Twitter: My favorite Mac Twitter client, I don’t have it open all the time but often enough to warrant inclusion in my Mac Menu Bar Post. I only let the bird light up blue if there are new @replies or new DMs. Timing: The latest addition to my Menu Bar is Timing. It’s a utility app that runs just in the Menu Bar and keeps track of where you’re spending time on your computer. The app does all the heavy lifting of tracking what apps I’m active in, what websites I’m spending time on, and more. Then I can bundle those apps into “projects” (or categories, as I consider them) of work. You have to give Timing a few weeks to really get some good useful stats that you can look over in aggregate to see how you are spending your time, where you’re spending it, and if there are certain apps or websites you need to be more conscious of in order to be more focused and productive. Dropbox: I keep it monochrome and am on the fence about if I actually prefer to not have it in the Menu Bar or not. I like seeing that everything in Dropbox on my Mac is up to date, but that’s about all I use the Menu Bar icon for. Droplr: I use this for uploading screenshots, sharing files, and shortening URLs. It’s a great utility app and runs very quickly. Also, I have the keyboard shortcut set to CTRL+OPT+CMD+D to enable “Droplrizing” whatever URL or file I have selected at the time. Fantastical: I’m a big fan of this nimble yet powerful calendar app. CMD+OPT+C brings it up and I can quickly toss in a new event using Fantastical’s natural language parser, and I can quickly see the month at a glance and what events are on my plate for today and tomorrow. For the times I need full-fledged calendar I use BusyCal. Airport Networks: I’m sure I could get by without Airport status showing in the Menu Bar but I really like to have that quick-visual status update on if I’m connected, how strong the signal is, and if I need to quickly re-boot Wi-Fi. Battery Status: Same as Airport networks, I like to see about how much battery I’ve got. Clock: For seeing what time it is. Spotlight: For searching for documents. Since I use LaunchBar to launch applications, bookmarks, and even navigate to folders, I do not use Spotlight all that often. There are tricks to remove the Spotlight icon but when I do use spotlight I prefer using it up there in the top-right corner – especially with its improvements in Lion.What you don’t see:TextExpander: By default TextExpander runs with an icon in the Menu Bar but you don’t have to have it there. It can be handy if you have many, many snippets that you don’t remember the shortcuts to and so you can access them by clicking on the Menu Bar icon. But I prefer to let TextExpander run in the background and if/when I need to access it I do so via LaunchBar.  An Icon for my application launcher, LaunchBar, because it doesn’t have one. (Thankfully.) (From Shawn Blanc, author of ShawnBlanc.net and Tools and Toys, in 2011)

Twitter: My favorite Mac Twitter client, I don’t have it open all the time but often enough to warrant inclusion in my Mac Menu Bar Post. I only let the bird light up blue if there are new @replies or new DMs.
Timing: The latest addition to my Menu Bar is Timing. It’s a utility app that runs just in the Menu Bar and keeps track of where you’re spending time on your computer. The app does all the heavy lifting of tracking what apps I’m active in, what websites I’m spending time on, and more. Then I can bundle those apps into “projects” (or categories, as I consider them) of work. You have to give Timing a few weeks to really get some good useful stats that you can look over in aggregate to see how you are spending your time, where you’re spending it, and if there are certain apps or websites you need to be more conscious of in order to be more focused and productive.
Dropbox
: I keep it monochrome and am on the fence about if I actually prefer to not have it in the Menu Bar or not. I like seeing that everything in Dropbox on my Mac is up to date, but that’s about all I use the Menu Bar icon for.
Droplr: I use this for uploading screenshots, sharing files, and shortening URLs. It’s a great utility app and runs very quickly. Also, I have the keyboard shortcut set to CTRL+OPT+CMD+D to enable “Droplrizing” whatever URL or file I have selected at the time.
Fantastical: I’m a big fan of this nimble yet powerful calendar app. CMD+OPT+C brings it up and I can quickly toss in a new event using Fantastical’s natural language parser, and I can quickly see the month at a glance and what events are on my plate for today and tomorrow. For the times I need full-fledged calendar I use BusyCal.
Airport Networks: I’m sure I could get by without Airport status showing in the Menu Bar but I really like to have that quick-visual status update on if I’m connected, how strong the signal is, and if I need to quickly re-boot Wi-Fi.
Battery Status: Same as Airport networks, I like to see about how much battery I’ve got.
Clock: For seeing what time it is.
Spotlight: For searching for documents. Since I use LaunchBar to launch applications, bookmarks, and even navigate to folders, I do not use Spotlight all that often. There are tricks to remove the Spotlight icon but when I do use spotlight I prefer using it up there in the top-right corner – especially with its improvements in Lion.
What you don’t see:
TextExpander: By default TextExpander runs with an icon in the Menu Bar but you don’t have to have it there. It can be handy if you have many, many snippets that you don’t remember the shortcuts to and so you can access them by clicking on the Menu Bar icon. But I prefer to let TextExpander run in the background and if/when I need to access it I do so via LaunchBar.
An Icon for my application launcher, LaunchBar, because it doesn’t have one. (Thankfully.)
(From Shawn Blanc, author of ShawnBlanc.net and Tools and Toys, in 2011)

