hjertnes.blog

App

02.06.2014 02:00

Finally, Editorial for iPhone launched a few days ago. There are a number of reasons that I’m really excited about this. First of all, I loved the iPad app, but I didn’t use it much. Because I don’t use my iPad that much. Secondly, the app includes native TaskPaper support. Which is awesome.

But the thing I love the most about Editorial is that I can extend it to my needs using python and the built in workflow engine.

Editorial have replaced a number of apps on my phone during the last few days. First it replaced Notesy as my go to notes app. And of course it replaced Byword as my go to app for writing drafts for blog posts(I still use Byword on OS X, though). Then I realised that I could get rid of Pythonista, and just use Editorial for all of the stuff I did there. And finally, it also replaced Taskmator as my TaskPaper client.

I think this is the first time one single app manages to replace four apps, in a way that makes the whole experience way better.

Go and get Editorial if you want, what I think is the best text editor for iOS.

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OmniFocus 2 or TaskPaper + GoodTask

28.05.2014 02:00

OmniGroup released OmniFocus 2 for mac a few days ago; or something. I started to write this at the day. But then I got busy, and wasn’t able to complete it.

You might know this already, but I have been “on and off” OmniFocus quite a few times during the last six to eight months.

Let me start at the beginning. I have been using the OF 2 betas during both of the beta phases. And I liked it. But I’m not going to buy OF 2 for mac, right now.

One of the reasons for this is that OF is a overkill for what I look for and need in a task manager.

I have been doing one thing every time a new major version of an app comes out. And that is to look into if I need to update, and if the app is the best fit for me anymore. OF isn’t the perfect fit for me anymore.

My workflow during the majority of the last eight months have been either TaskPaper + Reminders or OmniFocus. My Taskpaper and Reminders workflow have been to use Reminders for repeating tasks or anything with a due date. And TaskPaper for everything else.

The thing I love about TaskPaper is that I can add 100 task in the same time as I can add 25 in OF. The other thing is that it just gives me a list, that I can add tags to, group in projects. And the powerful filtering syntax gives me what I need.

I use Reminders for everything else. It just works. One of my problems with Reminders have always been that the built in Apple apps are terrible. But then I found GoodTask. It’s a great set of apps for both iOS and OS X. You should check it out, if you are using Reminders.

The thing I love the most about GoodTask for OS X is the awesome forecast view.

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DayOne

25.05.2014 02:00

I got this idea while fundraising today: what is my all time favourite iPhone app?

My all time favourite app is DayOne. The thing about DayOne is that it is a pleasure to add pictures, write a few words or write many of them. But it’s also a pleasure to just browse through your journal and discover moments and thoughts you didn’t remember.

Everyone out there that want to get into journaling need to get DayOne. My personal preference is to have it on my phone. But the Mac app is also great for when you want to write something longer.

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My new iPhone.

22.05.2014 02:00

What model, and why?

I have been thinking about updating my old black iPhone 4S(32GB) for a while now. And today was the day when I finally went down to do it. I went with the 32GB, space grey 5S.

The reason I go for the 32GB model is that there are a few times a year when I need that kind of space. I know that I would constantly hit the limit if I went for the 16GB. Remind me, why haven’t Apple killed the 16GB models?

So, why the 5S and not the 5C. There are four reasons here. I prefer the look of the 5S. I prefer the feel of it. And the other two are the M7 chip and a better camera. Everybody that know me, also know that I don’t take any serious photos with my phone. But it’s nice to have a little bit better pictures from my phone.

I’m going to have this phone for 2-3 year, like I’ve had my current one. And I think that’s a good enough reason to spend enough on it to make it a as good as possible device for those years.

Why I upgraded

My current policy for everything I own is that I don’t buy anything new before it’s broken, or is a major hassle. And my 4S was a hassle. The battery time wasn’t what it used to be, and it wasn’t as fast as it used to be.

The short answer, I wanted to have a phone again that lasted more or less the whole day, that also was a joy to use. My 4S wasn’t.

Why now?

This might sound like a odd time for some of my follow geeks to buy a new phone. But I think it’s the perfect time.

First of all, I don’t need to get it on day one. I prefer to get it after Apple fixes any “new hardware”-related bugs. The best thing to get it now, is that I could get the phone from the store down on the corner, without ordering it in advance.

I could have waited for the new device – probably september or october. And then waiting for it to launch in Europe. And limited supplies etc. That would mean more like November. And my 4S and my (relative) sanity wouldn’t survive until November.

What I think about it?

I think the 5S is a great upgrade. It’s a great phone, and I don’t regret buying it. The first thing I noticed was how light it is, I still prefer the weight of the 4S; but the 5S isn’t bad.

