15 iPad Apps to Boost Productivity

April 25, 2013 at 4:19 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Like many people these days, my friends and I are spending more and more time using mobile devices for work and play. I’ve done a little bit of investigating, and have come up with fifteen of the best iPad apps for boosting productivity:

IOS App Icons 2

1. Evernote (Free) How would you like it if you could remember everything? With Evernote, you’ll never forget anything again…but, if you do, you can skim back thru your index and find it. Evernote for iPad lets you create new text, audio, and photo notes. With its gesture control, you can view existing Evernote content just by swiping or tapping your finger. It lets you create multiple types of notes, organize them in notebooks, and syncs automatically and flawlessly. You can also share with others. There is also a Premium account with more great features, including their amazing text recognition. It’s cross-platform and cross-device, so you’ll never be without your information again. It’s truly become my peripheral brain. If I could only have one app, this would be it.

2. 1Password ($17.99) This hall of fame app is easily the best password manager for the iPad, iOS and Mac (also for Windows and Android). It uses industry standard security, has a user-friendly (and gorgeous) interface, has desktop partner apps for Mac and Windows, and automagically syncs with Dropbox to keep everything at your fingertips. Use it to store log-ins, software registrations, secure notes, account information, and more. Generate strong passwords to protect your digital information. Use the in-app browser to log in to places like online banking sites securely from within the app. There were previously separate apps for iPhone and iPad, but now there is one universal app. This is a great standalone app, but it’s really powerful when you use it in conjunction with its desktop counterpart.

3. Dropbox (Free) This service lets you take your photos, documents, and videos anywhere and easily share them. You can keep files in a central location accessible to all devices, and share with other users. It is integrated with many iOS apps and has become the standard app to which many apps sync to safely store information.

4. TextExpander ($4.99) – This is an invaluable app on your Mac, and now it has come to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Use short abbreviations that expand to words, snippets of text, or entire paragraphs to increase productivity and save lots of typing. Set your abbreviation then watch it expand to fill information such as addresses, URL’s, standard responses, and more. Every day, more apps are integrated with it…over 100 already. Sync your TextExpander snippets with your Mac via Dropbox.

5. Notability ($1.99) This was Apple’s best selling note-taker of 2012. Taking notes is an essential part of important work meetings, but everyone has their own style and preferred method of capturing and transcribing information. Notability rolls all those styles into one handy app. You can type, doodle notes by hand, record snippets of audio, pull images from the web or add them from your photo library, annotate PDFs, and index everything in one place. Once you have your notes, you can sync to your favorite cloud service. You can also import Microsoft Office files (.doc, .ppt, and .xls) as PDFs using Google Drive.

6. JotNot Scanner Pro ($.99) When you need to scan docs, this is the app to use. Take a picture of your document (or batch scan multiple docs), adjust the corners where you want them, then send it to yourself via Evernote, email, uploading to Dropbox, etc. Scan your docs, receipts, (and anything else you can snap with your camera) into PDFs. Take advantage of in-app faxing to U.S. numbers via fax credits (99¢ for up to 5 pages). You can adjust file size and resolution within the app. Tag, search, and sort your documents. It automatically detects standard paper sizes, or you can set custom sizes. View PDF docs or export them to other iOS apps such as iBooks. Some folks prefer Scanner Pro ($6.99). Both do essentially the same things. I’ve always used JotNot, and never had an issue. I have some friends who use Scanner Pro who say the same thing. Get whichever looks better to you. You can’t go wrong with either one, although there’s a $6 price difference at the moment.

