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Productivity

This post is part of a series that revisits some of our readers’ favorite articles from the past that still contain awesome and relevant information that you might find useful. This post was originally published on September 9th, 2011

As you would expect from the editor of a Mac blog, I’m a complete app addict. I have random applications for everything from cataloguing recipes to counting characters in a TextEdit document. Some of these I use on a daily basis, but many of them admittedly sit and collect dust in my Applications folder.

This article is an attempt to narrow down my absolute bare essentials. What three things do I think are fundamentally lacking in OS X and would need to be installed on any machine that I use for more than a few hours, regardless of what I’m doing? Which apps genuinely save me a considerable amount of time in my daily routine? Let’s take a look!

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Over the past year, I’ve really upped my freelance work. That means I’m spending my time on my personal computer, rather than a work computer that I can’t customize. As such, I’ve been moving away from relying completely on web apps, and begun to explore more apps made for my mac.

One thing that I’ve been looking for was an app that would allow me to access my calendar without loading up a dedicated calendar app or using the Google Calendar web app. When I started searching for the perfect app, I knew I wanted a menu bar app, even if I didn’t know exactly what functionality I needed. I found and tried a ton of different applications. I chose three plus a bonus app to share with you, so stick with me after the jump to find the perfect menu bar calendar app to fit your needs.

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Developers build all the cool tools we use to stay productive and entertained on our Mac and other devices, but it turns out, they need good tools themselves. One of the reasons Macs make such great development platforms are all the great development apps in the App Store and ready for download directly from around the net.

Here’s 30 of the best tools for developers, some of which you might already be using and others you might have just have heard of in passing. Even if you’re not a developer, be sure to give the roundup a look, as there’s a lot of productivity apps in here that just might appeal to you too!

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In the summer of 2009 I began working on my Master’s degree part time. In addition to my degree I also work full time and keep up with other activities (such as writing for this site) all while trying to have some semblance of a life. In December I should complete my Capstone project and graduate.

It’s taken a lot of careful management of time and more importantly energy to keep moving to this point. When I moved to a MacBook as my primary computer last summer, I had to redo my workflow and evaluate the best tools to keep up with my courses. Here I’m going to look at a few of the tools that I’ve used to keep my notes, organize my assignments, complete assignment, and work on my thesis project. (more…)

Reading. Writing. Researching. Revising. Studying. Discussing. These are just a few of the many things that a good English major is expected to do. The workload might seem overwhelming at times. Luckily, a number of different apps exist to help you out along the way.

From writing apps to dictionaries and even publishing tools, a huge variety of Mac apps can definitely find a helpful home in every English Major’s hard drive. This list contains a few of what I consider to be the most helpful apps for an English major.
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There are so many different ways to keep notes on the Mac, but even with the advent of Notes on iOS and now OS X, Simplenote has remained one of the most popular apps for taking notes. Simplenote on its own is a convenient way to access text notes via your web browser from just about anywhere. Matched up with the literally dozens of apps for Mac, PC, and mobile, you can have complete control over your notes wherever you go.

We’re going to look at five of the Mac apps for Simplenote and see where they succeed and where they fail. Whether you’re a Simplenote veteran looking to try something new, or you’ve never even thought of using an app to manage your notes, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a good notes app. While there’s still more Simplenote apps to be had out there, hopefully this list will help you break free of pen and paper. (more…)

Last month I wrote a how-to article on the website builder Rapidweaver. While RapidWeaver is a great piece of software with numerous options to create great looking websites, it also has a huge number of plugins available for users to try and use with their site.

In this article I’ve rounded up some of the best plugins available to RapidWeaver users to help you get the most out of your site. Read on to see my top ten RapidWeaver plugins.
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PDF has become a worldwide document type standard and you no doubt deal with these documents fairly regularly. Because the file tpye is so common there is a plethora of applications available to work with them.

It can be a bit tricky to wade through the large number of choices though, so I’ve attempted to pull out ten of the most useful apps for performing various functions. Everything from simply managing your PDF files to editing, extracting and more.

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Have you ever worked on a larger project and at some point wished that instead of a giant box of notes you had some shorter, more accessible overview of the entire thing? The run-down of a lecture series, the step-by-step process of realizing a website overhaul, the hierarchical overview of customer requests?

Whatever challenge you face, an outline can save the day. It allows you to quickly see a structure or find a detail which can get lost in regular notes. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at five outliner apps for Mac and their respective benefits and shortcomings. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but I’m sure it will get you started.

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In this great age of computers, typing is an absolutely necessary skill. Only being able to peck away at keys greatly inhibits any efficiency you might have, whether you’re typing a document for work, a term paper or even just an email. Luckily, there are a number of apps out there to improve your typing skills, from lessons for beginners or games that work with advanced typers to continue improving your WPM.

These programs encompass a wide range of functions. Some of the programs are very full-featured, including lessons from the very basics, games, tests and drills. Other apps come at a much lower price, and they tend to focus on only one type of exercise, whether it’s lessons or a typing game. Read on to check out some  great Mac apps dedicated to improving your typing skills.

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