DEVONthink, The Best Database Solution (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by DEVONthink. There are a lot of ways to manage a database on your Mac, but in my opinion, there is no better tool than DEVONthink. Just a few of the things I use DEVONthink for include:

A reliable repository of research documents. DEVONthink will hold as many documents as you can throw at it. In addition, it makes import (and export) easy, so you can have all that power without feeling trapped.

A research assistant. DEVONthink uses artificial intelligence to analyze and connect your documents in ways that may not otherwise occur to you. This isn’t that new-fangled-kinda-dumb AI. This is search AI that finds shockingly relevant documents. It’s spooky.

An OCR Tool. Everything you store in your DEVONthink Pro library gets OCR’d. It just happens.

An Automation Tool. DEVONthink lets you build powerful automation subroutines into your library to help tag, move, and organize documents.

DEVONthink supports multiple sync methods and lets you even use your own sync password, so everything is encrypted. If you’ve got an iPad or an iPhone, you can access your DEVONthink data there, too, with DEVONthink To Go.

It is this combination of power and security that makes DEVONthink the clear winner. You can think of DEVONthink as your paperless office. You can automate your workflow from capture to filing, editing to publishing. It stores all your documents, helps you keep them organized, and presents you with what you need to get the job done.

And of course the DEVONthink team never stops making improvements. The latest update (3.8.7) improves upon Wikilinks, the Concordance inspector, and more.

Interested? MacSparky readers can get a 20% discount on DEVONthink. Use the code MACSPARKY2022 at checkout. This is a limited-time offer (and about to run out!), so check it out now.

AirTag Battery Replacements and Remotes

It seems that time for early adopters concerning their AirTag batteries. I’ve been slowly replacing them as I get the battery alerts. Ben Lovejoy suggests biting the bullet and replacing them all when the first warning appears. I wish I’d done that.

Changing the batteries is easy enough. Give it a twist, and it separates. Put the new CR2032 battery in (I use these), then twist it back together. 

On the subject of AirTags, I recently bought a few Apple TV remotes with built-in AirTag holders. I love these. I can find the remote via sonar, and they double as NFC tags so I can trigger “Movie” lighting by holding them to my phone.

Craft Adds Artificial Intelligence

I was surprised to see the latest update from Craft added an AI writing assistant. The idea behind its inclusion (they are using the GPT-3 engine) is not so much to write for you (although it can do that rather poorly), but instead to help you with more practical AI tasks given the state of the technology, like outlining, summarizing your words, and translation. In short, it’s not AI to do your work for you but instead improve on what you make.

Because it’s integrated into Craft, you select some blocks, press Command-enter, and you’re off. There are usage limits:

Starter plan: 25 requests per month

Personal pro: 100 requests per month

Business plan: 250 requests per month

Hopefully, those numbers will go up soon.

Just for giggles, here is Craft AI’s summarization of the above text:

“Craft’s latest update includes an AI writing assistant powered by the GPT-3 engine that can help improve your writing instead of replacing it. It offers features such as spell and grammar checking, summarization, and translation and is accessible when editing blocks by pressing Command-enter. Usage is limited to 25, 100, or 250 requests per month depending on the plan.”

Please don’t write me and tell me you like the robot’s writing voice better. I’m hanging on by a thread here.

Make an Impression with Hoban Cards (Sponsor)

Do you want to make an impression on every colleague you meet? You can do that with a thoughtful calling card. I’m not talking about the junk that gets “printed” at the office supply store or the things that come off your printer. I’m talking about classy, tastefully designed, letterpress cards from Hoban.

Your calling card represents you. Why not bring some intentionality to your game? This week, MacSparky is sponsored by Hoban Cards, where they use a 1902 letterpress machine to make cards that your colleagues, clients, and customers will never forget. I sure love mine.

Evan and the gang at Hoban Cards are masters at the craft of designing and making letterpress calling cards. They have some beautiful templates to choose from, or you can roll your own.

I love handing out letterpress cards. It is always a conversation starter. Hoban Cards is where I go to buy them, and it is where you should too. Throw out those ugly, conventional, mass-produced, soulless business cards and reach out to Hoban Cards. Best of all, use ‘MacSparky’ to get $10 off any order. Get yours today.

I Didn’t Know We Couldn’t Do It, So We Did It

I was watching one of my favorite YouTube woodworkers, Paul Sellers, recently and he explained how his son wanted a cello, so the two of them built one together. Later, after he had finished it, he was told it was one of the hardest instruments to build. He laughed and explained: “I didn’t know we couldn’t do it, so we did it.” (~23 minute mark of the below video.)

What if someone told Paul and his son at the beginning of the process that they couldn’t build a cello?
All this got me thinking of all the times people told me I couldn’t do something and the sad number of times I took them for their word. How many great works of art don’t exist because one human told another human that she “couldn’t do it.”

Sometimes ignorance is not only bliss, it’s enabling.