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I don't use widgets that much, but one particular widget makes the dashboard useful to me. That's iStat

iStat Pro is a highly configurable widget that lets you monitor every aspect of your Mac, including CPU, memory, disks, network, battery, temperatures, fans, load & uptime and processes. iStat Pro can do it all.

And it's FREE

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Do you have one outstanding widget to share? How do you use it? Please follow these simple rules:

  1. Please search for duplicate answers before posting. You can search this question like this: inquestion:this iStat Pro
  2. Limit one dashboard widget per answer.
  3. Add a link to the website in the name of the application if possible (no direct downloads).
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I don't vote for closing, but I predict this question will be closed. –  Am1rr3zA Aug 24 '10 at 21:32
    
it's community-wiki, not a question. problem is already discussed here in the comment of the question : apple.stackexchange.com/questions/82/… –  Stephane Aug 24 '10 at 21:39
    
I know, but you will see what happen, in order to the SE rules this must be closed. but I myself Wonder what is the benefit of community wiki –  Am1rr3zA Aug 24 '10 at 21:42
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it's a useful resource that doesn't answer a specific question, but helps the community. –  Stephane Aug 24 '10 at 21:48
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This Community Wiki be reworded as "What are some essential dashboard widgets" –  Josh Newman Aug 25 '10 at 14:59

19 Answers 19

I love Dictionary Widget. alt text

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You can CTRL + CMD + d while hovering the mouse pointer a word on any Webkit app (Safari for example) and it will display the word in the dict. –  Martín Marconcini Aug 25 '10 at 23:00
    
Sadly this shortcut doesn't work in Chrome :-( –  neoneye Aug 28 '10 at 12:30
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That's because it only works in Cocoa apps –  Josh Dec 1 '10 at 13:35
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A shortcut for Dictionary is to double tap with three fingers on your trackpad, while the cursor is over a word. –  Atul Goyal Dec 26 '11 at 18:45
    
In Snow Leopard, Ctrl+Cmd+D work in Google Chrome after highlighting a word. @neoneye 's comment is over a year old so maybe they since fixed this. –  Ricket Jan 25 '12 at 21:22

I've become a huge fan of Loremify, a free widget that generates Lorem Ipsum text for you in either plain text or HTML of various flavors. As a front-end web developer, it's become THE single fastest way for me to quickly populate a page with dummy text for testing layouts.

Loremify!

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cool, thanks for that one :) –  Stephane Aug 25 '10 at 8:09
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Or there's always lipsum.com if you don't want to install a widget for this :) –  Ricket Dec 1 '10 at 12:45

Delivery Status is a must-have if you routinely track packages:

Delivery Status widget

I also use their iOS app and it all works spectacularly well, smart enough to change the delivery source based on what's your Clipboard.

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I use this all the time, on both phone and Dashboard. I love it. I'm always tracking a couple of packages, and this is one of my most used apps. –  Alex Mar 17 '12 at 23:38

Stickies

I myself use Sticky many times in a day.

alt text

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The application Stickies is much more useful in my opinion. Faster, easier to use, and can use the keyboard shortcuts for fast recording purposes. :) –  JFW Aug 26 '10 at 13:35
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I prefer the widget simply because it looks good and doesn't clog your screen –  RCProgramming Nov 30 '10 at 1:59

WeekNumber

The calendar widget doesn't show the current week number. I am working in an office where everything is calculated in week numbers, so this widget is much useful to me.

display the current week number

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iStat Nano

iStat Nano
iStat Nano hover

When iStat Pro feels just a bit overkill. When hovered over, you can change to a more detailed view.

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Tea Timer

Tea Timer widget

It's simply a timer. Notifies with:

  • Sounds
  • Speech
  • Growl

Text completely customizable (food pictured). ready in can be changed to just in.

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UNIX Permissions Calculator is a dashboard widget that translates UNIX file permissions between symbolic and octal formats. I find this very useful.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    
What does this do? The name seems descriptive, but it's better to not have to follow the link. –  CajunLuke Oct 16 '12 at 1:13

CSS Cheat Sheet

Displays the essential information from the CSS Cheat Sheet. On my job I use it. I can remember the most basic rules, but beyond that I need to look it up to be sure.

screenshot of the CSS Cheat Sheet widget

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Milk the Cow, a task manager which interfaces with Remember the Milk. It helps me keep up with my todo list!

Moo

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I used to use the NowPlaying widget all the time for seeing what shows were on my TiVo and downloading them to my Mac

screenshot

I eventually set up a Linux virtual machine to run pytivo and Galleon, and that now automatically downloads from my TiVo for me and allows me to pull the media back if and when I want... so I don't use this widget much anymore.

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Oblique Strategies

One of my favourite creativity-unleashing activities from one of my favourite artists, Brian Eno, Oblique Strategies makes a great widget. I use this all the time to kickstart the creative process. Sadly, it looks like CurvedSpace Software has folded and the original version is no longer available. You still seem to be able to get it from ZDNet and CNet though.

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Radar in Motion

Free

Install it a few times and change map coverage to suit you. I live in Connecticut and find these two maps useful for coming weather. I've been using it for years and while its connections to weather service info sometimes drop out, it's been extremely useful for me.

enter image description here

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I've also found myself using NetworkStat:

networkstat

Seems a little stale, but works well for showing your current LAN/WAN IPs. Sure, the excellent iStat widgets can show this info, but this is a little cleaner and easier to read quickly.

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The MAMP Control widget comes in very handy for me to start and stop Apache and MySQL:

MAMP Control Widget

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If you like to use Stickies, you should try StickiesPlus. It allows you to create a new sticky simply by OPT+clicking the widget.

Based on the Apple widget, free of course: http://www.gatada.com/downloads/StickiesPlus.wdgt.zip

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I like BBC weather widget.

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I love using Twidget. It let's you get to full Twitter access. Download here : http://www.gettwidget.com

Features

Displays 20 most recent public or friends timeline Auto-refreshes timeline display Easily show/hide timeline display One-click refresh of timeline Links to reply and Direct Message Twitter contacts Link to mark tweets as "Favourite" Recognizes replies and auto-links them to follow conversations Shows your last tweet regardless of how it was updated (ie: mobile, txt, etc.) Auto-notification of new versions of Twidget

Planned Features

Growl Notifications:Twidget will allow you to specify whether or not to notify you of tweets via Growl.

@Reply Highlight:Twidget will highlight tweets sent to you via @ replies.

Short URLs:Twidget will allow you to shorten lengthy URLs when sending status updates.

Resizable Widget:Twidget will support resizing of its main window.

Multiple Languages:Twidget will offer localized language support. If you'd like to translate Twidget into your language, please contact me: widgets@aquabox.ca

Direct Message Display:Twidget will display direct messages sent to you.

Audible Notifications:Twidget will allow you to specify whether or not to notify you of tweets through sounds.

[More information at the website]

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This is one of my favorite calculator widgets, PEMDAS:

http://www.donkeyengineering.com/pemdaswidget/

enter image description here

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