Things 3 – for personal task management

I’ve never found a task manager app that worked the way I wanted it to.

My frustration with Fantastical as is task manager is in order to have a task with a due date you have to have a reminder. A lot of times I don’t want or need reminders but I do sometimes want a due date. This led to constantly rescheduling reminders.

In Things, I can create a task with a due date and no reminder or with a reminder. I can also have tasks that I can through in Someday (kind of like a bucket list) or Anytime.

When I used Todoist it never felt right. It was too advanced for my simpler task management needs. I hated seeing unimportant tasks from the day before show up as overdue the next day and then have to reschedule them.

In Things, tasks placed in the Today simply move to the next day when unfinished.​

The Upcoming view lacks the level of detail of Todoist, but I never used those features anyway. All I need is to glance at what’s coming up in the next few days, and that’s what Things 3 provides. Tasks can be easily dragged from one day to another, and each day has its calendar items displayed here as well for a sense of how busy I’ll be.

Things 3 just feels like it’s made for the way I think about tasks.

Check it out. There are Mac and iOS versions of Things 3 and sync works across all your devices.

Web Finds for October 6, 2017

Web Finds are from my web surfing travels. You’ll find some unique, informative, and some of the coolest websites and apps that you may have never known existed. Enjoy!

60 Mac Tips, Volume 2 – David Sparks & Brett Terpstra
60 Mac Tips, Volume 2, is a collection of tricks and tips to make you more efficient on your Mac. With 60 screencasts and two hours of video, the book explains why each trick or tip is special and shows you how to set it up and use it on your Mac. Learn these tips and turn yourself into a Mac power user.

Among these 60 screencasts are tips on macOS, Siri for the Mac, using the keyboard, Spotlight, Automator, Safari, Mail, Apple Notes, Apple Photos, Terminal Tips, and third-party apps. After reading and watching these tips and tricks, you’ll be more efficient on your Mac than ever.

Whink
Whink for iOS is uniquely designed for the iPad and iPhone to provide the best note-taking experience at school, at home, and at work. And with iCloud, your notes are always up-to-date on all your devices. Supports Apple pencil.

BackupLoupe
BackupLoupe for Mac is an alternative GUI for Time Machine. At its core it provides a Finder-like interface where you get to select a snapshot and it will show you what has been backed up.

STRYD
Stryd is a power meter for runners. Using a tiny device clipped onto the shoe, Stryd measures data at lab-grade power when you run. Using power as a metric, Stryd understands how fast you can run (fitness), how long your can run (muscle endurance), and how well you run (form and efficiency). It then guides you through purposeful training, efficient running, and faster racing.

Previous Web Finds are here.

Yoink – My favorite drag-and-drop utility for Mac

I discovered Yoink thanks to a blog post by John Gruber back in May. On his recommendation, I purchased it that day.

Yoink is a terrific utility for MacOS by Matthias Gansrigler. It gives you a shelf at the side of your screen where you can drop files (or clippings, like URLs or text snippets). Think of it as a place to park drag-and-drop items temporarily, while you switch apps or whatever.

I do a fair amount of dragging-and-dropping. Before Yoink drag-and-drop was always a bit of a pain especially on my MacBook Pro. Yoink has simplified the process and sped up my workflow.

Yesterday Yoink got an update to version 3.4 with two new features. One allows you to add content from the clipboard and the other is a PopClip extension. I’m especially excited about the PopClip extension. I’ve had the opportunity to use the extension several times. It’s slick. It saves the step of having to actually drag highlighted text to the Yoink shelf.

You can get Yoink in the Mac App Store and it’s only $7. There are some helpful usage tips here.

Problems upgrading to High Sierra

Well, I should have waited a few weeks, like I usually do, before installing High Sierra on my Macs.

Let’s start with my MacBook Pro. So far everything has been working fine. I did have to reset some of my settings. For example, all my startup apps were gone so I had to re-add them to the user login items. Not a big deal.

Now let’s talk about my late 2013 iMac. Everything didn’t go so good. I spent two and half days working with Apple Support to get my iMac running.

The first issue happened during installation. A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’m not sure if the first boot up problem was at install or the next time I did a restart? The bottom line is my keyboard wasn’t working so I tried a reboot to see if that would fix the problem. It didn’t reboot. It got stuck during the reboot process. I shut it down by holding down the on button. This time it booted up. I tried a few more restarts and sometimes it would boot up and other times it wouldn’t. At this point, I knew something was wrong so made my first call to Apple Support. The Support tech ask me a few questions. Then he had me do a P-Ram reboot ⌥ ⌘ P R (I think that’s what he called it). That fixed the boot problem. Feeling like everything was working, including the keyboard problem, I shut down for the day.