Dropbox - custom icon courtesy of iAndrew.Sparrow - a beautiful, minimal mail client; custom icon provided by pgera.Battery - again, courtesy of iAndrew.Clock. Hidden from view: Airport, Alfred. (From Darla B.)

Dropbox - custom icon courtesy of iAndrew.
Sparrow - a beautiful, minimal mail client; custom icon provided by pgera.
Battery - again, courtesy of iAndrew.
Clock.
Hidden from view: Airport, Alfred.
(From Darla B.)

Dropbox (o rly?), CloudApp (basically for screenshot sharing), Keychain Access (quick lock of my screen, activate it in Keychain Access.app), Battery, VPN (for my home VPN), Wi-Fi, Clock, and Spotlight. (From Trung Nguyen Chi)

Dropbox (o rly?), CloudApp (basically for screenshot sharing), Keychain Access (quick lock of my screen, activate it in Keychain Access.app), Battery, VPN (for my home VPN), Wi-FiClock, and Spotlight.
(From Trung Nguyen Chi)

Sophos Anti Virus - Because you can never be too careful!Fantastical - I use this to simplify my iCal workflow, especially for school. smcFanControl - This keeps my Mac cool during processor intensive activities. I have several preset speeds that I choose based on what I’m doing. It also boosts the fan speed by 750RPM while my Air is charging. Ejector - I use this especially on my MacBook Air to make removing my external disks simple. FreeMemory - I have this set to automatically purge my inactive RAM whenever it drops below a certain level. Keeps my Air smooth and responsive. Dropbox - Self explanatory. Also, awesome.  BwanaDik - Keeps tabs on my current Wi-Fi situation. More informative than the built-in menu app. MenuPrefs - Simplifies changing the System Preferences. Growl - Apple should have done this…CloudApp - For quick sharing of small items between my Macs and friendsEvernote - For jotting down stuff I want to rememberWeather HD - Displays the weather in really nice HD graphics, and the menu bar app drops down a list of current temps for selected cities. Caffeine - Keeps my Mac running high.  Then the standards: Keychain Access, Time Machine, Bluetooth, Battery, Wi-Fi, Volume, Date/Time, and Spotlight. (From Vincent Sanchez)

Sophos Anti Virus - Because you can never be too careful!
Fantastical - I use this to simplify my iCal workflow, especially for school. 
smcFanControl - This keeps my Mac cool during processor intensive activities. I have several preset speeds that I choose based on what I’m doing. It also boosts the fan speed by 750RPM while my Air is charging. 
Ejector - I use this especially on my MacBook Air to make removing my external disks simple. 
FreeMemory - I have this set to automatically purge my inactive RAM whenever it drops below a certain level. Keeps my Air smooth and responsive. 
Dropbox - Self explanatory. Also, awesome.  
BwanaDik - Keeps tabs on my current Wi-Fi situation. More informative than the built-in menu app. 
MenuPrefs - Simplifies changing the System Preferences. 
Growl - Apple should have done this…
CloudApp - For quick sharing of small items between my Macs and friends
Evernote - For jotting down stuff I want to remember
Weather HD - Displays the weather in really nice HD graphics, and the menu bar app drops down a list of current temps for selected cities. 
Caffeine - Keeps my Mac running high. 
Then the standards: Keychain Access, Time Machine, Bluetooth, Battery, Wi-Fi, Volume, Date/Time, and Spotlight.
(From Vincent Sanchez)

