I had Code 2 by Panic, Inc for a while when I heard about their FTP client, Transmit 4.
When I first came across timing, it was recommended to me by my good friend Nick Lash. We were talking about time tracking apps and his possible employment as an iOS developer for time tracking juggernaut Toggl.
He was thinking of rewriting their Mac app in the vein of Timing.app.
So for this post I am sharing a small screencast I made using as app called Screenflow. I am demoing it– it is quite pricey but not as pricey as its Windows counterpart, Camtasia. There is a HUGE DEMO MODE watermark on the video, so bear with that. I will be buying it in a month and so I’ll be making videos I won’t share (exporting them with a license removes the watermark).
The app I am giving an easy tutorial on is Self-Control. It is a small, free app that is big in the Mac community and anti-distraction apps. Check it out below.
I wanted to write a quick post on the focus of the blog going forward.
Last year, I was inspired by a few of my productivity heroes to write about productivity instead of just apps. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to expand my reach and grow the blog beyond what it had become.
So as promised, I am penning the second part to my best Mac productivity apps of 2016. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
The Best of 2016 Mac App Roundup
- Hazel – This app saves me so much time by moving files around that I’ve collected in different places across my Mac and external hard drive. You can move any type of file with a rule, from photos, disk images, and epubs, the list is endless.
- BusyCal – This is my calendar app of choice, at least for now. I use BusyCal along with BusyContacts as a CRM but the more I look at Fantastical 2 the more I am intrigued by it. Maybe a review for 2017?
- BusyContacts – My favorite way to manage my contacts on macOS. It isn’t pretty but it is full-featured and integrates well with BusyCal. None of BusyMac’s apps are very good looking, but they are powerful.
- MindNode – I don’t mind map as much as I’d like– my mind doesn’t work in such a scattered way. But the few times I used MindNode1 I was impressed by its look and robust feature set. If mind mapping is your bag, definitely check it out.
- Paws for Trello – This is a nice, elegant Trello client that has desktop notifications and a quick switcher for board management. It’s cheap– $3. I use it quite a bit as I have several boards going for different projects.
- Dropbox – If you are doing any type of collaboration with teams using files that aren’t just documents, this is the app you want. Even if you aren’tcollaborating, just having your files everywhereis a piece of mind you can’t afford to live without. The free tier is not really generous; 2gb is paltry. But it will work for small text files. I’d encourage you to upgrade to the Pro plan at $99/yr or $10/mo. 1TB of storage for that price seems steep but it is the best cloud file manager available, and the most reliable.
- Google Drive – If you need real-time document editing, file-sharing, and online presentations that are easily shareable, this is the app you want. Unlike Dropbox, it gives you 15gb of storage on the free tier and up from there to 1TB and they have plans for businesses too.
Do You Agree with My List?
Let me know of what apps you’re using in the comments. There will be another New Year’s Mac App Roundup coming early 2017.
If you like what you read, could you share it? I appreciate the love. ❤️
The end of the year is here and with that comes end of year mac app roundup posts of the best apps for productivity, games, and other popular app genres.
Here, at That Mac Nerd, it’s no different. I have moved from app to app this past year, looking for the perfect tool. That’s a fool’s errand: there is no perfect tool, just a perfect system 1 and that system is unique to your own needs.
While writing this post, I noticed how long it had gotten and that I had 16 apps I wanted to talk about. So instead of pumping out a very long article, I decided to break it up, two posts with 8 apps each. Same for the End of the Year iOS Productivity App Roundup.
My Best Productivity Apps This Year
So what apps I am using are the best this year? Here’s my list.
