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Stef Gonzaga

Stef wears many hats during the day. Her favorites include the writer, the freelancer, the Literature major, the app fanatic, the poet and the chocoholic.

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Taking down notes, whether by hand or on my computer, has always been an integral part of my workflow. Capturing information wherever and whenever, notes always in handy considering that I have such a short memory span to work with.

As such, note-taking apps like NotesTab are of great interest to me, and since version 3 of FIPLAB’s note-taking menu bar app is available for download, I thought I’d take a look at what has changed and what features were added since reviewing it a couple of months back. Likewise, the pro version offers several additional features to make the note-taking experience even better, which I will touch on later in the review. If you’re hesitant to spend an extra $4.99 for the upgrade, but would like to know what you’d receive if you do, read on.

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Think of a typical task on your to-do list, and I’m sure there’s an app that can help you accomplish it. You’ve got Mac apps designed for a plethora of purposes, each designed to solve or complete different kinds of tasks in a number of unique ways. In fact, there are apps that are made to bring different standalone apps and services together to easily manage and keep track of. Off the top of my head are Words for save-for-later articles, MarsEdit for publishing to different blogging platforms, and Favs for all your social favorites.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Notesdeck for Mac, a relatively unique app that consolidates all of your iCloud, Dropbox, Simplenote, and Evernote notes into a single dashboard to view, edit, and sync in real time. Developed by Michael Petruzzo of Dark Heartfelt, it’s an app where notes—whichever service or note-taking app used—are editable and available at a click of a button.

With this concept in mind, can Notesdeck assist the everyday note-taking Mac user? How does Notesdeck fair in the productivity circle? Let’s find out.

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Writing for the web has always been burdened by the need to format content in HTML. It isn’t enough to just write and publish content—you need to capture the reader’s attention as well.

You can’t simply write a blog post or a web page and slap it onto the site. Headers, bolding, emphasis, bullet lists, and numbering are necessary to hold down and guide your readers all the way to the last sentence. The process can be quite tedious, which is why the birth of Markdown is a huge breath of fresh air for content creators of all experience levels.

But Markdown isn’t just for those who work online. It’s a simple syntax that makes formatting and writing in plain text easier for everyone. With these writing apps, you’ll have an easier time putting your thoughts down on screen, whether you’re writing a note for yourself or a Markdown formatted file for publishing online.
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Skitch received a major upgrade to version 2.0 last September, taking the Mac community by storm—in a bad way.

Personally, I’m pretty open-minded towards app upgrades. I almost always welcome changes made to an app’s design and functionality, giving it the benefit of testing out the changes first before making any judgments. So, you can imagine how curious I was when I saw how version 2.0 enraged so many of Skitch’s users just after it was released. Did Evernote really push out an update that broke Skitch, a fine application, and made it clunky and unusable? (more…)

Research, writing an article, listing down next week’s groceries, and planning travel itineraries—all these require you to take down notes. How else will you be able to remember what to bring or what aspect of your topic to research?

Thankfully, there are plenty of Mac apps to help you jot down notes. Keeping tabs on ideas, details, and information wherever you go is now easy and worry-free, since you won’t have to worry about misplacing pieces of paper and spending hours trying to locate them.

There are different types of note-taking apps the market, one category being a desktop application that syncs with a note-taking web app like Simplenote. Simplenote is quite popular for its simplicity, clean interface, and seamless integration with other apps such as Notational Velocity and Scrivener.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Metanota, a note-taking app that creates and syncs all of your notes to the cloud via Simplenote while making sure to maintain a simple and interference-free experience.

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The moment you boot up your Mac, a variety of things pry for your attention. Email, social networks, reminders, and all sorts of distractions eventually trap you in the middle of a tug-of-war, making it almost impossible to focus on a single activity.

As a result, you lose track of what you’re supposed to do. You might just find yourself looking up, wondering where the sun went all of the sudden.

Here’s the good news though: there are apps that can help you solve this productivity problem. In this round-up, I’ll share 15 Mac apps that help you focus, whether it’s dimming the screen, blocking social networking sites, closing inactive applications, or working in time bursts. You can use one or mix a couple of these apps to fit the way you work.

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If there’s one game genre I’m all for, it’s board games. I love the feel of the dice in my hands, the touch of crispy play money, the thrill of running after the hourglass, and the exhilaration knowing that I’ve trumped my fellow players.

With that said, I found myself curious of what it’s like to play a digital board game after spotting Ticket to Ride Online on the New and Noteworthy section of the Mac App Store. The icon, the screenshots, and the uber-friendly conductor convinced me to check the game out, plus the fact that its iPad version has garnered numerous game awards in the past.

Will the Mac version of Ticket to Ride Online stand just as tall as its iOS counterpart? Let’s find out.

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There’s one more great finance app that our readers keep recommending: You Need a Budget (YNAB). We reviewed it, and it turned out to be such a good app we gave it a 10/10 rating. Be sure to check out our review of You Need a Budget!

Thanks to personal finance applications, managing and tracking budgets, expenses, cash flows, and potential savings is easier than ever and far less time-consuming. We’ve covered quite a few finance apps for the Mac in the past few months, which shows a growing interest in this category.

We did a round-up of 7 finance software for the Mac two years ago, so I thought it would be interesting to refresh things and take a look at today’s choices for personal finance software. If you’re wondering what’s new, popular, and consistent in the money management category, check out the apps below!

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These days, there’s literally an app for everything: keeping recipes, managing projects, invoicing customers, and managing one’s finances. Money management is an especially popular app category now that people can simplify budget tracking and analyze both earnings and expenses all in one window.

We’ve reviewed some of the popular Mac finance apps in the industry in the past, such as Koku, iBank, and Moneywell. These apps are known for their handful of features and innovative UIs, all of which are geared towards informing you exactly where your money goes, where it comes from, how frequent your spending has been for the past few months, and of course what is left in your account. But for today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at another finance app that takes on a simpler route: Savings.
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While it is true that note-taking apps are a common sight these days, there are only a handful that are specifically made to stay on the menu bar such as Soho Notes, Rapid Note, and Scribblet 2. These menu bar note-taking apps are normally built with minimal features, an easy-to-navigate interface, and run silently in the background.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at a relatively new menu bar notes app called NotesTab by FLIPLAB Ltd., the makers of popular menu bar apps MailTab and MenuTab for Facebook. With the latest update to version 1.2, let’s see if this new member of the family stands and delivers just as well.

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