BetterTouchTool - Just discovered this little gem and it’s great to be able to do more with touchpad gestures. Window snapping feature allowed me to get rid of ShiftIt.Dropbox - If you haven’t heard of it or don’t use it, welcome to Earth.Meteorologist - Handy weather, click for details, extended forecast at radar.ClipMenu - Clipboard organizer and also useful for doing “plain text” pasting in apps without that option natively. Can configure the number of items it remembers.Caffeine - Because it is handy at times.Display - Because I use an external display fairly regularly, but not always the same one.Battery - I know there are slicker third-party ones out there, but the native one does what I need.Bluetooth - For moving stuff to/from my dumbphone.Wi-Fi - Sometimes you need to check or tweak stuff. I use multiple networks in the course of most days.Date and time - Because I always forget and 12-hour time stinks.Spotlight - I occasionally use it to search, more often as a simple calculator. (Just type in your equation!) (From Chris Moellering)

BetterTouchTool - Just discovered this little gem and it’s great to be able to do more with touchpad gestures. Window snapping feature allowed me to get rid of ShiftIt.
Dropbox - If you haven’t heard of it or don’t use it, welcome to Earth.
Meteorologist - Handy weather, click for details, extended forecast at radar.
ClipMenu - Clipboard organizer and also useful for doing “plain text” pasting in apps without that option natively. Can configure the number of items it remembers.
Caffeine - Because it is handy at times.
Display - Because I use an external display fairly regularly, but not always the same one.
Battery - I know there are slicker third-party ones out there, but the native one does what I need.
Bluetooth - For moving stuff to/from my dumbphone.
Wi-Fi - Sometimes you need to check or tweak stuff. I use multiple networks in the course of most days.
Date and time - Because I always forget and 12-hour time stinks.
Spotlight - I occasionally use it to search, more often as a simple calculator. (Just type in your equation!)
(From Chris Moellering)

Desktoday - utility to clear the files and folders that get scattered on the Desktop and put them into a folder with today’s dateSkitch - annotate, edit and share your screenshots and imagesCopyLess - comfortable clipboard managerRadium - best online radio player for MacDoublePane - effortless window managementCaffeine - prevents your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen saversClamXav Sentry  - provides the ability to watch folders for changes and start virus scan Translator Free - Translate texts and links on the flyMagicPrefs - enhanced functionality for my Magic Mouse and Macbook Pro trackpad.AccessMenuBarApps - must have for accessing all menubar apps on a small displayThe rest: Monitor, Bluetooth, Time Machine, Wi-Fi, Volume, Battery Status, Clock, User, Spotlight. (From Jo)

Desktoday - utility to clear the files and folders that get scattered on the Desktop and put them into a folder with today’s date
Skitch - annotate, edit and share your screenshots and images
CopyLess - comfortable clipboard manager
Radium - best online radio player for Mac
DoublePane - effortless window management
Caffeine - prevents your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers
ClamXav Sentry  - provides the ability to watch folders for changes and start virus scan 
Translator Free - Translate texts and links on the fly
MagicPrefs - enhanced functionality for my Magic Mouse and Macbook Pro trackpad.
AccessMenuBarApps - must have for accessing all menubar apps on a small display
The rest: MonitorBluetoothTime MachineWi-FiVolumeBattery StatusClockUserSpotlight.
(From Jo)

Dropbox — Probably the most brilliant gem. I use the 50GB Pro plan.ClipMenu — My choice for clipboard manager. Pretty simple app with a lot of custom options.Caffeine — Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers.CloudApp — A well-known one. Allows you to share images, links, music, videos and files. Also, automatically uploads your recent screenshot and copies the link ready to share.BaseApp — Helps you stay on top of everything that happens in your Basecamp accounts. I use Basecamp in my work and I’m tired of the inbox overflowed with Basecamp notifications. Let BaseApp do it. From creators of CloudApp.Growl — The one and only notification system for Mac. Should be built-in.DisplayPad — Allows you to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac. There’s a variety of such apps, but this one seems to be the best.Twitter — Official Twitter app.LittleSnapper — Allows you to capture screenshots, organize them or annotate and share. This tool has a very nice and native interface and, as a UI designer, I use it a lot for capturing some inspiring elements. The rest are built-in ones: Keyboard, Clock and Spotlight. (From Gadzhi Kharkharov)

