I got a 64 GB USB* flash drive (I prefer the design of Kingston Data Traveler. SanDisk Ultra is a good choice too.) and then used this process to create a bootable install drive:
- Download the latest macOS installer from the App Store app. I delete the old one and download a new one every time Apple releases a new point release. That way I am always installing the absolute latest version.
- Download DiskMaker X. I strongly encourage you to donate to the project. It is a very useful utility and I’d be sad to see it go away.
- Open DiskMaker X and follow the prompts to create the bootable installer.
At this point you are technically done. You can insert this USB drive into any Mac, hold down the option key as you power it on, and then boot from it to do a clean install of macOS.
But you also have about 58 GB of space remaining. I fill it up with essential apps and other files I want to install once I boot up and configure the new computer. Here's a list of my essentials that go onto every new computer:
- Microsoft Office installer
- The latest versions of the Office apps (These can be copied into the Applications folder after running the installer to avoid having to download and install the latest updates.)
- Adobe Acrobat Pro installer
- AVG AntiVirus installer
- Brother print drivers
- Google Chrome
- Google Drive
- LastPass installer
- Resilio Sync
- Spark (email)
- The Unarchiver
- fonts used by our org (Lato, Source Sans Pro, Source Serif Pro…)
And here are some optional ones that only go onto select computers:
- Chrome Canary
- Make JPEG droplet
- Coconut Battery
- Android File Transfer
- Flip4Mac installer
- Hex Fiend
- Private Eye
- Virtual Box and Windows 10 VM
- Keynote, Pages, Numbers
*I only recommend USB 3 at this point; USB 2 is cheaper but also a lot slower. The few extra dollars you pay are worth it.