Posts Tagged

Productivity

There’s no denying that Macs have been quite popular with students for years, and with good reason. Apple’s computers are ideal for an academic context (and, we’d argue, almost any context, but we might be biased), given their reliability and features that help its users to get stuff done. However, I’ve come to realize that students often use their Macs superficially. Most are not taking full advantage of everything OS X offers them, not to mention the myriad of incredible third-party apps.

I’ll attempt to capitalize on my 4-year experience with using Macs as a student. In all honesty, many of these tips can be applied to any situation, so long as it involves productivity in one way or another. Moreover, don’t expect these tips to be mindblowing; they’re aimed at new Mac users, but even old timers might find a new tip or three.

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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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Keeping open multiple application windows, even multiple browser tabs, can eat up a lot of memory and slow your machine down. But when you’re busy, it’s difficult to sacrifice the ease of having every application and website you need one click away for that extra speed boost.

Click.to makes that trade off a little easier by gathering all of those applications into a single menu interface. By allowing you to access everything in one place, it’s no longer necessary to keep a tab for every web app and a window for every application going at the same time. But how much functionality can Click.to really provide in a single popup menu? We’ll take a look! (more…)

Winners Announced

Thanks to everyone who took part in the giveaway this week, and special thanks to the kind people at BundleHunt! I’m excited to let you know that the winners have now been chosen. Congratulations are in order to:

Joel Castillo
Viktor Korbel

Well done to the lucky winners, and we’ll be in touch soon. Sorry to those who missed out, be sure to check back for more great competitions!

Old Competition Post

You’ve got to move quick on this one! We have two BundleHunt Productivity bundles to give away, but the competition ends tomorrow.

Here’s your chance to get your hands on iStopMotion, LittleSnapper, TotalFinder, Typinator, Default Folder X, Keyboard Maestro 5, PhoneView, the Smashing Magazine Super Bundle, Glyph Ocean Icon Set, 4 ThemeFuse WordPress themes, and Picons Ultimate+.

Read on to find out how to enter…

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Our featured sponsor this week is TaskBurn, a fun and unique task manager.

Have you ever thought about how satisfying it is to complete an item on your todo list? It makes you feel productive and encourages you to push forward and complete more tasks. Now, with that in mind, think about how much more fulfilling it would be if, instead of simply checking a box, you could set your tasks on fire and watch them burn, reveling in your victory. This somewhat maniacal dream becomes a reality with TaskBurn.

Aside from the fun and crazy animations, TaskBurn is a serious task manager with great features: iCloud sync, easy task addition, task groups, burned task recovery, menu bar access and more.

If you’re looking for a way to add a little excitement to your task management process, check out TaskBurn and set your todo list on fire!

Go Get It!

Can’t wait to go pyromaniac on your tasks? Give TaskBurn a download from the Mac App Store. If you’d like to see TaskBurn in action, check out the app website for a video demo.

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


Research, writing an article, listing down next week’s groceries, and planning travel itineraries—all these require you to take down notes. How else will you be able to remember what to bring or what aspect of your topic to research?

Thankfully, there are plenty of Mac apps to help you jot down notes. Keeping tabs on ideas, details, and information wherever you go is now easy and worry-free, since you won’t have to worry about misplacing pieces of paper and spending hours trying to locate them.

There are different types of note-taking apps the market, one category being a desktop application that syncs with a note-taking web app like Simplenote. Simplenote is quite popular for its simplicity, clean interface, and seamless integration with other apps such as Notational Velocity and Scrivener.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Metanota, a note-taking app that creates and syncs all of your notes to the cloud via Simplenote while making sure to maintain a simple and interference-free experience.

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The moment you boot up your Mac, a variety of things pry for your attention. Email, social networks, reminders, and all sorts of distractions eventually trap you in the middle of a tug-of-war, making it almost impossible to focus on a single activity.

As a result, you lose track of what you’re supposed to do. You might just find yourself looking up, wondering where the sun went all of the sudden.

Here’s the good news though: there are apps that can help you solve this productivity problem. In this round-up, I’ll share 15 Mac apps that help you focus, whether it’s dimming the screen, blocking social networking sites, closing inactive applications, or working in time bursts. You can use one or mix a couple of these apps to fit the way you work.

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If you’re reading this article then in all likelihood you spend a significant amount of time on your Mac, whether for work or play. However, while the increasing digitization of the modern world has led to real tangible benefits such as unparalleled communication, the easy spread of ideas and, of course, Lolcats, there is a more harmful side to heavy computer use and that is the effect it can have on our health.

These health risks often present themselves with issues such as back pain, RSI (or repetitive strain injury) and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. In an ideal world, we’d simply not work so much and go outside and enjoy some exercise but since this is not always possible, there’s Time Out Free.

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While it is true that note-taking apps are a common sight these days, there are only a handful that are specifically made to stay on the menu bar such as Soho Notes, Rapid Note, and Scribblet 2. These menu bar note-taking apps are normally built with minimal features, an easy-to-navigate interface, and run silently in the background.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at a relatively new menu bar notes app called NotesTab by FLIPLAB Ltd., the makers of popular menu bar apps MailTab and MenuTab for Facebook. With the latest update to version 1.2, let’s see if this new member of the family stands and delivers just as well.

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If you spend any time at all with your nose in the realm of productivity software (and you know we do), then you’re probably aware of the splash that 6Wunderkinder made when they finally opened their super-secret new web app, Wunderkit, to public beta just a mere few weeks ago. By building on the success of Wunderlist (which many would agree is one of the most refined task-list managers on the market thus far), 6Wunderkinder designed a highly anticipated platform that has the potential to change the way we organize our life.

In a not entirely unexpected move, 6Wunderkinder released a Wunderkit client for both Mac and iPhone on the same day that the beta of the service went public, and those of us who utilize those platforms got a taste of what’s to come from 6Wunderkinder’s almost certain multi-platform roadmap. Today, I’m going to take a look at attempt number one at the Wunderkit client for Mac. Hit the jump to find out more.

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