sponsor

The Updated inShort (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by inShort for macOS.

inShort is an advanced diagramming and planning tool that lets you specify processes, resources, and how they all fit together. All of this is built around a unique interface that enables you to drill down into the details of a project or move back up to the overview and see the project in its entirety. The interface is brilliant.

Since the last time I featured inShort on this website, there have been several significant updates. The application now works with layers (for pro subscribers), which add a new dimension to your diagrams, successfully combining related schemes in a common space.

If your project works in cycles, there’s new logic available in the application that lets you take into account several schedules for one object. One of the most interesting new features to me is the introduction of failed tasks. You can map out what happens if the task fails in your project planning. This lets you log and analyze how what happens if things break, and it even updates the Gantt chart to display the failure.

Other improvements include the ability to customize your chart presentation style, a dark theme, and several other minor improvements.

If you’d like to bring some powerful tools to your planning, check out inShort.

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OmniFocus and Review (Sponsor)

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This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniFocus, the application I use to capture, manage, and complete my tasks and projects. One of my favorite reasons to Use OmniFocus is its powerful review tools.

Specifically, with OmniFocus you can assign a specific review frequency to each project. For some active projects, I may set the frequency to once a week. For other less active projects, it may be just once every six months. Regardless, this system builds in an easy way for me to stay on top of projects that may otherwise fall through the cracks. The trick is, at least once a week I take a look at all of the projects that are due for review.

Once I take a look at the projects, I often find things that I can update, revise, or even kill. Think of it as Game of Thrones, but for projects. Every week something must die. I love having these powerful review tools in my task manager, and it has saved my bacon more than once. Over the years, the team at the Omni Group has made this feature even more powerful, and it is easy to use on all of the various platforms including Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

My weapon of choice for review continues to be my fancy iPad with a cup of tea somewhere away from my desk. For some reason, I find it easier to kill projects when I’m not sitting at my desk. Maybe a psychiatrist could explain that to me one day.

Either way, if you’ve got OmniFocus installed, start using the review process now. You’ll be surprised at how powerful it is and how much better you feel once you have a regular review practice. If you don’t have OmniFocus, download the free trial and see what I mean. The Omni Group sweats the details, and this is just one of many features that you’ll love.



PDFpen: Powerful PDF Editing (Sponsor)

This week, MacSparky is sponsored by PDFpen for Mac. To properly work with PDF documents, you’ll need some powerful tools:

  • You’ll need to have the ability to perform optical character recognition on the document so you can search it.

  • You’ll need a full set of annotation tools.

  • You’ll need the ability properly redact private information.

  • You’ll need image support.

  • You’ll need the ability to add a digital signature.

PDFpen does all of this, and so much more. Smile also offers PDFpen for iPad and iPhone for editing PDFs for when you are on the go.

Head over to the PDFpen website for a full list of features. Also, make sure to let them know you heard about it here at MacSparky.com. 

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Save Time with TextExpander (Sponsor)

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This week MacSparky is sponsored by TextExpander, the text expansion tool for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Windows that will save you so much time. How much time? TextExpander has saved me 14 hours since my last install. That is literally additional time for me to spend with my family, read a book, or take a nap that I'd have otherwise been at my keyboard.

With the latest releases, TextExpander 6.5 for macOS and 2.0 for Windows, creating powerful snippets is easier than ever. The new visual editor makes it easier to see and edit snippet Fill-ins, dates and date math, nested snippets, and more.

You can Insert words, phrases, forms, templates, and more with just a couple key clicks—everywhere you type. TextExpander is automation for everyone. What would you do with an additional 14 hours? Subscribe to TextExpander with this link to get 20% off your subscription and find out.


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Get More From Your Mac With BetterTouchTool (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by BetterTouchTool, the Mac App that gives your input devices superpowers. While Apple makes some excellent trackpads and mice, the built-in gestures are just a taste of what you could do with those devices. With BetterTouchTool, you can completely re-design your Touch Bar, configure various Magic Mouse and Trackpad gestures, define keyboard shortcuts, bind standard mouse buttons, use the Siri Remote with your Mac and do tons more.