OmniFocus – This is a workhorse for those busy folks that need to manage their tasks. This is a GTD powerhouse though you can use it for a simple list. OmniFocus is the best of the best and the app most entrepreneurs use if their on a Mac. Pricey, so make sure you’re going to commit.Spark – I know I wrote about Spark before:
and then I switched to Airmail:
on Mac and iOS. Spark’s Mac app was in beta and I didn’t really want to test it– I was pretty happy with the power of Airmail. Spark is powerful as well but not quite as powerful as Airmail– the OmniFocus share extension is much, much better with Airmail. I switched over to Spark after I looked at their Mac app. It’s beautiful and fast. On iOS I keep Airmail around just for that share extension but on Mac it doesn’t make a difference. Spark is almost as good as Mail.app and it’s free.Alfred – This is a must-have app. I don’t know what I’d do without it, and I am not even using its full power. It’s an app launcher, a web and website searcher, and with web APIs, AppleScript, and things like Python and JXA, you can script workflows for the apps on your machine or access web services. And with the revised workflow maker screen, you can think up and create all kinds of relevant workflows for you. You will need to pay for the PowerPack, which is around $30. Upgrades are cheap– I got my upgrade to version 3 for $10.Keyboard Maestro – Keyboard Maestro is an app that once you play around with it, get a few macros made2 you won’t know what you did without it. I have made, and downloaded, 184 macros that do things behind the scenes that I no longer have to think about. It has a learning curve, so make sure you are doing repeated tasks often enough to justify the time and monetary costs of this app. But, if you’re willing to take a little time to learn it3.Hazel – If you are constantly moving files across your Mac and maybe a few external drives, or even into closed file formats like Evernote4, Hazel should be your first choice for this. In fact, I am pretty certain Hazel is the only choice for this currently. Hazel saves me so much time, and it doesn’t have to be a slog to setup. Just a few rules can get you going. I wrote about my Hazel setup on Mac Automation Tips blog:
Check it out for how to get started with Hazel. Check out Katie Floyd’s Evernote Hazel rule as well.Evernote – I absolutely love Evernote, despite the team’s flaws, despite its warts, despite the uproar over their pricing model. Since Phil Libin left, the Evernote team has since regained focus, shuttling their ill-advised store and some other products that weren’t at the core of who they are. I tried the plain text system of storing information, as well as a DEVONthink Pro Office system of storing info, but at the end of the day, nothing is as malleable to GTD and productivity as Evernote. I keep and use DEVONthink Pro Office as an archival database for books, videos, and pdfs that I may need to refer to later. But for my everyday, I still use Evernote. I am currently writing a book on Evernote so stay tuned.Scrivener – With the recent release of their iOS app, Scrivener is back on my radar as a worthy tool to write non-fiction in, as well as the sundry school research papers I’ll need to write. It is, in all its cluttered glory, a behemoth– it does so much, so many bells and whistles– but it does it in ways other software can’t match. When Scrivener launched for iOS I immediately bought it and have since started two book projects. It syncs with Dropbox only: for some reason the developer said iCloud Sync didn’t work correctly, however Ulysses, which also uses package files, works flawlessly with iCloud Sync. In any case, this is a must have if you’re doing any type of long-form writing.Ulysses – Ulysses is the markdown app for serious writers. I write practically everything in Ulysses that isn’t going to be extremely long form or things like journal entries or goals. You can put that stuff in Ulysses, but that’s really not taking advantage of its power. I am currently writing this blog post in Ulysses on my iPad Pro with Logitech Smart Keyboard but the Mac app is always in my dock, always accessible. I write all my blog posts, newsletters, and scripts in Ulysses. It’s an App Store app and quite pricey, like Scrivener but one of the best apps on the store.
Stay Tuned for Part 2
Part two has some web apps that have integrations locally on your Mac and a few utilities. The next post should be out by the end of the week.
In the meantime relax, stay motivated, and keep productive.
As promised, here is my screencast review of BusyCal. There are a few around but people seem to be in love with Fantastical 2 since it has just been released. It’s receiving high praise so I’ll test it out and report back. I don’t plan on buying another calendar replacement app, but I will utilize the free trial.
In any case, here is the BusyCal screencast.
You can buy BusyCal here.
Learning more about screencasting as I go. The quality is okay but I should have bumped the quality up past 1206 kbits/s. So now I know.