With the new year coming up, Mac AppStorm wants to make sure you get introduced to apps that will make you more productive in 2013. Mind mapping apps just may be the type of tool you need to boost your productivity in the upcoming year. From project management to presentations to brainstorming, mind mapping apps are flexible tools that assist users in storing and processing information of all types.
This review includes two apps that take a more minimalist, simplistic approach to mind mapping—MindNode and SimpleMind—and two apps that take a more power user approach—XMind and NovaMind. Read on to find out which app may best fit your needs.
“I didn’t think Macs got viruses.”
A friend told me that as I helped her clean off a spyware program from her Mac computer last year. While the Mac user has less to fear than a PC user when it comes to the dark side of the Internet, the days when a Mac user could just assume they had nothing to worry about from malware are over. It’s not just viruses causing damage and data loss to be concerned about, but also programs that want to steal your data or personal information. These applications send your info to someone with malicious intent, track what you do and where you go notifying you, and otherwise invade your privacy. Being careful about what you install can do a lot to protect you. Even then, security flaws in software can let software such as the Flashback Trojan that took advantage of a bug in Java to silently install and begin sending your personal information back to remote servers.
It’s just good to see for yourself what’s running on your computer and connecting out. Overall a program that shows you what your computer is doing will help you better understand what’s running and notice when something is amiss. Private Eye from Radio Silence is a free network monitor for the Mac that gives you a real time view into the network connections to and from your computer. Let’s see how well it works and if it can help keep you safe online. (more…)
I’m just going to lay it out here: I’m a reformed PC-user. I had a lot of PCs for a long time, and though I’ve have my succession of Mac systems longer than I allowed PCs in my home, I do miss some of the customization I could do on a Windows machine. I could fiddle. Sure I got stuff wrong sometimes, but I could eventually fix anything I’d broken too badly.
A Mac doesn’t really give you that option. So many of the really cool settings are locked away from the lay user. Mountain Tweaks draws back the curtain, at last, and is giving all of us, not just Mountain Lion users, maybe the easiest way yet to get at some of the best OS X tweaks. (more…)
I try to automate as much as possible, both in the real world and on my computer, as I find myself staring at my screen for more that ten hours a day. My house lights turn themselves on and off, my outlets power down to save energy, and the files on my MacBook Pro are doing all sorts of things while I’m not looking.
Why, you ask? Because if not, my Downloads folder would take over my hard disk, all of my MP3s would be on my Desktop instead of in iTunes, and my MacBook Pro would be 73% cat gifs. I need something to automatically manage all of my files while I’m doing real work. Sorter is just such an application. It monitors folders for file changes and then takes the actions you want to keep your Mac fighting like a champ. (more…)
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.
Back when I worked in quality assurance, good screenshotting applications that did anything more than what you could already do with Command+Shift+3 were few and far between. I ended up pasting together a lot of screenshots, wishing I could just hit a button and capture the whole webpage at one time.
Those days days are over. Web Snapper, with its range of tagging features and ability to snap an entire webpage, is a pretty useful tool to have. Add to that it’s multiple export formats, and is there anything this app can’t do? We’ll find out! (more…)
A few weeks ago the trackpad of my Macbook started acting funny. The bottom right side of it stopped working when being clicked, and since then it’s only gotten worse as the problem seems to be expanding to the rest of the trackpad.
This got me thinking what I would do if all of its clicking functionality eventually stopped working, and that’s how I came across the app that we’re reviewing today. It’s called DwellClick, and it’s a pretty unique app that lets you click and drag without using any buttons in your mouse or trackpad. It’s kind of hard to explain, so let’s get deeper into it!
In theory, I love the idea of being able to easily take handwritten notes and have them stored on my computer. I’m going back to school and taking a bunch of math classes, so it would be nice to be able to handwrite equations and insert them in my notes, rather than using a dedicated equation editor. I could try to do the handwritten style notes on my iPad and take regular notes on my computer, merging them after class, but that seems unnecessarily difficult. Unfortunately, I kind of need something that doesn’t seem to exist quite yet, so in the meantime I’ve been exploring various apps to take handwritten notes directly on my computer.
PenJournal was my latest trial – it’s a simple program made to take handwritten notes, primarily using a graphics tablet. You can take notes, draw simple images, import/annotate PDFs and much more. Obviously, using a graphics tablet is not ideal for taking notes in class (my desk in class isn’t big enough for all that), but it’s still a program worth taking a look at. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about the features of PenJournal and how it stacks up to its pricier competitors, and how it works both with and without a tablet.