BetterTouchTool offers many actions to automate various tasks on your Mac. These can be assigned to any input-device trigger you choose. Additionally, it contains some handy features like window snapping, a clipboard manager, a screenshot editor, and much more. It even includes a free iOS app to control your Mac and trigger actions remotely. If you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro, this app is an absolute game changer.

Recently, the BetterTouchTool Community was begun, which you can find at community.folivora.ai. Users have shared some amazing presets there, including some very advanced custom Touch Bar setups that you should check out.

One of my favorite Better Touch Tool gestures lets me quit the current app by pinching with my thumb and two fingers. Whenever I want to shut down a bunch of apps, and my hand is on the trackpad, there is no faster way.

BetterTouchTool comes with a 45-day trial after which you can choose between a license that includes all updates for two years and a lifetime license.

BetterTouchTool has been around for nine years, and I've been using it the entire time. With BetterTouchTool, I can make my Mac dance. You 2should too. MacSparky readers can purchase BetterTouchTool for 15% off at checkout by using the coupon code MACSPARKYBTT for a limited time. So don’t delay. Go to folivora.ai to learn more and take advantage of the special limited-time, 15% discount on BetterTouchTool.

Accomplish More Every Day with OmniFocus (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniFocus, the task manager I’ve used for years to stay on top of my work and make time for play.

OmniFocus not only offers its users power, it also comes with flexibility. You can make this app work the way you think. Need tags? OmniFocus has them. Want to review your active project routinely? OmniFocus does that. Need to quickly get your tasks out of your brain and into your Mac/iPad/iPhone? OmniFocus makes task capture trivial.

With OmniFocus, you have all the tools. This week has been bananas for me. Because of some work commitments, I only have time for the few most critical tasks every day. OmniFocus is helping me out with that because I tag the most important tasks (I use “Big Rock”) and OmniFocus has a perspective to show me the big rocks every day. This week. I’m just doing those items. Next week, when things slow down a bit, I can dive deeper, but for now, I see exactly what I need. It’s a simple perspective and I’m adding a screenshot at the bottom of this post.

I use OmniFocus every day to keep my life together. There is no way I could run a law practice, video business, three podcasts, and be a dad without the powerful tools that OmniFocus gives me. Why not check it out for yourself? Head over to the OmniFocus website and download the free trial. Make sure to let them know you heard about it here at MacSparky.com.

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Don't Let Your Email Make You Crazy. Get SaneBox (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by SaneBox, the email service that can help you get control of your inbox. For a lot of folks, email is a constant pain point, and it doesn’t need to be. With SaneBox, you add a powerful set of email tools that can work in just about any email client. SaneBox allows you to:

  • Wake up everyday to find that the SaneBox robots have automatically sorted your incoming email for you so you can address the important and ignore the irrelevant.

  • Defer email for hours, days, or weeks so it is out of your life until a more appropriate time.

  • Set secret reminders so if someone doesn’t reply to an important email, SaneBox gives you a nudge to follow up.

  • Automatically save attachments to the cloud (like Dropbox).

  • Use their SaneForward service to automatically send appropriate emails to services such as Evernote, Expensify, and Kayak.

  • Move unwanted email to the SaneBlackHole and never see anything from that person again.

To me, getting the SaneBox account was the inflection point between when email controlled me and I started controlling email. If you are still on the other side of that equation, it’s time you joined us and stop letting email make you crazy. I’ve been a paying subscriber for years and can’t imagine getting by without it. If you sign up with this link, you even get a discount off your subscription.

SaneBox, Because Email Doesn't Have to Suck (Sponsor)

This week’s MacSparky sponsor is SaneBox, the email tool that everybody could use. You may have heard about some of the innovative new email features like inbox auto-sorting, deferred email, and reply tracking. The trouble is that early implementations of those features were all app-specific. You had to switch to a different email client that you didn’t necessarily like to get those features.

SaneBox fixes that. SaneBox has all of those cool new email tools (plus many more), and it works with just about any email client. Over the last few years, I have been jumping between iOS email clients trying to find the right app for me. Throughout this process, my one constant has been SaneBox because no matter which email client I'm using, I can still get auto inbox sorting, deferred email, reply tracking, and a pile of additional email tools via SaneBox. The service gives me the freedom to try and use any email client that tickles my fancy.

