The 4 Best Productivity Apps to Organize Your Information

Whether you’re setting up a new business or running an existing company, you have lots of information to manage and store. Much of this lives in apps such as your accounting app, CRM tool, or a database. But there’s a lot of disparate information that you and your team need to make your business run smoothly. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the best productivity apps that you can use to store and organize information, and especially to share it with the rest of your team.

You probably already use some sort of cloud storage service to share files: you may use Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or Microsoft One Drive to keep your business documents available to your team 24/7. But these document repositories aren’t the most efficient way to store disparate bits of information, such as clippings from interesting articles, links to websites you want to check out and share, or information such as to-do lists or notes. Most of these platforms do offer apps for this purpose, and we’ll look at these tools.

You have two options when choosing a tool for organizing information: you can use the app provided by the platform your team uses for its documents, or you can use something else. If all your team uses the Apple ecosystem, then Apple’s Notes app might work for you. If you work on Office 365, Microsoft OneNote will help you interface easily with your files. And if you’re a Google-based company, Google Keep might be what you need. However, these apps are not all created equally; not all of them are powerful enough for business needs.

Read the rest of the article on The Startup Finance Blog.

Intego Mac Podcast, Episode 35: Where’s the Best Place to Buy Mac Apps?

Some new security threats arise, and we discuss code signing and Apple’s Gatekeeper technology. We then look at the pros and cons of buying Mac apps from the Mac App Store or directly from developers.

Check out the latest episode of The Intego Mac Podcast, which I co-host with Josh Long. We talk about Macs and iOS devices, and how to keep them secure.

Type Different: Text Editors for the Mac

Everyone who uses a Mac types words; sometimes in an email app, other times on Facebook, and often in a word processor. You may write in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word, or in Apple’s Pages, which is provided free on your Mac. You may even use a different word processor—there are several options available.

You may recall that Microsoft announced the end of support for Office 2011, and if you don’t use the app often, you may not want to pay a monthly subscription fee for Office 365. And Pages may be too complex for what you write. While it’s easy to use, it has a lot of features that can get in the way if you just want to write something simple.

Many people have shifted to using text editors to write on their Macs. These are apps that generally don’t offer any formatting, just plain text. They free you from the hassle of styles and fonts and let you focus on what you write. Instead of working around a complex app that wants to do more than you need, a text editor lets you focus on writing text.

In this article, you’ll learn why you might want to use a text editor for the Mac, and I’ll even recommend some favorite apps for you to try.

Read the rest of the article on the Mac Security Blog.

What happens to the traffic you send to the App Store? – iA

We constantly test new ways to optimize our sales funnel. The funnel Twitter – Site – App Store is a long, shaky funnel and we don’t get useful data from Apple’s Analytics. We test the wildest things.

[…]

This year, we increased our blogging activity. This allowed us to test how much we can influence our sales by blogging more than just every couple of months. We had a lot to say, and so we blogged almost every day, got better traffic, and indeed that resulted in more sales.

[…]

Nice! As the traffic started going up from in January, sales started going up, too. Okay, maybe we need to blog more regularly then? Daily, even? Well, we also noticed that if we throw lots of traffic at the Store, we get punished, too. The App Store algorithm started downranking us in the charts and thus throttle sales from within the App Store. That was not the first time, either.

Interesting article showing that as there is more traffic to the App Store, developers are penalized. It’s almost as if Apple has an algorithm that wants to keep sales at a specific level, no matter how much work developers do to promote their apps.

iA, maker of iA Writer, my text editor of choice, has found that while blogging more increased traffic to the App Store, they didn’t make any more money.

Maybe they should just sell the app directly…

Source: What happens to the traffic you send to the App Store? – iA

MarsEdit 4, the Ultimate Blogging Tool

Red Sweater Software has just released MarsEdit 4, the ultimate blogging tool. I’ve been using MarsEdit since the previous version was released, back in 2010. (Yes, it’s been seven years since there was a major update…) Just about everything I write for this site – and other blogs I manage – is written in MarsEdit.

It’s got great features for blogging. You can set any font you want in the editor, and use your own blog’s theme for previews. You can write with your HTML code visible, or you can use a rich text editor. It works great with WordPress – which is what I use for blogs – handling some of the unique features, such as post formats, featured images, and more. It can download and store a full archive of your blogs, so you always have the text of your articles handy. And it makes adding images to your articles easy, letting you choose the alignment, size, and even handling retina images correctly.

In addition, the great Safari extension lets you select text from an article on a website and open a new post in MarsEdit; that’s how I create posts here where I quote an article.

I’ve been using MarsEdit 4 for nearly a year, in alpha and beta versions, and it’s the best tool available for blogging on the Mac.

MarsEdit 4 costs $50, with a half-price upgrade available for users of MarsEdit 3. If you blog, you should be using MarsEdit. Get it now from Red Sweater Software, or from the Mac App Store.

Analyze Your Writing with Scrivener 3’s Linguistic Focus Tool

Scrivener 3 was recently released, and the app is full of useful improvements. With a refreshed interface, Scrivener 3 also boasts a brand new compile feature (this is the part of the app that exports your projects to various formats). It brings styles, as are common in word processors, making it easier to manage formatting in your projects. Outlining is improved, the Corkboard is enhanced, and statistics are available at a glance. If you currently use Scrivener 2, then it’s a must-have upgrade.

One feature I really like is Linguistic Focus. When you’re writing with Scrivener 3, and get near the end of your project, you may want to scan your work to find certain words you’ve used too much, such as adverbs, or you may want to focus just on the dialog if your work is fiction. Scrivener 3 has a useful new Linguistic Focus tool that can help you zero in on certain types of words and texts.

View a document or your entire project (by selecting your Draft or Manuscript folder), click anywhere in the Editor, then choose Edit > Writing Tools > Linguistic Focus (Control-Command-L). In the panel that appears, select a focus, such as nouns, verbs, or adverbs. Scrivener dims text in the Editor that doesn’t match that focus. (Depending on your Editor’s view, you may need to switch to Scrivenings view to display more than one file. To do this, choose View > Scrivenings, or press Command-1.)

If you select Direct Speech, Scrivener dims all text that is not between quotes, so you can scan dialog more easily.

Linguistic focus

To adjust the dimming of the un-focused text, use the Fade slider at the bottom of the Linguistic Focus panel; if you drag that slider all the way to the right, the un-focused text becomes invisible.

Note that the algorithm for choosing parts of speech is part of macOS and is not perfect, so you may find that certain words are mislabeled when you choose a specific part of speech.

Check out Scrivener 3, and get my book, Take Control of Scrivener 3, to learn how to be productive with this essential writing tool.