Archive for the ‘MacOS Productivity’ Category

Find any file

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of FindAnyFile

Finding stuff is a good thing, especially if you're searching for it. Your Mac comes with Spotlight, which is supposed to help you locate files on your system. Unless they're hidden or are inside a package or bundle. For those, you can resort to Terminal and all kinds of exotic command line tricks, or you can check out FindAnyFile.

FindAnyFile has an easy to use interface that lets you choose any mounted volume to search, or you can drag-and-drop individual folders into the interface and go from there. You can search on partial or complete filenames, creation and modification dates, file type, and more. Your results are available as either a list of names, or you can check out the hierarchical view to give your results a bit more context. And it's smart enough to report back on hidden files—those files you can't see in Finder—so that you can really see what's living on your disks.

You can download a copy of FindAnyFile for free. Strictly speaking, the latest release is "donationware", with older versions being available for free. It's a Mac application and runs under Tiger (OS X 10.4) and later.

Download FindAnyFile

Outliner and mind mapper

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of MyMind

Sometimes a list is just a list. When you put together your shopping list for the grocery store, it's probably just an unordered list of stuff: eggs, milk, bread, and so on. You write things down as you run out, with no particular attention paid to organizing them, like maybe by store location or cost or some such. Other times, the order of items is important. Maybe they're steps in completing some task, where you have to finish some parts before others: you don't want to fold your laundry and put it away before you wash it, for example.

MyMind is an outliner that can give you a hand in organizing things. It's easy to enter items, rearrange them, and prioritize them. In addition, you can look at your outline graphically as well. That may help you to better understand what you've laid out, or even to discover relationships you didn't see between various nodes as they sat there in a strict outline form. Add a fancy background image, and you're on your way to a full-on presentation. Not bad for a grocery list, huh?

MyMind is a free download for your Mac. It runs under OS X 10.4 and later.

Download MyMind

Character Reference Letters

Monday, April 4th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Character Reference Letters

Character counts. Even though it seems more and more that wealth and power rule the day, when it comes right down to it, a person's character can often be the determining factor in life. While anybody can stand there and assure you that they're a swell person, having somebody else vouch for us is the preferred way to get a read on an individual's character. Often, that means writing a character reference letter.

Character Reference Letters has a couple dozen reference letter templates you can download and use when you're asked to vouch for somebody. Whether you need to write a letter for a professional or a personal situation, you can probably find what you need on this site. They've got letters dealing with employment, childcare, school situations, court proceedings, and more. Download a letter, open it up in a word processor (the downloads are all Word-compatible DOC files), and personalize it to apply to your situation. And for more complicated situations, they've also got several articles and tips on how to write a character reference letter.

Character Reference Letters are available as free downloads.

Download Character Reference Letters

Launch apps easily with Todos

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of Todos

If you spend time hanging around download sites—and you know you do—pretty quick you're going to have so many cool applications, it's going to be tough to find them all when you need them. Sure, you can add a bunch of them to the Dock, but soon enough you're going to run out of room there, and then you're back to just digging through the Finder.

Todos is an tool that helps you find apps on your Mac. Activate it with a quick hotkey, or click on its menubar icon. It goes out and finds every application on your system, and then puts their icons up in a big window for you to choose from. You can customize its behavior, maybe getting it to ignore certain apps, like those you use so often that they're already in your Dock.

Todos is a Universal Binary, so it's equally at home on a PowerPC or Intel powered Mac. It's been tested under OS X 10.4 (Tiger), but will probably be right at home on later versions as well.

Download Todos

Hardship Letters

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Hardship Letters

Sometimes your life runs smoothly: job is good, kids are healthy, everything hums along. Hopefully you live most of your life in that space. Unfortunately, though, sometimes things just don't work the way you'd like. Whether it's a cut in work hours, unexpected bills, or just not making the best choices in our lives, we can run into trouble. That's a time when a hardship letter may be required.

Typically a hardship letter is going to be addressed to a creditor, asking for some help in working out payments. It may be a bank or credit card company, or it could be a medical provider or even your mortgage holder. While it may be tempting to just hide our heads in the sand and hope that by ignoring a problem that it will go away, generally a better approach is to be open and communicative with creditors, letting them know exactly what's happening, and asking them to work with you to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Hardship Letters has over twenty different hardship letter templates you can use. Starting with one of their letters, you can tailor it to your particular situation and hopefully reach some agreement with the bank, lender, or even the IRS that will work out for everyone. They've also got several articles on how to write a hardship letter, and what kinds of things you should be sure to include in your letter.

Hardship Letters are available as free downloads. They're all formatted as Microsoft Word DOC files, so you can open them in most word processors to customize them with your information. And good luck!

