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Go Beyond A Boring Calendar With Mynd & UpTo For iPhone

In the age of smart phones, the best calendar apps go beyond scheduled dates and alarms. Mynd and UpTo are two free alternative date-keeping solutions for iPhone that put the stock app to shame. Mynd and UpTo both schedule events the in the same way as the iOS Calendar. They both also provide alarms, and sync with your other calendars – but these two gems include unique features that go well beyond Calendar. You could even use the both of them for different purposes – let’s take a look. Mynd: The Visual Calendar Mynd‘s biggest selling point is arguably its visually oriented… Read the full article: Go Beyond A Boring Calendar With Mynd & UpTo For iPhone

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Go Beyond A Boring Calendar With Mynd & UpTo For iPhone

Use SaneDesk To Make Your Mac Desktop Productive Again

Do you have a desktop cluttered with screenshots, folders vaguely named “work stuff” and seemingly no order to the clutter? SaneDesk ($17.99) exists to restore this lost level of sanity to your Mac’s desktop, in stunningly simple fashion. By simply organising those icons by purpose into specific workspaces you can vastly increase your productivity by hiding distractions and ensuring relevant documents are nearby when you need them the most. At just short of $20 it’s not going to break the bank, and you can even download a free trial version to try before you buy. How It Works Now on its… Read the full article: Use SaneDesk To Make Your Mac Desktop Productive Again

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Use SaneDesk To Make Your Mac Desktop Productive Again

Invert Your Colors, And Other Tricks For Night-Friendly Mac Usage

Is your Mac too bright in dark places? Whether you need to work in the dark without being noticed or want your screen to be easier on your eyes, we’ve found apps for that. If your eyes hurt when you use your Mac, it might be because you’re staring a bright light in a dark room. Turning on some lights around you is a good idea, but it also might help if you make your Mac less bright. The first step, of course, is to simply turn down the brightness. But if that’s not enough, there are apps and tricks… Read the full article: Invert Your Colors, And Other Tricks For Night-Friendly Mac Usage

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Invert Your Colors, And Other Tricks For Night-Friendly Mac Usage

Help Wanted! Which Topics Would You Like To Read More About? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Last week we wanted to know how many Apple products you own. Turns out that for most of our readers, it’s all or nothing when it comes to Apple. Thought more than 5 Apple products in one household is rare? Think again! Out of 1,584 votes in total, the breakdown is as follows: around 8% of the voters own either 1 Apple product, 3 Apple products or 4 Apple products; 9% of the voters own 2 Apple products; 28% own no Apple products at all; and 38% of the readers who voted own 5 or more Apple products! Now that’s… Read the full article: Help Wanted! Which Topics Would You Like To Read More About? [MakeUseOf Poll]

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Help Wanted! Which Topics Would You Like To Read More About? [MakeUseOf Poll]

4 Ways To Easily Create Amazing Photo & Movie Slideshows With Music

Get creative. You spend all that time taking little videos and photos of everything you do, just to leave them electronically rotting on your hard drive. What a waste! Or worse still, you subject the family to agonisingly boring slideshows. Stop that, stop it now — get creative! Here’s how. Stupeflix Stupeflix remains my firm favourite when dealing with lots of still photos: it’s an online video creation tool that creates a themed slideshow in time to music, automagically. There are 13 themes to choose from, and a few more on the Pro plans that are designed for corporate videos…. Read the full article: 4 Ways To Easily Create Amazing Photo & Movie Slideshows With Music

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4 Ways To Easily Create Amazing Photo & Movie Slideshows With Music

Even More Powerful BetterTouchTool Actions You Should Know About

If you want more control over your Mac using your Magic Mouse or trackpad, BetterTouchTool puts hundreds of actions at your finger tips. Along with award winning automation program, Keyboard Maestro, it’s one of my most recommended automation tools for Mac power users. We’ve taken a look at getting started with BetterTouchTool as well as how to use some of its more advanced features in the past. Believe it or not, there are even more powerful controls unique to this program. After a little setup, you will be amazed by how much time you can shave off repetitive actions or complicated workflows…. Read the full article: Even More Powerful BetterTouchTool Actions You Should Know About

