macOS: We love Bartender, the $21 app that lets you hide menu bar items of your choice. But there's a simpler, cheaper app that does the same thing. Vanilla hides your menu bar items for just $7. And you can try it for free.
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I'm a journalist. (Kind of.) I have to record calls a lot, to supplement my notes. When I make a call over Skype, I use Ecamm Call Recorder, a simple but full-featured Mac-only Skype extension.
No virtual whiteboard is perfect for everyone - and every virtual whiteboard service seems to shut down after a few years. While we've recommended several over the years, the only one still around is Twiddla, which is so feature-rich that it might feel too complicated (and ugly) for some projects. If so, try the simpler app RealtimeBoard.
Inspired by games from the 2016 Self-Care Jam (which Kotaku mined for favourites), MetaFilter users recently named their favourite calming video games. Some will be familiar, but others are deep cuts by independent developers. Most aren't for winning or losing, just exploring, interacting and existing. None of them force you to battle other players in a tense show-down. Try these out if you're too stressed out for Overwatch or Plague Inc.
iTunes users all know the aggravating feeling every time you plug your phone into your car, or idly hit play: The first song in your library comes on, feeling less like music and more like an alarm clock, and you rush to turn it back off. And then you never again want to play Adele or Abbey Road or "Ain't No Sunshine". iTunes has poisoned your mind.
It seems like a lot of web pages are disappearing from the internet these days. If you feel like taking on archiving duties for yourself, there are a variety of tools for doing so.
Windows/Mac/Linux: When it comes to notes apps, you have a seemingly endless trail of options, but it's rare to find one that's cross-platform, supports the Evernote-style of rich notes, and works without needing an account somewhere. Collate is just that.
Using a password manager is basically internet security 101 these days, but that doesn't make them any less intimidating. If you've never used a password manager, they're annoying, cumbersome to use, and baffling at a glance. 1Password is one of the easiest to use options around, but that doesn't mean you don't need some help setting it up.
Mac: We've seen plenty of Pomodoro timers over the years, but Tomates might be the most full featured option around.
Last year, Opera, the little browser that everyone seems to forget about, rolled out a free VPN. While it immediately ran into a security problem by leaking IP addresses, it's now been patched up, and is easily the simplest, cheapest and reasonably private way to access a VPN right now. It does come with a slew of caveats though.
Mac: Apple might have pulled the battery life indicator out of the MacBook, but there are plenty of third-party ways to bring it back. If you're looking for something a little more fun than just a number, Juice let's you set your own customisable icons for different battery levels.