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Productivity

Lightroom 4 was the gigantic leap in image development that really set Lightroom ahead of the Aperture curve for many Mac users. It was a tremendous update, and just over a month ago, Adobe followed up with Lightroom 5 and is jumping ahead of the curve again.

I still use Aperture, which I find fits better into my workflow, but I always want to try the latest and greatest to see if it’s worth switching. And Lightroom 5 is tremendously tempting — check out a sample list of the new features. Let’s take a look at it to see what extra power under the hood it brings both seasoned pros and hobbyists. (more…)

There’s more to-do list and project management apps out there than you can even reasonably list in one article, and most of us could list a half dozen we’ve tried off the top of our heads. But when you get into collaborative project management, with tasks listed in a calendar flowchart, alongside notes and files for the project, with everything synced with your teammates, there’s relatively few apps that can fit the bill.

One of the best apps to fit the bill is Pagico, a Mac, Windows, Ubuntu, and iOS app that is great for managing your own personal projects or working with a large team on collaborative projects. We liked it when we looked at Pagico 3 years ago, and it’s better than ever today. Here’s what’s brilliant about one of the few cross-platform project management apps on the market.

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Watch out Evernote. Look nervously in your rear view mirror. You see that hot sports car quickly gaining on you that seemingly came out of nowhere? That’s NoteSuite.

Okay, maybe Evernote doesn’t need to be that nervous because NoteSuite is only available for iOS and OS X — so it doesn’t compete across platforms. But for Mac and iPad users, this app is the next big thing in note taking, task management, Internet research, and file annotation. In other words, NoteSuite wants to be your Mac’s new productivity powerhouse. (more…)

I was recently introduced to Kippt, and I felt like I’d been missing out on something big. It’s similar to Evernote in that you can save notes and links and even annotate the links you’re saving, but there’s a bonus social aspect. Find Kippt users you admire or with similar interests and watch for all the neat stuff they’re clipping.

Klipps is a snazzy client that frees you from your browser and lets you do all of that cool Kippt stuff on your Mac. I’m going to try it out and see if it stands up to the official web app. (more…)

Let’s be honest, Apple’s calculator app nearly as appealing as the other stock apps on the Mac; heck, it even falls short against its iOS counterpart. With just the basic functions available, it’s one of the least used (not to mention forgettable) apps on my computer. And of all things, it has a Dashboard sidekick that’s even more forgettable.

On the flip side, this can mean more breathing room for more flexible and powerful mathematical tools for the Mac. In fact, a quick search on the Mac App Store shows a wide range of apps to choose from, ranging from scientific to purpose-specific calculators.

One of these that I’m interested in is Numi by Dmitry Nikolaev & Co, a menubar app that moves away from the typical way we use calculators by incorporating text into computation. The idea is that calculations can be made more comprehensive by adding text into the process, and so it is easier to see and understand how we’d arrive at the result.

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We all love finding great deals, but it’s easy to waste more time trying to find good deals than it’s worth. Then, it’s easy to get tempted to get things that you don’t really need right now, just because they’re a good deal.

What if you could spend $2 and let your Mac find the deals you’d like to know about automatically? That’s exactly what LittleFin’s new app, Deal Alert, is.

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There’s extremely powerful and complex task management apps like OmniFocus that are the subject of books and screencasts. Then, there’s the barebones, dead-simple task lists like Clear, or plain text todo lists that feel more like text editors, such as TaskPaper.

But perhaps you want something different. An app, perhaps, that has features like due dates and tags you’d expect in a professional task app, but that’s simple and uncluttered. You want a todo list that’s great with a mouse, but equally great with just your keyboard. And you don’t want to spend a fortune.

How does $4.99 for a menubar todo list app with scheduled tasks, tags and task notes, and rich keyboard support sound? That’s exactly what Taskdeck is.

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Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, and more have revolutionized how we communicate with others. It continues to blow my mind how we are busting through the walls of communication to work with others who are miles apart. It’s more normal these days to collaborate with people across the planet, in many ways, than it is to collaborate with those across the hall. It’s a brave new world.

One new app that can make communication simpler, in many ways, is Collaaj. It’s an app that lets you communicate to others using video, audio, and your Mac. It’s the collaboration of Skype combined with the simpleness of email, in a way that’ll help you get your point across to others better than you could with just text and images but without having to be online at the same time.

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Adobe released their latest version of Creative Suite — what would have been Creative Suite 7 — earlier today. Only this time, Creative Suite is no more, superseded by Adobe’s new subscription offering, Creative Cloud.

Creative Cloud is a controversial release, since longtime Adobe customers want a way to buy a permanent license, or at least wish for more subscription options so they don’t have to get everything. But for now, Creative Cloud is what it is — and it’s a big upgrade to all of Adobe’s main apps.

Here’s how Creative Cloud will work for you, if you’ve already got a copy of Creative Suite and want to upgrade and get the latest features.

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Having all your tasks written down is enough for many. However, that still doesn’t mean they’ll be accomplished. We’re so accustomed to red badges overlaying our apps that we ignore them as if they were ads banners. Some people even develop an OCD to iron out these commitments, but when the goals becomes to clean up your icons instead of cross out your duties, something is not well and we often intervene in a unproductive way against our to-dos.

This nuisance is even more discernible to those who are always engulfed by long-term projects. They land in our task managers and constantly discourage us when we ponder on their duration. Several techniques have been developed to improve our focus, such as the Pomodoro technique; however, some people just can’t be productive through a premeditated method. They demand something else.

And that’s what the new version of our old pal Vitamin-R 2 provides to its users.
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