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Even More Powerful BetterTouchTool Actions You Should Know About

MailMate: The Smart Solution for Getting Your Inbox to Zero

Your mail client should work for you, not against you. If your mailbox is cluttered with unread and unfiltered messages, you need to check out the IMAP mail client, MailMate. While the beautifully designed Airmail and the minimalist Unibox for the Mac have their benefits, the more straightforward MailMate may actually just be better at helping you manage and filter messages and get your inbox to zero. MailMate is available for a free fully functional 30-day download, with the paid version costing a serious $49.99. That’s a heavy price, so let’s explore what you get for your money. Basic Overview MailMate closely resembles… Read the full article: MailMate: The Smart Solution for Getting Your Inbox to Zero

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MailMate: The Smart Solution for Getting Your Inbox to Zero

SuperTab Launches Apps, Pastes Text, Takes Screenshots and Lots More

If you want quick access to nearly everything on your Mac, without opening Finder windows or remembering dozens of keyboard shortcuts, then you need SpriTec’s SuperTab for Mac. SuperTab leaves Apple’s traditional application launcher in the dust. When you activate SuperTab, it presents multiple floating docks that can be customized for your needs and workflow. This supercharged launcher reduces the need for other applications because it can initiate screenshots, paste snippets of text, and auto hide or quit selected running applications in the background. This could be the best $10 you’ll ever spend on a Mac application. Let me explain… Read the full article: SuperTab Launches Apps, Pastes Text, Takes Screenshots and Lots More

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SuperTab Launches Apps, Pastes Text, Takes Screenshots and Lots More