There is a lot more to SaneBox, but in addition to all of that, SaneBox gives you email client freedom. To learn more head over to SaneBox and sign up today. Using the links in this post, you’ll even get a sweet discount.

Save Time With TextExpander (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by TextExpander. Copy and paste is an inefficient way to keep track of the things you type again and again. TextExpander makes you more productive by taking care of all those words and phrases for you. TextExpander works in all your apps so you can use it everywhere, like Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, and Apple’s Pages.

I love how you can push TextExpander beyond the usual restraints of text replacement. Just last week I shared a snippet to add a recipient's name to an email automatically. Because TextExpander is multi-platform, you can use it (and share snippets) between your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Windows PC instantly.

So spend less time typing and more time doing what you want with TextExpander. To get 20% off your first year, use the links in this post to get started.

Get It Together With OmniFocus (Sponsor)

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This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniFocus 3. I’ve heard from lots of readers that are loving the new OmniFocus 3 features. I sure do.

The new version features a unique design that makes smart, useful changes without making change for the sake of change itself. Moreover, they've added several useful features of the application, my favorite of which is tags. Adding tags OmniFocus gives you the ability to have multiple vectors to get into your OmniFocus database and find exactly what you need precisely when you need it. I even wrote an article about how I'm using tags for the Omni Group's website. Tags help you manage big things, but they also help you manage small things too. Lately, I’ve been tagging tasks related to bill payment with the additional “bills” tag. Then when I sit down to pay bills, I can press one button in OmniFocus and pay them all at once.

I use OmniFocus every day to keep my life together. There is no way I could run a law practice, video business, three podcasts, and be a dad without the powerful tools that OmniFocus gives me. Why not check it out for yourself? Head over to the OmniFocus website and download the free trial. Make sure to let them know you heard about it here at MacSparky.com.

Find Files Like a Boss with HoudahSpot (Sponsor)

This week I'm pleased to welcome back HoudahSpot as a sponsor. Apple’s Spotlight search is a powerful tool. But imagine if there were a group of engineers at Apple that wanted to turn up the Spotlight search a notch or two and had nobody in management to tell them "no". That's what you get with HoudahSpot. 

HoudahSpot is like Spotlight, but better in every way. It improves upon Spotlight to let you find files by multiple criteria, like name, text, content kind, author, recipient, and pixel count to name a few. You can combine these search criteria to drill in quickly and choose which locations HoudahSpot looks in and which locations it ignores. Need to find every file that includes the name “bumfuzzle” but also includes the word “cumquat” in the text and was written in 2017? HoudahSpot can do that for you. You can even set up templates for repeat searches.

I've used HoudahSpot for years and if you haven't tried it yet, you should. The thing about HoudahSpot is that with all of that search criteria, it’s just faster. It’s faster than a Finder search, it’s faster than a Spotlight Search, and it’s faster than a Siri search. I’ve not found any easier way to laser in on just the files you want. With HoudahSpot you can find a needle in a haystack.

Anyway, don't take my word for it, go try out the app. If you like it, you can get 20% off with the coupon code MACSPARKY2019 or purchase through this link. There's no better way to search your Mac.

Outline like a Pro with Omni Outliner (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by OmniOutliner, the best outliner available for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. OmniOutliner combines powerful outlining tools plus a smart, simple interface to allow you to make beautiful outlines that can be as complex as you need them to be and no more than that. With smart columns, scriptability, custom styles, and templates, you can't go wrong. You can share your data between all versions of OmniOutliner, so you always have your outlines available to you.

I use OmniOutliner to outline contracts and complex legal transactions for my day job. I also use it to outline all of my field guides. The combination of powerful outlining tools with synchronization across all of my devices is a winner for me. No matter where I am if I think of something I want to add to the next field guide, OmniOutliner is right there waiting for me to update it. I've heard from listeners and readers that use OmniOutliner for all sorts of things, like writing a novel, creating a family tree, or just collecting their thoughts.

To learn more, head over to the OmniOutliner website and download the free trial today.

Automate Your Text with TextExpander (Sponsor)

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This week MacSparky is sponsored by TextExpander. Copy and paste is an inefficient way to keep track of the things you type again and again. TextExpander makes you more productive by taking care of all those words and phrases for you. TextExpander works in all your apps so you can use it everywhere, like Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, and Apple’s Pages.

