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Productivity

For many users, a computer’s desktop quickly turns into a headache. If you are anything like me, you use it to keep temporary files that you might only use once, but that need to be saved somewhere temporarily. I sometimes keep items there to remind myself of things that I need to do. It is also always filled with .dmg files from installed apps, among other things.

Whatever it is that I’ve used my desktop for recently, it is usually filled with a number of items that I probably don’t need at that moment and that just distract me. Sometimes you need a clean desktop to do a presentation, or sometimes you want to quickly hide everything that is there to take a quick screenshot (like if you are a writer for a Mac app website and you need to take a lot of screenshots of running apps).

That’s why we are reviewing today’s app. It’s called Desktop Tidy and it claims to fix this problem with a few features you don’t typically see in competing apps. Does it succeed? Let’s see!

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We last reviewed WriteRoom way back in 2009. It is arguably the app that launched the fullscreen minimal text editor craze that seems at its height right now. In a time when text editing apps were becoming more and more bloated with features in order to stay competitive, WriteRoom was a breath of fresh air making a very convincing argument for what it called “distraction free writing.”

WriteRoom recently hit version 3.0, and we think this major overhaul makes it the perfect time to take a fresh look. If you haven’t seen this app in a while, you’ll want to check it out!

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Are you sick of reading reviews for the same old Markdown text editor under different titles? Me too. Don’t worry, Mou is genuinely different.

Join us as we take a look at how Mou takes a unique approach to Markdown editing and how it may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

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Most of us find ourselves writing at least once a day on a computer. And surely you have found yourself more than once annoyed at having to type out the same phrase over and over again. Or maybe you’d like a way to quickly insert an image, date or signature?

Here’s where Typinator comes in. The tiny tool helps you to set up abbreviations, which it will expand to whatever text you define. How exactly that works we’ll have a look at after the break.

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If you’re a freelancer, you’re probably familiar with having to split your time between your work and the more managerial aspects of your business–like invoicing and bookkeeping. Here at AppStorm, we’re fond of the apps that take the edge off of this part of our day, and we’ve likely all used some sort of time tracker software. Usually, you have to create a client, and then a ticket, fill in all of the details of the project, and start a timer, all before getting to work. But what if you just want to get started and worry about all of that tedium later?

Enter Finch, a new kind of time tracking app from TouchStudios. Finch sits in your menubar or in your dock and automatically clocks the time you spend using each app.

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The one part about a project that always gets neglected is documentation – it may that be tutorials, user guides, project notes or manuals. It’s time consuming and to do it well, you’ll need screen shots with annotations and much more. Shrinking away from this task often results in poor and visually appalling documents.

But what if there was an app that would do the bulk of the work for you? MacSnapper allows you to grab screen shots very easily, annotate them right within the app with only a few clicks and add text. Imagine going from a day’s work to mere hours. In the following review, we’ll show you how. And we’re sure that by the time you’ve finished reading it, you’ll look forward to your next documentation.

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Essentials is an interesting and useful app that takes almost every type of information you could want and makes it only a keyboard shortcut away. It doesn’t impose structure on you but instead gives you a broad use utility that you can use however you want.

What can you do with Essentials? Read on to find out!

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As a student, I know exactly how boring studying is. You spend all day locked in your room, poring over a textbook thick enough to stop a bullet at 30 yards, and trying to concentrate on those printed words while resisting the temptation to let your mind wander.

Sound familiar? I’m sure every student has been in this situation at least once and I can tell you now, it isn’t a fun one to be in. But studying doesn’t have to be a daily slog through endless sheets of notes and lifeless, black-and-white textbooks. There are plenty of ways to rekindle the ever so slight spark of fun in your studies.

Everyone has their own different study techniques, but I find that flash cards are a useful way of memorizing information quickly and easily. However, going down to Staples and buying a pack of note cards is a bit too 20th-century. In this digital age, we want something more modern and “flashy”.

This is where Smartr comes in. It is a small, lightweight flash card application for Mac OS X that helps you easily compile flash cards and test yourself on the computer. This avoids the need for hundreds of note cards lying around everywhere and saves you the time it takes to write them all out by hand.

Let’s take a look at Smartr in a bit more detail to see if it can really make studying less of a chore.

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Back when I first started writing for AppStorm, I got to review a very pretty GTD app that had just come out called Wunderlist. Back then, it was just getting started and it barely even had a Mac and a Windows app.

A little more than 6 months later, Wunderlist now stands as one of the most popular “Getting Things Done” app, not just in the Mac, but on several other platforms like Android and iOS. What has changed since then? Let’s take a look at how Wunderlist has evolved.

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FADE IN on a young writer seated at his desk, his face alight with the joy of inspiration. He scribbles furiously on a notepad, trying to capture the magic of his movie idea. Outside his office window, a full moon prods him on.

Later, with his idea captured in handwritten notes, he decides it’s time to start typing. “If I’m going do this right,” he thinks, “I better buy some screenwriting software.” Research reveals that the leading software, Final Draft, costs a whopping $239. Our hero is not a professional writer though, so there’s no way he can justify dropping $239 to support an inspirational whim. He searches for something else, something reasonable, and — dare he think it? — something better.

His search takes him to The Mac App Store, where he finds, for $29.99, a brand new product called Movie Draft SE, and as he presses the buy button, he wonders to himself, “Will this reasonably priced app help take my script from inspiration to completion or will it frustrate me to the point where I abandon my award-winning idea before it can reach the second act?”

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