Download Hardship Letters

Integrated to-do list tool

Friday, March 18th, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of Anxiety

Keeping track of the stuff in our lives is one of the jobs that computers excel at. They don't lose little slips of paper with important reminders written on them, and their handwriting is always legible.

Anxiety is a Mac-based to-do manager that integrates with iCal and Mail. You can use Anxiety for keeping top-level lists of the things you need to do, but when you double-click on items in your list, you'll open the full task or event in the other app, where you can keep all the details. Once you've completed a task, deleting it in one app removes it from all, keeping your life in sync. Anxiety is designed to stay out of your way: its icon can appear in the Dock, or you can stick it in the Menu Bar. And depending on how you work, you can create a single list of "to-do's" or use separate lists for home, work, or individual projects.

Anxiety is a free download. It's a Mac application and runs under OS X 10.5 and later.

Download Anxiety

Free form note taking tool

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of Growly Notes

If your idea of jotting a few notes includes a cocktail napkin or the back of an old envelope, maybe it's time for you to be dragged into the twenty-first century. And maybe you'd like to let Growly Notes do the dragging.

Growly Notes is a tool for taking and keeping free-form notes. It supports plain old text, formatted text, and even images and video clips. It supports sections so you can store your information hierarchically, making it easier to find that important note you jotted down yesterday. Built in search functionality lets you look for specific text in your notes, and you can even add keyword tags to your entries, making finding it all even easier. It comes with several pre-fab page templates, or you can use your own, which is going to be helpful if you happen to have a lot of similar pages of information.

Growly Notes is a free Mac application. It runs under OS X 10.5 (Leopard) on Intel machines only.

Download Growly Notes

System clipboard enhancement

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

runs on Mac
screenshot of ClipMenu

As we've mentioned numerous times before, we're big fans of the system clipboard. The ability to copy and paste text from one application to another has saved our bacon on a number of occasions. Whether it's a big chunk of text that we're moving from document to document, or some really complicated password that we need to enter into an app or a web page, there's nothing like not having to type all that stuff over and over again. And then there's the pictures: being able to copy and paste an image makes life much easier. If only we could work with more than one picture or one chunk of text at the same time.

ClipMenu is a clipboard enhancement for your Mac. Instead of being able to track only one item at a time, this tool will let you grab as many clips as you like, up to the point that you run out or RAM. Heck, its default is to track 20 clipboard history items, more than enough for most purposes. It can deal with text—both formatted and unformatted—as well as images. You can even save text snippets so that they're always available for you—maybe a favorite website, an often-used email address, or even some fancy signature for you to use.

ClipMenu is a Mac application. It runs under OS X 10.5 (Leopard) or later, and it features 64-bit support under Snow Leopard (10.6).

Download ClipMenu

Open source support ticket system

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of osTicket

If you're running a business, hopefully you've got customers. And whether you're selling goods or services, sooner or later somebody's going to need some attention. How you respond to customer service situations can have a big impact on your success, so you want to make sure you don't let any problems fall through the cracks. What you need is a helpdesk solution.

osTicket is a free support ticket system. It's easy to set up, which is great for you, and easy for your customers to access, which is even better. Users can enter info to create help tickets via web, email, or phone, and they'll get a note back letting them know that they're in the system. From your site, you can answer inquires with canned text, or you can send custom messages to grab any additional information you may need, as well as keeping the customer up to date on how their ticket is progressing. Customers don't need to log in to use the system, which may help them with any privacy concerns. On your site, it's easy to assign and transfer tickets, and role-based access keeps your process rolling along and allows for adequate supervision and oversight.

osTicket is a free download. You install it on your server and need to be running at least PHP (ver. 4.3) and MySQL (ver. 4.4).

Download osTicket

Condolence Letters

Friday, March 11th, 2011

runs on Linuxruns on Macruns on Windows
screenshot of Condolence Letters

"To every thing there is a season… A time to be born, and a time to die"
—Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

The old joke has it that the only two things certain in life are death and taxes. While that certainly seems to be true, the inevitability of death doesn't make it any easier to bear. When a friend, relative, or business associate suffers a loss, there's really nothing we can do to take away their pain. What we can do, however, is to let them know that we're thinking of them. That's where a letter of condolence comes in.

While it may be easier to just grab a greeting card off the shelf, sending a personal letter of condolence will let the bereaved know that you care and are thinking of them in their time of loss. It's not always easy to know just what to say in that letter, and that's where Condolence Letters comes in.

This site features several different sample letters of condolence that you can use as a starting point for your own personal letter. They have letters for personal situations, as well as letters suitable for the workplace, and even the military. Along with several general condolence letters, they also feature tips on how to write a condolence letter.

Condolence Letters are all available for free. They're downloadable in Microsoft Word DOC format.

Download Condolence Letters