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.

Addresses in Bear notes link to Maps

I discovered this totally by accident. I was creating a note in the Bear notes app that included an address. What I found was, when I place an address in a note it becomes a link to the address in Apple Maps. Of course clicking the link takes me to the address in Maps. This saves having to launch Maps and type the address again. This can also be frustrating if you want a plain text address because there’s currently no way to disable address linking. I did find this workaround. If you bold the address it won’t link. It would nice if Bear would include an option for an address to be a link or plain text.

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.

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.

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:

How I use Alfred for Safari bookmarks

Safari is my default browser. The Alfred feature I’m going to tell you about works with what ever browser you have set as your default. You’ll also need the Powerpack.

I launch all my bookmarks using Alfred. Alfred recognizes URLs when I type them into the Alfred box so I can launch a website in Safari from anywhere. Once I’ve typed a URL Alfred remembers it in a history.

Now the next time I want to launch a bookmark that’s in my history all I have to do is start typing in the Alfred box. For example, if I want to go to the Mac Stories website I can type “mac” in Alfred box and hit ⌘3. As you can see the macdrifter and macsparky URLs also appeared.

This saves me several mouse clicks over using bookmarks in Safari. And remember, you can launch a bookmark this way from anywhere.

This feature can be enabled under Features > Web Search > URLs/History.

My Instapaper workflow

Awhile back I wrote that I was ditching Instapaper and Pocket and using Pinboard for reading later. As it turned out, there was a flaw with that.

Here’s what was missing from Pinboard. The ability to highlight text and add notes as I’m reading.

I read a lot. Reading is where I get the inspiration for many of the articles I write. So Instapaper is part of my blogging workflow. Here’s how it works.

I collect everything I want to read in Instapaper. Once in Instapaper, I highlight things that catch my attention and add notes as I’m reading. If after reading an article I want to comment on it in a blog post or it gives me inspiration for a new article I go to the bottom of the article in iOS and tap Share All Notes. This exports all my highlights and notes to the iOS share sheet. From the iOS share sheet, I send the export to Drafts for delivery to my Writing In Progress folder in Dropbox. Now I can open the file in Byword, BBEdit or iA Writer for editing on my Mac.

Web Finds for September 2, 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!

MarginNote is a powerful Mac and iOS reading tool for learners. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a researcher, a lawyer or someone with a curious mind to learn, MarginNote can help you quickly organize, study and manage large volumes of PDFs and EPUBs. All in one learning app enables you to highlight PDF and EPUB, take note, create mind map, review flashcards and saves you from switching endlessly between different Apps. is a Mac and iOS bookmark manager service for your inspiration, read later, media and stuff. Save anything from around the web, articles, photos, videos, presentations, web sites screenshots and more. Organize with autosuggested tags, thematic collections, bulk operations and more.

And no I’m not leaving Pinboard.

Power Manager
Power Manager is Mac software that reduces a computer’s energy costs. Power Manager lets you automate sophisticated tasks and improve your Mac’s power management. With Power Manager you can create sophisticated energy saving schedules and automate complex tasks. Power Manager can power on a Mac, run a series of tasks, and power off the Mac without requiring any interaction.

SuperTab or Contexts 3
SuperTab and Context 3 are Mac apps for switching between application windows. They are Command-Tab options on steroids.

Previous Web Finds are here.