7. Wunderlist (Free) After trying over a dozen planners, to-do lists, and reminder-type apps, this has become my favorite of the bunch. It might not have all the bells and whistles (or price tag!) of OmniFocus or Things, but by the same token, I don’t get all bogged down in it, and I can just concentrate on getting things done. Wunderlist has won multiple awards from Lifehacker, Mashable, and others. You can create and manage multiple lists in one place, set reminders, and add recurring tasks and subtasks. It is easy to collaborate with others by inviting friends or colleagues to share lists. In addition to using this for basic to-do lists, I have a media list that a group of us share and a shopping list that I share with my partner. We can both add to it from our respective iDevices, and it stays in sync between us. Never forget the ice cream again 🙂

8. Log Me In (Free) This app gives you direct access to your computer at home or work with just one click. Remotely access your computer or access and edit files from your iPad as if you were sitting at your computer. Never be away from important files again. The Pro version has premium features.

9. Dragon Dictation (Free) This is by far the best voice-to-text tool that I’ve ever used. It works from the moment you install it with no configuration or setting up, and no ‘training’ period. It is the embodiment of the phrase ‘it just works.’ If fast typing isn’t your thing, this is a great solution for hands-free transcription. This helpful and accurate dictation app turns your speech into text, then lets you send it easily to social networking apps, email, or other programs. Once you get a feel for it, using this app is a breeze.

10. iXpenseIt ($4.99) – This one has taken multiple awards for favorite app from different sites. It helps with expense tracking, budgeting, and bill reminders for personal or business use. There’s an export feature using email or wi-fi, or use .CSV importing into either Numbers or Excel spreadsheets. Access your data via any web browser using the wi-fi option, or email expense reports, with photos if desired. The lite version has limit of 200 records, including recurring expenses, so you can give it a try.

11. OfficeTime ($7.99, Universal) Accurately tracking time spent working across multiple projects in a day can feel like a tedious juggling act that completely saps your focus. This easy-to-use time tracker app handles that task for you. All you do is set a project and tap a button. Switching between different tasks auto pauses your current project when you swap. Export to Numbers or Excel, Mac or PC. Designed for Freelancers and small teams. There is also a free version with limited functionality, but it should be enough to let you see that you would like the paid version so you can track unlimited projects and categories and sync to your Mac or PC.

12. Camera+ for iPad ($.99) Since the day it was released, Camera+ has been the best iPhone app for taking and editing photos. It runs circles around Apple’s own Camera app, largely due to the “Clarity” filter that improves almost any photo in any circumstances. I rarely take photos with my iPad, but I do a lot of minor editing and enhancing, and that is where this app shines. There are oodles of filters, effects, and treatments that have been created by figure skater turned model turned professional photographer, Lisa Bettany, and she has worked some serious magic with this app. Use one effect, or stack them for even more unique results. Then add borders and captions for a little extra punch. Keep your photos in sync between your iDevices using their iCloud Lightbox feature, then share your photos via popular social media apps.

13. Flipboard (Free) This flagship iPad app is still the standard for news apps on the iPad, or as they say, “your personal magazine”. Completely customizable to suit your tastes, it is a great aggregator of all your favorite sources, from Twitter and Facebook to your favorite ‘read later’ app, with a gorgeous magazine style layout. A cool new feature includes the ability to literally save content into your own magazines, for example to make a “Dream Trip” planning guide, or set up your very own magazine for all things geocaching. Did I mention the gorgeous layout? 😉

14. Pocket (Free) Save long articles, web pages, or videos to view later, when you have time, on your computer, iPhone, or iPad. It syncs automatically across devices. Save virtually anything from your browser or from over 300 apps. This is another app that has been a repeat award winner over the past year or so. This is a great app for when I’m stuck somewhere without online access and a weak or non-existent cell signal. Thanks to Pocket, I can still access prime content. Some new features include sharing content and sending to friends.

15. Spotify (Free) When I’m working or relaxing or pretty much any time in between, I’ve got to be listening to music. It just makes me more productive. This excellent music streaming service is now a universal iOS app and it’s a great one. You can listen to your own music for free or get full offline access to all your favorite synced playlists with a Spotify premium account. U.S. users can listen to free radio as well. Share your favorite music with friends and send it to Facebook. Listening to music just got a whole lot better.

