Computers should be so smart today, and yet, it feels like we have to babysit them, performing menial tasks, instead of putting the computer’s own power to work. We’re blown away by voice command apps like Siri, and yet our MacBooks that are far faster take more effort to use. There should be a way to automate it more.
ControlPlane is an open-source context-sensitive automation application. In short, what this means is actions can be triggered based on where you are, what you’re doing or when you’re doing it. There’s a vast number of ways you could put it to use, and it’s limited only by your imagination. So if your curiosity is already piqued, read on while I take you on a small tour.
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.
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:
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.