While the size they introduced with the 5, felt right, from the beginning. I have never liked the larger smart phones. But this isn’t a large phone. Now my old 4S just looks tall, chubby and weird.

I don’t complain, but it will be a major pain in the ass to replace all my old pin connector cables with the new ones. The new connector is without doubt much better; and user friendly. But I still hate to replace cables.

The one thing about it that I don’t like is the new location of the headphone jack. I liked to have it on the top; and not it’s on the bottom. I get why they are doing it. But that is something that will take some time to get used to.

What about accessories or cases?

No. I don’t buy that much accessories for my phone. And I don’t use any cases.

I did play around with a few of them on my old 4S, when I got it. But I just ended up not using them for a long time.

The reasons are simple, I want to get it out of my pocket – fast. And most cases are slowing down that process. And most cases don’t work for me when I’m doing some real writing on my phone. Sometime I do almost every day.

By the way. I was thinking about getting a BookBook from TwelveSouth, but I decided not to, of the exact same reasons.

My process of setting up a new phone.

I do the same dance every time I get a new iOS device; or when a new major release of iOS is out.

I start from scratch. Move out all my files and content, before I restore it.

Then I set up, to get the “new user” experience.

The first thing I do after that is to download all the apps I need. And also a lot of the apps that I used to use, or feel like I haven’t given a real chance in a while. And then I just spend a few hours settings stuff up and playing with apps.

And then I just delete all the stuff I don’t need or want, and often end up with more or less what I had, with a few replacements.

This time I replaced Instacast with Castro.

Conclusion

I’m happy with my new phone. It seems like the perfect upgrade cycle to switch phone every 2-3 years. I don’t think it’s worth it do to it every year. It’s amazing to see the new hardware stuff, like the M7 & the camera. And how fast everything is. But the most amazing thing is to be able to use all the apps designed for the iPhone 5 screen size as they intended them.

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Podcast

21.05.2014 02:00

Jordan Cooper was a guest on the last episode of Systematic. And he checked out his podcast called Tech Douchebags. This isn’t just the funniest comedy podcast I have found in a very long time. But, it’s also the best combination between tech and comedy I have ever heard.

Check it out if you are a geek that don’t like “normal” people that use tech wrong.

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App

18.05.2014 02:00

DevonThink have been my “everything bucket” for a while now. Ever since I realized how expensive Evernote was, for something that didn’t for fill my needs.

This is how I look at it: to compare Evernote and DevonThink is like comparing Byword and Textmate/Sublime Text. They are two different animals, that are serving two different markets.

This article started as a complex review. But then I realized how much time that would take, and I wouldn’t have the time to complete it in a long time. Both because of the time it would take me to write it, but also the time it would take me to use the app enough to have informed opinions about it.

I won’t tell you about every single feature, or about all the cool stuff DevonThink can do here. But I will tell you why I bought it, and what I really like about it. And some of the stuff I don’t like that much.

DevonThink is a power user tool. I love how easy it is to make as many databases as you want, and they makes it easy to organize your content the way you want to do it. You can look at each DevonThink database as a disk drive; and you can have sub folders and tag the files in each database. And it’s easy to move files between them.

There are two features that made me buy a license for DevonThink. They have great markdown support, and their OCR feature is even greater. This means that you can OCR any PDF you store there, if you want to.

One of the things I use DevonThink for is writing assignments at the University, or larger projects for this site. I can store all the related documents or web-pages there and write the different drafts in markdown.

Trial. I think the way DevonTechnologies are doing trials need some attention. You don’t get X days for free. You get 150 hours of usage, before you have to pay. There are a few limits, for example on how many documents you can OCR, per day(or something). But you have a functional app for 150 hours, that is awesome.

To sum up, DevonThink is the power user everything bucket. They have support for most of the stuff power users expect. Markdown. Apple Script. Plug-ins for mail and safari. And you can organize your files the way you want to.

iOS App. There are a version of DevonThink for iOS. But I haven’t found much use for it, yet. One of my problems with it, is that there aren’t any good support options. You need to sync it over your local network, and you need to mark which files you want to sync, by moving them into a special folder.

I hope they are planning to introduce a better sync option for the iOS app in the future, for example over Dropbox.

But that’s the only thing about DevonThink that I don’t like. It’s a great place to store all my files that I don’t want to have laying around on the file system. And they make it easy to organize and find what I’m looking for, when I need it.

There are four versions of DevonThink. Go to their comparison table to figure out which version’s for you. You don’t need to buy the most expensive version now, if you think you might need it in the future. They have a cool upgrade policy. Just remember to buy the non-App Store version.