Bonus app: Bento for iPad ($9.99) For an all-around organizational tool for your life, check out Bento. This app has 25 different database templates designed for a variety of subjects, including recipes, event planning, inventory tracking, billable hours and expenses, vehicle maintenance, and contacts. All the templates are customizable, so you can tweak them to suit your specific needs, or design your own from scratch. Organize virtually any type of information. This can be used as a standalone app, or in conjunction with the iPhone ($4.99) version or Mac ($49.99) version. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but there are some great tutorials available online.

There you have it. Those are my fifteen top apps for boosting productivity using just your iPad and a few well-placed taps and swipes. Let me know what apps you can’t live without.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Finger Discount Gives MacHeist the Finger

November 8, 2009 at 12:19 am (MacHeist, shareware) (, , , )

One Finger Discount.jpg
I noted a couple of days ago that MacHeist has begun an interesting ploy to garner contact information for the next iteration of their highly successful MacHeist series. For the low, low price of “free”, along with your contact info, you can download a nice little bundle of six various applications, ranging from a popular Twitter client to an organizer to a tower defense game.

To tie in to the promo, Daniel Jalkut, of Red-Sweater Software, came up with his own idea to have a One Finger Discount. He initially told folks on Twitter to pick up the MacHeist bundle, and “with some of the money you save, spend $20-$60 to make some developer’s day”.

I thought it was a great idea, and began to retweet it. Apparently, a lot of other folks thought it was a great idea as well, because it grew…rapidly! Before long, several high-profile blogs (Ars, MacWorld, TUAW) had picked up the story, and Jalkut found himself barraged with takers to add to the hastily crafted webpage he put together at One Finger Discount. He has taken a beating in many comments about the design of the One Finger Discount “Website”. True enough, he obviously didn’t see it taking on a life of its own so quickly, but he’s also the first to admit he’s no webmaster. Still, I wish someone would cobble something together for him (heck, even in iWeb!) that didn’t look like my 3-year old niece did it!

Friday morning he tweeted “Developer reaction insane. Now I have a taste for what it’s like to be @sethdill during PMC. Trying to keep up.” He was referring to Seth Dillingham, and his Pan-Mass Challenge annual software bundle auction to raise money for The Jimmy Fund/Dana-Farber Cancer Center. I volunteered and helped Seth and his wife, Corinne, with that auction a few months ago. I could just imagine Seth sitting back shaking his head, wryly smirking, saying, “Dude, you have NO idea….” 😛
By last night, he had added, “Jeez, if this keeps up we won’t need a reference page. Just assume all software on the planet is 20% off.”

Now THAT sounds like a deal!

The One Finger allegedly comes from 1/5, or a 20% discount, rather than a free five-finger discount. It’s still almost a steal. I suppose which finger you want to use depends on your perceptions of MacHeist and its creators. It’s no secret that many developers, including Jalkut, have been critical of MacHeist in the past, largely because of its practice of giving independent software developers a lot of exposure and customers, but keeping most of the profits for itself.

In an email response printed in MacWorld’s article about it, Jalkut responds to some Twitter users raising questions about the negative connotation of the ” One Finger Discount ” name. He says, “The name is just something that came to mind when I was making the coupon code for my own store. It is entirely inspired by ‘five-finger discount’ and it only occurred to me afterwards (with the help of Twitter followers) that it had a potential negative connotation. MacHeist jokes with the idea of software thievery, so I thought I’d play along.”

In a tweet tonight, Jalkut said, “It started as a whim, and took over my weekend. I bet One Finger Discount will be >100 developers on Monday.” I’ll bet he’s right. So far, more than 75 developers have tossed their hat into the ring. I’ve already found several apps that I was unaware of, have purchased a couple, and will likely purchase 2 or 3 more before it’s over. I’m posting this using one of my all-time fave apps, MarsEdit!. If you blog and you don’t use MarsEdit, you seriously owe it to yourself to check out this app.

