I realized that my computer glow’s been keeping me up past my bedtime. I went looking for a solution and found a small program called Flux, which changes the color of your monitor as the light changes. It sits in your menu bar. That’s when I also realized that almost all of my menu bar programs solve some sort of work problem I’ve had.

HazelHazel runs various folder and file housekeeping things for me. For example, it deletes files from my downloaded folder after three weeks. And it takes any zip file I drop into my promos folder, unzips them, uploads the mp3s to an iTunes playlist called “promos,” then deletes the zip and mp3s out of the promos folder (since it’s saved in the iTunes music folder now). I never remembered to clear out my downloads folder, and it gets full quickly during the workweek.

iScrobbleriScrobbler. This is how I scrobble music for Last.fm. Smaller and less annoying than Last.fm’s official scrobbler.

Despite its shaky development, Quicksilver is still the first program I install on any osx computer I own. It allows me to do many tasks without leaving the program I’m in, including controling iTunes and rating tracks, sending quick emails (without opening a browser or Mail), sending IMs, adding tasks to Things, and renaming files. I have a problem with focus, so this helps me banish distractions quickly.

PomodoroThis is a Menu Bar Pomodoro Timer (called Pomodoro), for fans of the Pomodoro Technique. I’m not very devoted, but when I’m working on a lot of little projects the little ticking helps keep me focused.

Dropbox
DropBox for file syncing. I also use this to sync my Things file across computers, since air syncing will probably never work.

Jungle DiskJungle Disk is my program of choice for cloud file backups. It syncs the folders I choose to Amazon. I have it set to check for changes ever hour. I’ve had two laptops stolen, two hard drives failures, and one totally lost Linda Ronstadt interview, so once every hour seems safe.

TextExpanderTextExpander gives me a lot of problems, so I’ll probably switch to another text expansion program soon. But TextExpander is currently what I use to insert HTML into posts and to correct some of my more common typing mistakes.

Wi-Fi SyncWi-Fi Sync is a program for jailbroken iPhones that allows you to sync with iTunes ovre Wi-Fi. I only have one cable that I keep by my nightstand (my iPhone is also my alarm clock), so I need this to sync.

FluxThis is the newest program on my Menu Bar. It’s Flux, and it dims and changes your monitor’s display to look more like evening light and the lighting inside your home. It supposedly reduces eye strain and night time sleeplessness. I haven’t noticed a difference yet, but it does make the screen easier to stare at late at night.