Another one of my favorite apps has gone subscription. This is very disappointing. I refuse to support any more subscription apps. I’m already on subscription overload. One has to draw the line somewhere.
It does appear that Drafts version 4, which is now called Legacy, will continue to be supported but with no further development. I wonder how long that will last?
I came across MWeb from a Medium reader comment suggesting it as a Ulysses replacement. Not being familiar with the app I checked in with the king of markdown text editors macosxguru. I figured he would know about it and sure enough, he did.
He has been kind enough to do a nice review of the Mac app.
macosxguru, writing for Bicycle for Your Mind
Loren of ldstephens asked for a review of MWeb. So here goes.
MWeb is a surprise. It is a deep product which improves on both Ulysses and Bear in some areas and brings some unique skills to the Markdown editor genre.
It is the usual three-pane Markdown based text editor. Similar to LightPaper, TextNut – A CommonMark editor for Mac, Bear – Notes for iPhone, iPad and Mac or Ulysses to name a few. This category is a competitive category in the macOS marketplace.
Continue reading the review here.
Yesterday I tried to open a .docx document in Ulysses on my iMac. I figured it must be okay since Ulysses was listed in the right click Open With Menu. Doing so crashed the app big time. After that every time I tried to open Ulysses it would immediately crash. I uninstalled reinstalled the app and it still crashed.
Next, I tried using Ulysses on my MacBook and the same thing happened. So I’m thinking Oh Shit now what do I do. All my documents are in Ulysses and it is crashing every time I open it.
As a last resort I opened Ulysses on my iPad and coincidentally it opened in the Inbox which contained the .docx document that I originally tried to open. On a flyer, I deleted the document and emptied the trash.
That fixed it. Now everything is working normally again. For some reason, that document was crashing the app.
I found this about opening .docx files in Ulysses.
When you tap and hold the file, you’ll get prompted with a list of apps available for opening it on your iPhone. Choose Ulysses, and the file will be imported as a Ulysses sheet into your library’s inbox.
According to this blog post opening a .docx file in Ulysses is doable but I won’t be doing it anymore.
There’s a new notes app out called the The Archive. If you have used Brett Terpstra’s nvALT this app will look very familiar to you.
Gabe Weatherhead at MacDrifter
The Archive is designed around what Notational Velocity and later nvALT brought to the Mac: Fast, reliable search with ease of creation. As both of these applications lost their luster as macOS advanced, I left them behind in a favor of less buggy and more versatile tools. The Archive is the first application to come along that is really making me reconsider moving my note collection out of Dropbox.
macosxguru at Bicycle For Your Mind.
The Archive owes a huge debt to nvALT. The developers acknowledge that debt explicitly. The Archive is nvALT improved.
I downloaded and played with The Archive for a few days. I found it to be a very nice and an improvement over nvALT. If I hadn’t moved my notes from nvALT to Bear last year I would definitely consider using The Archive as my notes app. For now, I’m too invested in Bear to change.
Macosxguru wrote a nice review of The Archive. I suggest giving it a read.
I purchased the iOS version of Day One journaling app about a year and a half ago thinking I would use it for journaling in place of the journal I was keeping in a Ulysses. My journaling is pretty hit and miss so I never got into using Day One until now.
A few months ago I decided I wanted start documenting some of the activities in my life so I started doing that in Day One. I call it a Lifelog. I do this with words and photos which is a really nice way to document things. Now I’ve decided I’m going use Day One for all my journaling. With a couple of hours work, I moved all the journal entries that I had in Ulysses into Day One.
There’s only one missing. When I purchased Day One I only purchased the iOS app which I have on my iPhone and iPad. Now I think I would like to have the Mac app. Since my account is a grandfathered Plus account and not a subscription I wasn’t sure how to go about getting the Mac app.
Plus – grandfathered
For users that purchased Day One 2.0 between February 4, 2016 and June 27, 2017: You will see this user status in the app settings. The status is per platform. If you owned Day One only on iOS, you will have Plus on iOS only.
So I contacted support to see if there was any way to get a trial of the Mac app with Plus status.
I have to say, this was the best support experience I’ve ever had. My support person was Adam. He understood what I wanted to do and offered to set me up for a one week trial. I said that would be wonderful. He said at the end of the trial I could purchase the Mac app with Plus status, or go for the Premium subscription with a discount for being a previous user, or just continue using the iOS app as I have been.
Adam was so nice and accommodating that I feel compelled to upgrade to the Premium subscription for at least one year. He said if I don’t renew the next year my plan reverts back to the iOS Plus plan which in the end would probably be fine.
If you’re using Alfred and Bear I want to share a workflow with you that I use to search Bear notes or tags and open the result from Alfred.
Here’s how it works.
Searching and opening results
- bs — Search for a note by title and open it in Bear.
- bst — Search for a tag (a group of notes) by tag title and open it in Bear.
You can also create a new note from Alfred.
Creating a new note
- bn — Create a new note with input as title. Tags optional.
- bn I love notes! — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!”
- bn I love notes! #love #notes — Creates a new note with the title and text “I love notes!” and the tags “#love” and “#notes”
This saves some keystrokes if I’m not already working in Bear.
Download the workflow.
Facebook is always looking for new ways to violate user privacy. They’ve instituted a new one.
In the Facebook iOS mobile app, they recently added a new button under the Settings menu called “Protect”. When you click on “Protect” it takes you to an app in the App Store called “Onavo Protect – VPN Security”. Don’t install it.
This may seem like a good option for a free security app, but it’s not.
This is indeed a VPN. But, it routes all your web browsing and app usage data to a Facebook server. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. They even tell you they are.
From the Onavo description in the App Store
To provide this layer of protection, Onavo uses a VPN to establish a secure connection to direct all of your network communications through Onavo’s servers. As part of this process, Onavo collects your mobile data traffic. This helps us improve and operate the Onavo service by analyzing your use of websites, apps and data. Because we’re part of Facebook, we also use this info to improve Facebook products and services, gain insights into the products and services people value, and build better experiences.
This is nothing more than Facebook spyware. If you’re looking for a VPN I can recommend TunnelBear. It’s what I use. It’s not free though. But remember if it’s free you’re the product.
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.