The best Mac apps for students heading back to school this fall.

As wonderful as our mobile devices are, sometimes you still have to have a desktop or laptop computer to work on those really hefty school projects. We put our heads together and came up with a list of our top 10 Mac apps for education.


We featured 1Password for iOS in our Back to School 2017 Must Have iOS Apps article and we love it so much that we wanted to feature the Mac version, too. It’s a very powerful password manager and an incredibly secure way to store sensitive information. What makes the iOS and Mac versions so wonderful is that they work in tandem.

1Password is the password manager that’s as beautiful and simple as it is secure. Simply add your passwords and let 1Password do the rest. *Try 1Password free for 30 days then keep going with a subscription.

DOWNLOAD – 1Password for Mac – FREE with In-App Purchases


Ulysses is a one-of-a-kind writing application for Mac. It focuses on the user’s writing experience instead of other flashy features. Ulysses offers a very clean writing environment and an easy to use interface.

A pleasant focused writing experience combined with effective document management, fast syncing and flexible export make Ulysses the first choice for writers of all kinds.

DOWNLOAD – Ulysses for Mac – FREE with In-App Purchases/Subscription Plan

Affinity Photo

A couple of years ago when Adobe’s Creative Suite switched to a subscription-based method of licensing their software, I started looking for alternatives for Photoshop and I found Affinity Photo. For a one-time purchase of $50, you have a complete photo editing powerhouse for Mac.

Affinity Photo redefines the boundaries for professional photo editing software. With a meticulous focus on workflow, it offers sophisticated tools for enhancing, editing and retouching your images in an incredibly intuitive interface, with all the power and performance you need.

DOWNLOAD – Affinity Photo for Mac – $49.99

Affinity Designer

In addition to Affinity Photo, the developers at Serif Labs created Affinity Designer, a powerful graphic design program. Designer functions very much like Adobe’s Illustrator does. Just like Affinity Photo, there is no subscription fee — just the initial purchase fee.

The fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available. Whether you’re working on branding, concept art, print projects, icons, UI, UX, or web mock ups, Affinity Designer will revolutionize how you work.

DOWNLOAD – Affinity Designer for Mac – $49.99

Fantastical 2

Fantastical is another iOS/Mac crossover app. Much like 1Password, this is one that we feel most people should invest in. It offers more features than your standard Calendar app and you can use natural language to create events. A 21-day free trial is available from Fantastical’s developer, Flexibits.

Designed exclusively for macOS, Fantastical 2 includes powerful features such as an incredibly intuitive parsing engine, a full calendar window (with day, week, month, and year views), a quick access mini window, iCloud reminders support, time zone support, and much, much more.

DOWNLOAD – Fantastical for Mac – $49.99

Chronicle – Bill Managment

Chronicle is a great way to stay on top of your finances. It’s an easy to use bill management tool that will make sure that you don’t miss a bill again. The app provides you with reminders and even direct links to the websites where you pay your bills.

If you pay bills, you need Chronicle. It gives you the peace of mind of never having to worry about whether you paid a bill again.

DOWNLOAD – Chronicle – $14.99


How many times a day do you copy/paste text, images, or other items only to realize you’ve copied over something you really needed to save? Well, Paste is a revolutionary option for clipboard management. It allows you to keep all the items you ever copy and you can browse through all the copied items if you need to go back to them later. This has really been a lifesaver for us at MacSources and it helps to save time, too.

Paste is a new way to copy and paste for your Mac. It keeps everything you’ve ever copied and lets you use your clipboard history anytime you need it across all your devices.

DOWNLOAD – Paste – $9.99

Private Internet Access VPN

This is a new addition to our MUST HAVE apps for all device users — student or not. Even when you think you are on a secure network, you may not be and college campuses are a prime target for hackers. Private Internet Access allows you to set up your on virtual private network no matter where you are connected. There is a service fee through PIA, but it’s well worth the investment for college students.

Protect your privacy with Private Internet Access™, the world’s leading VPN service for iOS users. PIA enables users to encrypt their network traffic and stay protected when online.

DOWNLOAD – Private Internet Access

Just Press Record

We like suggesting this app for students because it gives you a very easy to use tool for recording lectures without having to use a second device. Just Press Record is very easy to use and doesn’t complicate the recording process with a myriad of settings to walk through before you are able to record. You simple click on the ‘record’ button and your Mac’s microphone will pick up the audio in the area.

Just Press Record is a simple, professional audio recorder that instantly syncs your recordings across all your devices. The ideal tool for musicians, journalists, podcasters, students, lecturers, audio professionals, businesses or anyone who needs to capture audio at home, on the move or in the studio. 

DOWNLOAD – Just Press Record – $4.99


While spelling/grammar check in Microsoft Word is great, it doesn’t always pick up everything. Grammarly does a really good job of being a second set of eyes for your important assignments in school. You can use the native Mac desktop app or add the plug-in to your Internet browser of choice.

Grammarly’s AI-powered products help people communicate more effectively. Millions of users rely on Grammarly every day to make their messages, documents, and social media posts clear, mistake-free, and impactful.

DOWNLOAD – Grammarly – FREE (premium subscriptions available)