The promo runs during the same time as the MacHeist NanoBundle, until November 13.

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Get More Done with Jott

June 29, 2008 at 7:45 am (shareware) (, , , , , , , , , )

jott_logo.jpgIf you are not using Jott, you are missing out on some serious chances to be more productive when those little random thoughts, that I call ‘popcorn thoughts’, jump in and out of your head before you can make notes.  Enter Jott. The premise is deceptively simple. It is a program that uses voice recognition software, and a few humans, to transcribe what you say to text. The uses have grown almost exponentially as the application has matured. It is still in beta, but it is quite stable and has a very long list of features. This review will just scratch the surface, but I hope it will interest you enough to head over to Jott.com and check it out for yourself.

We’ll start off with the most basic function: sending yourself an email message. This is affectionately known as “Jott to Self”. First, you pop over to Jott.com, cell phone in hand, and set up an account, which takes about 30 seconds. Now you’re ready to start Jotting. Enter Jott’s phone number, 866-JOTT-123, in your cell phone directory (mine is in my iPhone favorites, so it’s right there on the front screen so I don’t have to search for it). Call Jott. You will be asked, “Who do you want to Jott?”. You can say “me” or “myself”, or press 1. When you hear the beep, leave your message; for example, “Add more contacts to Jott”. Jott will confirm by saying, “Got it”. You may then hang up, or stay on the line to Jott again. You will then receive an email message (and also a text message if you set it up to receive confirmation texts) of your Jotted message.

That’s how you get started. You can leave a Jott to remind you about meetings, birthdays, special events, or anything else for which you need a reminder. You will get an email and a text message approximately fifteen minutes prior to the date and time you specified. You can set up lists for things to do, movies to see, places to go, etc. Those lists can be printed as well. When you set up your friends as contacts, you can choose to send their Jott as an email, text message, or both. The accuracy is quite good, but if for some reason the message they get is unclear or doesn’t sound right, there is a link that will also let them listen to your spoken Jott.

In addition to setting up friends as contacts, you can also set up groups. Let’s say you need to let the members of your softball team know that the time of your game was moved up an hour. Rather than call a dozen people, you only need to make one call to Jott. You’ll Jott the message to your team (group contact), then the whole team will get the text and/or email, and everyone will be on time for the game. How’s that for efficiency?

Jott has links that you can add for integration with other sites such as Remember the Milk, 30 Boxes, and many others. They even give instructions for developing your own link! If you use Google Calendar, by all means, link to it. You can set up events and reminders thru Jott that will sync to your Google Calendar. If you use iCal, you can still use it by using a third party shareware application such as BusySync or SpanningSync. For example, if I Jott a reminder for “Karen’s Birthday Party” Saturday at 3pm, it will post to Google Calendar, then BusySync will sync with iCal. When I connect my iPhone, I will have the notation for the party in iCal and on my iPhone. How cool is that?!

If you like to Tweet, add Twitter as a link, and you can Jott your tweets (you just have to keep up with those 140 characters in your head!). You can also blog to WordPress and other popular blogs using Jott. I even Jotted part of this review (see the brief post below this one)! You have to keep in mind that Jotts are limited to thirty seconds. If you want to add a lot of content, just edit several Jotts together.

Jott Feeds was recently added to the growing list of features. You call Jott, and say “Jott Feeds”. Then you tell Jott which feed you want to hear (they have a few there by default, but you can add more to your account). If I say, “Lifehacker”, it will read the latest Lifehacker updates to me. Score another point for safety. It’s kind of funny to hear the relatively pleasant, but still quite mechanical voice reading this to me. There are a lot of run-on sentences and a lot of it is really hard to understand. I’m sure this will likely be refined over time.

