

If you want to keep articles to read later, the best way to do it is using Pocket. Fortunately, you can use Pocket on any platform you want, which means you can save something on a PC, read it later on a Mac or even your phone.

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8 of 21 Amazon

Kindle Cloud Reader

If you like reading, Kindle books are the way to go. Not only are they available for Kindle devices, but you can read them on most tablets and smartphones, and right in your browser, with Kindle Cloud Reader.

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9 of 21 Smile Software

TextExpander

If you have to type the same phrases over and over, a keyboard macro program is your best friend. None is more popular or more capable than TextExpander. Now that it is cloud-centric, you can use TextExpander both on your Macs and on your PCs.

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10 of 21 Autodesk

123D Design

Switching from general productivity tools, it's important to note that even specialized tools like 3D design programs can be platform independent. 123D Design is not only platform independent, it's free.

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11 of 21 LulzBot.com

Cura 3D printing slicing program

When you prepare a file to go to a 3D printer, you use a program called a slicer. One of the most popular and universal of these is Cura, which works on Mac, Windows, and many Linux distros.

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12 of 21 Todoist

Todoist

Every day, in every way, we have more and more work to do. To keep track of it all is Todoist. Fortunately, you don't have to keep track of where to use Todoist, because it runs on all the platforms you might need.

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13 of 21 Microsoft

Office 365

Microsoft Office is all grown up. No longer is the Mac version of Office a crapfest of bad programming. No. Microsoft has taken a page from Adobe and finally made fully competitive and powerful versions of most Office apps (where's Visio?) for the Mac. So you PowerPoint to your heart's content, no matter what platform you're using.

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14 of 21 Adobe

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud isn't cheap, but it's absolutely essential for designers everywhere. Adobe was one of the earliest developers to perfect cross-platform products and in Creative Cloud, that experience shows.

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15 of 21 JetBrains

PhpStorm

If you're doing serious Web development using PHP, there's no tool better than PhpStorm. Fortunately, you're not stuck on either the Mac or the PC when using it. You can install and run this powerful IDE on either platform.

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16 of 21 Google

Google Chrome Browser

Then there's the browser. The browser has become the de-facto UI for almost all major new applications. And Chrome is the go-to platform independent browser chosen by many professionals.

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17 of 21 Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox is the glue that holds everything together. Sure, there are other file sharing options, but none are quite as widely integrated as Dropbox.

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18 of 21 Google

Google Hangouts

If you need to stay in touch across platforms, SMS can get you only so far. For cross-platform messaging that includes video and even screen sharing, the best of the best is Hangouts.

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19 of 21 Gmail

Gmail

Gmail single-handedly obliterated the market for standalone email apps. Sure, there are other cloud-based email services, by Gmail is the leader by far.

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20 of 21 Lasspass and 1Password

Password Managers

Keep track of your passwords is hard, but fortunately password managers like LastPass and 1Password can help make it easier. These password managers run on Macs, PCs, and mobile devices, so you're secure no matter where you go.

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21 of 21 Spotify

Spotify

There once was a time when we bought CDs or even tapes. But now, all you need is a subscription to have access to most of the world's most popular music. Whether you're on a PC, a Mac, or your phone, Spotify can play your song.

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