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Productivity

I tend to just take quick glances at my calendar, checking the dates of events coming up or looking to see if I can fit something new in. Sometimes it’s a huge pain to open the app on my phone or computer, so I end up guessing whether I have anything on a particular date — which is a recipe for disaster.

What I need, I realized a few weeks ago, is a good menubar calendar that I can call on at a moment’s notice with a simple click of the mouse or tap of the keyboard. Qbix’s Calendar Plus fits the bill, and to sweeten the deal it includes great customization options. Let’s check it out. (more…)

Apple has been moving towards a more “mobile feel” with Mac OS for a while now. Lion introduced a few features like the Launchpad, Mission Control, and even some multi-touch gestures to make your Mac feel much more like an iPad or an iPhone.

The recently released Mountain Lion builds on that, by providing even more snappy goodies to the OS like increased compatibility with mobile devices through iCloud, a Game Center, social network integration, and, most notably, a newly introduced notification system called, quite fittingly, “Notification Center”.

How does it work? Where is it moving towards? What’s gonna happen to other apps, like Growl, that have done the same thing for quite a while now? Let’s take a look.

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Some apps just don’t make sense at first. Grandview was definitely one of those for me. I love writing apps, and own almost every one available for the Mac. Yet, I could never wrap my head around the reason for Grandview.

Until I tried it out today, since its free right now in the App Store. To my amazement, it clicked for me. I’d still say it’s not for everyone, but here’s what I like about Grandview, and why I just wrote this article in it.

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Macs may be used by everyone from NASA to the White House, but they can’t shake the perception that they’re designer goods. People readily accept that Macs are good for creatives, but not for real business work, no matter how many times they’ve been proven to simply be great computers for anyone that cares about a good computing experience.

But maybe it’s because Macs are really just so good for creatives. There’s so many little things in OS X that make it great for writing, for one thing, that I think you can easily say it’s the best OS for writers. (more…)

Some say this day would never arrive, some even called it abandon-ware, but Things 2 is finally here. Cultured Code, the developers behind Things for Mac, iPhone and iPad released an updated version of their suite of productivity apps today. Also arriving with the set of updates is Things Cloud – Cultured Code’s sync service that keeps your copies of Things updated on all of your devices.

Let’s take a look at Things 2 for Mac as well as Things Cloud and explore what’s new since we first covered this task manager back in 2009 and what might tempt you to make the jump from another task manager.

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Keeping open multiple application windows, even multiple browser tabs, can eat up a lot of memory and slow your machine down. But when you’re busy, it’s difficult to sacrifice the ease of having every application and website you need one click away for that extra speed boost.

Click.to makes that trade off a little easier by gathering all of those applications into a single menu interface. By allowing you to access everything in one place, it’s no longer necessary to keep a tab for every web app and a window for every application going at the same time. But how much functionality can Click.to really provide in a single popup menu? We’ll take a look! (more…)

The thing that I love the most about Google Docs is its no frills interface. I’m a vocal advocate of the app and thanks to it, I haven’t used Microsoft Office in the past three years. But, Google Docs isn’t perfect either and has a bunch of quirks that haven’t been addressed properly by Google so far. Offline access and multi account login are two that top my list of gripes.

A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to review Google Drive for Mac. Unfortunately, it didn’t offer either of the two above mentioned features. But, the app is a step in the right direction. Not discouraged by the launch of an official client, the developers of Collections have ventured with a Mac app of their own to help you organize your cloud documents locally.

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With so many task management, GTD, and to-do apps available, for a new task management app to be worth the trouble to try out, it has to give you that extra bang for your buck. A good task management application has to identify a hole and try to fill it, and do a really good job at the same time, or it’s just not worth moving from another task app that’s getting the job done.

Currently available to download for free while in beta, Nokumo is attempting to solve your task management woes, make your workflow more productive, and make it worth your while to switch to a new app. Giving you a space to keep your contacts, events, tasks, and projects under one roof, Nokumo looks to be a powerful application. But can it deliver on its promises?

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While recently reviewing Justnotes, a minimal Simplenote client for Mac, I remembered that I still had some data stored in Notes for iOS. Those notes have been around since iOS 4 and sync with email accounts that are set up on the device. However, Apple has now added a native Notes app in Mountain Lion. It syncs with iCloud and will one day be available on the web version of this celestial service as well.

Hopping back and forth between the two note services, I wondered which one I should keep around for daily use. While Apple’s solution does well for basic noting, it’s not the best app out there for more advanced users that avail features like Markdown formatting. On the other hand, iCloud Notes does have well designed native apps, the area that Simplenote falls short in with third-party clients similar to the aforementioned Justnotes. In the end, which one wins me as a steady user? The two services go head-to-head after the break. (more…)

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