hjertnes.blog

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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Goodbye Rdio; hello Spotify

13.05.2014 02:00

Goodbye Rdio. So, I have moved back to Spotify.

I was a Spotify user from 2009 until sometime in 2012. And then I moved to Rdio.

There was two reasons for leaving Spotify back in 2012. The lack of saving albums, without playlists and how ugly and buggy their apps was.

Saving albums, is something Spotify are supporting now. Which is great. I still think that the way Rdio are doing this on their iOS apps are superior to Spotify.

But. The current design of the Spotify apps are way superior to Rdio. My impression is that Spotify is a company that moves all the time, while Rdio is more or less stuck. I haven’t seen many changes in design of functionality since I started using Rdio; or even since I first tried Rdio a year before that.

The thing I love the most about Spotify is how fast their sync is. You can’t even compare the two

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Sunlit 1.2 & App.net

08.05.2014 02:00

Maton Reece just announced that Sunlit 1.2 is available in the App Store.

I haven’t commented on the App.net happenings yet. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, but mainly because a lot of other people said more or less what I was thinking.

But there is one thing I would like to say. I don’t think I’ll spend much time on App.net as a social network. But I would pay for App.net if there was more apps like Sunlit out there.

Let me explain. I would pay $3 a month(or whatever what it is) if there was more apps(that I’m interested in) that used it as their sync platform.

I hope that App.net survives. And I might even renew my subscription if I end up using Sunlit more than I do today.

Sunlit is basically like DayOne for sharing photos with your friends and family. In other words a combination of a journal and a photo gallery.

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The Cramped

08.05.2014 02:00

My favourite internet person, Patrick Rhone launched a new website. The Cramped a few days ago.

The Cramped is site site about analog writing. Pens, paper, notebooks, and even typewriters. It’s without doubt the site I have been spending the most time on since it launched.

I think it’s great. Interesting links and good articles.

Check it out!

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Posting to Statamic from iOS

06.05.2014 02:00

I completed the move to Statamic last night. It feels great to complete a project I started to think about In the end of last year. I chose to go with wordpress for a while, until I figured out what I wanted to use long term. And I ended up on Statamic. It’s not a pure static engine, and I might move to that at some point. But it has a lot of the cool stuff from systems like Octopress. No database, only static files.

There are a few reasons for spending $99 compared to the free alternatives. First of all: I don’t need a corn job to generate the site when something changes. But the most important reason was that it was so. UVB easier to get started with Statamic compared to Pelikan, Octopress etc.

But that’s not what I was supposed to write about here. The first things I wanted to figure out after completing the change was: how do I post from iOS?

The short answer is FTP. The slightly longer answer: Editorial and Diet Coda on the iPad. I don’t know what I’m going to do about the iPhone. I could use Textastic, but I think I’ll just wait for the iPhone version of editorial.

I found a great editorial workflow for uploading over rss at MacDrifter.

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1Password Watchtower

02.05.2014 02:00

Version 4.4 of everyones favourite password management app introduces an integration with 1Password Watchtower.

I’m so excited about this.

Watchtower is a service maintained by the 1Password team. It’s a service that let you identify all the passwords linked to a website that have had a security breach since you changed the it.

Everything you need to do to get started is to update the app, enable it in the preferences. And then a new folder will appear under “Security Audit”.

I know that there are a lot of cheaper apps that makes it possible to manage passwords. But the reason I stick with 1Password is that it’s more like a whole suite. It gives you the tools to get secure, and stay secure. You can store passwords, banking info, credit cards, software keys and secure notes. But the most important part is that version 4 of the mac came with built in Audit searches. They makes it even easier to identify and change the password that you need to change. Like old passwords, weak passwords, duplicates and now Watchtower.

This is without doubt something everyone should enable after the Heartbleed bug.

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