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Dash Plus

18.05.2014 02:00

The Dash / Plus system is a paper markup language. Developed by Patrick Rhone; you can read about it here.

This is how I use DashPlus, and where I use it.

I use two different kinds of notebooks. The first one is FieldNotes. I carry them everywhere, but I don’t use Dash/Plus in them. The reason for this is that FieldNotes is just a “temp”-folder for everything I need to capture when I’m not in front of a desk or a computer.

But, I do use the system when I’m writing in a large notebook. There are three reasons for this

  1. I’m usually sitting down, in front of a desk when I write in a large notebook.

  2. I’m never in a hurry when I do so

  3. The different form factor of a large notebook makes it work better.

My version of Dash Plus is a simplified one. It’s either regular notes or tasks. I don’t put any markup on notes, and I use the regular dash on any task, and then I make it into a plus when it’s completed. Like the DashPlus whitepaper describes.

Some people do all their “GTD” stuff in OmniFocus or something similar; while others do it all on paper. I do a little of both. Everything with a due date or that’s a part of a larger project will always be in OmniFocus. While I create lists of everything I want to do today or tomorrow on paper.

I look at OmniFocus and write down everything I want to do there, or everything else that’s on my mind.

I know I could do it with OmniFocus. But it’s just so much easier to make a simple list on paper. Then I don’t have to mess with Context and Focus mode. A simple list of tasks is all I need while working. But I do need OmniFocus to figure out what I’m going to do today, when I’m planning the day.

I might implement the remaining parts of Dash / Plus into my workflow at some point. But only when or if I need them.

This is important. You should never implement anything except for what you need into your systems. You need to have workflows that works for you, and that means to decide what you need, and what works for you.

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C’mon Dropbox!

14.05.2014 02:00

The importance of core business. Dropbox was a great service, they solved a big problem, syncing more or less flawlessly for a long time. But I have noticed that the OS X client have become more and more unreliable the last 12-18 months.

First of all, it’s slower. The speed wasn’t a problem in the old days, and it isn’t really a problem now; but I notice that the speed is worse.

The frustrating problem is that the client started to crash every now and then sometime the last year. And now it’s not my machine, this is just one of three Mac’s that I have experienced crashes.

The big problem is that the whole idea of dropbox isn’t running on my mac isn’t there. I have internet, and my Macbook Air are running – of course dropbox is syncing.

And then it goes a few weeks, and you realise it wasn’t running; and you need to fix 300 conflicted files in your nvALT folder.

My issue isn’t that Dropbox is slower, or that the client is buggier. My problem is that this are happening at the same moment that they are introducing a whole lot of new crap. That I don’t need or want. At the expense of the core service that made Dropbox famous.

We have the “Skype”-problem all over again.

Nothing annoys me more than to se a great service going to shit because of a lot of fancy crap their loyal and core audience don’t want.

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I don’t know iPad.

14.05.2014 02:00

One of the first things I started looking into when I got my first iPad was how I could use it as my primary computer.

A lot of stuff have happened since that. My primary Mac have moved from a 15” Macbook Pro, to a 13” Macbook Air. And I have three generations of iPad keyboard laying around here; in the same pile as my iPad 2.

Here is the thing, my Macbook Air have more or less the same battery life as an iPad. And the power of OS X and the more or less same weight makes my Macbook Air the perfect iPad.

But. I might consider buying a iPad mini. Yeah, I know; I have been talking about that since Apple released the first iPad mini.

The iPad Air is too close to a Macbook Air; and OS X have so much power compared to iOS. And I don’t need another iPad collecting dust. While an iPad mini would provide some value for me. It looks like a great computer to do some writing on, in the context where I might do some writing, but I don’t wanna wring a bag.

The iPad sales are going down, and some people are saying that the iPad is dead. I don’t believe that. Our current Macbook Air’s and iPad’s are too close to each other. And I think – and hope that iOS 8 will bring something to the table that gives us something that we couldn’t do with a mac.

A reason to buy an iPad Air or iPad mini instead of a Mac.

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App

13.05.2014 02:00

I bought Command-C yesterday. And now I realise that I should have bought it months ago.

Command-C is a pair of iOS and OS X apps that let’s you “copy” or send stuff over to your iOS device. It’s not something I use every day, but I use it a lot. It might be some URL you want to browse on your Mac instead of your iPhone, or if it’s a podcast you want to add to Instacast on your phone.

It’s great.

This is something that should be a part of the operating system.

Anyways, it’s great app. and you should go and get it. The OS X app is free and the iOS app costs $3.99. Go and get it!

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