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:

Web Finds for February 1, 2018

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

Agenda – A new take on Notes
Agenda for Mac is a date-focused note taking app for planning and documenting your projects. With its unique timeline, Agenda gives you a complete picture of past, present and future, driving your projects forward. The notes in Agenda are beautifully styled, and include powerful features like tags, lists, and links. You can even connect your notes to events in your calendar. Agenda Review by Mac Stories.

Scoop: Apple delays iOS features to focus on reliability, performance
Apple has shaken up its iOS software plans for 2018, delaying some features to next year in an effort to put more focus on addressing performance and quality issues, Axios has learned.

Software head Craig Federighi announced the revised plan to employees at a meeting earlier this month, shortly before he and some top lieutenants headed to a company offsite.
Via Axios

Apple Said to Release New Entry-Level 13-inch MacBook This Year, Likely Replacing MacBook Air
Apple plans to release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of 2018, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. The report claims General Interface Solution (GIS) is expected to win more LCD display orders from Apple for the planned new model, after it began supplying the modules for existing MacBooks in the fourth quarter of last year.
Via MacRumors

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Team Up to Disrupt Health Care
Three corporate behemoths — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase — announced on Tuesday that they would form an independent health care company for their employees in the United States.

The alliance was a sign of just how frustrated American businesses are with the state of the nation’s health care system and the rapidly spiraling cost of medical treatment. It also caused further turmoil in an industry reeling from attempts by new players to attack a notoriously inefficient, intractable web of doctors, hospitals, insurers and pharmaceutical companies.
Via The New York Times

Strava Fitness App Can Reveal Military Sites, Analysts Say
A fitness app that posts a map of its users’ activity has unwittingly revealed the locations and habits of military bases and personnel, including those of American forces in Iraq and Syria, security analysts say.

The app, Strava, which calls itself “the social network for athletes,” allows millions of users to time and map their workouts and to post them online for friends to see, and it can track their movements at other times. The app is especially popular with young people who are serious about fitness, which describes many service members.
Via The New York Times

Previous Web Finds are here.