Jott is now integrated with the incredibly popular Evernote application. Evernote is cross-platform, and also has a desktop client. It recently went public (it had been in private beta). Evernote generates a special email address for members. I made a contact named Ever Note and listed the Evernote email address. Then I called Jott, and Jotted to Evernote. It sent the text of my Jott to Evernote via the Evernote-specific email address. Nice.

There are a few important guidelines to remember when Jotting. Speaking clearly is paramount. Pronounce the words clearly, and you can even spell out proper names or difficult words if you want. The voice recognition software can be a little tricky sometimes, but for the most part, it just works, and works very well. The accuracy is amazing. I have a little bit of a southern accent, but I haven’t run into any major problems so far. I looked over the longest paragraph that I Jotted to my blog, and it was spot-on, 100% accurate.

I have to give a shout out to the very responsive staff at Jott. There was one feature that I wanted desperately, and that was the ability to send myself text messages separately, not associated with emailing a Jott. Kevin over at Lifehacker had come up with a way to do this several months ago, but the application had undergone a few revisions since then and it was no longer possible to do it. I tried to implement a few workaround hacks, but I just could not get it to work. I emailed support a few times and talked to Brooke about it. That’s when I got the bad news that I couldn’t send myself just a text message.

I pleaded for her to work on it. A couple of weeks went by, and just the other day I got a message from Brooke saying that, because of my emails, they changed some things and re-introduced that bit of functionality. Yay! For anyone else wanting to do this, here is what you do. First, I only have my email address listed for my contact information (to Jott myself). I did not list my cell phone number with my main contact info. I added a contact called “Text Me” and added my phone number to it, but not my email address. Inidentally, I tried saying both ‘my phone’ and ‘phone’, but it had voice recognition conflicts with those, so I had to get a little more creative. However, Brooke told me she used “phone” and it worked fine for her…probably my southern accent! Now, when I call Jott, and I am asked, “Who do you want to Jott?”, I say “Text Me”. I leave my message, and a few minutes later, it sends it to my iPhone as a text message. Perfect!

So, if there is a feature you would like to see, just let them know. They have implemented so many new features in the past several weeks and there are even more to come. This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as what you can do with Jott. There are many more suggestions and examples at their website.

Another very important point to bring up is the safety aspect. By using Jott, you can use a bluetooth headset with your cell phone, BlackBerry, or iPhone. This makes it much safer for you to be productive while on the road. You don’t have to try to scroll through a list of contacts or rummage around to find pen and paper.

Jott is free while in beta. No word yet on pricing when it comes out of beta, although the free application will remain. According to posts at their forums, they will be implementing a premium service that will allow longer Jotts, possibly including transcription services, and more features. It’s practically impossible not to get hooked on it. Give Jott a try.

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It’s Easy to Jott to a Blog…

June 29, 2008 at 3:53 am (Applications, How-to, Productivity) (, , , , , , )

It’s easy to use Jott to post to your WordPress or other popular blog. You just have to keep your post to under 30 seconds each. So if you think it will run longer, just string several of them together. Remember to speak slow and clearly. I’m using Jott now to post this message to my blog. The accuracy is really amazing. However, if something comes out really wrong, you can always go into your Jott webpage and correct it manually. I just Jotted this post!

Powered by Jott

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Ryu’s MacHeist pulls a heist of his own

June 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm (shareware) (, , , , , )

Well, there’s been quite a little uproar at MacHeist today.

The new and improved bundle was released today, ostensibly to increase less-than-stellar sales of the MacHeist Retail Bundle. The Retail Bundle was released a couple of months ago and has been sold online, plus there is a boxed version that is being sold in brick and mortar stores like Apple.

The bundle was essentially a “greatest hits” compilation of favorite applications from previous bundles. As such, many of the MacHeist faithful did not jump onboard to purchase this bundle as they had in the past because they already had most or all of the applications. They bought some for gifts, but the sales were nowhere near what previous MacHeist events have been.

