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Productivity

Have you ever lost track of where you submitted a story or article? Or had to go searching through your email to remind yourself of the status of one of your submissions? Or are you simply unsatisfied with your current system for keeping track of your submissions?

If you find your self answering yes to any of these questions, then Story Tracker is likely the solution you are looking for. It’s an app for serious writers that submit articles, stories, and more to multiple publications, and want to keep track of them all. Let’s check it out.

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Computers should be so smart today, and yet, it feels like we have to babysit them, performing menial tasks, instead of putting the computer’s own power to work. We’re blown away by voice command apps like Siri, and yet our MacBooks that are far faster take more effort to use. There should be a way to automate it more.

ControlPlane is an open-source context-sensitive automation application. In short, what this means is actions can be triggered based on where you are, what you’re doing or when you’re doing it. There’s a vast number of ways you could put it to use, and it’s limited only by your imagination. So if your curiosity is already piqued, read on while I take you on a small tour.

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Markdown is kind of a big deal right now. It’s one of the most popular ways to turn plain text into formatted text, and it’s showing up everywhere from blogging tools to note apps to comments online. The App Store is filled with text editors built around Markdown, each priding itself on having a minimalist interface that makes it easy to write in plain text. It’s hard to know the best one to use.

We’ve covered more then a few markdown apps in the past, and the list of Markdown apps is constantly growing. In this stage of the game, app authors need to create an app that stands above the pack to be competitive. Is Markdown Pro one of those, or just another editor in the pack? (more…)

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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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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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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In the past few months, I’ve found myself looking for a better way to take note of things. Right now, I’m using Simplenote, but just the Web app and not a native one. So that means there’s no Launchpad icon unless I use something like Fluid, which I really don’t want to do at this juncture since I already have too many little Web apps in my collection. To that end, I turned to the Mac App Store.

Welcoming me was Notefile. It was sitting happily in the New and Noteworthy with no user ratings, so I thought I’d give it a try. As always, you’re going to be wondering whether it’s worth the $4.99 and your time. Carry on reading to find out. (more…)

I’ve tried more than a few Facebook menubar apps, because while I want to keep in touch, I don’t want to be constantly refreshing a browser or checking a separate window. It throws off my workflow and I inevitably end up playing Farmville, even if I just went there to look at a picture of a panda waving.

Keeping me off Facebook and on task is Glow for FB. It notifies me whenever something happens, but unlike a lot of other Facebook menubar apps, I can’t update my status or browse my News Feed. Glow removes that temptation while still keeping me connected. With this week’s release of Mac OS X 10.8.2 and new Facebook integration, though, there may not be a lot of use for Glow in the future. We’ll take a look and see if it has anything special to offer. (more…)

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