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Recently I’ve gotten interested in time management techniques and apps, and I’ve gotten to review a few Pomodoro Technique apps and even had an interview with the developer of one of them. If you’re easily distracted and have a tendency to procrastinate, there’s nothing better than a little pull on the ears to keep you on track and away from distractions, and those tools are great for that.

But what about when those tools become more distracting and harder to use than they are helpful? Having all those great features and animations can actually slow you down, as I have found. So the question is, are these tools actually necessary, and to what extent? Let’s explore a few of the ins and outs of the problem.
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And we’re back to Thursday’s News and Deals roundup!

The selection of news, deals and reads for this week looks superb, seriously. We’ve got Ulysses III coming to the Mac App Store and Reeder going free, Rdio’s new video streaming and Amazon’s cloud sync service.

Don’t miss our interesting reads for this week, because they are great! Alfred extensions, iCloud, App Store pricing, DuckDuckGo and more should give you enough reading material for the weekend.

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Are you the kind of person that wears out the CMD, C, and V keys on your keyboard before anything else? Then perhaps you need a clipboard manager, an app that can help you get more out of copying and pasting on your Mac. That’s exactly what our sponsor this week, ClipBuddy, is designed for. And best of all, you can get ClipBuddy for free this week!

ClipBuddy remembers everything you’ve saved to your clipboard: text, images, and more. It then lets you quickly go back through everything you’ve copied, and paste exactly what you want into your apps. You can search through your clip history to find what you want, complete with info about when and where you copied from, so you’ll never lose anything even if you forget to paste it into your notes app. Then, there’s hotkeys and more to let you paste what you’ve copied easily.

The Ondesoft team continues improving ClipBuddy with updates, new features, and more. It’s recently gotten Dropbox sync, import and export options, settings to hide the dock icon, and more.

Go Get It!

ClipBuddy usually costs $29.95 from Ondesoft’s online store, but for this week’s sponsorship, we have a special deal. You can get a free copy of ClipBuddy just for liking it on Facebook or sharing it on Twitter. Head over to the Ondesoft ClipBuddy giveaway site for the info you need to get a free copy of ClipBuddy.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Did you wonder if we’ve forgotten about news this week? Worry no more, your weekly dose of news is here!

Is just that the holiday weekend is coming, and the city I live in becomes a jungle when it comes to finding a good gift. Also, we knew some really cool deals would be coming for Easter and we decided to hold off on publishing for a day.

The AppStorm team wishes you a Happy Easter — a few days in advance, because, you know, we love to anticipate great things!

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One of the many new additions to OS X in Lion was AirDrop, a simple way to share files between Macs over WiFi. It sounded like a great solution, but turned out to be a bit more complicated than it seemed at first.

For one thing, the Macs would have to be on the same network, and without tweaking, AirDrop only works over WiFi. You’ll have to head over to terminal and do some tweaking to get AirDrop working over Ethernet. Then, it doesn’t work between OS X and iOS, making it only useful for sharing files between Macs on the same network — which in all likelihood means you already have another file sharing system in place.

There’s apps that one-up AirDrop’s functionality, such as Instashare, which hope to take the idea to the next level by bringing cross-platform sharing and more to the idea behind AirDrop. And there’s always the hope that Apple will do more with AirDrop in future versions of OS X (and perhaps iOS).

But as it is right now, have you used AirDrop? Is it something you use all the time, or did you just try it out for the novelty of it, and then quit using it soon after? We’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Living in a diverse world comes with consequences. It’s great to see people who are not stereotypical and actually go above and beyond what others consider normal behavior, but when it comes to languages, you can’t learn them all. It’s estimated that there are nearly 7000 different spoken languages in the world.