Dropbox — Probably the most brilliant gem. I use the 50GB Pro plan.
ClipMenu — My choice for clipboard manager. Pretty simple app with a lot of custom options.
Caffeine — Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers.
CloudApp — A well-known one. Allows you to share images, links, music, videos and files. Also, automatically uploads your recent screenshot and copies the link ready to share.
BaseApp — Helps you stay on top of everything that happens in your Basecamp accounts. I use Basecamp in my work and I’m tired of the inbox overflowed with Basecamp notifications. Let BaseApp do it. From creators of CloudApp.
Growl — The one and only notification system for Mac. Should be built-in.
DisplayPad — Allows you to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac. There’s a variety of such apps, but this one seems to be the best.
Twitter — Official Twitter app.
LittleSnapper — Allows you to capture screenshots, organize them or annotate and share. This tool has a very nice and native interface and, as a UI designer, I use it a lot for capturing some inspiring elements.
The rest are built-in ones: Keyboard, Clock and Spotlight.
(From Gadzhi Kharkharov)

Vox (lightweight music app), QuickCal, F.lux (better lightning … for your computer), plus basic Apple apps: Displays, Time Machine (manual backup), Sound, Bluetooth, Airport, Battery, Day and Clock, and Spotlight. iOS-like dark menu bar with MenuBarFilter.(From Victor Nicolescu)

Vox (lightweight music app), QuickCalF.lux (better lightning … for your computer), plus basic Apple apps: Displays, Time Machine (manual backup), Sound, Bluetooth, Airport, Battery, Day and Clock, and Spotlight. iOS-like dark menu bar with MenuBarFilter.
(From Victor Nicolescu)

First a disclaimer: We develop applications for Mac and we have done a few for the menu bar that I use daily, so I will include them.Gnotifier: A Gmail and Google account notification system for multiple accounts (mail, calendar and documents). I’ve set it to check my personal Gmail account and two company accounts that are hosted on Google Apps. We didn’t find a solution for that, so we developed it :). The 3 next icons are CPU LED. (Using the well known red, yellow and green colors, all the leds indicate the status of some important part of your Mac). First, Disk Usage, then CPU Usage, and lastly Memory Usage. The next one is Adium. Having to answer chats from multiple networks, that was an easy choice. Next, my second app to be installed on my Mac: Dropbox. Full Sync Backup Cloud Storage. No more words. And then the last icon and the first app that I use every single day. We created it after suffering tons of lost time from missing some important piece of info: Clipboard History. A clipboard history manager with tons of features and loved by thousand of happy users. (From Ariel Di Stefano)

First a disclaimer: We develop applications for Mac and we have done a few for the menu bar that I use daily, so I will include them.
Gnotifier: A Gmail and Google account notification system for multiple accounts (mail, calendar and documents). I’ve set it to check my personal Gmail account and two company accounts that are hosted on Google Apps. We didn’t find a solution for that, so we developed it :).
The 3 next icons are CPU LED. (Using the well known red, yellow and green colors, all the leds indicate the status of some important part of your Mac). First, Disk Usage, then CPU Usage, and lastly Memory Usage.
The next one is Adium. Having to answer chats from multiple networks, that was an easy choice.
Next, my second app to be installed on my Mac: Dropbox. Full Sync Backup Cloud Storage. No more words.
And then the last icon and the first app that I use every single day. We created it after suffering tons of lost time from missing some important piece of info: Clipboard History. A clipboard history manager with tons of features and loved by thousand of happy users.
(From Ariel Di Stefano)

I’ve been trying to keep my menubar as clean as possible, and only have in it the functions that I need on a constant basis, since it is always visible.Obsidian MenuBar - So that the menubar blends in with the trim of my MacBook Pro, and blends into my black background.Time Machine - For back up.Clock - With everything unnecessary removed.Lack of Dropbox - Because launch bar has made it easy enough to open when I need it quickly. (From Sam)

I’ve been trying to keep my menubar as clean as possible, and only have in it the functions that I need on a constant basis, since it is always visible.
Obsidian MenuBar - So that the menubar blends in with the trim of my MacBook Pro, and blends into my black background.
Time Machine - For back up.
Clock - With everything unnecessary removed.
Lack of Dropbox - Because launch bar has made it easy enough to open when I need it quickly.
(From Sam)