Recommended Dashboard Widgets

  • June 1st, 2006

Earlier today while browsing digg I stumbled upon a story titled The 9 Best Widgets [OSX Dashboard]. Re-familiarizing myself with OSX, I thought to myself “great, 9 of the best widgets that I should probably consider”. Based on the number of diggs (700+) the post managed to collect, I figured that the list had to be pretty good. Right? Wrong, wrong, wrong! Sometimes it makes me question whether or not digg users actually click through to preview content? Tigergotchi, Scenario Poker, and Hang Man?!

dashboard widgets

Understanding that the original is an opinionated post, I’ve collected the widgets that I find most useful below.


iStat Pro & Mint Recent Referrers ($$)

Internal computer figures vs. 5ThirtyOne referrer traffic. Different, yet oh so similar. One informs me of processor power & memory consumption, temp, bandwidth, etc; the other informs me of recent referred traffic. What do these have in common? Informative statistics which can be referenced with the click the Mighty Mouse or F12.


Firewheel Design Colorburn, Colourmod color picker, & CSS Tweak

What can I say? I find colors intriguing. Although browsing a color palette and playing a game of Tigergotchi may be completely different, I find browsing colors a lot more entertaining and constructive. On top of that, Colourmod has proven to be a valuable tool for projects requiring color (duh) without the need to fire-up Photoshop.

CSS Tweak mashes the functionality of the CSS Tweak website into a slick Dashboard widget for compressing stylesheets before uploading to servers.

References & Academic

Wikipedia, Apple Dictionary, & Apple Sticky Notes

Anyone who uses their Apple computer for academic purposes are undoubtedly aware of the built in Dictionary / Thesaurus and Sticky note widgets. Unfortunately, Apple does not have an integrated encyclopedia. Understandable considering the vast amounts of data which would require precious hardrive space. Fortunately, the Wikipedia widget allows for quick queries online without the hassle of distracting tabs or bookmarks.

Dashboard tips

As one that has experimented with a number of widgets over the past few days, here are a few particulars regarding Apples’ widgets:

  • If you don’t use particular widgets on a regular basis, as in they’re not referenced during the majority of visits you make to the Dashboard, deactivate them. It doesn’t hurt to save system resource from time-to-time.
  • Being somewhat of a born-again privacy stickler, understand that many widgets make outbound internet connections [be it for referencing data or contacting the source website]. Know where and what your widgets do. If you’re weary of outbound connections, I recommend Little Snitch.
  • Clean out your widgets folder /users/Library/Widgets. Doing so will free up your Dashboard widget browser as well as unnecessary bloat from your system.
  • Widgets are not limited to the Dashboard, older Konfabulator users may remember having widgets floating willy-nilly on their desktops. Tiger users can have that same practicality / impracticality after a little time with the Visit MacOSXHints for the nitty-gritty.

There you have it, a few “productive” Apple Dashboard Widgets. If you’re interested in adding a few more to your collection, check out the Apple Widget Download page, DashboardWidgets, or *cough* snag the UNEASYsilence Widget.