Productivity Tip: Take a break

In the past couple of installments of TUAW’s productivity tips , I’ve discussed a number of ways to keep you focused on your tasks. Managing those tasks will be the next big-picture topic, but this week I wanted to keep it short and simple, just like your breaks should be. Yes, you should take breaks , especially if you are a knowledge worker and/or you have to focus on tasks which require a great deal of problem solving. There’s a lot of evidence that shows our brains need frequent rest in order to function at their best , so don’t skimp on the breaks even if you are worried about a deadline. Why is this important? Aside from how you should really be taking a vacation , your brain can suffer from decision fatigue . While you’re busy processing your inbox or responding to emails, your brain is getting quite the electro-chemical workout . As with any of our organs, after a while it tires out. Just like a physical workout, you should allow for a cool-down period to let your brain rejeuvinate itself. At AOL we’re quite fond of naps, too . Timing breaks As I discussed in my article on timers, you should aim to take a quick break after a period of intense focus. Pomodoros are set up for this purpose, giving you 25 minutes of task time plus a five-minute break. I’ve read of 90-minute work sessions followed by a 30-minute break time (which allows time for a walk or run or yoga), but ultimately you’ll have to experiment and see what works for you as a person and in your job. I like to take frequent breaks . The key to timing your breaks is definitely scheduling them around those periods of intensity. Again, your brain gets worn out after too many decisions in a fixed amount of time — let that thing cool off! The time of your break should be somewhat proportional to the period of intensity, however. Five minutes after 25 makes sense, as does 30 after 90. Taking an hour nap after 20 minutes of email is a bit much, however. Types of breaks Now, do you need to rest or do you need to re-energize? One allows things to cool down, while the other is more like a warm up. Often we just need to rest our eyes, or just stretch to shake off the tightness of sitting for too long. For short breaks I tend to make sure I have a bottle of water, then go gaze out a window for a few minutes. Or, since I work at home, I’ll go spend a few minutes washing dishes (a very peaceful activity, honestly). These short breaks help refocus you later, and serve as a brief cool-down for your brain. Be careful not to overdo it; tidying your desk or going to the break room might seem like a quick rest, yet you’re still making all sorts of decisions, leading again to decision fatigue. A better short break fully disengages your brain for a bit. Staring is actually good. Stretching is even better, and there are lots of exercises you can do, even in a cubicle . The more you allow your body to work, the better it will be able to assist your brain. Anything that literally “takes your mind off of things” is good, which means social media checking is likely bad as you’re likely to see things which make you angry as well as happy on any given day. Naps are excellent, but most people don’t use them correctly. Here’s a great primer , and here are some tips from the Mayo clinic . I have found that a 25-minute or less nap has made me feel more energized in the afternoons if I am not already sleep deprived. If I haven’t had enough sleep that day already, I tend to get a headache later and feel sleepier. That said, naps can be very effective when done properly. I have found a short walk or run, or even time with a Kinect game, helps the afternoon doldrums significantly. A few jumping jacks or standing on your head can also get the blood flowing. Apps to help For simple breaks, I like to use Due ‘s timers and have set a 5, 10, and 15 minute timer as default break times. Siri can do this in a pinch as well. For naps I use Naturespace (which has a timer), or Pzizz , a longtime Mac app which was ported to iOS some time ago. Pzizz is, in my opinion, the best napping app; it guides you into a restful state much like hypnosis, can be set for various times, and can be configured in numerous ways while still using a set of sounds and tones which help lull you to rest. Other TUAWers enthusiastically recommend Andrew Johnson’s apps and audiofiles for guided rest periods. Meditation is a good rest plan, and we’ve already mentioned a few apps for this . I’m currently using Mind , which is as simple a meditation timer as you’re likely to find. There are also a number of exercise apps on the store, including some niche products like Healthy Break , which adds simple stretches to a break timer. I haven’t had much success with these, as I tend to look up things online, learn them, and have a few I do over and over again. It’s best to discuss your options with your doctor or trainer (if you’re lucky enough to have a trainer). Conclusion While you can push through a day with no breaks, you will wind up making worse decisions as time wears on, and as those decisions wear you out. As your productivity and quality of work decrease, you become less efficient. The best way to combat this: get plenty of rest to begin with, and allow yourself breaks through the day . By setting timers for breaks and having a collection of short activities to break to, you’ll set yourself up to stay productive longer than before, with better results. Productivity Tip: Take a break originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 23 Apr 2013 14:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Source  |  Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Productivity Tip: Take a break

Extract App Resource Icons with AppleScript

Whether I’m preparing for a demo or writing an article, blog post, book, or technical documentation, I often find myself performing the same set of repetitive steps. I need to navigate into an app’s packaged resources folder, find one or more icon files, occasionally convert them to PNG and scale them, and add them to my document, Keynote presentation, etc. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a manual process each time, thanks to the following AppleScript. Creating the Script 1. Launch AppleScript Editor (in /Applications/Utilities ) and create a new script document. 2. Enter the following script into the document. NOTE: If you have any trouble following along, you can download the completed script here . 3. Run the script from AppleScript Editor, save it as an app, or add it to your script menu. Running the Script When you run the script, you’re first asked to select an app from which to extract icons. Make your selection and click Choose . The script looks inside the app’s /Contents/Resource s folder for any files with an extension of .icns . If multiple files are found, it allows you to select the ones you want to extract. The default is all of them. Next, the script gives you the option to extract the .icns files themselves, or PNG versions. Click the button to make your choice. If you click the PNG button, then you’re given a choice of sizes to create. You might not need the full sized icons, for example. You might only need 256×256 icons. Depending on the options you chose, the script extracts the .icns files, or it converts the .icns files to PNG and scales them, as needed. You’re notified when the icons have been extracted, and they’re displayed in the Finder for you. Now you can simply drag them to your document, presentation, file, etc., and you’re good to go! Happy Scripting! Extract App Resource Icons with AppleScript originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Mon, 22 Apr 2013 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink  |  Email this  |  Comments

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Extract App Resource Icons with AppleScript