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Reid Leamaster

PhD candidate and freelance writer who loves to use and review Mac and iOS apps.

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Watch out Evernote. Look nervously in your rear view mirror. You see that hot sports car quickly gaining on you that seemingly came out of nowhere? That’s NoteSuite.

Okay, maybe Evernote doesn’t need to be that nervous because NoteSuite is only available for iOS and OS X — so it doesn’t compete across platforms. But for Mac and iPad users, this app is the next big thing in note taking, task management, Internet research, and file annotation. In other words, NoteSuite wants to be your Mac’s new productivity powerhouse. (more…)

How many windows do you have open on your Mac right now? How about when you are working? If you consider yourself a Mac power user, you likely work with a large number of windows open at the same time. There are a few ways to make working with droves of windows more manageable including the built in options (mission control and cmd-tab), using multiple monitors (like this guy demoing the new Mavericks multiple display features), or third part solutions. For the past couple of years I used Optimal Layout until recently switching to HyperSwitch — based on Paula’s review — for my window managing needs.

Another third party window management solution recently updated to 2.x: WindowMizer. It replaces the discontinued app WindowShade X as a way to “roll up” your windows similar to a window shade rather than minimize them to the dock. This is actually a previous feature for Macs back in the day, but is it still useful?

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If you are a writer by trade, or have to do a lot of writing in your trade, you have likely (certainly?) had to deal with writer’s block. You know what I’m talking about. The dreaded staring at the screen blankly while your mind wanders aimlessly or just seems to stop working altogether. Sometimes writers block is just plain lack of motivation. Of course there are things you can do to overcome writer’s block. For me, nothing works better than a good workout or caffeine to clear the cobwebs or a pomodoro timer for a little extra motivation.

I was actually struggling with writers block at the very time I noticed Flowstate, an app that claims to help users fight through writer’s block. That’s a pretty big claim, and I couldn’t resist putting it to the test.

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All right all you note taking app aficionados, there’s a new plain text note taker on the block: Just Type. You may be familiar with its iOS counterpart, which has been out for a while, but this popular iOS note taker just recently hit the Mac App Store.

This app is definitely worth a look, but is it worth switching to? Can it replace Simplenote? Read on to find out.

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Delineato is a beautiful new diagramming and mind mapping app, but in order to appreciate this app, you will need to forget what you know about apps in this genre. Forget the loaded toolbars, tons of options, and feature laden apps.

Delineato is the OmmWriter of brainstorming apps, complete with a track of Zen music to help keep you focused. In my recent comparison of several mind mapping apps, I divided the apps into two categories — minimalist and power user. But this app is in a category of its own.

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About a year and a half ago Apple revealed iCloud — its cross device syncing solution. With iCloud we were supposed to be able to easily sync and edit documents on all of our devices. While iCloud has lived up to this promise in many regards, iCloud document syncing is different from other syncing solutions in that it does away with the traditional file / folder paradigm and stores documents “in the app.” While this approach works well most of the time, other times, it is nice to manage documents and folders outside of iCloud’s in app interface.

That is where Cloud Mate comes in. It’s well known that you can manage iCloud documents from the Mobile Documents folder hidden away in the Library folder, and there are also free options like Plain Cloud that clean up the messy file names you find in the Mobile Documents folder. So what does Cloud Mate add that theses other solutions don’t have? Read on to find out and see if Cloud Mate can solve your iCloud document management needs.

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It’s a new week with a new set of apps we use daily. Much like Jacob, the first writer in this series, the apps I use vary daily with a few exceptions. But without fail, I will fire up my MacBook Pro and use a bunch of apps throughout the day. Some of the apps on my list are well-known favorites, others a little less known.

Putting together this list has been a joy; hopefully you’ll enjoy it too!

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In a recent review of the WordPress blog editor BlogEasy, one of our readers, Siglist, had this to say about blogging apps on the Mac:

Having worked on multiple platforms/OSes… Mac/OSX is colletively the bottom of the barrel when it comes to blogware; no contest. …Why is this the case for the Mac world? There is nothing that can be done with basic “markdown” that can’t be done (and then some) with WYSIWYG.

This is a sentiment shared by many Mac users. While MarsEdit has enjoyed a fine history and following, many users are still on the lookout for the ideal WordPress (or other blog) editor.

There’s a brand new app, PixelPumper, that aims to fill this gap. It aims to let you graphically lay out your blog posts, offline, in an app designed around the latest OS X tech. Can it live up to all of that? Read on to find out.

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Minimalist text editors burst on to the Mac app scene a few years back (actually the Soulmen were pioneers of this field back in 2002, but the truly minimalist apps came out years later). Since that time, there has been a proliferation of minimalist text editors—some would even say the category is too crowded. Many of these editors incorporate Markdown or MultiMarkdown syntax for formatting, with some even providing a live preview and standard keyboard shortcuts for applying syntax (see Byword).

I was searching for an app that would easily create HTML, but display the text as rich text, and stumbled upon Texts. I was in for a big surprise when I discovered just how powerful this “minimalist” text editor is. Read on to find out what I mean. (more…)

Quickly and easily sharing information between Macs and iOS devices is something many of us need to do regularly. If you need to share a grocery list, link, phone number, library call number, or image file between a Mac and an iOS device, there are many options for getting the information on one device or the other. For example, you can email it to yourself, make a new note in one of the many cross-device syncing notes apps, or edit a Dropbox file.

But what if sharing that information were as easy as copying it to the system clipboard? The three apps included in this comparison review—CloudClipboard, CloudClip Manager, and Cloud Clip—all use iCloud to sync your clipboard between Mac and iOS devices. (Yes, it was hard to keep these straight for the review.) This can potentially make sharing that grocery list between devices much easier, but which app should you go with? Read on to find out our top choice.

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