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Top 10 Alternative Creative Mac Apps For Content Creators

If you are a Mac user, you’ve probably come across numerous apps in the Mac ecosystem that promise impeccable content creation. But if you’re a newbie content creator with a limited budget, you need to access simpler apps with low learning curves. Well, you don’t need to look too far—we have curated a list of 10 alternative creative Mac apps for content creators looking to increase productivity and conduct work faster. These apps are “off the beaten path,” and no matter what type of content you create, these apps will make your life and workflow a lot easier.

Alternative Mac apps for writing content

Mac laptop with iPhone and writing

I am sure most of you are currently using Pages and Microsoft Word for writing content on the Mac. These are great apps. But here are some alternatives you may want to consider, whether you write long-form or short-form content.


If you’re the type of creator who wants to pour your words out without worrying about editing and formatting, Ulysses ($4.99/month to subscribe) might be just what you need. Built to work across Apple devices (Mac, iPad, and iPhone), the app has a markup-based proofreader and editor, which means you don’t have to waste time switching to another app for editing. You can also set character limits, which is especially helpful when you’re writing short-form content.

Some people praise Ulysses’ distraction-free interface, but its true strength is in how it lets you add typical blog features like featured images, tags, and excerpts in your writing and publish straight into WordPress, Medium, Ghost, or This is what makes Ulysses a viable alternate writing tool for content writers.


If you write long-form content, then Scrivener ($45 to purchase) is another good option. With a focus on functionality rather than minimalism, the app is great for referring to research while writing. It allows you to open your reference materials in-app right next to the work, so you don’t have to switch between windows while writing based on research. 

The app also allows you to check the status of writing projects as complete or incomplete, making it great for productivity and scheduling. With Scrivener, you can also create editorial calendars to help you plan and manage your content. The app is a little complex, but that just means it has more features to help you.

Alternative Mac apps for productivity

Mac monitors

If you want to stay on track with your content creation, you absolutely need to look for Mac apps that are non-intrusive, promise a good interface and are fairly priced. Let’s have a look at some of the options available. 


Companies often use Notion ($5/month) to organize work schedules, and content creators can too! If you’re looking to increase your productivity and timeliness with your content creation, you can use one of the many content templates on Notion to keep track of your content and make content creation easier and consistent.

You can also use Notion to create a content calendar, complete with status updates. The app helps you save time and take the stress out by managing your workflow. You can set deadlines, create a database for content across multiple platforms, and store ideas so you don’t forget.


Every content creator knows that ideas often come randomly in scattered thoughts. MindNode is an app that helps you arrange those thoughts. While you can access the app for free, you do not get access to some of its better features (such as customizable panels, external screen support, sync, notes, and file links) unless you subscribe to MindNode Plus ($2.49/month; $19.99/year).

MindNode connects the dots between your seemingly unrelated scattered ideas and makes brainstorming a lot more visual and structured. You can write down your ideas as soon as they come and brainstorm later with a mind map.  You can also use MindNode to keep track of the progress of tasks.


Zapier is a powerhouse app that can control and automate actions on other apps. You can use it to automatically upload pictures to WordPress, send an email attachment to a Slack profile, create WordPress posts from YouTube videos, and many other “Zaps.” Zapier is practically heaven for content creators.

A lot of the app’s features are available for free, but you can access premium features by choosing one of four paid plans (the “Starter” version costs $29.95/month or $240 for a full-year subscription). The app cuts down the humdrum aspects of content creation and allows you to focus on what’s really important—creating. You just need to integrate whatever apps (from the 3000+ apps it supports) you use for work into the Zapier app.

Alternative Mac apps for photo editing

Mac laptop on desk

We know well that Apple Photos is an OG of photo editing with its intuitive tools and simple UI. And needless to say, Adobe Photoshop is the tool of choice for most photographers. But as a content creator, if you’re open to experimenting and exploring alternative photo editing apps on Mac, here are some viable options. 


LuminarAI is a “machine learning-powered” app designed to help content creators take their images to the next level. It allows you to create professional-level images in a short time, making it perfect for busy content creators. The AI program was created after input from hundreds of photographers, so we dare say they know what they’re doing.

LuminarAI uses AI to analyze your photographs and recommends editing templates based on that analysis. If you want more control over your editing, you can go further by editing the image yourself on the app. Purchasing LuminarAI (lifetime pricing starts at $47) gives you access to a lot of creative photo editing features, including a range of color grading and image-enhancement tools. The Neo version ($79) adds 3D light adjustment, background and dust removal, and more. You can even create the much-praised Golden Hour effect using the LuminarAI app.


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), is a free Mac app that allows you to manipulate photos, create art from boring images, or design whole new images.  GIMP is great for quick, simple designs, and it’s great for beginner creators who are working on a limited budget.