Since there are many perusers of the Internet who know only their native tongue, reading a bit of international writing on the Web can become tedious. People that often find themselves browsing foreign websites typically use Google Chrome for its integrated translation functionality. But why doesn’t OS X have that built-in? (more…)

Spotlight is one of your Mac’s best built-in tools, letting you find apps, files, emails, and more in seconds. Once you try to dig deeper, though, you’ll quickly find Spotlight’s interface to be limiting. That’s where Disklens, our sponsor this week, comes in. Disklens builds on Spotlight’s powerful search engine, adding a convenient user interface on top that’s aimed at maximum efficiency in the daily routine of locating information on your Mac.

At first glance, Disklens looks and feels very similar to Spotlight. Disklens performs a much more extensive search, however, delivering several thousand search results in a matter of seconds. You can dig through them all by selecting search categories, if you’re looking for items of a specific kind. Then, mouse-over an item to get more info about it, including file size, creation date, and a link to it in Finder, or tap space to see a Quick Look preview of the file. Then, you can drag-and-drop search results anywhere so you can use what you find.

Disklens includes all of the Spotlight features you love, but makes them even better. If you’ve looked for a search alternate but didn’t want anything too different, then this is the app for you. You’ll feel at home, this time, though, with more power at your fingertips. Disklens doesn’t try to get too fancy feature-wise. It just focuses on providing a simple, convenient, and streamlined approach to locating information on your Mac.

Go Get It!

Ready to get more out of searching on your Mac? Disklens is a great way to do it without spending much at all. You can download a free trial of Disklens to make sure it does everything you need, then get your own copy for just $3.99 from their online store. If it’ll make you even a bit more productive, that’s a small price to pay for the time you’ll save!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

Ever need to work with Microsoft Office files, but don’t want to pay for a full copy of Office? Or do you use iWork by default, but want to make sure your converted documents will look fine on your boss’ Windows computer?

Microsoft has just the thing for you: the Office Web Apps. We’ve just tried out the latest Office Web Apps over at Web.AppStorm, and it turns out, they work quite good.

So what’s the catch? Nothing, really. You get stripped-down versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote that run in your browser, and you can sync the real files back to your Mac using the SkyDrive for Mac app. And you could then continue using those files on your Mac, say in iWork, just fine.

Sound like just what you need for a basic Office solution? Then head over to Web.AppStorm for the full scoop on the Office Web Apps.

Continue reading at Web.AppStorm.net…

Hello again!

It is time for another fresh update on the world of the Mac. This week we brought to up to date on everything from Apple hiring the former Adobe CTO, to the new version of PDFpen and Photoshop Elements hitting the Mac App Store, a bunch of great deals to save your pennies, and links to the most interesting articles that showed up this past week. It’s enough to keep you informed and entertained for the weekend.

Hope you enjoy the ride!

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Imagine you’re walking out of the Apple Store with a brand new MacBook under your arm, or perhaps you’re carting out one of the brand-new wall mounted iMacs (yes, we’re wishing we had one of those — say, the top-speced 27″ one — too). You plug in your Mac, savor the familiar-yet-new startup ding, then connect to the internet. You’re ready to start loading up your Mac with the best apps, and you can’t wait to get it feeling like a productive machine.

Only this time, there’s a twist: you can only install 5 apps. That’s right: you can install anything you want from the net or the App Store, but you’re limited to using the built-in apps and up to 5 more apps you install. What apps would make the cut?

The past few weeks, we’ve been featuring roundups of our team’s favorite apps in the Apps We Use series, and we’ve got a ton more workflows to feature over the upcoming weeks. Some of us have extremely streamlined workflows consisting of only a few apps, while others have a ton of apps they use to get their work done.

If I could only install 5 apps on my Mac, I’d install:

  • Dropbox, since all my files live in it
  • 1Password, since I wouldn’t be able to login to almost any site without it
  • OmniFocus, which holds almost everything I need to do
  • Sublime Text for writing, since it’s great for plain-text writing as well as coding
  • Transmit for FTP, to publish articles to my site (which uses the flat-file CMS Kirby)

There’s a ton more apps I use daily and that I’d want to use, but these would be the minimum I’d need to keep working. Now, how about you? What 5 apps would you install if you could only have 5 apps on your Mac? Let us know in the comments below!

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