It’s finally my turn to give you a small peak inside my treasure trove of apps. Keep in mind that this is in no way an exhaustive list, but rather a compendium of those most essential for a frictionless workday.
I’m a lot like Superman or Spiderman in the sense that I lead a double life. By day, I’m a quiet and bashful systems administrator, keeping the machines gears greased and the wheels turning. By night, I’m a fearless writer, reviewing perilous apps with total disregard for my own personal safety.
Ok, so maybe that was a little far fetched. After all who’s ever seen a bashful sysadmin… The point I’m trying to make, is that I have apps vital for each role in my life and then apps vital for both. So sit back, relax and enjoy the tour. (more…)
I recently stumbled upon a great iPad app that, as strange as it may sound, has changed the way I work with my Mac. You can read our full review of Actions on iPad.AppStorm, but in a nutshell, Actions is an app that allows you to trigger keyboard shortcuts from your iPad.
Now while this may not seem very useful or relevant, think of the amount of keyboard shortcuts apps such as Photoshop have. Now imagine being able to launch these from your iPad, visually organised in a way that makes sense to you. Or imagine harnessing the power of Automator, Keyboard Maestro or Alfred with the aid of your iPad.
Seem more appealing? Then read on for a few interesting use cases of Actions for iPad with your Mac. Since it can launch keyboard shortcuts at the tap of one finger, you can make keyboard shortcuts that’d be rather unwieldily to enter on a Mac’s keyboard, and then use them in Actions easily. And even if you don’t have an iPad or don’t want to get Actions, you’ll likely find some shortcut based tricks here that’ll speed up work on your Mac.
Just a little over two years ago, when I moved from Linux to the Mac, I set out to find an app launcher similar to what I was accustomed to. At the time, Quicksilver was pretty much defunct and Launchbar… well that just didn’t click with me. Then I found Alfred and have never looked back.
Dubbing Alfred as a mere application launcher is very misleading though, simply because it’s capable of so much more. It a true productivity powerhouse, the backbone of so many of my workflows… An app without which I would feel crippled on a Mac.
As is the case with any vital tool, when I hear the words “New version” or “Major rewrite”, I cannot help but cringe and feel a little bit anxious with what lies ahead. Will it remain the crux of my workflow, or will the glue that holds the many intricate pieces together fail? Well… Will it?
Productivity plays an important role in our daily lives and, therefore anything that can enhance it is of interest and deserves closer inspection. For that very reason, we recently reviewed two productivity apps based on The Pomodoro Technique.
Today I decided to take a look at Zonebox, an app aimed at timeboxing tasks. Timeboxing is another popular time management technique, which essentially consists of assigning time limits for the duration of a task. Although initially used by teams in software development, it’s gaining more and more traction among individuals as a means of boosting their productivity. Read on to see how Zonebox can help.
In this day and age, we find ourselves surrounded by constant distractions, making focusing on a single task at any given time an increasingly difficult endeavour. Often times, we have to resort to mental hacks and gimmicks to focus on the task at hand… I know I do.
One method I’ve found helps me focus is The Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro apps are dime a dozen in the App Store, some more complex and feature rich, others such as Tadam, more minimal. I recently took it for a spin. Read on to find out how it faired.
When I first discovered Markdown and shortly thereafter MultiMarkdown, I instantly fell in love. Almost overnight writing workflows and tools were transfigured. They became more streamlined and ubiquitous.
In the previous instalment, I covered quite a few topics. Ranging from search and working with URLs to the various little neat features that make working with your Mac all the more pleasurable. As overwhelming as it all may have seemed at the time, I did warn you that there was still more to Alfred. Much more in fact.
So without further delay, let’s continue on our quest and wake this beast from its slumber once and for all.
To most of our readers, our love of Alfred should be immediately apparent. It is one of those apps that is an integral part in so many of our workflows. I for one feel naked and lost working on a Mac without it. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear that I was giddy with the news that version 2 will soon be knocking on our eager doors.
In a recent blog post, Vero goes into a little detail, stating that version 2 has been secretly in the making for the past six months. The app has been rewritten from the ground up keeping very little of the original codebase and promises to be even more powerful, flexible and efficient. Vero also reassures Veteran users that they will still feel right at home in the new iteration of Alfred. Developers on the other hand, will have to tweak most of their existing extensions for them to work in the new version.
Details are still a little sketchy at this time but the team behind Alfred has promised to tantalise our senses in the coming weeks with sneak peaks of the new features. A beta of the new version is slated to be available sometime in January 2013, but it will only be available to Mega Supporters. If you haven’t yet bought a license then this would be the perfect time to do so, or alternatively you can upgrade your existing license and be part of all the fun when beta testing begins.
To the untrained eye, Alfred may seem like just another simple frontend to spotlight, allowing you to launch apps and search your Mac. However, beneath its seemingly humble facade lies a dormant beast. A powerful and flexible beast, that is, that with a little knowledge can be woken from its slumber to bring your productivity to new heights.
Join me on this epic quest as we set free the beast within Alfred and have it do your bidding.
Be sure to check out second article on Alfred to find even more productivity tips and tricks.