ldstephens

Apps

iA Writer has been in my writing toolbox since 2017. It's not an app that I use every day but often. So next week we're going to get version 6. What I'm most interested in seeing is what the payment model will be. Will it be a one-time purchase with a paid upgrade as it has always been or a subscription? I'm guessing both options will be available.

#Apps #Opinion

Did you know that Alfred's Clipboard History has actions that can be run on the clipboard's contents?

I happened onto this totally by accident. The other day I had a URL on the clipboard and I wanted to open it in Safari.

I knew I could open Safari, navigate to the address bar (⌘+L), activate the clipboard (⌥+⌘+C ), and paste the URL.

That's four steps. It would be nice if I could open the URL in Safari directly from the clipboard. I know that the right → opens additional actions for some items in the Alfred bar so I thought I would try that on a clipboard item. Magically a list of actions opened up.

I discovered that this is part of the Universal Actions feature in Alfred version 4.5. By the way, actions can also be triggered with the Universal Actions keyboard shortcut ⌥+⌘+\.

Alfred 4.5 is an exciting milestone, bringing you a whole new way to use Alfred!

With the new Universal Actions feature, you can select text in your browser, a URL in an email or a file on your Desktop and pop up Alfred's Actions panel to choose what to do with your content. Start anywhere and jump into action.

If you're using Alfred and not using Universal Actions you should take the time to check it out.

#Mac #Apps #Alfred #HowTo

Have you ever wanted to try Drafts app? Well, there has never been a better time than now. Drafts is where I capture all my ideas, tasks, and jot down notes all for later action. In the near future, I plan to write in more detail about how I use Drafts.

Drafts 10th Anniversary

That’s right, Drafts launched on this day 10 years ago. And we are celebrating with a special offer for new Drafts Pro users!

Get your first year for only $4.99 (75% off)!

#Apps

You’ll either love it or hate it

Overcast has been around since 2013 and has a significant following. It has been my podcast player since 2015. On Friday, March 25th Marco released Overcast’s latest update (2022.2). “It brings the largest redesign in its nearly-eight-year history, plus many of the most frequently requested features and lots of under-the-hood improvements.”

Reading the iOS App Store reviews, folks either love it or hate it. I don’t love it or hate it, but I do prefer the old version.

#Opinion #Apps

Craig Gunnel:

Read-later services have come and gone since Instapaper’s debut, but the original survives. The app and service both remain free, although you can opt for a ‘premium’ subscription, which adds archive text search, text-to-speech and speed-reading functionality.

[…]

Q&A: a brief history of Instapaper

We speak to Instapaper co-founder Marco Arment (also of Overcast fame) about the birth and development of the app and the secret of its success.

Marco Arment:

It intentionally had no social features — I designed it solely for personal utility, not sharing or promotion. Instapaper was the first service that combined quick saving with a text-optimized reading view and offline access.

No social features are the very reason Instapaper has always been my read-it-later app of choice. Newer apps like Matter and UPNext have a heavy emphasis on social and less so on the reading experience.

[…]

Instapaper has never been a mainstream tool – rather, it has always. appealed to the most die-hard readers and nerds. These groups are relatively small but extremely loyal and passionate, and so Instapaper just needs to keep overheads low and customers happy to have a sustained, long-term business.

#Apps

After using Todoist for 2 weeks, I’ve decided to stick with Things. Here’s why.

These three things were a dealbreaker for Todoist:

  1. This first item is a privacy issue and a big deal for me. In Todoist, if you delete a task, it is not actually deleted because there is an entry made in the Activity Log for the deleted item. The Activity Log is a log of every single thing you’ve done in Todoist, and there is only one way to delete the log. That is to delete your account. In Things, a deleted task is deleted and not recorded in the Logbook. And, any or all items in the Logbook can be deleted.
  2. In Todoist, having to assign a project to every task was annoying.
  3. In Todoist, you cannot create a checklist within a task. This is something that a do fairly often in Things.

In addition, the aesthetic of Things is much cleaner and more organized, and I can also see my calendar events. I did like Todoist's’ natural language entry. I would like to see that in Things at some point.

#Apps #Mac #iOS

Update March 20, 2022: After using Todoist for 2 weeks, I’ve decided to stick with Things. Here’s why.

I have a long history with Todoist going back over 10 years but in 2017 I switched to Things when version 3 was introduced. Today, I'm seriously considering moving back to Todoist, and here's why.

First, let me clarify that this is strictly speculation on my part. Things 3 has been around for 5 years now and I'm thinking that a version 4 must be coming soon. With that in mind, the upgrade will be either a purchase (remember each platform Mac, iPad, and iPhone is a separate purchase) or a subscription.

To get ahead of this possibility, I've been using the free version to Todoist to see if it meets my simple task manager needs. Not surprisingly it does. Plus it has several features that aren't currently available in Things.

  • Natural language entry (this is a big plus for Todoist)
  • More personalization options
  • App integrations (Fantastical)
  • More view options (plus boards)
  • Browser Extension for multiple browsers
  • And a web app

Back to Todoist?

#Apps #Mac #iOS

Update March 8, 2022: I have been using this macro since 2017. Today it was brought to my attention that getting URLs from Safari no longer requires Apple Script. There is now a Token for that:

Getting URLs from Safari is something that I do multiple times everyday. What this macro does is it gets the URL of the active tab in Safari, puts it on the clipboard, and then pastes it into whatever text I'm working on. I can't tell you how much time this has saved me over the years. It sure beats doing it by-hand.

#HowTo #Mac #Apps #KeyboardMaestro

I’ve written about launching Mac apps with keyboard shortcuts using Keyboard Maestro and Alfred now here’s how to do it using Raycast.

First launch Raycast (I use ⌥ spacebar). In the entry field type Extensions then select Applications from the Extensions list and for this example select Safari. Under the Hotkey tab, you’ll see Record Hotkey.

Click on the Safari Hotkey field and Record your keyboard shortcut. I used ⌥ S.

That’s it! From now typing ⌥ S will launch Safari.

Using keyboard shortcuts lets you perform actions faster and more efficiently, cutting down on mouse and trackpad usage.

By the way, if you’re not using Alfred you should be using Raycast. It does almost everything that Alfred does and it’s FREE.

#HowTo #Mac #Apps

Yesterday, I wrote about launching Mac apps with keyboard shortcuts using Keyboard Maestro. If you’re an Alfred user, you can do the same thing with an Alfred workflow.

As an example, here’s my workflow to launch Safari with the hotkey ⌥S. You’ll need the PowerPack to do this.

Step one is to create a new blank workflow.

Step two is to set up a hotkey trigger.

Step three is adding the Launch Apps action and dragging in the application(s) you want to open. The easiest way to do this is to search for the application or file in Alfred and drag it directly from Alfred's results into the action box.

Optionally, check the “Toggle visibility for apps” to tell Alfred to show and hide the app. Connect the action to the hotkey to quickly launch the app.

Using keyboard shortcuts lets you perform actions faster and more efficiently, cutting down on mouse and trackpad usage.

In the next day or two, I’ll show you how to do this in Raycast. It’s super simple. So download it today and in a couple of days, you’ll be launching apps with keyboard shortcuts. Remember it’s FREE.

#HowTo #Mac #Apps #Alfred