This easy-to-use app works great when you have a lot of images to edit and process within a little time. It also features quicker batch processing than most other image editing apps.

Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro is a great tool for amateur photographers or photo editors. The app lets you access professional-level image editing tools without the technical knowledge typically required. It has top-of-the-line features at a relatively low price ($19.99 to purchase in the App Store).

With Pixelmator Pro, you can add effects and illustrations to your photos, manage your designs, use stunning templates, and share your image directly to whatever content platform you want. If you’re looking to up your image game, Pixelmator Pro is the app for you.

Alternative Mac apps For video editing

Mac monitor and laptop

While iMovie is a great go-to app for Mac-based video editing novices, and Final Cut Pro is arguably the best Mac app for professionals, there are a couple of alternative Mac apps that you may want to consider. The best thing is that you don’t need to be a wiz to use these apps to edit your videos!

PowerDirector 365

Techradar’s 2nd best video editor of 2021, PowerDirector 365 ($19.95/month), is one of the best video-editing apps on Mac. The user-friendly app is easy to use, no matter what your proficiency level is.

You can use this app to create motion graphic titles for your video content and add more color and striking visual effects to your videos. If you don’t have clips to use for your video, you can check out PowerDirector’s wide stock content resource library, which includes videos, photos, background music, and sound effects.

Hitfilm Express

Fxhome’s Hitfilm Express boasts of having the biggest free visual effects (VFX) library in the world, with tools like lens flares, color adjustments, 3D effects, and many more. It is probably the best free editing software for video content. If you want to create and edit excellent professional-level video content on a low budget, look no further than Hitman Express.

The Hitfilm Express app is easy to use, with lots of tutorials and masterclasses to help you up your video editing game. Even though the app is free (“Express Add-Ons” like VFX packs, 3D toolkits, and third-party plug-ins range from $9.99-49.99), it doesn’t ruin your work with any pesky watermarks, so your video content remains yours.

Content creation is no easy job, but these alternative Mac apps for content creators help make the job a little easier. You can use these tools to boost your productivity, organize your workflow, pen down your thoughts, execute your ideas, and evaluate your work.

[Header image by Ewan Robertson on Unsplash]

Marria Qibtia
the authorMarria Qibtia
Marria has more than 10 years of experience in content creation, having written for online and print media publications on a diverse range of verticals including travel, design, technology, education , marketing, and management. She is part of the Blade Ronner Media writers network.
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  • Maria, what’s your opinion of Acorn? Too simple? I find it a real pleasure to use when I don’t need Photoshop or Affinity.

    • Hi, Frederico –

      Steve answering here. I think Acorn is a VERY good selection, especially when you take a look at the price tag of $40. It probably provides more bang for the buck than any other solution available for Mac. One of my favorite features is the ability to add text on circles or lines, which makes it more than just a photo editing app – it’s also perfect for design work that revolves around photos. Definitely a thumbs-up on Acorn!

  • I’d also mention the Affinity suite (Photo, Designer, Publisher) as alternates to the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign). They’re $55 each and provide an excellent alternative to Adobe’s subscription-based model.

    • Steve here: Affinity is excellent. As you mention, the pricing is right, too. With what you’d pay for similar Adobe tools over a few months will more than pay for Affinity’s apps. Of course, you can easily spend a lot of money on Affinity’s add-ons, but only if you really need them. Another plus is that Photo and Designer have iPad counterparts that are only ten bucks a pop.

  • ”Apple Photos is an OG of photo editing with its intuitive tools and simple UI”.
    No, it’s not. Adobe Photoshop has been around since 1990 and is used by many people and not just photographers. Designers, illustrators, video editors, medical professionals, casual users use it too. And if I remember correctly, the simplified version of the program, Photoshop Elements, is relatively inexpensive. There’s also Affinity Photo:

    • Steve here:

      I agree, Patrick — Apple Photos is way too basic a photo “editing” app to be considered seriously. Affinity Photo is inexpensive and incredibly powerful. Adobe Photoshop is really the standard by which all other photo editors are measured. Luminar does a lot of work using AI to make it easier for novices to achieve “pro-type” results; I’m still waiting for Luminar Neo to arrive…

  • Unless one uses an app constantly, subscriptions are a rip off.

    I must put in a plug for Scrivener, even for short works—everything from flash fiction to ongoing series of massive tomes and everything in between. It’s organizational tools are superior to anything I’ve seen, (including the Mac Finder!) and a lifesaver for complex works. Need to move a chapter, section, or even a single page from page 487 to page 36? Select, drag, drop—done. Scrivener also syncs with Aeon Timeline, which is an amazing app for getting and keeping things in sequence relative to each other.

    GIMP is anything but gimpy, but although at first glance the tools may look like Adobe, THEY AREN’T! The only downside to the program is the documentation, but the online resources are abundant.