So, the MacHeist “Directorate”, Phill Ryu and John Casasanta, decided to jump-start things with a ‘new and improved’ bundle, with a few new applications. Vector Designer was added to replace Wallet (the developer supposedly had a prior commitment and only contracted for a short amount of time). TextExpander and Sound Studio were added as “locked applications”, which would be given to buyers once a certain amount was raised. TextExpander was unlocked quickly, and Sound Studio probably won’t be too far behind. There was also a “Bonus App”, the highly popular Voodoo Pad, for people who bought during a specified 24-hour period.

Always in the past, people who had already purchased the bundle were given the additional applications as sort of an “early-buyers bonus”. Well, the early adopters, who supported MacHeist by buying a lackluster bundle, were given the added apps…except Voodoo Pad.

There was a lot of talk and angry postings over at the MacHeist forums. Things got worse when Ryu suggested that Voodoo Pad could possibly still be had…provided customers buy the bundle again during a 24-hour period when the bundle is advertised on a collaborating-but-yet-unnamed “interesting, highly trafficked site”.

So, early adopters, some of MacHeist’s best and most vocal supporters, essentially got screwed by buying early. Fence-sitters were rewarded with a premium application. One poster stated that “it’s a shame that people who bought in through a random promotion got a better deal than people who were loyal from the beginning.”

Ryu commented on the criticism about not including Voodoo Pad by saying, ” We try to be fair, but quite frankly, we’re in the red right now, mostly due to the decision to try to improve this bundle for you guys, and MAINLY because we wanted to reward any previous customers with the three main additional apps. There’s no way we can afford to do that. Sorry.” Another poster shot back, “If you’re in the red, it’s because most of the loyal MacHeist people already had most, if not all, of the apps in the bundle; therefore there wasn’t much incentive for us to buy.”

True enough, previous MacHeist bundles have resulted in enormous sales. Also, it isn’t a problem with the applications themselves. They are very good. The problem is just that the overwhelming majority of people who support MacHeist already have one or more copies of most of the programs. Even two of the three bonus programs that were added were in previous bundles, one in a MacHeist bundle and one in a MacUpdate bundle.

It doesn’t look like Ryu is going to change his position on this. However, it will probably hurt initial sales when the next bundle is up for grabs. A lot more people will likely wait to see what special deals will be offered before committing their support, and their money, to MacHeist.

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Recovery Software for Your Mac

May 20, 2008 at 3:03 am (shareware, Standard) (, , , , )

Resourceful – 1. having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties; 2. teenage Apple employee in NY who helped police recover her stolen laptop and other goods.

There was a story in the New York Times recently about the teenage girl in New York who had approximately $5000 worth of computers, tv’s, and other electronics stolen from her apartment. When a friend called to ask if she was online because he saw that it appeared she was online from her iChat profile, she logged onto a friend’s computer and remotely activated the Back to my Mac feature on her laptop. It is part of Apple’s $99.95 per year .Mac subscription package (http://www.apple.com/dotmac/). She was able to take a picture of the thieves using the computer and found that they were friends of friends. She took the photos and the thieves’ ID to the police, who arrested the two men.

There is another application that utilizes the Mac’s built-in iSight camera for its recovery of stolen laptops. It’s called Undercover from Orbicule Software. http://www.orbicule.com/undercover
Once you alert Orbicule that your laptop has been stolen, it activates the software, which pings Orbicule when the Mac logs on to the internet. The iSight camera takes pictures of the thief and the screen at predetermined times. In addition, the IP address is recorded so the thief’s location can be traced.

If that fails, a hardware failure is simulated causing the screen to gradually dim until it is black. The premise is that the thief will take the laptop into a repair shop. Orbicule has a list of Apple Service Providers’ IP addresses and if the computer is logged online from one, a message will be displayed telling them that the Mac has been stolen. It will also begin screaming at the loudest volume that the laptop has been stolen, and the computer will be locked to prevent any further use.

A single-user license is $49 and a household license is $59. They also have student licenses, site licenses, and volume licenses available.

