Sep 02

I’ve just purchased a new 2020 13inch MacBook Pro and rather than use migration assistant to copy everything across I’ve started fresh. I have installed my apps one by one. So here’s a list of the first few ‘must have’ apps that I just installed…

1Password.

I can’t live without it. It’s the first thing I installed as it contains all the passwords and serial numbers to my other apps and email logins etc. It’s one of the one monthly subscription apps that I’m willing to pay for.
A great password manager

Dropbox.

I use dropbox to sync my working documents across all my computers. The free tier allows you to sync limited data across 3 computers but if you’re only syncing a few folders you can get away with it.
dropbox

Jumpcut.

Can’t live without it. Allows you to go back through your copy/paste history and find an item you pasted earlier in the day – like a browser history for the clipboard. For example writing this article I just went and gabbed the link to Jumpcut using Jumpcut, from when I installed it earlier today.
Jumpcut – multiple copy and paste

Dragon.

It’s quite unique but I prefer to dictate rather than type, for example I’m dictating this article right now. You can no longer buy Dragon for the Mac but it still works fine in Catalina and thankfully it’s a 64-bit app so should still work for a few more years. If you buy a second hand copy make sure that the serial number has been deregistered on the sellers computer otherwise you won’t be able to use it.
Dragon Naturally Speaking – keeping it going with Catalina

Karabiner Elements.

I have an extended keyboard with lots of function keys up to F15. I like to use these as shortcuts in apps but some apps do not let you use the function keys as shortcuts. Karabiner Elements lets you map keys to other keys. So for example I can map my F13 key to Option-F13 and use it as a shortcut in apps.

https://karabiner-elements.pqrs.org


NValt.

A fast, simple app for keeping notes synced accross computers and phones. I sync them with Simplenote on the Android and iPhone. An older app but still works with Catalina.
Notational Velocity (NValt) and Catalina

Quicksilver.

Hit the command key once and then type the name of any app or document to launch it. So fast! Probably the second app I install after 1Password.
How to use Quicksilver

AutoMounter.

Automatically mounts my Synology Network drive which contains my movies and images. From NZ!

https://www.pixeleyes.co.nz/automounter/

Keyboard Maestro.

Allows me to easily run Applescripts. I have a great macro one to copy bible verses into any document with a single hotkey. There are times when I have used it to automate repeated tasks.

https://www.keyboardmaestro.com/main/

ImageOptim

I can drag images onto this app and it shrinks them before I post them to a webpage. It’s free.

https://imageoptim.com/mac





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Jun 07
NValt

My favourite quick note syncing utility – NValt broke with Catalina. I was getting error that it could not find my notes folder, but when I tried to select another notes folder it did not work

I was able to get it up and running again, but it took a bit of fiddling. Most of the forums have given up on it, but it does still work. The trick for me was completely re-installing the app from scratch.

  1. Make sure your notes are synced using Simplenote.
  2. Delete the notational velocity notes folder from your ~/Library/application support folder.
  3. Delete the ‘net.elasticthreads.nv.list’ from your preferences folder.
  4. Delete the Notational Velocity App from your Applications folder.
  5. Download NValt 2.2.8 again from https://brettterpstra.com/projects/nvalt/
  6. Re-sync with Simplenote and it will download all your notes again.
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Oct 02

In my previous posts I have lead you through how to make an AppleScript that can use to open a particular website URL in a particular browser. You can drag these Apple scripts to your dock to instantly access any URL from your dock. Obviously the next step is you will want to give these AppleScripts their own icon so that you can identify them from the dock easily. This is really easy to do in OS X.

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Aug 21

This is a somewhat technical post about how to remap keys in OSX using Karabiner Elements.

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Mar 26

Notational Velocity is my favourite note taking app for little bits of information you’d like to save anywhere then be able to recall later.

Notational Velocity sync broke in October 2018 when the sync engine they relied on (Simplenote) changed the domain of their notes server. Over at GitHub there’s been a fix, but it hasn’t been distributed yet.

In the meantime, if you love Notational Velocity and can’t live without it, you can use NVAlt which is basically the same program but it’s been updated so not as to have the problem. It even uses exactly the same database.

You can download NVAlt from here: https://brettterpstra.com/projects/nvalt/

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Feb 11

Every now and then I stumble across a life changing app that completely changes the way I interact with my computer. Quicksilver. Devonthink Pro. Jumpcut. Keyboard Maestro. 1Password. Dropbox. Hazel. These are Apps that I cannot do without! In my 20 years of being a mac user there has been a handful of such apps that are mandatory to install on any new computer that I use. I’ve just discovered a new app to add to the collection – Unclutter…

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Aug 14

I discovered this little application a while ago called ‘namechanger’.  It allows you to automatically change the name of a large number of files in one go.  It has lots of options. You can add something to the start of filenames or to the end. You can do search and replace of filenames. You can remove characters, add in a date or add in a sequence of numbers. It’s very handy.  You can download it from here: https://mrrsoftware.com/namechanger/

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Feb 07

Summary: This great little app (costs $2.99) allows you to right-click in any folder and make a new document.

Windows users will be used to the ability to right-click anywhere and make a new file. Unfortunately you cannot do this on a Mac.  For many years I have had a quicksilver shortcut which allows me to do this, but ‘New File Menu’ is a new app that is a lot simpler and has more options. After you install it whenever you right-click your mouse it adds an extra option to the contextual menu that allows you to create a new file.  As you can see in the example above I have two choices available “text file” and “pages document” but you can choose how many documents you want available in the menu.

To customise the menu you need to run the application. The you just select the files that you’d like to have in the menu. I only have 4 selected – A text file, Pages, Word and rtf. This keeps the menu nice and small.

New File Menu

 

Click here  to go to the App Store and download the  New File Menu App.

 

 

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