TextExpander does way more than that. With TextExpander you’ll see your snippets everywhere. It syncs between your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Windows PC instantly.

They’ve got free snippet groups for all sorts of folks including job recruiters, freelancers, airport codes, brand names, and more at the TextExpander website (or you can download some of mine).

TextExpander even lets you run AppleScripts. For example, I use TextExpander to auto address emails with Apple Mail.

Best of all, with TextExpander you don’t have to work alone: TextExpander for Teams lets you manage and share snippets with your coworkers or the entire company. Use this link to get 20% off


Work Faster with BetterTouchTool - Sponsor

This week MacSparky is sponsored by BetterTouchTool, the powerful little app that lets you customize your Mac's input devices to match and improve your workflow perfectly. Apple gave us these great trackpads and mice, but they've never really let us use them to their full potential.  BetterTouchTool does that. With BetterTouchTool, you can completely re-design your Touch Bar, configure various Magic Mouse and Trackpad gestures, define keyboard shortcuts, bind standard mouse buttons, use the Siri Remote with your Mac and do tons more.

BetterTouchTool offers many actions to automate various tasks on your Mac. These can be assigned to any input-device trigger you choose. Additionally, it contains some handy features like window snapping, a clipboard manager, a screenshot editor, and much more. It even includes a free iOS app to control your Mac and trigger actions remotely.

Recently, the BetterTouchTool Community was begun, which you can find at community.folivora.ai. Users have shared some amazing presets there, including some very advanced custom Touch Bar setups that you should check out.

BetterTouchTool comes with a 45-day trial after which you can choose between a license that includes all updates for two years and a lifetime license.

BetterTouchTool has been around for nine years, and I've been using it the entire time. With BetterTouchTool, I can make my Mac dance. You should too. To celebrate its 9th birthday, MacSparky readers can purchase BetterTouchTool for 15% off at checkout by using the coupon code MACSPARKYBTT for a limited time. So don’t delay. Go to folivora.ai to learn more and take advantage of the special limited-time, 15% discount on BetterTouchTool.

Manage Your Email with SaneBox (Sponsor)

This week’s sponsor, SaneBox is the solution to so many of my email problems. SaneBox is the email service that adds a pile of productivity features to your email, regardless of what email client you use. For a lot of folks, email is a constant pain point, and it doesn’t need to be. With SaneBox at your back, you can:

  • Wake up every day to find the SaneBox robots have automatically sorted your incoming email for you so you can address the important and ignore the irrelevant. 

  • Defer email for hours, days, or weeks, so it is out of your life until a more appropriate time. They’ve even added a new feature that can optionally auto-reply to snoozed email with something like, “I’m sorry, but I'm underwater right now. I’ll get back to you in a few days.”

  • Set secret reminders so if someone doesn’t reply to an important email SaneBox gives you a nudge to follow up.

  • Automatically save attachments to the cloud (like Dropbox).

  • Use their SaneForward service to automatically send appropriate emails to services like Evernote, Expensify, and Kayak.

  • Move unwanted email to the SaneBlackHole and never see anything from that person again.

The list goes on, and MacSparky readers love this service.

The SaneBox team has been hard at work lately improving the SaneBox interface and releasing even more new tools. For instance, now you can have SaneBox send an auto-reply when you defer an email. Why not straighten out your email by getting a SaneBox account today. If you sign up with this link, you even get a discount on your subscription. 

Automate Your Team with TextExpander (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by TextExpander for teams. Did you know you can automate your entire team with a TextExpander for teams account?

When you have your teammates using TextExpander, the application becomes even more powerful. Just think about it. Because it is cloud-based, your snippets are always up to date and searchable by your entire team. Moreover, your snippets get written and edited by your best writers. If your workplace has multiple platforms, no problem. TextExpander works on macOS, iOS, Windows, and web. Best of all using TextExpander with your team will make you more productive, and leave more time for what you do best. For larger teams, TextExpander supports Single Sign-On (SSO) and grouping accounts to make onboarding a breeze.

To learn more, head over to TextExpander and let them know you heard about here at MacSparky.