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Productivity

Every day you process loads of information: due dates, notes to self, phone numbers, and serial numbers to name a few. Almost all of this information is miscellaneous, and has no real place to go.

What usually happens is one of the following: a) Your desk is yellow from sticky notes or b) your computer’s desktop and your folder hierarchy are bogged down with the virtual post-it note, text files. What’s needed is an easy to follow system, that you can easily reference.

VoodoPad from Flying Meat Software is a text editor rolled into a personal wiki. It’s a place to dump all your information, no matter how obscure. File types are not an object either; pictures, folders, PDFs, URLs, and applications all can be put in your VoodooPad. This application is elastic, it can stretch to meet your needs, and shrink accordingly. (more…)

Today I’ll be reviewing a remarkably simple application, but one that can have a surprising impact on how you work when using your Mac. It’s called FuzzyClock, and is a menu bar tool for altering the way in which your Mac reports the time. Rather than a simple time such as 14.45, FuzzyClock would display “Wed, quarter past two”.

The review will take a look at the various preferences available within FuzzyClock, and investigate the impact it can have on how you work. I’ll also showcase a few other menu bar clock applications for displaying the time in a different fashion.

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To-do lists have been around for a long time now. Thankfully, technology has led us into an age where it makes staying on top of things just a little bit easier than always reverting to pen and paper. There is a plethora of Mac apps out there that will get the job done as a to-do list manager.

However, a new, fresh approach comes in the form of an app known as SimpleTask. Today I’ll be taking a look at what SimpleTask is capable of, and whether it stands out from the crowd.

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The Hit List is an excellent new Getting Things Done (GTD) application from Potion Factory. Many GTD applications suffer from an overly complex experience that leaves you spending your days creating and customizing your task list rather than completing it. The Hit List instead opts for a simple, streamlined interface void of clutter and big on productivity.

This review will cover the basic functionality of The Hit List as well as it’s major selling points and shortcomings. Keep in mind that The Hit List hasn’t reached version 1.0 yet, so anything lacking may be addressed before the official launch.

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There’s no shortage of task and to-do list managers for the Mac and iPhone, but today I’ll be looking at one which takes a slightly different approach. Put Things Off is a new iPhone application from Spiffing Apps with a beautiful interface and simple goal.

Rather than offering a huge array of scheduling and grouping features, each to-do has three simple options: Today, Put Off, or Done. This review will take a look at the design, basic functionality, and also show a few competing iPhone apps which may be of interest.

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To be blunt, I’m cheap when it comes to buying software. I often find myself waiting for a sale, looking for a discount code, or putting off a purchase until the next great ‘bundle’ is announced. However, I occasionally see an application for which I’m happy to plunk down my credit card and pay the full price for (because it’s just that good!)

Bento is a personal database for OS X that integrates with other applications on your Mac. It was out for about 38 seconds when I downloaded it to try it out, but I didn’t really see the value in it at first. Over time, however, the ease of use of the application, beautiful interface and included templates drew me in. The new features in version 2 more than earned my $49, giving Bento a permanent place in my applications folder – and recently, a slot on my iPhone screen as well.

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Today I’ll be taking a look at a simple timer application – TimeBoxed. A whole range of advanced time tracking and management software is available for OS X, but you may not necessarily have a need for the complex features offered by these tools.

TimeBoxed offers a remarkably simple solution for ensuring you stick within a time limit for any given task. After entering the desired time, a progress bar illustrates how long you have left to get the job done. The idea is remarkably straight forward, but TimeBoxed impresses on account of the wide variety of notification options available and the polished user experience.

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All of us deal with bills in one way or another, whether through running a house, car, family, education, or expensive software obsession. It’s easy to lose track of what needs to be paid, and at what time. Rather than having an elaborate system of sticky notes, Chronicle aims to provide a central resource for storing all your bills and recording payments.

The application is still young with a number of areas for improvement. That said, I’m a fan of the concept, iCal integration, handy reminders, and quirky, original interface.

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After posting a recent roundup of Mac applications for freelancers, I’ve decided to take a more in depth look at one tool in particular. Billings competes with many other similar apps for tracking the time you spend on a project, managing clients, and sending statements/invoices.

This review will focus on the main features of Billings, investigate how it enables easy time tracking, and outline how it simplifies communication with clients. I’ll also touch upon competing applications and web based software to help with similar tasks.

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There are a huge number of different task managers and “Getting Things Done” apps for the Mac, each of which has various strengths and features. I’ll be posting a roundup in the near future, but for now would like to focus on a fairly new entrant which has already received widespread accolade.

Things, developed by Cultured Code, launched officially on January 6th during the MacWorld conference, winning the Best of Show award. I have been using the application since November and have come to rely on it to organize my entire work schedule. The functionality which Things provides appears simple on the surface, but in terms of simple usability it is one of the most impressive Mac applications I’ve ever used. (more…)

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