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Productivity

Note taking application are probably second only to task management apps in the App Store now. I’ve used many of them, but keep coming back to the same few programs that best meet my needs. I would probably would count Evernote as my favorite cross platform version, but in truth my favorite note taking application isn’t on the Mac. It’s OneNote for Widnows. While most Office programs come in a Mac version, OneNote is a notable, and frustrating, exception.

While OneNote compatible programs aren’t unknown, there are few and most have fallen far short of replacing OneNote. Microsoft’s SkyDrive includes a web based version that functions for many basic editing tasks, but loses some of the powerful features that make OneNote so useful. Many Mac users find themselves resorting to keeping OneNote installed on a virtual machine to keep access to the program.

Outline is a new program in the Mac App Store that promises to bring OneNote to the Mac. Has OneNote finally arrived for the Mac? Let’s find out. (more…)

Say what you want about the heralded eventual doom of email, I don’t think it’s going anywhere fast. And since it seems to be hanging around, developers are trying to rejuvenate it: adding to its features, bending and tweaking and overall making it a more enjoyable, convenient experience.

Mail Call contributes to this vein by putting the mail right in the menubar. But how easy is it? Let’s find out.

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Screenwriting is not for the weak of heart. Writing the next blockbuster to break into Sunset Blvd is no easy task, and the required applications to do the job often come with an expensive price tag. The film industry itself mostly forces you to use a specific formatting for your scripts and spend more than 200 bucks on an application that is not even that good.

Highland is the prime resource for screenwriters that use the Fountain syntax to write their screenplays. It’s a minimalist, almost distraction-free writing environment that is closer to iA Writer or Byword rather than any other screenwriting application. So if you have any interest in learning a little bit about the struggles to write down your favorite films or have no clue what is this Fountain thing, keep reading.

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A couple weeks ago we got to talk with Kyle Kinkade, the developer behind a now extinct productivity app called Pomodorable, and he told us about his plans to revive it and turn it into something different called Eggscellent.

The beta for it came out recently and we’ve had the chance to try it. If you are into the Pomodoro Technique, or into managing your tasks and timing yourself to stay on track, you might be interested in it as well. Let’s check it out.
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Just a little over two years ago, when I moved from Linux to the Mac, I set out to find an app launcher similar to what I was accustomed to. At the time, Quicksilver was pretty much defunct and Launchbar… well that just didn’t click with me. Then I found Alfred and have never looked back.

Dubbing Alfred as a mere application launcher is very misleading though, simply because it’s capable of so much more. It a true productivity powerhouse, the backbone of so many of my workflows… An app without which I would feel crippled on a Mac.

As is the case with any vital tool, when I hear the words “New version” or “Major rewrite”, I cannot help but cringe and feel a little bit anxious with what lies ahead. Will it remain the crux of my workflow, or will the glue that holds the many intricate pieces together fail? Well… Will it?

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Productivity plays an important role in our daily lives and, therefore anything that can enhance it is of interest and deserves closer inspection. For that very reason, we recently reviewed two productivity apps based on The Pomodoro Technique.

Today I decided to take a look at Zonebox, an app aimed at timeboxing tasks. Timeboxing is another popular time management technique, which essentially consists of assigning time limits for the duration of a task. Although initially used by teams in software development, it’s gaining more and more traction among individuals as a means of boosting their productivity. Read on to see how Zonebox can help.

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I am a man of simple tastes, which is precisely why I love my Mac and the apps on it. I don’t want to have to read through lengthy tutorials and spend an hour of my time learning how to use an app before I can start playing around with it — to me, it should just be install the app, open it up and start using it. And it’s precisely this that drew me to Moneywiz.

I find that money management apps tend to overwhelm the user with their interface and countless features and aren’t really designed with the customer in mind. Moneywiz, however, defines simplicity, yet it does this without compromising on functionality and features. It is, in my mind, the slickest and most usable money management app on the App Store. Here’s why.

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Evernote may be a brilliant tool for creating text, audio, and image-based notes that live in the cloud, but it’s still not so great when it comes time to actually browse through all of your notes — especially the older ones.

Bubble Browser tries to fix this problem, organizing your notes via colorful bubbles and presenting them in a three-panel browser that make it easy to explore Evernote visually. It’s a bit lacking in a few areas, and could do with more features, but its cool interface and straightforward navigation may be worth the price of admission alone.
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We’ve probably all set an app to perform a task, convert videos or download a big file, and then walked off to do something else. When you get back, though, the worst possible thing that could happen did; your computer went to sleep, you lost all of your progress, and you have to start over.

Sure, you can change when your Mac goes to sleep in System Preferences, but you have to remember to change it back or you could end up in worse trouble. Let’s face it, though, you’re not going to remember to constantly change those preferences. You don’t have to, though, because Wimoweh is going to keep your Mac awake. Let it know what applications to be on the look out for, and it won’t let your Mac sleep. But how does it stand up to competitor Caffeine? We’ll find out! (more…)

Whenever working on a number of projects in tandem,  it’s far too often that I end up sinking too much time into one task and end up with not enough time to complete the others. It’d helpful to have some sort of way to keep track of how much time is being spent on each task, and that’s exactly what Snail is made for.

A simple menubar app, Snail is meant to be a non-obtrusive way of scheduling tasks and then measuring how long it took you to complete each task. It’s a totally new take on project management for the Mac, one we knew we’d have to try out.
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