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Office

Happy birthday, OpenOffice. Believe it or not, it’s been ten years since the mighty “other” productivity suite—the open-source uncle of Microsoft’s ‘Monopoloffice’—began the slow fight for recognition. How far we’ve come.

Of course, it’s been slightly less than ten years for us Mac folks, but in any case the milestone merits a re-evaluation of this streamlined suite of apps, especially in light of Microsoft’s recent release of Office 2011 for OS X.

At the end of the day, the question has always been whether or not OpenOffice is able to sufficiently replace Microsoft Office. Has it reached this stage today? Read on to find out…

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For years, the mind mapping software market has been perceptually dominated by FreeMind. I say perceptually, because it seems more people have been recommending it than actually using it. Despite its ubiquity on free software alternatives lists, FreeMind is an awkward fit in the OS X environment. It’s cross platform, which often means “looks sub par everywhere”. It’s Java based, so performance is unpredictable.

And, most importantly, it’s not MindManager.

MindManager was never born as a FreeMind alternative. It’s existed on Windows since 1994, and on OS X since 2006. This is mind mapping with a totally native interface, and a novel idea for system integration. Let’s see how it performs.

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Recently, I was asked to review Nottingham, a note-taking app by Tyler Hall. After using it for a while, I began to notice a lot of similarities between it and Notational Velocity. In fact, Tyler Hall actually makes it clear that Nottingham was created as a clone of Notational Velocity, out of a desire to improve on the features offered by the app.

The general premise of both is a quick, easy way to store information, with no hassle or unnecessary features. But which was actually better? I hope that this article will help you to make an informed decision.

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How do you like to plan? Do you create a mind map? Make a list? Outline? Shuffle index cards? Pour out your ideas in stream of conscious writing? Stimulate thoughts with pictures? Build diagrams?

If you can answer yes to most or all of these methods of planning and organizing, then you really, really need to take a look at Curio, an application that combines a stunning array of tools for collecting ideas and putting them to work. Today we are going to take a look at one of the most versatile information organizers available anywhere.

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Chikoo is, simply put, a file manager. In fact, Chikoo pegs itself as a “simple file organizer for the Mac.” Chikoo can handle any file type you throw at it. You can add and edit the files’ metadata to your heart’s content. You can organize the files in lists and folders of lists. You can easily view the files with Quick Look. Chikoo is a cross between OS X’s Finder and iTunes.

If you’ve got a desktop littered with documents, unable to ever find the one specific file at the right specific time, Chikoo may be exactly what you need. Join us after the jump as we take a closer look!

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We first reviewed Marketcircle’s Billings 3 back in February ’09. If you haven’t already seen that article, why don’t you start by clicking through and reading it, since it covers in depth all the significant features the app has to offer. I’ll wait…

Okay, so now you know how Billings 3 works, and how useful it can be if you need to keep track of expenses and manage invoicing clients. It’s a sign of how popular and important this kind of app is in the life of freelancers that when we ran a Quick Look piece on the app more than a year after that initial piece, the vast majority of readers were interested in seeing an updated review.

This isn’t that article. I have used Billings 3 for few years now, and although I’ve tried a few different options along the way, for all the reasons given in our original review, Billings 3 just seems to make more sense and work with less friction than the other apps I’ve tried. Now Marketcircle have taken a step forward and released Billings Pro, and that’s what I’m focusing on today. Stick around, and I’ll walk you through its main features and tell you how it works.

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OmniOutliner provides a flexible and powerful workspace for performing a wide range of information processing tasks – from organizing a complex project to planning a best-selling novel. Heck, you can even create a shopping list with the program!

Combining power options with ease of use, OmniOutliner may be the best true outliner available. On any operating system. In today’s review, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what you should expect from a fantastic outlining application, and how OmniOutliner stacks up against the competition.

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An essential tool for both web and software developers is a text editor. Text editors streamline the process of working with code, and save time by providing shortcuts for repetitive tasks. Text editors are also useful for other web users – for example, they are very handy for tidying up text that has been copied online, before pasting it into a blog or word document.

Fraise is an app that sits at the ‘basic’ end of the market for text editors, and performs these basic (and some more advanced) tasks well.

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As a student, I am well versed in the world of handwritten notes. Just like many of you out there, when taking notes you tend to miss what the professor, speaker, or person of interest is saying, as you’re concentrating on what you are writing.

What if you could combine someone’s lecture with your typed notes? When you’re reviewing, you can match your notes with their speech. Pear Note from Useful Fruit Software does just this – recording audio/video from your Mac and keeping it in time with your written notes and even presentation slides.

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