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The old days of Mac OS 8 and 9 are now far behind us, but there are certain features I — and many of my fellow veteran Mac users — still miss. Besides the fabled WindowShade, and Finder windows that behaved predictably, I long for the flexibility and power of the Control Strip, Launcher, and Application Menu. These have all been replicated in OS X to some degree, but sometimes the Dock and the new Apple Menu just don’t cut it.

Speedy resembles the old Control Strip, with a narrow bar of icons that each contain a separate menu, but it functions more like a Launcher and Application Menu combined. It offers a list of all running apps and open windows, quick access to your favorite files, folders, or recent/favorite web pages, clipboard snippets, workflows handling, and more. I’ve fallen in love with it. Allow me to explain why. (more…)

It’s really hard for me to find a personal finance app that draws me in, as I think it probably is for most sane people. So when our previous articles about popular personal finance apps were overrun with comments about You Need a Budget (commonly shortened to YNAB), I knew I definitely had to give it a try. The love that Appstorm users have for YNAB was overwhelming … and boy am I glad I gave it a try!

YNAB is a fantastic app which helps you to create, track and maintain a budget based upon their four simple rules of saving and spending. The software, which syncs between the computer and mobile apps, is wonderfully designed and incredibly intuitive. If you buy into the premise of the app, you can see incredible results. The constant reader plugs for YNAB now make complete sense to me – stick with me after the jump to learn why.

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There is no shortage of so-called ‘distraction free writing’ apps for our beloved Mac platform, a trend that started with the excellent WriteRoom from Jesse Grosjean’s Hog Bay Software in 2008. WriteRoom was the original full-screen minimalist text editor that inspired many similar writing apps that fill the App Store today. The company later followed up with a plain text to-do list app, TaskPaper, and also released QuickCursor, a simple app to edit text from any text field in your favorite text editor. Hog Bay Software not only made it nice to write plain text, but made it simple to do so whenever you want for whatever you want.

After creating the genre, the little company now re-invents it with FoldingText, an incredibly easy-to-use combination of plain text based tools. Geeks, nerds, writers, productivity gurus, rejoice: a new plain text productivity platform is born.

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If your day looks anything like mine, you probably spend a fair amount of time requiring some sort of time-sensitive response. Perhaps you need a file for work, an rsvp for an invitation or any myriad of responses. The problem, of course, is that once you hit send it’s qutie easy to forget about the message. An app to track replies to the message, then, is a great idea – and that’s where RSVP comes in.

RSVP is a unique Mac app. It integrates with Apple’s mail app via a menu-bar application and allows you to set reminders. The reminders track any responses to an email within a given time-frame, and send you a reminder at the end of the time frame if no one has responded to the message. It’s a simple app, but quite an ingenious idea. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about how the app works and what I thought of it.

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For a lot of applications that save data, it’s difficult to accidentally quit; there’s going to be a prompt that stops us from making a huge mistake, but I’ve blown past that prompt to save when I was in a hurry more times that I’d like to remember. It’s possible to turn some of those prompts off, too, if you’ve gotten a bit cocky. You may be able to recover some of that, but it’s going to pull you out of whatever you were doing if you have to start even an internet browsing session over.

Helping prevent some of that accidental quitting is CommandQ. Never again will you attempt to select all (Command+A) and quit an important application with a rogue Command+Q keystroke. CommandQ makes it just a little more difficult to go for that shortcut, but does it really make a difference? (more…)

Students and professionals have a revolving door relationship with task and note taking applications. Very rarely is there one application that fits every need a user might have. SideNote was sent to us by developer Daniel Wee as a contender in this complex market. Contenders like Apple’s own Stickies – or powerhouse Evernote – make this a difficult space to succeed in.

Does SideNote have a place in today’s information collection station? Let’s take a look.

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Remote desktop application Royal TS is one of the most powerful and feature complete RDP client managers for the Windows environment, and has just made its way to OS X. For IT administrators this is a huge boon for folks who prefer using OS X but had to previously rely on CoRD to handle our RDP sessions.

CoRD, the current de facto RDP client, does a more than adequate job with RDP sessions, so is Royal TSX worth taking a look in to and eventually paying the €20 when it’s out of beta? Read on to find out.

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When it comes to keeping your internal hard disc drive clean, I think we can all agree that the most widely popular alternative for the Mac out there is CleanMyMac, an app that can help you free up disk space by find files that aren’t useful anymore

Today we are reviewing an app from the CleanMyMac developers that brings the awesome disc cleaning that made their main app famous to your external disc drives. It’s a small simple app that’s very fittingly called “CleanMyDrive“. Want to check it out?
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There are a lot of cloud sharing services, but most of them either have pretty strict limits on file size or require you create an account and buy storage space. The free filesharing services used to transfer larger files, while great in a browser, have typically lacked desktop clients. Either chopping a file up into multiple parts to share via an app or opening your browser to upload a file would both break your workflow.

Drip, a menubar app to accompany SendSpace, is trying to piece your workflow back together. Giving you access to SendSpace right in the menubar, Drip allows you to share large files seamlessly. But can Drip make a splash or will it get lost in the sea of cloud sharing apps? (more…)

Making an icon can be a tedious task in itself. Just designing a high-quality icon can be hard enough, but then you’ll still have to export it in all the sizes needed and make sure you don’t miss anything.

Icon Slate is an app designed to take the hassle out of a tedious task and makes the task of creating and exporting icons much more easier. With Icon Slate, you don’t have to worry about all the problems that can occur when you’re manually resizing, scaling and exporting your icons as the app really does make it all very simple.
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