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Want to start the year out on a productive note? We’re already almost a full month into 2013, but it’s never too late to get more productive. The App Store has an official Get Stuff Done Sale this week, starting with apps that help you prioritize what needs to be done. Unlike other app deals, where there’s a few apps that we like and a number we’re not too terribly excited about, this one is full of apps that we’re very excited about and really use in our own daily work. Most of them don’t go on sale often (or ever), so this is a great chance to pick up these apps for 50% off.

The sale includes such great apps as:

…and more!

If you’re needing a new productivity app, and perhaps have been eying Things or Clear for some time, now’s the time to go pick up a copy on the cheap! We’ll be excited to see what else goes on sale over the next two weeks with the Organize and Utilize specials.

We’ve just closed our giveaway, and would like to say Congrats! to our winners: Arun, Vanna, Brad, Nienque, and Fernando. Stay tuned for our next giveaway coming soon!

If you’ve been looking for a great way to keep up with all of your passwords on your Mac and your iPhone or iPod Touch, then PassLocker is a slick new app you should check out. It’s not as advanced as some of the more popular password apps, but then, if you don’t have hundreds of secure accounts to keep up with, it just might be what you’re needing. It’s slick, runs right from your Mac’s menubar, has AES 256-bit encryption, auto-fill, and can keep your passwords in sync between your Mac and your iPhone via iCloud. Sounds like quite the handy app.

PassLocker for Mac usually costs $4.99, while PassLocker for iPhone usually costs $1.99, but we’ve got 5 sets of PassLocker for Mac and iPhone to giveaway to our readers. This time, you’ll need to have an iPhone or iPod Touch as well as a Mac. Just leave a comment below and let us know what Mac and iPhone you have, and you’ll be entered in the contest. You can also share the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or App.net and share the link below for an extra bonus entry.

We’ll close the contest on Wednesday, January 30th, so hurry and get your entry in!

Envato staff or those who have written more than two articles or tutorials for AppStorm are ineligible to enter.

It’s really easy to get out of control with your menu bar apps. There are just so many cool apps out there that make it really hard to decide on just a few apps to use so that your status bar stays uncluttered. If I could, I would have my menu bar filled with dozens of handy utilities, but that’s clearly not an option.

That’s why I recently started up on the task of getting rid of as much clutter as I could in my menu bar. It wasn’t easy, but I managed to do it with a simple and free app called Broomstick that allows you to hide menu bar apps that you wouldn’t normally be able to. How about we get to it?
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I know there are Mac users out there who still have hurt feelings, even after all these months, over the most recent iTunes redesign. Let me tell you, you’re among friends here, and I want to help. While it’s hard to replace iTunes, especially if you have to sync any iOS devices with your Mac, you can find alternatives to lessen the iTunes sting.

Music player app Pinna works with your iTunes library so you won’t have to give up iTunes altogether, but it’s a far sight better looking and easier to use. Will it have what it takes to displace iTunes, at least for pumping out your jams? (more…)

What’s the best way to quickly annotate a picture or sketch out an idea graphically on your Mac? A couple years ago, most of us would have quickly responded “Skitch“, but after Evernote bought out the popular image annotating app and redesigned it last year, it’s not quite the exciting and useful app it used to be. There’s always Preview, but it’s a bit too structured (and limited) for free-form idea sketching.

Aged & Distilled has entered the fray with their new app Napkin.  It’s a totally new way to communicate visually on your Mac – using the old metaphor of sketching an idea on a napkin – that’s good enough to already be listed as the Editor’s Choice in the App Store. (more…)

Creating detailed, highly realistic 3D models from your Mac doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive with Cheetah3D, our sponsor this week. At just $99, it’s far cheaper than most 3D modeling apps, but includes the features you’d need to create 3D artwork for your next iPhone game or make your first animated character.

With a full set of polygon, subdivision surface and spline modeling tools you can focus on creating, safe in the knowledge that Cheetah3D has a breadth of features for the task. Cheetah3D makes modeling in 3D a breeze for new and experienced users alike. It then smoothly integrates the industrial strength Bullet physics engine to simulate rigid body and soft body dynamics. No matter if you want to spill a bowl of marbles on the floor or simulate a waving flag in the wind. Cheetah3D can handle it with just a few mouse clicks.

Raytracing, Global Illumination, HDRI, Caustics and much more means Cheetah3D can produce stunning images and animations using advanced techniques. In fact, from looking at the gallery, you’ll find examples of beautiful building renders, cartoon art, and more that were created with Cheetah3D. Everything you create can be exported in a variety of industry standard formats for animation (fbx, stl, 3ds, obj, and more), images, and movies (png, jpg, mov, and more). Your models can be exported to be used in iBooks Author or many popular game engines as well.

Go Get It!

Cheetah3D costs just $99, and you can download a free trial of Cheetah3D to see if it’s the 3D app for you. You can try out all of the features, then if you want to save or export your designs, you can get a license for the app.

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

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to start new things, especially a journal. Even if you may have fallen a bit behind, it’s never too late to start. I’m just terrible at keeping journals, though, and have lots of lovely books with only the first ten or so pages filled in. I need an app to help me out!

My Wonderful Days is that app, recording everything that happens to me everyday. With reminders and lots of ways to customize my entries, including images, I may just be able to stick to my journal this year. (more…)

In 2012, the Mac community lost one of the Mac OS X mail clients that many considered to be the best on the market: Sparrow. Development has stopped (which doesn’t mean you can’t still use this app, though, at least for now) since the team has been acquired by Google.

Some claim that the whole email concept needs a refresh and solutions are offered, and the previously reviewed Mail Pilot and its upcoming Mac client, or the upcoming .Mail app are proof of that. Others still prefer to use web-based apps like the popular Gmail.

I, for one, still think that Mail.app, since its OS X Lion revision, is the best. It’s built-in, offered at no cost, and is completely integrated with OS X. I’ve customized it to fit my needs and developed my own workflow to deal with emails.

In my humble opinion, you should be able to jump into your emails, process them quickly, and then get back to work. A mail client, for me, is just a way to send and receive emails, not a big messy, clunky, filing cabinet with hundreds of manually created and sorted folders. Read on to find out why, in that case, Mail.app is the best for me, even when processing hundreds of incoming messages per day.

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I spend a lot of time on the Hype Machine website, listening to the latest or most popular tracks from some of the best music blogs around the web. Constantly having a webapp open in the background can get in the way, though, especially when I get click happy and close all my open tabs.

What I need is a desktop client, but there’s nothing official out yet. Fortunately, Hypegram is filling the void, allowing me to listen to new music I wouldn’t hear otherwise without fear of my clicking finger running amok. We’ll take a look at how Hypegram stands up to the official web app and see if it’s as cool as the real deal. (more…)

Porting a physical board game to a digital platform is far from an easy task. The essence of the original game can sometimes be lost in translation as the very fabric the game lies with the board itself. Most major boardgames have been drawn in by the touchscreen revolution to largely tepid reviews. So, how do classic board games translate on traditional point and click devices? Conquist 2 has it nailed.

Strategy games, both digital and physical, have always been my favourite from childhood right through to adulthood. Risk, Command & Conquer, Age of Empires—you name it, I own it. Conquist 2 takes its inspiration directly from Risk whilst daring to best the classic at its own game. Adding its fair share of original content, Conquist has the potential to upstage its ancestor, but how does it fair on OS X?

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