Adium has long been a favorite for instant messaging on the Mac. With support for more services than you can shake a stick at and plugins to take care of the rest, Adium pretty much does it all. More than that, though, Adium is infinitely customizable. With a vast library of crowd-sourced Xtras, you can pretty much make Adium look and sound however you want.

We’ll take a look at some of the best Adium Xtras – not just all the awesome Dock and menu bar icons, but also the plugins and AppleScripts that can really boost Adium’s functionality.

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Sometimes it feels like a day doesn’t go by without the release of another app in the over-saturated to-do list category. I’ve used Things to organize my life since it was first introduced, and I’ve stuck with it through the years, even despite the developers’ embarrassingly long delay for proper cloud syncing. My loyalty to Things has always been shaky, which has kept me experimenting with it’s many competitors.

I recently tried out Cheddar to see if it could replace Things as my go-to organization tool on my Mac. Here’s how that worked out.

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Recently out of beta and available for download, Bitcasa has a new Mac client and a new pricing plan. With a base plan of 10GB of free cloud storage, Bitcasa is definitely setting itself up to compete with the big boys.

But what is Bitcasa? If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s an online storage service which offers limitless – or nearly so – storage, online. With a free account, you can use Bitcasa as an online locker for cloud storage of some of your most used files or to share photos, videos, music, or documents with your friends. If you have a paid account, Bitcasa can automatically backup your entire computer. Size isn’t everything, though.

How does Bitcasa compare on speed and usability? We’ll find out! (more…)

If you’ve ever wanted a more advanced to-do list app for your Mac, you’re bound to have tried OmniFocus or Things – or both. They’re the two most popular – or at least most talked about – task management apps on the Mac, with a somewhat similar feature set and seemingly equally fanatical fans.

OmniFocus 1 first came out in early 2008, while Things 1 came out in early 2009. Each have received a number of updates over time, and Things just released their second full version last year. OmniFocus 2, on the other hand, is one of the apps we’re anticipating most in 2013.

Both apps sync online, are designed to work with the GTD method, let you schedule tasks and organize things, though in their own manner. They’re really both great apps, though Things shines a bit more right now in the design and ease-of-use department, and OmniFocus is definitely the more geeky and “hackable” of the two.

So, which is your favorite of the two? Or have you foregone both Things and OmniFocus, and spent your GTD dollars on other apps?

For the record, I’m an OmniFocus guy, and can’t wait to get started using OmniFocus 2 ;)

In this day and age, we find ourselves surrounded by constant distractions, making focusing on a single task at any given time an increasingly difficult endeavour. Often times, we have to resort to mental hacks and gimmicks to focus on the task at hand… I know I do.

One method I’ve found helps me focus is The Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro apps are dime a dozen in the App Store, some more complex and feature rich, others such as Tadam, more minimal. I recently took it for a spin. Read on to find out how it faired.

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Looking for a way to make your Mac’s background a bit more exciting? Then you should give Live Wallpaper, our sponsor this week, a try. It’s been the #2 paid app in the US Mac App Store, and is still the #9 top paid app today, months after getting released.

Live Wallpaper lets your Mac showcase more than just a pretty picture. It lets you see the date, time, weather, and custom text, integrated into a beautiful picture or animated background. It’ll work on multiple monitors, too, giving you a great way to take advantage of your extra screen real estate. Even if you use full-screen apps or spaces on OS X, Live Wallpaper will work just the way you’d expect – like your default OS X wallpaper.

Live Wallpaper includes over 20 themes, with more being released all the time. You can fully customize the themes in Edit mode, changing the background and moving around the time and other objects in the theme. Or, you can download custom themes and talk to other users on the Live Wallpaper forum.

Go Get It!

If you’ve been wanting a simple way to liven up your Mac’s desktop, and make it a bit more useful at the same time, then be sure to try out Live Wallpaper. It’s just $0.99 in the App Store, plenty cheap enough to try out and see if it’s what you need to keep your Mac’s desktop from growing too boring. Plus, it just might be enough to keep you from ever having to switch over to Dashboard again.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

There’s one major problem with going paperless: everyone keeps sending you paper, and you can’t just tap a “Save to Dropbox” button on paper. You’ve still got to take it digital. Scanners are nothing new, but they’re typically synonymous with bulky all-in-one printers that are clunky and frustrating to use. Unless you’re really dedicated, odds are you’ll never digitalize all the paper you keep around with a traditional scanner.

The Doxie team recently sent me a Doxie One, their newest and simplest scanner, to try out. I’d recently purchased an HP printer+scanner, one that’s nice enough to have built-in wireless AirPrint. It’s no match for the Doxie, though, but then, the Doxie’s still no match for it either.

Here’s why.

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When I first discovered Markdown and shortly thereafter MultiMarkdown, I instantly fell in love. Almost overnight writing workflows and tools were transfigured. They became more streamlined and ubiquitous.

Therefore, when news surfaced that Fletcher Penny was readying the release of MultiMarkdown Composer 2, I was antsy to get my hands on it. The wait was a long one… but well worth it!
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While Macs are more popular than they’ve ever been, Windows computers still form the majority of the market. Many of us, in fact, spend time using both, perhaps a Mac at home while on a PC at work. Working with others means even full time Mac users often needs to exchange files and data with users running Windows.

Fortunately the increased popularity of Macs makes this split environment easier than ever. Many common applications are cross platform and available for both Mac and Windows computers, and open standards and web apps make up for the rest. Let’s look at some apps that make it easier on everyone when working on both Macs and PCs. (more…)

With every passing day, online security gets increasingly important. Hardly a day goes by without hearing of a high-level hacking. But unfortunately, far too many people rely on insecure passwords, and reuse those same passwords on all of their online accounts. If one account gets hacked – boom – everything account they have could be easily logged into.

There’s a ton of password managers out there, but for many, they seem too much trouble. They can get rather expensive, and require installing extensions in your browser and more. PassLocker is trying to make password management simpler for everyone with a menubar app that’s incredibly easy to use. (more…)

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