I spend a whole lot of time on my computer since it lives right in the center of both work and play for me. I also tend to spend quite a bit of time messing around with new software, always keeping an eye out for applications that will make my life easier, more productive, or just more fun. Recently I’ve started using a bunch of new stuff that’s all pretty good.
At first I didn’t like TweetDeck at all, but they seem to be fixing the bugs and working to make it feel a little less alien. The first version I tried didn’t even have a proper titlebar, so it just felt completely wrong. It’s still pretty odd and takes some getting used to, but it is by far the best Twitter client I’ve tried yet.
Together is sort of a digital scrapbook application. I use it to gather and track stories to be included in the about:mozilla weblog and newsletter, for the most part, but also use it to hang on to files and webpages I want to read later, compile sources for another project I’m working on, and so forth. It’s a nice, handy, unobtrusive utility that’s easy to use and works quite well.
A growing part of my job involves writing posts for a number of weblogs. MarsEdit is a very straightforward blogging tool that lets me manage posts for multiple blogs in a simple UI that never gets in my way. It has all the features I need and nothing extraneous or distracting. It’s hard to ask for more in writing tool you use every day.
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with the original Lightroom, so I’m not really sure what’s new or changed in LR2, but I’ve been playing with it for a few days and really like it. Lightroom simplifies and streamlines the work that goes into processing digital photos from RAW into a final version for web or print. It doesn’t do everything Photoshop does, of course, but for me it covers about 95% of anything I want to do to my images before publishing or printing. I’m still just learning how to use the software, but I can already process pictures 3-4x faster than I could in Photoshop, and I expect that will only get better as I become more familiar with the software and some of it’s automation features.
The pricetag on Lightroom 2 is a wince-inducing $300 USD, but I think it’s worth it, and I’ll be buying this one as soon as my 30 day demo is up. If you’d like to see some of the pictures I’ve processed with it, I have a set up on Flickr.
Things is basically a fancified To-Do List manager. It has the features you need if you want to go all GTD, but also lets you use a more simple system if you want. I use a semi-GTD system in that I have a list of projects in Things, and have those projects broken down into the various actions needed to get them to completion. For those projects that repeat (ie: the about:mozilla newsletter), I have a set of scheduled tasks I have to do every week or month or whatever.
Each morning I go through the full list, flag the items I want to get done today (there’s a handy “Today” star, which I think most GTD systems lack but I can’t live without) and then I just go ahead and do those things. Ta dah.
There’s also a Things for the iPhone/iPod Touch which I will eventually buy when it will sync with my desktop Things. Until then, it’s really not useful to me since there’s no way I’m going to manually manage two lists. They’re working on it, it’s just not ready yet.
Is there other Mac software out there you think I’d like? Leave a note in the comments.