Things 3 – Updated to version 3.4 with URL linking

Things 3 is my favorite task manager.

With today’s update to version 3.4 Things now has URL linking, app handover, and automation capabilities. I don’t have a need for these new features but more advanced users are going to be very excited.

For a more detailed explanation of the new features go to Culture Code’s blog post.

For new users, Things 3.4 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $49.99 and the iOS App Store. The iPad version is priced at $19.99 while the iPhone version (which includes Apple watch support) is priced at $9.99.

Outlining vs Mind-Mapping

The other day, I read two reviews about OmniOutliner 3. As I read them I got to thinking. Maybe outlining could help me better organize my thoughts for what I want to write.

My current method of organizing my thoughts is a bit messy. I have a basic idea of what I want to write and I start writing. This doesn’t always work out so well. It’s frustrating at times. I know what I want to say but I don’t know how to say it in an organized way.

I’ve tried mind-mapping with MindNode but mind-mapping doesn’t click for me. So, I’m going to try using outlines. I’m giving two apps a try. OmniOutliner 5 Essentials and OutlineEdit. OmniOutliner 5 Essentials has a free 14 day trial with an in app purchase of $9.99. OutlineEdit is free on the App Store.

Things 3 productivity course from Shawn Blanc is now available

I’m a Things 3 user. I have the app on both my Macs, iPhone, and iPad. I’ve written about how much I like here.

Today Shawn Blanc, the man who runs The Sweet Setup, has released his new productivity course “All the Things”.

In his own words:

Things 3 is the best task management app out there. It is simple and easy to use, and it has a beautiful design. While being powerful enough for even the most detailed and organized power user, it is also simple enough for the rest of us.

In our new course, All The Things, we will quickly show you how to get up and running with Things 3.

Moreover, you will get additional, in-depth systems for a more calm approach to productivity and easier task management.

— Shawn

How I use Alfred to launch files and folders on my Mac

This is Part 4 of how I use Alfred.

The default way to open files or folders on the Mac is with Finder. Using Alfred I’m able to launch files and folders with fewer mouse clicks. I do this with Alfred’/s Quick File Search. I activate Alfred tap the space bar and start typing the name of the file or folder I’m looking for. I also use Alfred to navigate through my Mac’s file system. To start, I type: / (slash) to go to the root folder on my Mac, or ~ (tilde) to go to my user directory. This is a great way to quickly make my way through folders without using the Finder and my mouse.

For my most often used folders I’ve created a workflow that lets me open them with keyboard shortcuts. For example ⌃⌘ right arrow will open my Dropbox folder.

I find that using Alfred to search and launch files and folders to be much more productive than using the Finder.

Bear app special searches

Bear has several special searches that I find useful.

The other day I imported a large number of files without tags into Bear. Once imported I did a @untagged search to find them and then added the proper tag(s). This saved a lot of time. I also do a @untagged search every week or so to find notes that I’ve added and forgot to tag.

I also use @task, @todo, and @done to manage tasks. You can see the definition of what each one does below.

Here’s a list of all Bears special searches:

  • @tagged : shows the notes which have at least one tag
  • @untagged: shows the notes without tags
  • @today: show the notes modified the current day
  • @yesterday: show the notes modified the day before the current
  • @images: shows the notes which contain images
  • @files: shows the notes which contain files
  • @attachments: shows the notes with files or images
  • @task: shows the notes which include at least one todo element, either complete or not
  • @todo: shows only the notes with not completed todos
  • @done: shows only the notes with all the todos completed
  • @code: shows the notes which includes at least one code

How I use Alfred for text expansion on my Mac

This is Part 3 of how I use Alfred.

There are a number of text expansion apps available for the Mac the most popular being TextExpander. I considered it but the monthly subscription was a deal breaker for me. I also didn’t need anything that powerful. All I needed was basic text expansion and sync across both my Macs. After exploring several alternatives I settled on using the text expansion feature that was already a part of the Alfred app.

Alfred’s text expansion feature allows me to quickly type out frequently used snippets of text, my email addresses, my name, my phone number, my address, markdown syntax, special keyboard symbols (⌘, ⌥, ⇧), the date and time, and more with a short keyword. For example, I can type ,ddate and get the current date or I can type ,rwr and get “Run, walk, run miles @MAF” which is a text snippet I use for logging my runs in Garmin Connect. Text expansion is all about saving time and increasing productivity.

To learn more check out these Alfred articles:

There’s one thing in Bear app that really bugs me

Last September I wrote about making a permanent move from nvALT to Bear for notes and lists. Since then I have gone all in with Bear. The first year of my Pro subscription was up in December and I renewed it for another year without hesitation.

Now I’m experimenting with Bear as my app for writing blog posts and other short-form writing projects. This may or may not last but for now, it’s what I’m doing.

But, there’s one thing that really bugs me.

In markdown compatibility mode using the double asterisk syntax or ⌘B for bold at the beginning of a line inserts a line separator. It’s really irritating. This happens in both the iOS and macOS versions of the app. This is not a new bug. It’s been around for as long as I can remember.

I have reported this twice. It’s still not fixed. I know Shiny Frog knows about it because Shiny Frog has acknowledged my bug reports and I’ve seen complaints about it on Twitter.

Please Shiny Frog, when will this bug get fixed?

How to permanently zoom specific websites in Safari on macOS

Sometimes websites that I regularly visit have a font that’s so small my aging eyes have difficulty reading it. Safari 11 for Mac has a nice feature that lets me set a permanent zoom level for those websites. Now, the next time I visit the site it’s already zoomed to the level I need for easy reading. Safari does this automatically, but the zoom can also be controlled from Safari Preferences Safari > Preferences > Websites > Page Zoom. You’ll see all the websites that are open, and those that are already configured (if you’ve already changed the zoom).