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Karelia’s iMedia browser…free…get it now

May 18, 2008 at 8:59 pm (shareware) (, , , , , )

Here’s a good one. Karelia Software has released an iMedia Browser. It’s like the media browser with a lot of the Apple apps that gives you instant access to your photos and other media files. You can access it from the dock or menu bar.
And did I mention it’s free??
Get it at http://www.karelia.com/imedia/

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Get Time Out!

May 16, 2008 at 8:05 am (shareware) (, , , , , )

Dejal’s Time Out helps you combat RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury) and encourages you to take frequent breaks while working or playing at your computer. As Dejal (pronounced Dee-Jill) developer David Sinclair says, “It is easy to fall into bad habits when using a computer for hours on end”. You get into what you’re working on, and before you know it a couple hours have passed, your neck is on fire, your shoulder is in knots, and your eyes are seeing double, or worse! That’s where Time Out comes into play. It reminds you to take regular breaks.

The program can be set up in several ways via the Preferences menu. Breaks come in two flavors: “normal” breaks last for 10 minutes every 50 minutes, and “micro” breaks last for 15 seconds every 10 minutes. The screen gradually dims, a zen-like logo comes forward, a countdown timer displays the time remaining in the break, and you cannot type or do anything else during the break. Those break times are just recommended parameters. You can change the duration of both the break and the time between the break via the preferences pane. There is also a button present that allows you to postpone the break or to skip it altogether.

A really cool feature is that you can run Automator workflows, AppleScript, or Python script or applications at the beginning or end of a break. Some of these are included, and there are also user-submitted scripts to add functionality. One of the scripts shows a status change in Adium at the beginning and end of breaks. Another pauses iTunes during your break, then cranks it up again when the break is over. Many of these features will be included when v. 2.0 is released, but it’s nice for now. Many other user-requested features will also be present in the upgrade.

I can tell you from personal experience that this app works quite well. I have had a decrease in headaches since I started using Time Out. I was also having issues with hand and wrist pain. While not totally alleviated, it is improved.

For now, Time Out is free. Use it, love it, and get attached to it. Consider making a donation to further Time Out’s development. Anyone who makes a donation in any amount prior to the upgrade being released will receive a free license for Version 2. You can’t beat that! There will continue to be a free Time Out Lite for those who do not want the added functionality that will come with version 2. Download Time Out. Your body will thank you.

Time Out is available at http://www.dejal.com/.

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Get your own custom icon from Fast Icon

May 10, 2008 at 10:29 am (Standard) (, , , )

Here’s a cool idea…Fast Icon will draw your caricature icon from a photo you send to them. Then you can use it for avatars, websites, business cards, pretty much anything you want.

They send it to you in several formats from a small .png file to high definition .jpg and photoshop images that are 8×12 inches. Mac and Windows icons are included.

Fast Icon initially will draw a pencil sketch for you to view. You can make comments and changes until you are pleased with it. The cost is $59 for a face only or $89 for a face and body. You can look at some of the samples on their website. I’m impressed!!
Here’s the link: http://caricatures.fasticon.com/

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Post to your blog with ScreenSteps

May 3, 2008 at 10:14 am (shareware) (, , , , , , )

With the new beta of ScreenSteps, you can now publish tutorials directly to your WordPress, TypePad, or Moveable Type blog. I’d tried posting to my WP blog awhile back, and suffice it to say that it did not work. Works nicely now, for both WP-hosted and self-hosted blogs (I only tried it out in WP, since that’s where my blog is…the comments from other users seem to indicate this is working well for the other listed blogs as well).

ScreenSteps lets you create tutorials which can be exported into .pdf or HTML format. This is great not only for IT and tech support folks, but for the “regular guys (and gals!)” who regularly receive calls from family and friends asking how to do something.

There are some good (what else?) tutorials to get you started quickly. Check out ScreenSteps here: http://screensteps.com

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