The next morning when I turned on my iMac it booted up fine. Then the keyboard issue reared its ugly head again. By the way, this is the Bluetooth Apple Magic Keyboard we’re talking about. Sometimes it would work sometimes it wouldn’t. I called support again. They walked me through re-pairing it to Bluetooth which did no good. Then they had me change the batteries. After that, the keyboard was working fine so I parted ways with Support.

After taking a lunch break I went back to my iMac to do some writing and the keyboard wasn’t working again. So I got to thinking this isn’t a keyboard issue. So I dug out a Logitech USB keyboard, I had in a closet, to see if it would work. Well, it had the similar issues.

After some trial and error, I determined that anytime I would leave the keyboard idle for a few minutes and then come back to start using it again it wouldn’t work. I called support again a third time and this time it was determined there must be a bug in High Sierra that’s causing the problem. With no available fix, they had me restore to Sierra from a Time Machine backup. After being back on Sierra the keyboard is working fine. Apple Tech Support was excellent. They ask me not to attempt to upgrade my iMac to High Sierra until they called me back sometime in the future to let me know the bug was fixed.

I’m sure glad I did a backup just before I started the update. So now I have Sierra on my iMac and High Sierra on my MacBook. Oh yeah, the boot issue caused a file in Dropbox to get corrupted, which messed up syncing, so I had to fix that too.

Search Safari and Chrome tabs at the same time

As you all know I’m a big fan of Alfred. I use it more than any other app on my Mac.

Here’s a helpful workflow I found a few weeks ago and I’d like to share it with you.

Do you ever have tabs open in Safari and Chrome and want to go to a specific tab but you can’t remember whether it’s open in Safari or Chrome? Here’s an Alfred workflow that lets you search the open tabs in both browsers at the same time.

The workflow is “Search Safari and Chrome Tabs” and you can download it here.

To search your tabs, type “tabs” in the Alfred bar followed by your search term.

When you select a result, it’ll bring your browser to the front and switch to the selected tab. You can also close a tab by holding down alt when selecting a result.

Now you can exclude apps from clipboard history in Keyboard Maestro 8

One complaint I have with Keyboard Maestro is the way passwords are handled in the clipboard history.

Clipboard entries that resemble passwords are obscured, deleted after they reach position ten in the clipboard history, and not saved to disk. You can option click on an obscured password to reveal it.

This way of handling passwords has always made me uncomfortable. I’m used to being able to exclude apps like you can in Alfred or Copied.

Now with Keyboard Maestro 8, you can exclude applications using the Keyboard Maestro Excluded Preferences. I added 1Password to the excluded list. Now when I copy a password it will no longer be stored in the clipboard history.

Thank you Peter.

How to display Favicons in Safari tabs on Mac

A few weeks ago John Gruber wrote a blog post about how Safari should display favicons in tabs. I agree. It would make it so much easier to identify and navigate between open tabs.

Daniel Alm, the developer of Timing, thinks so too. This week he released Faviconographer an app with the single purpose of adding favicons to tabs in Safari for Mac.

I’ve installed the app on my iMac and MacBook and it’s working as expected.

You can learn more about how Faviconographer works and download it here. It’s also free.

How to show the PopClip menu on a selection

PopClip is one of my favorite Mac utilities.

PopClip is a Mac utility for working with selected text. When I highlight text with my mouse or trackpad an actions menu pops up with options to do something with the text. I don’t have to right-click, it just appears automatically. And if I don’t use it, it’ll disappear when I move my mouse.

PopClip includes standard actions like copy, cut, paste, and delete. There are also extensions to get the highlighted text into some of my favorite apps. Another action I frequently use is taking highlighted text and converting it to markdown. There are over 100 extensions that can be downloaded from the PopClip download site.

The only problem with PopClip is that occasionally the menu doesn’t appear when I make a selection or I’ll sometimes accidentally dismiss it. When this happens I have to re-select the text to get the menu back again. That’s a pain. Thanks to Brett Terpstra there’s a simple script to get the menu to appear. To solve this problem, I’ve set the script to a Keyboard Maestro hotkey trigger ⌥⇧P so I can get the menu to appear anytime I want.

Here’s the Keyboard Maestro macro: