If there’s one thing that consistently impresses me about my iPhones, iPads and Android devices, it’s how fast they are. My iPhone 5 in particular whizzes through web content, churning out video like butter on cellular or WiFi networks with ease. My 2008 iMac and 2012 15″ Retina MacBook Pro are both slower than I’d like when it comes to Internet use, sometimes slower than the iPhone at this point. And I’ve been looking for ways to speed them up.
Going Flash-less seemed to be the easiest answer. I’ve wanted to get Flash under control on my Macs for a while, to the point where I avoided installing it for months on the MacBook Pro. I find it just bogs up the whole system. That being said, Flash can be a necessary evil for many of us. So I’ve set out to find the best Flash alternatives for your Mac, and I’m happy to share some of the results with you now. (more…)
Writing my contribution to the Apps We Use Feature after several others makes it interesting see how many applications we have in common. Like several of the other writers I’m a recent convert to the Mac, having started using a MacBook less than two years ago.
I now use my MacBook as my main computer; however, I’ve not made the complete switch and still spend as much time within Windows during my normal day as I do my MacBook. In addition to writing here, I have a day job as an IT manager and also do consulting, mostly in networks and web development. I tend to use apps I can use in both environments, or at ones that are compatible with similar Windows programs. Here are a few apps that I turn to every day to work and organize my work.
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.
Todoist—the popular online task management app—recently came out with a Mac desktop app available through the Mac App Store. The app is free, so I gave it a test run. While the app does have a couple of nice features such as a quick add shortcut and a menu bar icon that shows the number of due and overdue tasks, I quickly reverted to using Todoist with Fluid.
In case you haven’t heard, Fluid is a great utility that allows Mac users to turn any web app into a de facto desktop app, or Fluid App. Read on to discover my handy Todoist/Fluid set-up, as well as some other use cases for Fluid.
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 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.
2Do has been a mainstay among iOS task managers for quite sometime. Previously, editing tasks in 2Do was limited to using Toodledo’s web interface—for many users this is a less than ideal experience. Consequently, many 2Do users have been anticipating a desktop app for sometime. That day’s finally come, and 2Do for Mac is finally here.
How did this popular iOS app transition over to OS X? Pretty well I would say, as you can probably tell from the title. In this review I’ll compare 2Do with two popular competitors, Appigo’s Todo and The Hit List, and we’ll see how it holds up.
With our always-busy, always-committed-to-something lifestyle, it might be hard to keep track of all your duties. That’s where todo list and project management apps enter the stage. I’ve tried four of the most popular Mac apps in this category: OmniFocus, Things, The Hit List, and Wunderlist. But because I’m really bad at being organized, all of these apps were all too much of a hassle for me, despite being relatively simple to use.
My way of adding things to my todo list must be absolutely frictionless. Only plain text and the awesome plain text todo list app TaskPaper can satisfy my needs. If you’re like me, stay after the break to read in details about a workflow I developed to actually do things instead of just spending time fiddling with my tasks.
There’s no denying that Macs have been quite popular with students for years, and with good reason. Apple’s computers are ideal for an academic context (and, we’d argue, almost any context, but we might be biased), given their reliability and features that help its users to get stuff done. However, I’ve come to realize that students often use their Macs superficially. Most are not taking full advantage of everything OS X offers them, not to mention the myriad of incredible third-party apps.
I’ll attempt to capitalize on my 4-year experience with using Macs as a student. In all honesty, many of these tips can be applied to any situation, so long as it involves productivity in one way or another. Moreover, don’t expect these tips to be mindblowing; they’re aimed at new Mac users, but even old timers might find a new tip or three.
I love writing articles on my Mac. It’s easy, fullscreen mode is convenient, and there are a lot of great apps available for the platform. Overall, the experience is a quality one. But when it comes to choosing what app to write with, I have some trouble. Every month there seems to be a “new” writing app on the Mac App Store that’s really just a reiteration of the existing apps available. I like to remain loyal to a single app, but sometimes it’s fun to explore.
The other day, I was browsing the Mac App Store in search of anything new and significant. I came across Free, a distraction-free writing app by Michael Göbel that, comically enough considering its name, is not free. Its purpose is the same as that of WriteRoom, iA Writer, and the many others in this genre: to create an environment that is the most straightforward it can possibly be so that you can focus on writing and not the app’s functionality itself. My purpose, however, is to take a look at how well an app performs its job, so instead of assuming this app is great, let’s submerge ourselves in all the little appealing ounces of Free. (more…)